Posted by Editor on 09/12/09
After a break of six weeks, action resumes this weekend for the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano in Champery, Switzerland. The cross-country athletes will compete in round seven of the World Cup amid the Swiss alps, one week after world titles were awarded in Canberra, Australia.
On the start line in Champery, site of the 2011 world championships, will be new world champions Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) and Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower). They will go up against the World Cup leaders in the men's and women's categories - Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Lene Byberg (Specialized Factory Racing). Both Absalon and Byberg finished second at the world championships, so this will be their chance for revenge.
However, there will be more than these four riders looking for victory in Champery, particularly in the women's race. The top five riders are within 153 points of each other, and the top-four - Byberg, Elisabeth Osl (Central Ghost Pro Team), Kalentieva and Marga Fullana Riera (Massi) - are within 53 points. This race for the World Cup title is far from over with two races remaining.
On the men's side, Absalon is all but uncatchable, with a 412 point lead in the standings ahead of Joe Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida). However, the battle for the remaining podium spot s in the overall standings is extremely close, with Hermida, Burry Stander (Specialized Factory Racing) and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) all separated by only 50 points.
The 4.8 kilometre circuit is only slightly changed from the World Cup race held here two years ago. A short climb before the finish of the lap has been removed, a few technical sections have been tweaked and a long start loop constructed, but there is much that is familiar about this course, which consists of two loops radiating out from near the finish line. The first sends the riders out along a river for a very fast gravel track section, interspersed with technical singletrack. At the end of this loop, the riders hit the main climb - long with some very steep sections. At the top they begin to descend through a lot of technical, rooty singletrack towards the finish - so there won't be much opportunity to pass after they finish climbing.
The current plan calls for the women to do a start loop and five laps, with the men doing a start loop and seven laps. The current forecast is for overcast with sporadic showers, which is what the Juniors faced on Saturday. As long as the rain doesn't get too heavy, the technical poritions should all remain rideable.
In the Junior races, Evan Guthrie was the top Canadian man, in fourth, 1:13 behind winner Ricardo Marinheiro (Portugal). Guthrie had a slow start, but fought back. "The start for me wasn't too good, and I lost a bunch of places," explained Guthrie. "The steep climbing really hurt me against some of the those smaller, lighter guys. But it was a good ride, and next week I'll try for a podium." Mitchell Bailey, Canada's only other starter, finished 22nd.
Laura Bietola was the top Canadian Junior woman, in ninth place, one ahead of Cayley Brooks. Samantha Grover did not finish. Michelle Hediger led a podium sweep for Switzerland in the race.
Junior World Cup Challenge Results
|Junior Men (4 Laps + start loop)|
|1 Ricardo Marinheiro (Portugal)||1:09:16|
|2 Reto Indergand (Switzerland)||at 0:09|
|3 Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)||0:53|
|4 Evan Guthrie (Canada)||1:13|
|5 Aurélien Daniel (Breiz Mountain)||2:35|
|6 Patrick Lüthi (Switzerland)||s.t.|
|7 Titouan Perrin Ganier (France)||3:54|
|8 Michael Stünzi (Switzerland)||4:02|
|9 Michael Pesse (Italy)||4:09|
|10 Stefan Peter (Switzerland)||4:12|
|11 Roberto Giacobazzi (Team CBE Tecnoimpianti)||4:48|
|12 Mike Schuler (Switzerland)||5:05|
|13 Lukas Kuch (Germany)||5:10|
|14 Maxime Salmon (Keops)||5:29|
|15 Sascha Bleher (Germany)||5:39|
|16 Claude Koster (Switzerland)||5:41|
|17 Raphael Freienstein (Germany)||6:08|
|18 David Simon (Germany)||7:49|
|19 Markus Preiss (Austria)||7:53|
|20 Jan Svorada (Ceska Sporitelna MTB)||8:31|
|21 Rick Reimann (Switzerland)||9:09|
|22 Mitchell Bailey (Canada)||9:14|
|23 Clément Rouget (Keops)||9:18|
|24 Manuel Rabensteiner (Austria)||10:18|
|25 Marc Stutzmann (Switzerland)||10:57|
|26 Emilien Barben (Switzerland)||11:55|
|27 Marc Schärli (Switzerland)||11:55|
|28 Roman Bulis (Czech Republic)||13:19|
|29 Anton Lubyy (Ukraine)||15:47|
|30 Jakub Kastelik (Czech Republic)||16:08|
|31 Michal Slama (Czech Republic)||16:57|
|DNF Maxime Schmid (Team Bikepark.ch)|
|DNF Roger Walder (Scott-Swisspower)|
|Junior Women (3 Laps + start loop)|
|1 Michelle Hediger (Fischer-BMC)||1:04:21|
|2 Vania Schumacher (Switzerland)||at 1:11|
|3 Tanja Starkermann (Switzerland)||2:57|
|4 Lisa Mitterbauer (Team Bikepark.ch)||3:32|
|5 Noga Korem (Israel)||4:18|
|6 Nicole Hanselmann (Switzerland)||5:31|
|7 Julia Haase (Germany)||8:16|
|8 Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine)||9:34|
|9 Laura Bietola (Canada)||10:40|
|10 Cayley Brooks (Canada)||13:29|
|11 Aurelia Sonderegger (Switzerland)||15:32|
|12 Weronika Rybarczyk (Poland)||17:36|
|13 Renata Burdova (Czech Republic)||-1 lap|
|DNF Samantha Grover (Canada)|
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