One week after the German Championships in St. Ingbert the youth European Championships took place in Graz, Austria. The nomination of five STEVENS MTB Racing Team riders was a confirmation of their strong performance in St. Ingbert: David Horvath (U23) in the Eliminator (Silver Medal in June), Antonia Daubermann (Bronze U23), Franziska Koch (U19 champion), Emma Eydt (runner-up U19) and Markus Eydt as the best first-year U19 rider.
On Tuesday it was Christian Pfäffle of STEVENS Factory Team to show his class in the elite race in Glasgow. Weather in Graz was very hot, the course extremely steep with lots of vertical gain and technical sections. All riders pointed how that this was one of the toughest courses they had ever ridden in their career.
Franziska, like last year, was nominated for the team relay. The team was put together from youth riders and besides Franziska Koch featured Luca Schwarzbauer, Leon Kaiser, Ronja Eibl and Maximilian Brandl. Franziska entered the race from position four. On the very slippery course one of her tires lost too much air right after passing the tech zone so she was forced to ride very carefully which resulted in the German team finishing fourth, same as the previous year.
In the cross country event Fraziska was Lucky and did not suffer any crashed or mechanicals. Like Emma Eydt she followed her own rhythm and didn’t let herself be distracted by the competition. Emma used her strength wisely, so she was able to overtake a few riders on the last lap and advance to place eight. Franziska meanwhile soon was in fifth place and advanced one spot to eventually finish fourth – for an international event like a European Championship this is an outstanding result. This year’s European Champion is the superb Laura Stigger from Austria.
Markus Eydt entered the race as a first-year U19 rider with race number 101. He fought to advance to place 33 and finishes as third best German. A good basis for the upcoming years.
In the first runs David Horvath might have lost some time here and there which meant he already had to face strong opponents in the final-16 round. He prevailed and reached the quarter finals. In the early phase he dropped his chain, so he was forced to take his chances. Shortly before a curve he looked around to look for the competition – just to see how he was overtaken by the eventual runner-up. In the final chase David went all-out but slipped in a curve. He later ended up in a respectable 14th place.
Women’s U23 Race With Antonia Daubermann
In the U23 competition Antonia Daubermann got a bad start and in the first downhill section she was surrounded by many less-talented downhill riders. This way she lost valuable time in the first lap over the targeted top ten. In the second lap she found her rhythm and was able to advance place by place. She finished in 14th place to become best German. Yet, she was not that pleased with this result especially she had ridden good lap times in the second half of the race.