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MTB World Cup XC #6 & DH #5 - CDM

Maribor, Slovenia, September 14-16, 2007

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Race 3 - September 15: Elite Men Cross Country

Kessiakoff wins his first World Cup

By Rob Jones in Maribor

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Cannondale-Vredestein)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

The final round of the cross-country World Cup was the first cross-country World Cup to be held in Maribor, Slovenia, so it was only fitting that a first-time winner took the top step of the podium as Fredrik Kessiakoff (Cannondale-Vredestein) became the first Swede to win a World Cup. There were no surprises in the overall standings, with recently crowned world champions Irina Kalentyeva (Topeak-Ergon) and Julien Absalon (Orbea) winning the overall titles.

Cannondale-Vredestein took firm control of the race from the start, with team mates Roel Paulissen, Jakob Fuglsang, Kessiakoff and Kashi Leuchs all at the front on the first descent. They were joined by Christoph Sauser (Specialized), Manuel Fumic (Fumic Brothers Racing), Jose Hermida (Multivan-Merida) and Geoff Kabush (Maxxis). Kabush was still feeling the effects of an arm injury two weeks earlier, and faded as the race went on (finishing 45th), but the others proved to be the main race animators.

The one name missing was that of world champion and already World Cup champion Julien Absalon. Absalon admitted to having little motivation for the race, saying: "I did it just for fun today. I had a really bad start, and it is hard to fight back when you have no goal in the race. In the middle I caught up to my team mate Inaki Lejarreta, who is fighting for a Spanish Olympic selection, so my goal became to work for him during the race."

Absalon patiently worked for Lejarreta all race, moving him up to 17th and then holding back at the line to let the Spaniard cross first.

Christoph Sauser (Specialized)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

Back at the front, the race was down to three riders by the start of lap two - Kessiakoff, Sauser and Hermida. The Swede attacked halfway up the climb, splitting the group, with Hermida immediately giving chase and Sauser deciding to play a waiting game.

"They were both too fast, and it was too early," commented Sauser. "I know Freddy blows when he goes out so hard, so I was waiting for weakness there. But this time he didn't. I caught Jose (on lap five), but Freddy was out of reach."

Manuel Fumic also caught a tiring Hermida with a lap to go, to take third, with Paulissen rounding out the top-five. Adam Craig (Giant), after his patented slow start, moved up steadily through the field to finish 12th, the top North American result. "I finally got going halfway through the race," said Craig. "Once it opened up I could pass, and catch riders on the tricky bits. I haven't been feeling super tip-top, so I'll take this result."

Road professional Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

Kessiakoff was ecstatic with his win; riding much of the last lap with a grin on his face after the gap to Sauser went over a minute and his win seemed assured. "Finally! I've been waiting for this one for a long time," he exclaimed. "I just decided to give it everything; why hold back? It is the last important race of the season, so it was do or die for me."

Hermida took second in the final overall standings behind Absalon, with Sauser third, Paulissen fourth and Kessiakoff moving into fifth.

Race Notes

- Despite the team announcing that he would ride a full suspension bike in a World Cup for the first time, Julien Absalon ended up sticking to his usual hard tail. "I am more comfortable with it," he explained. "Maybe this winter I will spend some time testing a full suspension bike."

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com

Results

1 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Cannondale-Vredestein               1.53.44
2 Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized                              1.25
3 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International                 1.41
4 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Esp) Multivan Merida Biking Team    2.01
5 Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale-Vredestein                      2.48
6 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Orbea                              3.22
7 Lado Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International                   3.37
8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein                      3.52
9 Kashi Leuchs (NZl) Cannondale-Vredestein                        4.38
10 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Versluys-Landbouwkrediet                4.45
11 Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team                    
12 Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team                      4.54
13 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Esp) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica                 5.17
14 Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International               5.26
15 Christoph Soukup (Aut)                                         5.57
16 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger)                                         6.08
17 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Esp) Orbea                            6.33
18 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea                                     6.34
19 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team                   7.04
20 Milan Spesny (Cze) Merida Biking Team                          7.24
21 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                7.27
22 Jürg Graf (Swi)                                                7.34
23 Peter Riis Andersen (Den) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike           7.37
24 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek-VW                                  7.55
25 Hannes Metzler (Aut)                                           8.14
26 Martin Gujan (Swi)                                             8.24
27 Marti Gispert Labarta (Esp) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica                 8.30
28 Oliver Beckingsale (GBr)                                       8.39
29 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Esp) ASD KTM International Team        8.53
30 Karl Platt (Ger) Team Bulls                                    9.17
31 Dariusz Batek (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team                9.42
32 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team                         9.54
33 Alban Lakata (Aut) Trek-VW                                     9.59
34 Stefan Sahm (Ger) Team Bulls                                  10.00
35 Liam Killeen (GBr) Specialized                                10.02
36 Seamus Mcgrath (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood                   10.14
37 Gion Manetsch (Swi)                                           10.48
38 Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team                 10.53
39 Lukas Flückiger (Swi)                                         10.54
40 Jochen Kass (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                       
41 Marek Galinski (Pol)                                          10.58
42 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Esp) Orbea                                11.12
43 Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team                          11.33
44 Todd Wells (USA)                                              11.38
45 Geoff Kabush (Can)                                            12.03
46 Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)                                        12.29
47 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team                        12.39
48 Robert Gehbauer (Aut) Multivan Merida Biking Team                  
49 Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team Lapierre International     12.40
50 Silvio Bundi (Swi)                                            12.42
51 Bjorn Brems (Bel) Dolphin Bike Team                           12.43
52 Andreas Kugler (Swi) Fischer-BMC                              12.48
53 Sergy Kysenko (Ukr)                                           13.18
54 Christof Bischof (Swi) Bikin'cyprus Int'l Mtb Team            13.56
55 Mathieu Toulouse (Can)                                        14.19
56 Klaus Nielsen (Den) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                14.46
57 Balz Weber (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Tui                              14.51
58 Vaclav Hlavac (Cze)                                           14.57
59 Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)                                       15.02
60 Yader Zoli (Ita) ASD KTM International Team                        
61 Robin Seymour (Irl) Dolphin Bike Team                         15.12
62 Michael Broderick (USA)                                       15.30
63 Tim Wijnants (Bel) ASD KTM International Team                 15.57
64 Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike               16.10
65 Ruud Rentmeester (Ned)                                        16.19
66 Niall Davis (Irl)                                             16.27
67 Andrea Tiberi (Ita)                                           16.50
68 Tim Bohme (Ger)                                               17.11
69 Filip Eberl (Cze)                                             17.13
70 Stéphane Tempier (Fra) Gewiss Bianchi                         17.30
71 Matous Ulman (Cze)                                            17.41
72 Lachlan Norris (Aus)                                          18.54
73 Andras Parti (Hun)                                            19.15

One lap behind

74 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Les Gets 75 Sid Taberlay (Aus) Dolphin Bike Team 76 Max Oste Macdonald (Swe) 77 Roland Plank (Aut) 78 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood 79 Lee Williams (GBr) 80 Olaf Rochow (Ger) 81 Oleksanar Yakymenko (Ukr) 82 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) 83 Ricky Federau (Can) 84 Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) 85 Luka Mezgec (Slo) 86 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 87 Ian Bibby (GBr) 88 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) 89 Marcus Roy (NZl) 90 Steffen Thum (Ger) Team Mayer Stevens 91 Luka Homovec (Slo) 92 Robert Kircher (Aut) 93 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 94 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 95 Evguen Petchenine (Rus) Format-Udmurtia 96 Umberto Corti (Ita) Two laps behind 97 Jakob Nimpf (Aut) 98 Robert Mennen (Ger) 99 Anze Bizjak (Slo) 100 Luka Rakusa (Slo) 101 Borut Fonda (Slo) 102 Mitja Tancik (Slo) 103 Szilard Buruczki (Hun) 104 Anddry Gumenyuk (Ukr) 105 Kristian Hynek (Cze) 106 Wilko Rochow (Ger) 107 Alexey Belokrylov (Rus) Format-Udmurtia 108 Zsolt Szlobodnyik (Hun) 109 Vero Lüscher (Ger) 110 Jaka Tancik (Slo) Three laps behind 111 Marios Athanasiades (Cyp) Bikin'cyprus Int'l Mtb Team 112 Florian Vogel (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team 113 Jernej Muzga (Slo) 114 Samo Rauter (Slo) 115 Dani Simcic (Cro) 116 David Vogrin (Slo) Four laps behind
117 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Dolphin Bike Team DSQ Matthias Flückiger (Swi) DNF Nino Schurter (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team DNF Bas Peters (Ned) DNF Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) DNF Torsten Marx (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike DNF Emil Lindgren (Swe) Gewiss Bianchi DNF Till Marx (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team DNF Tony Longo (Ita) DNF Cristobal Silva (Chi) DNF Marc Colom (Fra) DNF Conner Mcconvey (Irl) DNF Andras Melts (Hun) DNF Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team DNF Gerald Hauer (Aut)   World Cup Overall Standings Individual   1 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea 1270 pts 2 Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team 1030 3 Christoph Sauser (Swi) 916 4 Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale-Vredestein 730 5 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Cannondale-Vredestein 706 6 Cedric Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 666 7 Kashi Leuchs (NZl) Cannondale-Vredestein 580 8 Nino Schurter (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team 560 9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein 545 10 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Versluys-Landbouwkrediet Mtb Team 497 11 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team 470 12 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International 424 13 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea 413 14 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Orbea 410 15 Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team 363 16 Lado Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International 354 17 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) 354 18 Geoff Kabush (Can) 351 19 Milan Spesny (Cze) Merida Biking Team 342 20 Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team 330 21 Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) 297 22 Jader Zoli (Ita) Asd Ktm International Team 294 23 Florian Vogel (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team 270 24 Balz Weber (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Tui 257 25 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 255 26 Stefan Sahm (Ger) Team Bulls 248 27 Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 244 28 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea 241 29 Seamus McGrath (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood 240 30 Christoph Soukup (Aut) 228 31 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team 217 32 Jurg Graf (Swi) 208 33 Hannes Metzler (Aut) 202 34 Bas Peters (Ned) 196 35 Karl Platt (Ger) Team Bulls 193 36 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica 192 37 Marek Galinski (Pol) 187 38 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) 185 39 Todd Wells (USA) 180 40 Torsten Marx (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike 176 41 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Dolphin Bike Team 175 42 Marti Gispert Labarta (Spa) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica 174 42 Martin Gujan (Swi) 174 44 Peter Riis Andersen (Den) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike 173 45 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Asd Ktm International Team 173 46 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek-Vw 164 47 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team 155 48 Yury Trofimov (Rus) 151 49 Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) 148 50 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood 148 51 Silvio Bundi (Swi) 145 52 Burry Stander (RSA) 143 53 Gion Manetsch (Swi) 139 54 Jochen Kass (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike 130 55 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Gewiss Bianchi 121 56 Ricky Federau (Can) 118 57 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 108 58 Till Marx (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team 97 59 Michael Weiss (Aut) Bikin'cyprus Int'l Mtb Team 96 60 Stephane Tempier (Fra) Gewiss Bianchi 92 61 Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) Full-Dynamix-R.S.M. 87 62 Ricardo Pscheidt (Bra) 84 63 Valeriano Rubens Donizeti (Bra) 83 64 Rene Tann (Ger) 82 65 Dariusz Batek (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 80 66 Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team 80 67 Sid Taberlay (Aus) Dolphin Bike Team 72 68 Alban Lakata (Aut) Trek-Vw 71 69 Christof Bischof (Swi) Bikin'cyprus Int'l Mtb Team 69 70 Sven Nys (Bel) 58 71 Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Team New Cycling 56 72 Martino Fruet (Ita) 51 73 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 47 74 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) 45 75 Klaus Nielsen (Den) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike 44 76 Michael Broderick (USA) 44 77 Miha Solar (Slo) 42 78 Bjorn Brems (Bel) Dolphin Bike Team 40 79 Derek Zandstra (Can) 40 80 Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Beone Mountainbiketeam 40 81 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Bh-Sr. Suntour 38 82 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Bmc Racing 38 83 Tony Longo (Ita) 38 84 Mirko Pirazzoli (Ita) 38 85 Israel Nunez Baticon (Spa) Massi 37 86 Neal Kindree (Can) Kona Les Gets 36 87 Liam Killeen (GBr) 36 88 Matthias Fluckiger (Swi) 36 89 Sergiy Rysenko (Ukr) 35 90 Francois Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier 34 91 Robin Seymour (Irl) 32 92 Massimo De Bertolis (Ita) Full-Dynamix-R.S.M. 32 93 Martin Kraler (Aut) Gewiss Bianchi 30 94 Olivier Maignan (Fra) Bh-Sr. Suntour 28 95 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 28 96 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier 26 97 Tim Bohme (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike 25 98 Oleksandr Yakymenko (Ukr) 23 99 Karl Markt (Aut) 23 100 Daniel McConnell (Aus) 22 101 Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) 21 102 Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team 21 103 Andrew Watson (Can) 21 104 Filip Eberl (Cze) 20 105 Robert Gehbauer (Aut) Multivan Merida Biking Team 20 106 Nicolas Filippi (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier 20 107 Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team Lapierre International 19 108 Andreas Kugler (Swi) Fischer-Bmc 16 109 Jeff Hall (USA) 16 110 Maxim Gogolev (Rus) 16 111 Edivando Cruz (Bra) 15 112 Sergy Kysenko (Ukr) 15 113 Tim Heemskerk (Ned) 14 114 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Les Gets 13 115 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Massi 11 116 Kenji Takeya (Jpn) 10 117 Vaclav Hlavac (Cze) 10 118 Benoit Simard (Can) 10 119 Pascal Meyer (Swi) 10 120 Marc Trayter Alemany (Spa) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica 9 121 Yader Zoli (Ita) Asd Ktm International Team 8 122 Jerome Chevallier (Fra) 8   U23 men's winner 1 Nino Schurter (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team 560 pts 2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein 545 3 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) 185 4 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood 148 5 Burry Stander (RSA) 143 6 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Gewiss Bianchi 121 7 Stephane Tempier (Fra) Gewiss Bianchi 92 8 Rene Tann (Ger) 82 9 Dariusz Batek (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 80 10 Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team 80 11 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 47 12 Bjorn Brems (Bel) Dolphin Bike Team 40 13 Neal Kindree (Can) Kona Les Gets 36 14 Matthias Fluckiger (Swi) 36 15 Francois Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier 34 16 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 28 17 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier 26 18 Oleksandr Yakymenko (Ukr) 23 19 Daniel McConnell (Aus) 22 20 Robert Gehbauer (Aut) Multivan Merida Biking Team 20 21 Vaclav Hlavac (Cze) 10 22 Pascal Meyer (Swi) 10   Team overall 1 Cannondale-Vredestein 506 pts 2 Orbea 389 3 Multivan Merida Biking Team 307 4 Swisspower Mtb Team 246 5 Fumic.Brothers.International 138 6 Team Lapierre International 135 7 Versluys-Landbouwkrediet Mtb Team 106 8 Giant Mountain Bike Team 70 9 Asd Ktm International Team 70 10 Dolphin Bike Team 56 11 Rocky Mountain Haywood 53 12 Merida Biking Team 50 13 Team Bulls 50 14 Bikepark.Ch Tui 40 15 Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike 38 16 Spiuk-Tau Ceramica 34 17 Subaru-Gary Fisher 26 18 Trek-Vw 16 19 Full-Dynamix-R.S.M. 15 20 Gewiss Bianchi 8 21 Bikin'cyprus Int'l Mtb Team 4