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MTB World Cup XC # 2 - CDM
Offenburg, Germany, May 26-27, 2007
Race 3 - May 27: Elite Women XC
Kalentyeva takes first World Cup victory since 2004
By Rob Jones in Offenburg
The cross-country Mountain Bike World Cup started up again on Sunday in Offenburg, Germany with round two after a one month break, and we saw rather different podiums for both the men and the women than at the opener in Houffalize, Belgium. The Chinese women, who had put two riders on the podium in Houffalize - with Chengyuan Ren taking the victory - were shut out in Offenburg, as Irina Kalentyeva (To Peak) took her first World Cup victory since 2004. Ren holds onto her World Cup series lead over Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) by a slim 10 points.
Pre-race, the threatened rain had not materialized, although the skies were overcast and damp, and the temperature had dropped over 12 degrees (Celcius) from the day before. The women headed out for two start loops and then six laps of the 5.7 kilometre circuit and, for the first three laps, conditions remained dry and the racing was fast. Sabine Spitz (Ghost) and Wang Jingjing (China National) set the early fast pace through the start loops.
The Chinese riders seemed to struggle a bit more on the technical circuit than they did in Houffalize, with Ren dropping back to 15th by the end of the first lap. At the front it was Spitz setting the pace, with Marga Fullana (Spiuk), Kalentyeva, Dahle Flesjaa and Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain-Haywood) the only riders able to stay with her
Premont dropped back a few seconds from the others on the second lap when she tangled with Fullana. "I tried to pass her, and she pushed me into the trees where I bent my rear derailleur a little bit. I had to catch up, and my gears didn't work as well, so it took some time."
While Premont was working her way back up, Kalentyeva attacked on the third lap, just before the skies opened and it began to rain heavily. as everyone else began to slip and slide, and work their way down the steep descents cautiously, Kalentyeva was reveling in the wet conditions.
"I was really, really hoping for the rain" she revealed afterwards. "I like those conditions very much, and I was using some special Continental tires for the wet and mud."
The Topeak team manager said that the tires were new prototypes, specifically for rain, and only Kalentyeva had access to them. Obviously, they were effective.
Spitz was leading the chase until lap four, when her chain broke and the German champion lost nearly five minutes repairing it, dropping her to 11th. Premont had caught the other chasers by this time, and took over second spot from Spitz, while Fullana and Dahle Flesjaa battled for third.
As Kalentyeva's lead approached two minutes at the end of lap five, Premont began picking up the pace, pulling back 30 seconds in the final lap. Dahle Flesjaa and Fullana had a rather unusual slow speed sprint to the line through the mud, with the world champion winning by less than a tire width. Spitz worked her way up in the final lap to take the fifth and final podium spot. Ren recovered from her early lap troubles to finish seventh and retain the leader's jersey.
American Willow Koerber (Subaru Gary Fisher) was ninth, and Canada's Kiara Bisaro (Opus) 10th. Koerber was in sixth place at the end of lap five, but had miscalculated the number of laps, thinking that she had finished a lap early. "I went so hard in what I thought was the final lap that it was really hard to get going again for another lap."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com
Images by Frank Bodenmuller/PhotoSport International/www.mtbsector.com
1 Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Topeak-Ergon 2.02.38 2 Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood 1.28 3 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 2.20 4 Margarita Fullana (Esp) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica 5 Sabine Spitz (Ger) Ghost International Racing 4.57 6 Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna Mtb 5.11 7 Chengyuan Ren (Chn) China 5.30 8 Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 5.54 9 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 6.30 10 Kiara Bisaro (Can) Opus 6.50 11 Susan Haywood (USA) Trek-Vw 7.11 12 Cécile Rode Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 7.44 13 Eva Lechner (Ita) 8.07 14 Nina Göhl (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 8.15 15 Elsbeth Van Rooij-Vink (Ned) Beone Mountainbiketeam 8.26 16 Anna Enocsson (Swe) Ghost International Racing 8.29 17 Petra Henzi (Sui) Fischer-Bmc 8.41 18 Ying Liu (Chn) China 9.00 19 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Tonis Pro Team Kirchberg 9.19 20 Nathalie Schneitter (Sui) 9.30 21 Renata Bucher (Sui) 9.43 22 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens Mtb Team 9.58 23 Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized 10.08 24 Anna Szafraniec (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team 11.17 25 Rosara Joseph (NZl) 11.24 26 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) La Carrera-BTS 12.13 27 Catherine Pendrel (Can) Norco 28 Laura Turpijn (Ned) 12.27 29 Laurence Leboucher (Fra) 12.52 30 Jingjing Wang (Chn) China 12.59 31 Nina Homovec (Slo) 13.11 32 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 13.23 33 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens Mtb Team 13.27 34 Sandra Walter (Can) XO Felt 13.41 35 Evelyn Staffler (Ita) 13.50 36 Alexandra Engen (Swe) 14.30 37 Maroussia Rusca (Sui) 14.58 38 Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain Haywood 15.13 39 Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Lapierre International 15.19 40 Dellys Starr (Aus) 15.34 41 Maria Osl (Aut) Tonis Pro Team Kirchberg 15.54 42 Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) Luna Womens Mtb Team 16.17 43 Esther Süss (Sui) 16.47 44 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Team Lapierre International 16.53 45 Katrin Schwing (Ger) 16.56 46 Helene Marcouyre (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 18.10 47 Jaqueline Mourao (Bra) 18.17 48 Tory Thomas (Aus) 18.25 49 Nadja Roschi (Sui) Fischer-Bmc 18.38 50 Jenny Copnall (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher 18.58 51 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) 19.11 52 Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Pintatim Full-Dynamix 19.52 53 Katrin Leumann (Sui) 19.59 54 Wendy Simms (Can) Kona Les Gets 20.11 55 Amy Hunt (GBr) 21.02 1 lap behind 56 Bärbel Jungmeier (Aut) 57 Maureen Guichardot (Fra) Scott Valloire Galibier 58 Caroline Mani (Fra) 59 Yolanda Speedy (RSA) 60 Elena Gaddoni (Ita) 61 Mary Mc Conneloug (USA) 62 Judith Pollinger (Ita) 63 Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Esp) BH-SR. Suntour 64 Ruth Moll Marques (Esp) BH-SR. Suntour 65 Bettina Schmid (Sui) Fischer-Bmc 2 laps behind 66 Laura Lorenza Morfin (Mex) 67 Barbara Oberdorfer (Ita) 68 Githa Michiels (Bel) 69 Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour 70 Francisca Campos Salas (Chi) 71 Sandra Dolcerocca (Den) 72 Anna Villar Argente (Esp) Massi 73 Cristina Mascarreras Sabria (Esp) Spiuk-Tau Ceramica 74 Zoe King (Aus) 75 Hanna Klein (Ger) 76 Inbar Ronen (Isr) 77 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Esp) Massi 78 Ksenia Chernykh (Rus) 79 Bérangère Wilst (Fra) 80 Heike Hundertmark (Ger) Breiz Mountain 22 81 Ivanda Eiduka (Lat) 82 Nina Baum (USA) 3 laps behind 83 Arielle Van Meurs (Ned) 84 Daniela Campuzano (Mex) 85 Sara Muhl (RSA) 86 Anja Gradl (Ger) 87 Joanna Wall (Aus) 88 Janka Stevkova (Svk) 89 Janine Droz (Sui) 90 Sara Bresnick (USA) 91 Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team 92 Elena Babikova Gogoleva (Rus) 93 Nina Kunz (Ger) 94 Ingrid Bosscha (Ned) 95 Berengere Boes (Fra) Breiz Mountain 22 96 Semra Yetis (Tur) Goldcity Alanya 97 Marie Kunst (Den) DNF Niki Fisher (Aus) DNF Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) Halls Professional Mtb Team DNF Elina Sophocleous (Cyp) Bikin'cyprus Int'l Mtb Team DNF Karolina Kozela (Pol) DNF Fiona Macdermid (GBr) DNF Séverine Hansen (Fra) BH-SR. Suntour DNF Sarah Koba (Sui) DNF Agnes Naumann (Ger) DNF Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe) Subaru-Gary Fisher DNF Kate George (GBr) DNS Petra Mermans (Bel) DNS Kristien Nelen (Bel) DNS Senem Guler (Tur Goldcity Alanya *=U23