Simone Avondetto wins gold on the mud at the 2024 European XCO Championship

Mountain bike 12/05/24 16:21 Migue A.

Simone Avondetto takes the victory in the 2024 European XCO Championship. The Italian completed a great beastly race marked by rain and mud with a pace that proved unreachable for the others. Andreassen, who suffered a puncture while in the lead, finished second and Schelb took the bronze after overtaking Griot in the final meters.

Avondetto conquers gold over the mud in the 2024 European XCO Championship

The clouds, which had been pouring rain since the morning, continued to bathe a circuit turned into a mud pit. The forty-eight riders called for the 2024 European XCO Championship took shelter under umbrellas before starting to get dirty in a grotesque race that was going to take place on the muddy skating track of Cheile Gradistei.

The start was clean and Charlie Aldridge took the lead early in the day. The British rider pushed hard from the beginning, although it was Simon Andreassen who took the lead shortly after. Andreassen increased the pace at the cost of taking risks that gave him a 16-second cushion over those riding behind him.

The fog disappeared momentarily and the next few minutes passed among puddles and riders soaked in mud and water. Andreassen continued to increase his lead over a chasing group formed by Colombo, Aldridge, Azzaro, List, Avondetto, Brandl. An unfortunate puncture sank David Valero in the standings, while Jofre Cullell settled in eighth place and David Campos teamed up with Thomas Litscher in fifteenth.

Avondetto emerged as the standout student from the chasing group and went solo in pursuit of Andreassen. The Italian fulfilled his mission and caught up with the Dane, falling victim to a puncture that forced him to stop at the technical zone. The incident cost him half a minute and dropped him to tenth place.

Avondetto took control of the race and ruled the following kilometers unopposed. The Italian imposed a pace with authority that allowed him to escape the clutches of Brandl, who in turn had left his travel companions behind to try to reach the front alone. Meanwhile, Andreassen passed Cullell to be sixth and continued his personal comeback.

Avondetto's tyranny continued to widen the gap with Brandl, who held his ground against threats from behind. The distance between the top two remained around 30 seconds. Avondetto described solid lines that drew a magnificent dance in the mud. Andreassen emptied himself in pursuit of Brandl, in a tight defense of a silver that had been in his possession for many minutes. 

Andreassen's legs overcame Brandl's composure. The Dane arrived, passed, and aimed the sight at the utopian goal of regaining the lead. Avondetto was about 47 seconds ahead, although the harsh conditions of the track made it easier to imagine an unexpected outcome. On the other hand, Cullell suffered a puncture after a great race that had led him to be seventh.

Andreassen found the strength to distance himself from Brandl, even though Avondetto was already close to a minute ahead.

The final lap began with Avondetto enjoying himself and only a collapse, a fall, or a mechanical problem could snatch victory from him. The Italian exhibited himself without showing any cracks that could shatter the gold he could already see, despite the increasing fog that gradually enveloped the Cheile Gradistei circuit. There was only one moment of alarm due to a small stumble that had no consequences.

Behind, Andreassen solidified his second position, while Brandl struggled to hold onto the bronze against the arrival of Thomas Griot and Julian Schelb. Later on, Brandl punctured and thus drowned any chance of fighting for a medal.

Thus, Avondetto pedaled confidently to raise his arms upon reaching the finish line and claim the 2024 European XCO Championship. Meanwhile, Andreassen finished second and the third place, which seemed to belong to Griot, was taken by a Schelb who snatched the medal from the Frenchman in the final meters.

2024 European XCO Championship Results

  1. Simone Avondetto (Italy) 1h 14' 57"
  2. Simon Andreassen (Denmark) +49"
  3. Julian Schelb (Germany) +1'07"
  4. Thomas Griot (France) +1'13"
  5. Maximilian Brandl (Germany) +1'45"
  6. David List (Germany) +1'53"
  7. Mathis Azzaro (France) +2'04"
  8. Filippo Colombo (Switzerland) +2'11"
  9. Charlie Aldridge (United Kingdom) +2'12"
  10. Leon Reinhard Kaiser (Germany) +2'21"



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Simone Avondetto gana el oro sobre el barro en el Campeonato Europeo de XCO de 2024


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Simone Avondetto ganha o ouro na lama no Campeonato Europeu de XCO de 2024


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Simone Avondetto remporte la victoire au Championnat d'Europe de XCO de 2024