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MTB World Cup XC #5 & DH #3 - CDM
Fort William, Scotland, June 6-8, 2008
Race 3 - June 7: Elite women cross country
Premont captures first victory
By Luke Webber in Fort William
Marie Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain), overall leader of the mountain bike World Cup series, has always finished consistently. Podiums at every event have put her amongst the best, if not the most feared. But her victory in Fort William left everyone with something to think about heading into the second half of the season.
After a fast start on yet another perfect day in Fort William, Premont and Marga Fullana (Massi) both distanced themselves from the chasers. Neither looked likely to be caught but on the downhill it was obvious Premont wanted to get into clearer air. On lap two she got that break but it came to nothing. Fullana was too strong, countering on the brutal climb and making a gap of her own.
Premont was patient though, waiting for the time when Fullana would tire which eventually came on the final lap. With nowhere to hide Premont overtook her competitor on the upper slopes and attacked again on the downhill without fear of repercussion and claim her first victory of the year.
After the race Premont spoke about the closing stages. "I took some risks on the final downhill, I had to," she said. "On lap two I tried to get away but when Marga could follow me she could keep up but not on the final lap. I'm really happy that I have finally won a race. Marga was very strong today I knew it was her kind of course and I had to stay with her if I was to get a result.
"The longer I could stay on her wheel the better, but on lap three she got a gap," said Premont. "I kept trying though and on the last lap I gave it everything I had. I knew I was faster on the downhill but it was not easy. Tomorrow I go back home to train and rest for the worlds where I can hopefully keep my good form going."
All other riders were three minutes in arrears of the leading duo. Sabine Spitz (Ghost) made her comeback to international competition after resting in Andorra with third place on the podium.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine / www.trailwatch.net
1 Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Rocky Mountain 2.00.42 2 Margarita Fullana (Spa) Massi 0.14 3 Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Ghost Pro Team 3.11 4 Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Factory Racing 3.20 5 Laurence Leboucher (Fra) 3.34 6 Ying Liu (Chn) 3.54 7 Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Giant Italia Team 4.49 8 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 4.57 9 Petra Henzi (Swi) Fischer-BMC 4.59 10 Maroussia Rusca (Swi) 5.20 11 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 5.29 12 Catherine Pendrel (Can) Luna Womens MTB Team 5.56 13 Adelheid Morath (Ger) 6.41 14 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens MTB Team 6.59 15 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Team Ghost International 7.11 16 Tanja Zakelj (Slo) 7.16 17 Mary Mc Conneloug (USA) 7.17 18 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 7.21 19 Alexandra Engen (Swe) 7.28 20 Lea Davison (USA) Trek-VW 7.31 21 Elsbeth Van Rooij-Vink (Ned) Beone Chainreaction Mountainbiketeam 7.41 22 Maria Osl (Aut) Sunshine Racers Asv Nals 8.04 23 Katrin Leumann (Swi) 8.21 24 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Team Lapierre International 8.27 25 Chengyuan Ren (Chn) 8.31 26 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) 8.44 27 Kiara Bisaro (Can) 9.38 28 Maaike Polspoel (Bel) 10.22 29 Wendy Simms (Can) Kona 10.58 30 Dellys Starr (Aus) 11.19 31 Janka Stevkova (Svk) 11.27 32 Githa Michiels (Bel) 11.28 33 Kate Potter (Aus) 12.13 34 Cécile Rode Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 12.27 35 Laura Turpijn (Ned) 12.31 36 Arielle Van Meurs (Ned) 12.35 37 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek-VW 13.07 38 Katrin Schwing (Ger) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team 13.19 39 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 13.28 40 Sandra Walter (Can) 13.50 41 Jingjing Wang (Chn) 14.12 42 Francisca Campos Salas (Chi) Massi 16.58 43 Zoe King (Aus) 20.16 44 Maria Kalnes (Nor) 20.55 45 Fiona Macdermid (GBr) 23.26 Behind one lap 46 Daniela Bunzli Rojas (Chi) 47 Anja Mcdonald (NZl) Teams 1 Luna Womens MTB Team 56 pts 2 Rocky Mountain 40 3 Massi 35 4 Central Ghost Pro Team 32 5 Specialized Factory Racing 30 6 Giant Italia Team 24 7 Multivan Merida Biking Team 23 8 Fischer-BMC 22 9 Team Ghost International 16 10 Subaru-Gary Fisher 13 11 Trek-VW 11 12 Beone Chainreaction Mountainbiketeam 10 13 Sunshine Racers Asv Nals 9 14 Team Lapierre International 7 15 Kona 2