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MTB World Cup XC #7 & DH #5 - CDM
Bromont, Canada, August 1-3, 2008
Race 6 - August 3: Elite women cross country
Pendrel wins her first World Cup
By Sue George in Bromont, Québec
Catherine Pendrel (Luna Women's MTB Team) won her first-ever World Cup in extremely muddy and treacherous conditions due to rain the night before and throughout the elite women's race. Finishing in front of friends and family just weeks before the Olympic Games, the win was extra special for the Canadian Pendrel.
"I woke up this morning and felt really good, so I knew I had to go for it," said Pendrel. "It was muddy but it was lots of fun."
What was on the minds of most of the top women was preventing injury prior to competing in Beijing, China this month. Many made references to riding conservatively and having to catch a plane in the next few days. The women raced four laps on a 4.85km course which was shortened by 700m due to the day's conditions.
Pendrel and her compatriot Marie Helene Premont swapped places from last weekend's World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Premont rode a conservative race in response to the conditions to finish in second place.
"It was very wet, and I was very careful - especially on the downhills," said Premont. "Before the start, I asked myself if I would race or not. I just want to enjoy myself before the Olympics."
Premont will enjoy a two-week a rest at home before the Olympics. "I'm going to Beijing with confidence," she said.
Behind Premont was Katerina Nash (Luna Women's MTB Team), Lene Byberg (Specialized Factory Racing) and Georgia Gould (Luna MTB Women's Team).
Pendrel and Premont got a gap together off the front from the start. Pendrel seemed smoother over the technical sections and also looked powerful on the climbs. Pendrel opened up a gap by the end of the first lap she would continue to extend until the finish.
The slippery conditions quickly separated the women, and most of the top finishers rode alone throughout the race. Many McConneloug (Kenda Seven) had a fantastic beginning, riding initially in third position, but the conditions got to her and she fell back to finish in 12th place.
"I had such a good start," said McConneloug, who was spotted running many sections her fellow competitors were riding. "Then I was so all over the place in the mud and I got nervous - that's the worst thing you want to do in the mud. You start getting rigid and then you can't ride, and you make more mistakes.
"My result today is indicative of the stress I've undergone this week in preparation for Beijing," added McConneloug. "I'm getting on a plane at 6:00 am tomorrow to go to California for a week and I haven't packed yet." From California McConneloug will head to South Korea, and finally, Beijing for the race on August 22.
At the end of the first lap, Nash was riding comfortably in third position, a place she would hold for the duration of the race.
"I love this kind of challenge - these conditions," said Nash, who ran a few uphills because it was faster than riding. "I tried not to make too many mistakes. It was a great ride for me."
Byberg and Gould were battling between themselves behind Nash. They stayed together for awhile, but then Byberg steadily pulled away.
"This race was not a priority for me right now," said Gould, with an eye toward the Olympic Games. "I was conservative. I took it easy in the trees. I didn't want to get hurt. I was going pretty slowly on the first few laps, but overall I was feeling strong and working hard on the climbs."
American Willow Koerber (Subaru / Gary Fisher) put in a strong performance after a tough rest of the season to finish sixth. Her technical skills shone as she rode smoothly over wet roots and rocks that had many others dabbing or running.
Near the end of the race she challenged Gould for the fifth and final place on the podium, but Gould triumphed in the end.
"Willow would catch me by the end of the lap [which was quite technical - ed.], and I'd pull away from her on the climbs," said Gould. "She just glides through and makes it look so easy. Katerina is the same way."
"I could ride most of the singletrack," said a contented Koerber, who seemed to float over the slippery, technical trails. "You know how those races are - there is always something going on - sticks stuck in your cleats and you can't get into gear, but everyone deals with the same thing so you just have to stay calm and not freak out."
"I wanted to feel fine," said Koerber. "I've had a really awful year and had to take a bunch of time off. I'm just finally starting to feel like I can ride my bike again, and I wanted to take advantage of that since there are not many races left this season."
American Lea Davison (Trek / VW) logged her best World Cup finish, for the second weekend in a row. "It was exactly like Vermont when it pours rain there," said Davison, who finished 10th. "I had to relax out there and ride the downhills smoothly. I had to become one with the mud. I got 11th last weekend and before that, my best was 19th."
Although she was listed on the start list, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa did not take the start.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by FJ Hughes / www.fhughesphoto.com
Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net
Images by Marek Lazarski
1 Catherine Pendrel (Can) Luna Womens MTB Team 1.37.43 2 Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Rocky Mountain 1.53 3 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens MTB Team 2.39 4 Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Factory Racin 3.56 5 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 7.06 6 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 8.47 7 Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB 9.49 8 Katrin Leumann (Swi) 9.53 9 Cécile Rode Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 10.31 10 Lea Davison (USA) Trek-VW 10.36 11 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Team Ghost International 12 Mary Mcconneloug (USA) 11.50 13 Rosara Joseph (NZl) Team Ghost International 12.34 14 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Team Lapierre International 13.53 15 Amanda Sin (Can) 15.09 16 Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 15.43 17 Jean Ann Mckirdy (Can) Rocky Mountain 15.59 18 Emiliy Batty (Can) 16.07 19 Helene Marcouyre (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 17.04 20 Wendy Simms (Can) Kona 17.37 21 Rie Katayama (Jpn) 17.39 22 Mical Dyck (Can) 18.22 23 Marie-Claude Surprenant (Can) 18.36 24 Laura Turpijn (Ned) 20.21 25 Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team 21.27 26 Sandra Walter (Can) 23.18 27 Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Lapierre Internation 24.52 28 Caroline Villeneuve (Can) 24.54 29 Laura Lorenzamex Morfin Macouzet (Mex) 25.35 30 Marie Allaire (Can) 26.07 Behind one lap 31 Kathleen Villeneuve (Can) 32 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 33 Carla Salgado Gonzalez (Mex) 34 Catherine Vipond (Can) 35 Véronique Fournier (Can) 36 Mikaela Kofman (Can) 37 Marie Kunst (Den) 38 Kyia Anderson (USA) Behind two laps 39 Jamie Dinkins (USA) 40 Lisa Morgan (NZl) DNF Karine Travaillaud (Can) DNS Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Team 1 Luna Womens MTB Team 100 pts 2 Rocky Mountain 49 3 Team Lapierre International 43 4 Team Ghost International 38 5 Specialized Factory Racing 30 6 Bh-Sr. Suntour 27 7 Subaru-Gary Fisher 26 8 Ceska Sporitelna MTB 24 9 Trek-VW 21 10 Kona 11 11 Giant Mountain Bike Team 6 World Cup standings after seven rounds 1 Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Rocky Mountain 1420 pts 2 Catherine Pendrel (Can) Luna Womens MTB Team 973 3 Margarita Fullana Riera (Spa) Massi 910 4 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 812 5 Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Factory Racing 780 6 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens MTB Team 691 7 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 630 8 Mary Mcconneloug (USA) 583 9 Chengyuan Ren (Chn) 578 10 Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB 568 11 Ying Liu (Chn) 555 12 Katrin Leumann (Swi) 547 13 Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Ghost Pro Team 535 14 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Team Ghost International 527 15 Petra Henzi (Swi) Fischer-BMC 522 16 Cécile Rode Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 465 17 Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 450 18 Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Cap Arreghini 435 19 Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Giant Italia Team 434 20 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Team Lapierre International 421 21 Laurence Leboucher (Fra) 405 22 Wendy Simms (Can) Kona 376 23 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 348 24 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 322 25 Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Cap Arreghini 322 26 Sandra Walter (Can) 318 27 Lea Davison (USA) Trek-VW 309 28 Adelheid Morath (Ger) 306 29 Laura Turpijn (Ned) 304 30 Tanja Zakelj (Slo) 290 31 Maroussia Rusca (Swi) 287 32 Kiara Bisaro (Can) 278 33 Maria Osl (Aut) Sunshine Racers Asv Nals 241 34 Jingjing Wang (Chn) 239 35 Amanda Sin (Can) 237 36 Nina Homovec (Slo) 235 37 Mical Dyck (Can) 221 38 Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 205 39 Emiliy Batty (Can) 189 40 Anna Villar Argente (Spa) Massi 188 41 Helene Marcouyre (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 186 42 Esther Süss (Swi) 180 43 Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Lapierre International 171 44 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek-VW 163 45 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) 160 46 Jean Ann Mckirdy (Can) Rocky Mountain 138 47 Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Bikepark.ch BMC 132 48 Francisca Campos Salas (Chi) Massi 126 49 Githa Michiels (Bel) 120 50 Alexandra Engen (Swe) 118 51 Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mex) 116 52 Marie-Claude Surprenant (Can) 114 53 Dellys Starr (Aus) 110 54 Julie Bresset (Fra) Breiz Mountain 105 55 Rie Katayama (Jpn) 102 56 Caroline Villeneuve (Can) 102 57 Arielle Van Meurs (Ned) 101 58 Janka Stevkova (Svk) 96 59 Kate Potter (Aus) 85 60 Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 85 61 Marie Allaire (Can) 82 62 Carla Salgado Gonzalez (Mex) 82 63 Rosara Joseph (NZl) Team Ghost International 80 64 Mikaela Kofman (Can) 80 65 Kathleen Villeneuve (Can) 74 66 Katrin Schwing (Ger) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team 74 67 Séverine Hansen (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 72 68 Maaike Polspoel (Bel) 71 69 Véronique Fournier (Can) 70 70 Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 70 71 Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain 69 72 Sarah Koba (Swi) 66 73 Catherine Vipond (Can) 64 74 Jaqueline Mourao (Bra) 64 75 Elsbeth Van Rooij-Vink (Ned) Beone Chainreaction Mountainbiketeam 64 76 Nina Wrobel (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 64 77 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa) Cemelorca-Seguros10.Com 63 78 Vera Andreeva (Rus) 63 79 Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 63 80 Marie Kunst (Den) 61 81 Jamie Dinkins (USA) 61 82 Karine Travaillaud (Can) 58 83 Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team 56 84 Lisa Morgan (NZl) 55 85 Kyia Anderson (USA) 54 86 Zoe King (Aus) 50 87 Anna Szafraniec (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 48 88 Caroline Mani (Fra) 44 89 Fiona Macdermid (GBr) 41 90 Joanna Harrington (Aus) 40 91 Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) 39 92 Cristina Mascarreras Sabria (Spa) Conor - Camping La Siesta 38 93 Emma Colson (Aus) 34 94 Daniella Bunzli Rojas (Chi) 33 95 Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa) 32 96 Bernardine Boog-Rauwerda (Ned) 30 97 Ruth Moll Marques (Spa) 29 98 Caitlyn Tuel (USA) 28 99 Kaytee Boyd (NZl) 28 100 Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe) Subaru-Gary Fisher 27 101 Sarka Chmurova (Cze) Max Cursor 26 102 Julie Sanders (Can) 25 103 Maria Kalnes (Nor) 24 104 Sandra Araujo (Por) 24 105 Kaitlin Michener (Can) 23 106 Neus Parcerissas (Spa) 23 107 Anja Mcdonald (NZl) 21 108 Laure Boulay (Fra) Team CIBF Keops 21 109 Sandra Dolcerocca (Den) 17 110 Claudia Seidel (Ger) 17 111 Rocio Martin Rodriguez (Spa) 15 112 Jennifer Fischer (Fra) Team CIBF Keops 14 113 Liliana Alejandra Uzcategui Vasquez (Ven) 12 114 Athina Chatzistyli (Gre) 10 115 Yolande Speedy (RSA) 10 116 Stephanie Wiedner (Aut) 9 117 Hanna Klein (Ger) 9 118 Rowena Fry (Aus) 8 Team standings 1 MS-Intense Factory-Racing 280 pts 2 4 Elements Yeti/Hotec/RSP 126 3 Commencal - Furious - Oakley Team 119 4 Suzuki-RB 107 5 Animal Commencal 104 6 Norco World Team 92 7 Team Ghost International 80 8 Team Sunn 73 9 Cannondale Factory Racing 64 10 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 64 11 Kenda Tomac 56 12 Rocky Mountain UK 28 13 Team Bike Radar 19 14 Tomac Factory Racing 5 15 Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 5