And MBUK’s Marc Beaumont gets second
After a week of rain and difficult riding conditions, the sun came out to dry the technical Val Di Sol track in Italy for the best in Europe to do battle on Sunday afternoon.
Many riders posted times just over four minutes and the leading time of 4:08 seemed pretty quick until Marc Beaumont smashed the time with 3:53 sending him straight to the hot seat for a nervous wait for Fabien Barel (world champ) and Gee Atherton (fastest seed).
Barel came into sight of the finish line out of time, leaving just Gee who was right at home on the rooty, steep and tight sections of the track which he said were just like the stuff he builds himself to ride at home. His time of 3:50 gave him the win over Marc who was happy to leave Italy with a European Championship Medal.
Marc said: “It’s been difficult training here with the bad weather and the injury to my knee on the first day but I improved a lot on this track as the week progressed and put in everything I had to try and take the win. It was by no means a perfect run in the final and I was happy to beat Barel and join Gee on the top steps of the podium. After four weeks away I’m looking forward to getting home and preparing for the National champs.”
In the other races of the weekend, Rachel Atherton won first place in the Elite Women group posting a time of 4:58.14, and fellow Brit Brendan Fairclough stormed the Junior Men group to win top spot with a time of 3:52.85.