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MTB World Cup DH & 4X #3 - CDM
Vallnord, Andorra, May 15-17, 2009
Race 5 - May 17: Elite women downhill
Two in a row for Jonnier
By Rob Jones
Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) took her second consecutive downhill World Cup win, and overtook Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) for the lead in the women's series.
During a second day of good weather, Jonnier, who also qualified first, faced a drying track, which was getting loose and dusty at the top. Three days of hard riding and racing were rutting out the lower, wooded portion and creating braking bumps, which pounded the riders as they pushed to shave extra tenths of a second from their times.
Canada's Micayla Gatto was the first woman off, and proved that her qualifying time was an anomaly by posting a sub-three minute 2:57.77 time that would hold up for nearly half the field, before American Melissa Buhl finally bumped her from the Hot Seat with a blazing fast 2:51.20.
Buhl didn't get much chance to enjoy her spot in the Hot Seat, because five riders later, Japan's Mio Suemasa took the top time below 2:50 at 2:48.60. Suemasa was immediately surpassed by Myriam Nicole of France, by two-tenths of a second, who in turn was supplanted by veteran Celine Gros (Morzine-Avoriaz 74).
But the final three were still to come. Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center), the former Junior World Champion, was third fastest in qualifying, and knocked two seconds off of Gros' time. Next up was World Cup leader Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing), who was well back of Ragot on the upper half of the course, but came back strongly in the technical bottom section to pull to within two-hundredths of the second by the bottom.
However, Jonnier was still to come, and she was on fire, fastest at both intermediate splits and a staggering four seconds fastest by the finish line. Jonnier was nine seconds faster than she was in qualifying. The Maxxis-Rocky Mountain rider took the overall lead from Moseley with her second consecutive win, but her lead is a slim two points, so this battle is far from over.
"I'm super happy," said Jonnier. "I felt good all week here, and in the final even stronger than last week. But I was also extremely nervous, as I do not normally qualify well, so I was feeling the pressure. But I felt very comfortable on this track, and confident with the way my bike was set up. It's great to be back in the World Cup lead, after an only average ride in South Africa."
"That was a pretty tough result to digest. I made a mistake in the top section, but other than that I thought I had a great run," said Moseley. "To see the time that Sabrina posted, well it just kind of deflated me. Losing to Emmeline by two hundredths, well that's racing, and sometimes it goes your way, and sometimes it doesn't.
"Small margins are cruel but part of the sport. It's the bigger margin I need to work on, and I'll be heading home tomorrow to do just that."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Enric Moran Gimeno
Images by Gary Perkin
1 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 2.41.58 2 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 0.03.87 3 Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing 0.03.89 4 Céline Gros (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 74 0.06.19 5 Myriam Nicole (Fra) 0.06.83 6 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 0.07.02 7 Floriane Pugin (Fra) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 0.07.26 8 Melissa Buhl (USA) 0.09.62 9 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 0.11.77 10 Anais Pajot° (Fra) Team Sunn 0.13.47 11 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 11 0.13.89 12 Katy Curd (GBr) 0.16.00 13 Micayla Gatto (Can) 0.16.19 14 Petra Bernhard (Aut) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 0.16.33 15 Miranda Miller (Can) 0.17.86 16 Diana Marggraff (Ecu) 0.20.87 17 Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 0.21.41 18 Anita Molcik (Aut) 0.22.84 19 Jessica Stone (GBr) 2Stagefactory 0.24.26 20 Fanny Lombard° (Fra) 0.26.52 DNS Helen Gaskell (GBr) Elite women teams 1 Santa Cruz Syndicate 94 pts 2 Trek World Racing 65 3 MS Evil Racing 51 4 Scott 11 48 5 Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 40 6 GT Bicycles 39 7 Suspension Center 35 8 Animal Commencal 35 9 Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 33 10 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 31 11 Morzine-Avoriaz 74 30 12 Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz 24 13 Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 24 14 Norco World Team 22 15 Team Sunn 22 16 Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon 21 17 Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 17 18 Specialized Team America 14 19 Massi 12 20 2Stagefactory 12 21 Kenda Morewood 4 World Cup standings after three rounds Individual 1 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 642 pts 2 Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing 640 3 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 525 4 Myriam Nicole (Fra) 372 5 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 300 6 Floriane Pugin (Fra) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 294 7 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 264 8 Céline Gros (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 74 256 9 Melissa Buhl (USA) 234 10 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 11 175 11 Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 160 12 Joanna Petterson (RSA) 110 13 Petra Bernhard (Aut) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 97 14 Helen Gaskell (GBr) 80 15 Anais Pajot* (Fra) Team Sunn 60 16 Diana Marggraff (Ecu) 60 17 Katy Curd (GBr) 57 18 Micayla Gatto (Can) 50 19 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Team Vario Racing 45 20 Sarah Newman (GBr) 45 21 Anka Martin (RSA) 40 22 Anita Molcik (Aut) 40 23 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut) 35 24 Jessica Stone (GBr) 2Stagefactory 35 25 Miranda Miller (Can) 30 26 Elisa Canepa (Ita) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 30 27 Risa Suseanty (Ina) 25 28 Victoria Phillips (RSA) 20 29 Antje Kramer (Ger) 15 30 Fanny Lombard* (Fra) 5 31 Caroline Sax (Fra) 5 Team 1 Santa Cruz Syndicate 239 pts 2 Trek World Racing 225 3 GT Bicycles 142 4 Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 138 5 Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz 119 6 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 110 7 Animal Commencal 109 8 Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 105 9 Scott 11 103 10 Suspension Center 98 11 MS Evil Racing 91 12 Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 88 13 Norco World Team 76 14 Morzine-Avoriaz 74 56 15 Massi 49 16 Kenda Morewood 43 17 Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon 41 18 Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 39 19 2Stagefactory 36 20 Specialized Team America 34 21 MSC Bikes 32 22 Duncan Riffle Racing 24 23 Team Sunn 22 24 Team Vario Racing 19 25 Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 14 26 Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team 9 27 XMS-Devinci World Cup Team 6