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Cross-country World Cup #6 - CDM

Calgary, Canada, July 3, 2004

Results   Downhill   Four-cross

Meirhaeghe and Dahle victorious in the mud

By Colin Meagher

Gunn-Rita Dahle (Multivan Merida)
Photo ©: Colin Meagher
Click for larger image

Round Five of the World Cup Cross-Country started out under threatening skies. An overnight rainstorm had soaked the 5.5 km course, and that moisture, combined with the high clay content of the Canadian Prairie soil, created conditions that were as greasy as a country fair piggy. But as the clock ticked ever closer to starting time for the women, the sun came out and the course began to dry out.

A solid mix of wider trail with room to pass and true, if not particularly challenging single track, this was a course where a racer hoping to succeed could not afford to let up or make any mistakes-the single track offered almost no options for a pass, and the wider sections were so fast that a mistake would make it difficult for a rider to come back to position. On a plus note, though, the exposed hillsides offered the use of team tactics with drafting as a real tool to be used-not the norm in mountain bike racing. The women's race was first off, and with the formidable Gunn-Rita Dahle in the field, it was more or less a given that this was a race for second place. This proved to be the case, as Dahle was off like a shot from the start, and quickly put a 23 second lead on her pursuers, a margin that continued to grow through out the race. The smart racers behind her in the women's field played a conservative game at the start, gassing it to the single track after Dahle, but then slowing up and opting to see how traction conditions were before really starting to our it on. Others, like Ivonne Kraft of Ghost International, gave little heed to the previous night's rain and paid dearly for it with a fall that cost her several positions as she tried to pass Alison Sydor at the start of the single track. In falling, though, she tangled with Alison, and took the Canadian down as well.

But as the course continued to dry out under the hot Alberta sun, conditions kept getting better. Mary McConneloug took advantage of a good warm-up and the improving traction to move into second position behind Gunn-Rita, displacing Annabella Stropparo. Behind them, the rest of the field stretched out until it was a case of every woman for herself allowing no team tactics from Luna or any of the other women 's teams. While positions behind the three leaders see-sawed back and forth, over the course of the five lap race, the cream rose to the top, with Marie-Helene Premont moving into fourth and Kraft working her way back into fifth to round out the podium.

Filip Meirhaeghe (Specialized)
Photo ©: Colin Meagher
Click for larger image

In the Men's race, conditions had dried sufficiently that the seven lap contest promised to be a fast one. All the big guns were in the field, Christophe Sauser, Roel Paulissen, Filip Meirhaeghe, Jose Hermida, Ryder Hesjedal, Roland Green,. With little mud left over from the previous night's dousing, Meirhaeghe, the man to beat so far in this year's World Cup series-notorious for his love of the muck, looked to be off the pace with Siemens Cannondale's one-two punch of Paulissen and Sauser ability to apply some team tactics in the fast, open sections of the course.

From the gun, the Siemens/Cannondale pair put on the pressure, and kept it on for four laps. But then Mother Nature played her card as a rapidly moving thunderstorm rolled in and unleashed a torrent from the skies. The fast, tacky course changed in the blink of an eye to a to mud bog where traction was simply non-existent. The steep descents and quick corners saw many of the top men go down repeatedly-most notably Geoff Kabush, who at one point crashed so hard that his rear brake lever was snapped off, and creased his frame so badly that it was a write off. Surprisingly, he still managed to finish.

Men's podium
Photo ©: Colin Meagher
Click for larger image

All of the steeper climbs turned into run-ups, and simple descents became an exercise in balance and brake control. In the midst of these conditions, the type of conditions known to favor his riding style, the reigning world champion Filip Meirhaeghe struck. He made his move somewhere in lap 6. In the space of that lap he moved from 83 seconds back to 27 seconds up, and continued to put time on the rest of the field, adding another 3 minutes on his closest pursuer, Christophe Sauser in the final lap. Once Sauser rolled in all eyes turned to the clock, counting the seconds and cheering in the rest of the competitors. A minute after Sauser's finish, Jose Hermida, came in to finish, followed in turn by Jean-Christophe Peraud of Lapierre International, and then Devinci Cycle's Ludovic Dubau to round out the podium. And still the riders came in, many disgusted by their failures to perform under the radically changed conditions, but all eager to be done with what turned out to be an epic race at Calgary's Olympic Center.


Images by Colin Meagher


Men, 41.9 km
1 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Specialized Mountain Bike    2.10.35
2 Christoph Sauser (Swi) Siemens Mobile Cannondale       3.28
3 Jose Antonio Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida             4.44
4 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Lapierre International    4.51
5 Ludovic Dubau (Fra)                                    5.02
6 Roel Paulissen (Bel) Siemens Mobile Cannondale         6.00
7 Seamus Mcgrath (Can)                                   6.19
8 Liam Killeen (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher                  6.23
9 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek-Volkswagen                  7.13
10 Todd Wells (USA)                                      8.32
11 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA)                          9.45
12 Thys Al (Ned)                                        10.16
13 Marten Tjallingii (Ned)                              11.04
14 Max Plaxton (Can)                                    11.20
15 Balz Weber (Swi) Maxxis-MSC                          12.08
16 Jimmy Tielens (Bel)                                  12.33
17 Alejandro Diaz de la Pena (Spa) Maxxis-MSC           12.37
18 Chris Sheppard (Can)                                 12.46
19 Adam Craig (USA)                                     13.58
20 Mathieu Toulouse (Can)                               14.24
21 Geoff Kabush (Can)                                   15.31
22 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Team Orbea             16.03
23 Philip Tavell (Swe) Multivan Merida                  16.21
24 Ricky Federau (Can)                                  16.29
25 Erwin Bakker (Ned)                                   17.33
26 Michael Broderick (USA)                              17.59
27 Michael Weiss (Aut) Ghost International              18.38
28 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona Clarks Les Gets               19.52
29 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Clarks Les Gets               20.46
30 Andreas Hestler (Can)                                20.47
31 Nick Waite (USA)                                     25.15
One lap behind
32 Benjamin Rudiger (Ger)                                    
33 Carl Decker (USA)                                         
Two laps behind
34 Peter Wedge (Can) Kona Clarks Les Gets                    
35 Mike Northcott (NZl)                                      
36 Carl Swenson (USA)                                        
37 Carter Hovey (Can)                                        
38 Martin Lazarski (Can)                                     
39 Andreas Dilger (Ger)                                      
40 John Devine (USA)                                         
41 Oliver Beckingsale (Gbr)                                  
42 Stuart Houltham (NZl)                                     
Three laps behind
43 Sam Schultz (USA)                                         
44 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Clarks Les Gets                   
45 Roddi Lega (Can)                                          
46 Alexander Soto (Mex)                                      
47 Nick Hotchin (NZl)                                        
48 Jay Henry (USA)                                           
49 Benoit Simard (Can)                                       
50 Alan Obye (USA)                                           
51 Andrew Watson (Can)                                       
52 Frank Mapel (USA)                                         
53 Will Routley (Can)                                        
54 Ryan Ingham (Can)                                         
55 Jesse Jakomait (Can)                                      
56 Johan Alvarez Hibert (Mex)                                
57 Matt Patterson (Can)                                      
58 Philip Cooper (GBr)                                       
59 Bruno Lafontaine (Can)                                    
60 Adam Coates (Can)                                         
61 Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)                                    
62 Bradley Fairall (Can)                                     
63 Frederic Bussieres (Can)                                  
64 Carlos Mayoral (Mex)                                      
65 Bradley Kerr (Can)                                        
66 Evan Sherman (Can)                                        
67 Craig Stappler (Can)                                      
68 Tsuji Yoshito (Can)                                       
69 Shawn Bunnin (Can)                                        
70 Drew Mackenzie (Can)                                      
71 Menno Hubregtse (Can)                                     
72 Leith Mcleod (Can)                                        
73 Jason Shenkariuk (Can)                                    
74 Clint Muhlfeld (USA)                                      
Four laps behind
75 Dave Kennedy (Can)                                        
76 Thomas Skinner (Can)                                      
77 Byron Davis (Can)                                         
78 Raita Suzuki (Jpn)                                        
79 Andre Sutton (Can)                                        
80 Steve Martins (Can)                                       
81 Michael Johnson (Can)                                     
82 Per Strom (Can)                                           
83 Nick Lynem (Can)                                          
84 Wade Wallace (Can)                                        
Five laps behind
85 Mark Webster (Can)                                        
DNF Roland Green (Can) Trek-Volkswagen                       
DNF Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Siemens Mobile Cannondale       
DNF Eric Batty (Can)                                         
DNF Cesar Grajales (Col)                                     
DNF Andy Schultz (USA)                                       
DNF Gordon Kennedy (Can)                                     
DNF Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Subaru-Gary Fisher                  
DNF Juan Carlos Hernandez (Mex)                              
Women, 30.1km
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) Multivan Merida            1.46.28
2 Mary McConneloug (USA)                              0.46
3 Annabella Stropparo (Ita)                           2.20
4 Marie-Helene Premont (Can)                          3.02
5 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) Ghost International              3.33
6 Elena Giacomuzzi (Ita)                              3.57
7 Alison Dunlap (USA) Luna Women´s MTB Team           4.25
8 Alison Sydor (Can)                                  4.38
9 Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Women´s MTB Team    4.55
10 Willow Koerber (USA)                               5.05
11 Jimena Florit (Arg)                                6.11
12 Lisa Mathison (Aus) Ghost International            7.22
13 Kelli Emmett (USA)                                 7.55
14 Kiara Bisaro (Can)                                 8.29
15 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek-Volkswagen                8.53
16 Chrissy Redden (Can) Subaru-Gary Fisher            9.34
17 Dara Marks (USA)                                   9.45
18 Kerry Barnholt (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher           10.20
19 Heather Irmiger (USA)                             11.05
20 Katerina Hanusova (Cze) Luna Women´s MTB Team     13.14
21 Trish Sinclair (Can)                              13.23
22 Sarah Noble (Can)                                 15.07
23 Niki Gudex (Aus)                                  15.47
24 Lorenza Morfin (Mex)                              16.55
25 Madelaine Bate (Can)                              18.34
26 Kathy Sherwin (USA)                               21.11
One lap behind
27 Jaqueline Mourao (Bra)                                 
28 Martina Feldmann (Can)                                 
29 Danelle Kabush (Can)                                   
30 Maaris Meier (Est)                                     
31 Kasandra Cote (Can)                                    
32 Carissa Wilkes (NZl)                                   
33 Annie Tykwinski (Can)                                  
34 Julie Sanders (Can)                                    
35 Mical Dyck (Can)                                       
Two laps behind
36 Sandra Walter (Can)                                    
37 Jean Ann Mc Kirdy (Can)                                
38 Christy Love (Can)                                     
39 Marie-Helene Cote (Can)                                
Three laps behind
40 Sandy Ayre (Can)                                       
DNF Barbara Blatter (Swi) Specialized Mountain Bike       
DNF Kathy White (Can)                                     
DNF Melanie McQuaid (Can)                                 
World Cup standings after round 6
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) Multivan Merida               1250 pts
2 Annabella Stropparo (Ita)                            780
3 Marie-Helene Premont (Can)                           720
4 Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Multivan Merida               651
5 Alison Sydor (Can)                                   595
6 Alison Dunlap (USA) Luna Women´s MTB Team            565
7 Mary McConneloug (USA)                               547
8 Kiara Bisaro (Can)                                   477
9 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) Ghost International Racin         467
10 Barbara Blatter (Swi) Specialized Mountain Bike     465
11 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek-Volkswagen                 376
12 Lisa Mathison (Aus) Ghost International Racin       328
13 Elsbeth Van Rooy-Vink (Ned)                         290
14 Katrin Leumann (Swi)                                278
15 Elena Giacomuzzi (Ita)                              277
16 Barbel Jungmeier (Aut)                              258
17 Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Lotto-Pzu S.A.              257
18 Petra Henzi (Swi)                                   255
19 Chrissy Redden (Can) Subaru-Gary Fisher             252
20 Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Women´s MTB Team    250
21 Willow Koerber (USA)                                245
22 Anna Enocsson (Swe) Multivan Merida                 245
23 Paola Pezzo (Ita)                                   225
24 Trish Sinclair (Can)                                210
25 Janka Stevkova (Svk)                                206
26 Maria Ostergren (Swe)                               199
27 Laurence Leboucher (Fra)                            199
28 Nina Gohl (Ger)                                     193
29 Petra Schorkmayer (Aut)                             187
30 Anna Szafraniec (Pol) Lotto-Pzu S.A.                170
31 Katrin Schwing (Ger)                                167
32 Catherine Delfosse (Bel)                            165
33 Cecile Rode (Fra)                                   161
34 Evelyn Staffler (Ita)                               149
35 Janet Puiggros Miranda (Spa)                        149
36 Severine Hansen (Fra)                               149
37 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Lapierre International          147
38 Elina Sophocleous (Cyp) Bikin Cyprus MTB            145
39 Daniela Louis (Swi)                                 143
40 Sarah Noble (Can)                                   142
41 Kelli Emmett (USA)                                  138
42 Laura Turpijn (Ned)                                 134
43 Marga Fullana (Spa) Team Orbea                      130
44 Maaris Meier (Est)                                  128
45 Nadja Walker (Swi)                                  125
46 Dara Marks (USA)                                    116
46 Katerina Hanusova (Cze) Luna Women´s MTB Team       116
48 Kerry Barnholt (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher             114
49 Regina Marunde (Ger)                                110
50 Robyn Wong (NZl)                                    109
51 Niki Gudex (Aus)                                    106
52 Franziska Roethlin (Swi)                            103
53 Lorenza Morfin (Mex)                                102
54 Yanping Ma (Chn)                                    102
55 Maroussia Rusca (Swi)                                99
56 Kathy Sherwin (USA)                                  96
56 Jaqueline Mourao (Bra)                               96
58 Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) Lotto-Pzu S.A.              95
59 Sonia Foote (NZl)                                    95
60 Bernardine Boog Rauwerda (Ned)                       94
61 Sandra Klose (Ger)                                   92
62 Madelaine Bate (Can)                                 91
63 Julie Sanders (Can)                                  91
64 Elisabeth Osl (Aut)                                  88
65 Melanie McQuaid (Can)                                84
66 Carissa Wilkes (NZl)                                 82
67 Marie-Helene Cote (Can)                              81
68 Barbara Oberdorfer (Ita)                             81
69 Jimena Florit (Arg)                                  71
70 Karen Dewolf (Can)                                   71
71 Xiaoning Gao (Chn)                                   68
72 Jenny Copnall (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher               67
73 Noelia Rodriguez (Arg) Zenith-MTB-International      64
74 Sabine Spitz (Ger) Fusion                            63
75 Petra Hofs (Ned)                                     61
76 Gretchen Reeves (USA)                                58
77 Monika Schachl (Aut)                                 58
78 Mette Andersen (Den)                                 58
79 Heather Irmiger (USA)                                57
80 Lene Byberg (Nor)                                    54
81 Eva Lechner (Ita)                                    54
82 Lea Davison (USA)                                    52
83 Judy Freeman (USA)                                   51
84 Silvia Rovira Planas (Spa)                           51
85 Birgit Braumann (Aut)                                50
86 Martina Feldmann (Can)                               48
87 Sara Bresnick (USA)                                  48
88 Claudia Marsilio (Ita)                               48
89 Danelle Kabush (Can)                                 47
90 Kasandra Cote (Can)                                  45
91 Saskia Elemans (Ned)                                 44
92 Annie Tykwinski (Can)                                43
93 Marisol Bernier (Can)                                43
94 Elsie Torresan (Can)                                 42
95 Sara Steiner (Swi)                                   42
96 Mical Dyck (Can)                                     41
97 Annemarie Huisman (USA)                              41
98 Sandra Walter (Can)                                  40
99 Nina Homovec (Slo)                                   40
100 Birgit Jungst (Ger) Multivan Merida                 40
101 Jean Ann Mc Kirdy (Can)                             39
102 Anne-Marie Jobin (Can)                              39
103 Jenny McCauley (Irl)                                39
104 Christy Love (Can)                                  38
105 Corine Dorland (Ned)                                38
106 Joanne Johnston (Can)                               37
107 Nina Kunz (Ger)                                     37
108 Sandy Ayre (Can)                                    36
109 Mathilde Hupin-Debeurme (Can)                       36
110 Pavla Havlikova (Cze)                               36
111 Tereza Jonsova (Cze)                                35
112 Asa Erlandsson (Swe)                                34
113 Monika Derntl (Aut)                                 32
114 Mirjam Dieleman (Ned)                               32
115 Tarja Owens (Irl)                                   31
116 Adelheid Morath (Ger)                               31
117 Francisca Campos (Chi) Zenith-MTB-International     30
118 Ruth McGavigan (GBr)                                30
119 Valentina Pazitova (Rus)                            29
120 Caroline James (GBr)                                28
121 Sarka Chmurova (Cze)                                28
122 Katy Middlehurst (GBr)                              27
123 Erica Österlund (Swe)                               27