News / Sina Frei European Champion - Anne Terpstra wins XCE World Cup

Sina Frei European Champion - Anne Terpstra wins XCE World Cup

With three National Championship titles, one XCE World Cup victory, a Silver and Bronze medal in the team relay and the U23 European Championship title, the past two weeks were very successful. Barbara Benko celebrated a Triple in Hungary, Anne Terpstra got her XCO Champion jersey back and won a Sprint World Cup. Switzerland and Denmark ended up in second and third place in the team relay and, to top it all off, Sina Frei concluded with her fourth European Championship title in a row.

The National Championships in Austria, Hungary and the Netherlands took place the previous weekend. Lisa Pasteiner was able to fully participate in the competition after her interim break, and won Silver as a U23 rider in the Elite category: “I am glad that I am fully back in business after my time-out. That was definitely the right decision and I am very happy with my second place finish. It wasn’t quite enough for the very top, but the competition is getting stronger and stronger every year. This shows that our sport is on the right track.”


Anne Terpstra was very happy with yet another National Champion's title in the Netherlands. Especially since the competition was organized by her home club in Apeldoorn. “Apart from the Olympics, this was probably the most special and extraordinary race I have ever competed in. To be able to win in front of all these spectators, to experience such support and enthusiasm from the spectators was just very unique. Naturally, I know every turn here and I spent many hours training the youth and kids of BarEnd, which makes it very special. After my injury in January. I didn’t even dare to dream about winning here. This makes today even more unbelievable. Many thanks to all for this great event and for this unique experience.”


Barbara Benko succeeded in scoring a Triple in Hungary, a feat she has been after for many years. After the Cyclo Cross Championship title, she also became Hungarian Champion on the road. To complete her trifecta, she also won the XCO title in Mountain biking: “In previous years, I was always missing one jersey. Now, I finally did it – I won all three titles. This makes everything even more special and great. Now, I am looking forward to the races in August. With the European Championships and the World Cup events, I am hoping to keep the momentum going for the World Championships.”


This week, the focus was on the European Championships of the young talents. In conjunction with the European Championships, Graz, Austria, also organized a XCE European Championship competition and an additional XCE World Cup event in the city center of Graz. At the first event, the team relay, in which five athletes of different age groups of one nation have to ride one lap of the XCO track each, Italy finished in first place, with Switzerland and Denmark placing second and third. The Silver and Bronze winners were supported by Sina Frei and Malene Degn which allowed both of our girls to celebrate their first medal. For Malene Degn, the team relay medal will remain her only medal. After the race, she felt an infection coming on, and left early to focus on her next competitions.


At the XCE European Championships which took place in the city center of Graz on Friday, Anne Terpstra was able to make it through to the final and finished in fourth place in the end: “I am here for the practice most of all and like to experience the intensity. The track didn’t suit me today because passing after the start was basically impossible and the lap is extremely short, but tomorrow, things will hopefully be more up my alley.” On the next day, the XCE World Cup event took place on a slightly modified track and in the opposite direction over two laps. The Dutch rider secured the best time in qualifying, which got her the best starting position. She moved up to the final without any trouble, and with a longer race duration of nearly three minutes, her physical conditioning paid off and she was able to secure her first XCE World Cup, beating the newly crowned European Champion from the Ukraine: “I am naturally very happy about the win, but I saw this mostly as a training and practice opportunity for the upcoming XCO World Cup events and the rest of the season. Winning is always nice, but my focus is without a doubt on Cross Country.” Finishing the sprint competitions, the Dutch athlete was also able to secure victory in the XCC short race immediately following, and the combined ranking of the weekend.


Concluding the weekend, the U23 ladies race was up next on the schedule. Lisa Pasteiner secured 15th place on the track in her chosen home country and was immediately looking for shade after crossing the finish line: “It often rains at the race in Graz, but today, the heat was just brutal.” Riding among the TOP10 after the start, the Austrian lost some ground during the course of the race, but managed to fight her way back to the top towards the end. Her training is tailored towards the second half of the season. In the same race, SIna Frei rode her laps alone pretty early on and won the race in superior fashion: “Today was honestly the toughest race of the season. In general, I am ok coping with heat, but the conditions today were just unbelievably tough. After I heard the time lags, I was able to reduce the pace a little towards the end, focused on avoiding any mistakes and bringing the race home.” This means that the current World Champion put her fourth European Championship title in a row in the books: “To defend a title is still more difficult than to win one. That’s why this means a lot to me today. In the end, this shows that I delivered a good and steady performance these last years, and I am very proud of that!”

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