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MTB World Cup XC #7 & DH #5 - CDM

Bromont, Canada, August 1-3, 2008

Main Page    Results    Previous Race      World Cup Standings

Race 7 - August 3: Elite men cross country

Absalon wins again

By Sue George in Bromont, Quebec

Julien Absalon (Orbea)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
(Click for larger image)

Julien Absalon (Orbea) rode smoothly and consistently for six laps to take a solo victory at the Bromont World Cup, just one week after his win at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Lukas Flückiger (Athleticum) spent a majority of his race in no-man's land in pursuit of French National Champion Absalon. For a time he seemed to fade, but he hung tough to finish second while Team Giant's Adam Craig ended up third.

Absalon was not deterred when he saw the rain in the morning. "I was happy," he smiled. "If it rains, it's good. If it doesn't rain, it's good. I like when it's muddy like this because I live in the north of France, so I ride a lot in similar conditions."

Absalon knew from experience where he wanted to be during the race. "I think in these conditions, it's better to be in front because you can choose your line on the singletrack," he said. "It was important today to not fall so it was better to be alone because you can go like you want."

The French National Champion's brakes and shifters were filled with mud, but everyone suffered the same problems. Absalon was selective about when he walked and when he rode. "Sometimes it's faster to walk than to ride," he said. "Also, if you go slow on the bike while riding, you catch all the mud on your bike."

The Swiss Flückiger said the key to his race was riding his own pace. He appeared to start well, bog down in the middle portion of the race and then perk up near the end, when his second place looked secure, barring any mishaps.

The peloton heads up Bromont Mountain
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
(Click for larger image)

Craig raced to third in his best-ever World Cup finish. He credited his third place to riding a full suspension - his new Anthem X with more mud clearance and different suspension design and more linear travel - which let him rest on the technical singletrack sections.

"I was able to deal with the conditions effectively so it was good," said Craig. "I wouldn't call it 'enjoyable', but it was pretty fun.

"There were sections of the course that were cool," said Craig, who has been training through both of the Canadian World Cup races. "All that traversing stuff is like what I grew up riding in Maine - just a bunch of burly flat, weird stuff that's hard to find a rhythm."

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis), the only other top finisher to ride a full suspension, finished fourth. At times during the race, the Canadian racer was "as far back as 10th or 12th", but he kept up his pace in what became a race of attrition for many. "I think people went out too hard, especially those on hardtails," said Kabush. "I knew it would be a long race so I kept it steady. On one lap near the end, I moved up four spots.

"I thought I might have a chance at Adam, but it's one of the few times he was able to hold me off, so it's good to see he was riding really strong as well," added Kabush. "A lot of people were talking about the tough singletrack, and we don't usually race that, but I ride that all the time. It was my favourite part of the track today. It's where I could rest a bit and find a rhythm."

Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
(Click for larger image)

Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) led the bunch on the first half lap, but he couldn't hold the blistering pace and as the race went on, he dropped a few places. The Spaniard's ride was still good enough for a fifth place finish, and he said he had recovered well from last weekend's crash.

Hermida said poor tire choice made his race tough. "Before the start, it was raining the whole time so I thought I'd use dry tires," he said. "If it is still raining during the race, with dry tires you can be fast because the water cleans the mud. But before the start the weather changed and it stopped raining so the mud started to dry and get heavier and thicker.

"I spent so much energy just to move the bike with the tires I picked, but I'm happy to come back again to the podium. I felt good," he added. "Even more important, it's the first time I grew a moustache and got on the podium."

American Todd Wells (GT Bicycles) put in his trademark fast start, before luck failed him. "I had a couple of flat tires," said Wells, who still ended up a respectable 10th. "After my good start, I flatted and lost a bunch of spots. Just as I started to make up some places, I flatted again at the end. I was feeling really good out there; I just had some bad luck."

Lukas Fluckinger (Athleticum)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
(Click for larger image)

Fellow American Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru / Gary Fisher) finished just one place behind Wells. "I was feeling really good for the first half and was fighting for podium spots [JHK was as high as sixth - ed.], but then I had a bad wreck, and I broke a couple of spokes in my rear wheel and hit my shoulder pretty hard on the fourth lap. I struggled a little from there until the end, but I'm happy."

South African Burry Stander (GT Bicycles) made it as high as fourth place, but then he lost a lot of ground quickly including five places on one lap with a little over two laps to go. Stander, who visited the podium last weekend, would finish 24th.

Although many of the racers were thinking of Beijing and riding cautiously to prevent injury, the race will no doubt serve as a confidence boost to those who did well - at least for verifying their fitness.

"This race is so irrelevant to Beijing," said Craig. "If Beijing was like this, I'd be pumped." He added, however, that he was pleased to see he was riding 3.5 minute behind Absalon instead of 5.5 minutes like last weekend.

"It is completely different than the Olympics, but it was interesting to see the level of the other guys and that I'm in good shape," said Absalon, who was still trying to decide his plans for the next two weeks before the big day in Beijing. "I don't know what I will do. I have two options. One is to stay in the north of France and the other is to go in the south of France to where there is hot weather because I think it will be important to train in high temperatures. It could be really hot in Beijing."


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 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea                              2.16.24
2 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team                  2.14
3 Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team                  3.46
4 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis                             5.07
5 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking    6.07
6 Martin Gujan (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team                     7.17
7 Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team                       7.23
8 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)                                     7.56
9 Liam Killeen (GBr) Specialized Factory Racin               8.01
10 Todd Wells (USA) GT Bicycles                              8.39
11 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher           8.55
12 Hannes Metzler (Aut) Giant Mountain Bike Team            10.33
13 Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre Internation           11.27
14 Derek Zandstra (Can)                                     11.45
15 Seamus Mcgrath (Can)                                     13.45
16 Christoph Soukup (Aut)                                   15.23
17 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek-VW                            16.34
18 Karl Markt (Aut)                                         16.49
19 Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team               17.05
20 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Team Maxxis                       18.17
21 Michael Broderick (USA)                                  18.52
22 Matthew Hadley (Can)                                     20.04
23 Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)                            21.13
24 Burry Stander (RSA) GT Bicycles                          21.21

Behind one lap

25 Connor Mcconvey (Irl)                                         
26 Eric Batty (Can)                                              
27 Ola Kjören (Nor)                                              
28 Daniel Sessford (Can)                                         
29 Martin Fanger (Swi)                                           
30 Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                           
31 Matous Ulman (Cze)                                            
32 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona                                        
33 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona                                       
34 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                       
35 Craig Richey (Can)                                            
36 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 
Behind two laps

37 Freddy Betremieux (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                        
38 Raphael Gagne (Can) Rocky Mountain                            
39 Gareth Montgomerie (GBr)                                      
40 Calle Friberg (Swe)                                           
41 Francis Morin (Can)                                           
42 Andrew Watson (Can)                                           
43 Bas Peters (Ned)                                              
44 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Central Ghost Pro Team                  
45 Spencer Paxson (USA)                                          
46 Tad Elliot (USA)                                              
47 Kenji Takeya (Jpn)                                            
48 Frank Schotman (Ned)                                          
49 Andrew Freye (USA)    
Behind three laps

50 Leni Trudel (Can)                                             
51 Troy Wells (USA)                                              
52 Cody Peterson (USA)                                           
53 Pierre Lebreton (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                          
54 Martin Loo (Est) Merida Biking Team                           
55 Ethan Gilmour (USA)                                           
56 Anders Hovdenes (Nor) Team Etto Hoydahl                       
57 Timothy Madgwick (NZl)                                        
58 Ryan Atkins (Can)                                             
DNF Robin Seymour (Irl)                                          
DNF Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain                             
DNF John Gray (NZl)                                              
DNF Julien Fillion (Can)                                         
DNF Josef Kamler (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB                      
DNF Kyle Douglas (Can)                                           
DNF Mitchell Peterson (USA)                                      
DNF Pablo Voigt Rodriguez (Mex)                                  
DNS Kashi Leuchs (NZl) Cannondale-Vredestein

1 Giant Mountain Bike Team         63 pts
2 Athleticum-MTB-Team              61
3 Team Maxxis                      41
4 Orbea                            40
5 Multivan Merida Biking Team      28
6 GT Bicycles                      28
7 Merida Biking Team               24
8 Specialized Factory Racing       22
9 Subaru-Gary Fisher               20
10 Team Lapierre International     18
11 Trek-VW                         14
12 Bh-Sr. Suntour                   1

World Cup standings after seven rounds

1 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea                                          1340 pts
2 Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing                    855
3 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis                                       785
4 Burry Stander (RSA) GT Bicycle                                       767
5 Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team                            688
6 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team         664
7 Martin Gujan (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team                               664
8 Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International                     663
9 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team                            658
10 Nino Schurter (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team                             626
11 Florian Vogel (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team                             578
12 Todd Wells (USA) GT Bicycle                                         573
13 Christoph Soukup (Aut)                                              556
14 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Orbea                                  520
15 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein                          490
16 Seamus Mcgrath (Can)                                                462
17 Kashi Leuchs (NZl) Cannondale-Vredestein                            441
18 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)                                              404
19 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Full-Dynamix-It                            387
20 Jürg Graf (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team                                 376
21 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea                                      340
22 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)                                         340
23 Hannes Metzler (Aut) Giant Mountain Bike Team                       336
24 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                     313
25 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea                                 308
26 Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale-Vredestein                          299
27 Liam Killeen (GBr) Specialized Factory Racing                       290
28 Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Mountain Bike Team                   284
29 Karl Markt (Aut)                                                    267
30 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team                     253
31 Tony Longo (Ita) Full-Dynamix-It                                    231
32 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Cemelorca-Seguros10.Com             220
33 Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team                       219
34 Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team                                212
35 Milan Spesny (Cze) Merida Biking Team                               212
36 Yader Zoli (Ita) Giant Italia Team                                  208
37 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team                        200
38 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team        196
39 Bas Peters (Ned)                                                    183
40 Derek Zandstra (Can)                                                176
41 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International                     176
42 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek-VW                                       171
43 Lado Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International                       171
44 Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team                     165
45 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Team Maxxis                                  161
46 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Full-Dynamix-It                                 161
47 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team          160
48 Michael Broderick (USA)                                             156
49 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher                             156
50 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team                      152
51 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team          149
52 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)                                                 130
53 Sven Nys (Bel)                                                      130
54 Gion Manetsch (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team                             128
55 Matthias Flückiger (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team                        127
56 Andreas Kugler (Swi) Fischer-BMC                                    125
57 Karl Platt (Ger) Team Bulls                                         123
58 Connor Mcconvey (Irl)                                               115
59 Matthew Hadley (Can)                                                112
60 Anders Hovdenes (Nor) Team Etto Hoydahl                             110
61 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) ECP-Tau Ceramica                        106
62 Stéphane Tempier (Fra) Gewiss Bianchi                               105
63 Jochen Kass (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                        103
64 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona                                              102
65 Michael Weiss (Aut)                                                  99
66 Frank Schotman (Ned)                                                 98
67 Raphael Gagne (Can) Rocky Mountain                                   96
68 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona                                              94
69 Tim Bohme (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                           89
70 Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                                  87
71 Ola Kjören (Nor)                                                     86
72 Martino Fruet (Ita)                                                  86
73 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Central Ghost Pro Team                         82
74 Peter Riis Andersen (Den) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                 82
75 Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)                                        81
76 Martin Fanger (Swi)                                                  81
77 Marti Gispert Labarta (Spa) ECP-Tau Ceramica                         78
78 Eric Batty (Can)                                                     76
79 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier                      75
80 Matous Ulman (Cze)                                                   71
81 Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team                           68
82 Peter Glassford (Can)                                                62
83 Daniel Sessford (Can)                                                61
84 Andrew Watson (Can)                                                  58
85 Israel Nunez Baticon (Spa) Massi                                     57
86 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain                                     56
87 Till Marx (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team                                  55
88 Pierre Lebreton (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                                 52
89 Calle Friberg (Swe)                                                  51
90 Francis Morin (Can)                                                  51
91 Spencer Paxson (USA)                                                 51
92 Josef Kamler (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB                              48
93 Marc Colom (Fra)                                                     47
94 Craig Richey (Can)                                                   45
95 Kristian Hynek (Cze)                                                 42
96 Fabian Giger (Swi)                                                   41
97 Lachlan Norris (Aus)                                                 41
98 Freddy Betremieux (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                               40
99 Christof Bischof (Swi)                                               40
100 Kenji Takeya (Jpn)                                                  39
101 Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG2-APC Presmet                               39
102 Stefan Widmer (Can)                                                 38
103 Julien Fillion (Can)                                                36
104 Alban Lakata (Aut) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team            34
105 Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)                                             34
106 Tad Elliot (USA)                                                    32
107 Ricky Federau (Can)                                                 31
108 Sid Taberlay (Aus)                                                  30
109 Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)                                              30
110 Gareth Montgomerie (GBr)                                            29
111 Ryan Atkins (Can)                                                   29
112 Ian Bibby (GBr)                                                     29
113 Marc Trayter Alemany (Spa) ECP-Tau Ceramica                         28
114 Klaus Nielsen (Den) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                      27
115 Davy Coenen (Bel)                                                   27
116 Adam Snyder (USA)                                                   26
117 Mattias Wengelin (Swe)                                              26
118 Dario Alejandro Gasco (Arg) Massi                                   26
119 Patrik Gallati (Swi) Swisspower Mtb Team                            25
120 Andras Parti (Hun)                                                  22
121 Alexander Wetterhall (Swe)                                          21
122 Andrew Freye (USA)                                                  19
123 Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Beone Chainreaction Mountainbiketeam         19
124 Leni Trudel (Can)                                                   18
125 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour                                  18
126 Troy Wells (USA)                                                    17
127 Kyle Douglas (Can)                                                  17
128 Ian Wilkinson (GBr)                                                 17
129 Cody Peterson (USA)                                                 16
130 Pascal Meyer (Swi)                                                  16
131 Ross Schnell (USA) Trek-VW                                          15
132 Bjorn Brems (Bel)                                                   15
133 David Lozano Riba (Spa) MSC Bikes                                   15
134 Martin Loo (Est) Merida Biking Team                                 14
135 Jonathan Boulanger (Can)                                            14
136 Javier Eduardo Puschel (Chi)                                        14
137 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)                                            14
138 Ethan Gilmour (USA)                                                 13
139 Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team Lapierre International           13
140 Alejandro Diaz De La Pena Lopez (Spa)                               13
141 Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Giant Italia Team                               12
142 Torsten Marx (Ger) Team Alb-Gold Mountainbike                       12
143 Timothy Madgwick (NZl)                                              11
144 Mattias Nilsson (Swe)                                               11
145 Ji Jianhua (Chn)                                                    10
146 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Versluys-Landbouwkrediet MTB Team            10
147 Ian Field (GBr)                                                      9
148 Jonathan Galante (Fra)                                               9
149 Lukas Kaufmann (Swi)                                                 8

Team standings

1 Orbea                                     445 pts
2 Swisspower MTB Team                       318
3 Athleticum-MTB-Team                       256
4 GT Bicycles                               252
5 Giant Mountain Bike Team                  236
6 Cannondale-Vredestein                     231
7 Specialized Factory Racing                207
8 Team Maxxis                               169
9 Multivan Merida Biking Team               165
10 Team Lapierre International              136
11 Full-Dynamix-IT                          117
12 Subaru-Gary Fisher                        64
13 Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team     59
14 Merida Biking Team                        43
15 Topeak Ergon Racing Team                  40
16 Fumic.Brothers.International              39
17 Cemelorca-Seguros10.com                   37
18 Giant Italia Team                         37
19 Trek-VW                                   28
20 ECP-TAU Ceramica                          18
21 Rocky Mountain                            17
22 Kona                                      13
23 Fischer-BMC                               10
24 BH-SR. Suntour                             1
25 Gewiss Bianchi                             1
26 Scott Valloire Galibier                    1