Posted by Editoress on 04/20/08
World Cup #1 - Houffalize
Coverage brought to you with the assistance of Velirium
In a stunning last lap display of power, defending champion Chengyuan Ren of China roared back to the front fron a minute down to win the first World Cup of the season in Houffalize, Belgium. World champion Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) took the silver medal and Canada's Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) the bronze. Catharine Pendrel (Luna), after a fast opening lap which saw her move up as high as fourth, faded to 14th by the finish, with Kiara Bisaro (Opus) finishing one spot further back, putting three Canadians in the top 15.
The rain and fog that was forecast for today didn't materialize, with sun coming out just before the start of the women's 4.5 lap race and gradually drying up the circuit as the race progressed. However, in the woods there were still lots of dicey mud holes, as the muddy outfits of many riders bore witness to.
Marga Fullana (Massi) had her usual blazing fast start, finishing the opening loop 15 seconds in front of Premont, with a chase group of Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), Kalentieva, Pendrel, Georgia Gould (Luna) and Ren forming a further 15 seconds back.
By the middle of the first full lap of the course, Fullana was being reeled in by Premont, with the chasers stuck at 30-40 seconds. Then disaster for Premont when she flatted in the second lap, too far from the tech zone to get a wheel swap.
"It was a slow leak, but I could not make it to the zone, so I decided to stop and fix it," Premont explained. "That let the others catch me and I rode with them for a few laps after that."
Kalentieva and Premont gradually distanced themselves from Gould, Dahle and Ren in the second and third laps, and were steadily catching Fullana. Kalentieva began the last lap almost on Fullana's wheel, and it looked like the world champion would take the lead.
However, to the surprise of everyone in the finish area, it was Ren who came rolling in first, with a substantial 15 second gap on Kalentieva. The Chinese rider gave her usual shy smile and little wave to the crowd.
Premont, in her first race of the season, was well pleased with third. "It has been a hard winter with a lot of snow, and because it ws my first race I didn't know how I would go. But I knew on the first lap that my legs were good, and that I could have a strong ride, so I am pleased that this is a good start to my season."
Pendrel was also satisfied with her race, despite losing 7 spots on the final lap. "I just died," she said simply. "It was one lap too long for me at this time of the year. But I felt really good, really strong on the first lap, so I was riding at the front group and pushing hard. Maybe that was my downfall, that I didn't pace myself more, but I'm confident after this race that it will come."
Women 1. Ren Chengyuan * (Chn) China 2:11:06 2. Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team at 0:35 3. Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Rocky Mountain 1:08 4. Margarita Fullana (Esp) Massisi 2:23 5. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 2:47 6. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 4:00 7. Nathalie Schneitter * (Sui) Colnago Cap Arreghini 4:13 8. Petra Henzi (Sui) Fischer-BMC 4:26 9. Tereza Hurikova * (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB 5:06 10. Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Ghost Pro Team 5:38 11. Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Team Ghost International 5:59 12. Ying Liu (Chn) China 6:31 13. Catherine Pendrel (Can) Luna Womens MTB Team 6:39 14. Kiara Bisaro (Can) Opus 6:57 15. Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Team Lapierre International 8:17 16. Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Giant Italia Team 8:36 17. Katrin Leumann (Sui) 9:15 18. Mary M Conneloug (USA) Kenda Seven 10:15 19. Esther SÃƒÂ¼ss (Sui) 11:01 20. Nina Wrobel (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 11:54 21. Jingjing Wang (Chn) Chian 12:12 22. Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 12:42 23. Laurence Leboucher (Fra) 12:45 24. Sandra Walter (Can) X.O.Felt 13:00 25. Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Womens MTB Team 13:36 26. Wendy Simms (Can) Kona 14:02 27. Nina Homovec (Slo) 14:15 28. Adelheid Morath (Ger) 14:33 29. Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) Halls Professional MTB Team 14:58 30. Tanja Zakelj * (Slo) 15:21 31. Aleksandra Dawidowicz * (Pol) Halls Professional MTB Team 16:04 32. Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Sui) Bikepark.Ch BMC 16:15 33. Laura Turpijn (Ned) 16:46 34. Sarah Koba (Sui) 16:54 35. CÃƒÂ©cile Rode Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 17:14 36. Susan Haywood (USA) Trek-VW 17:17 37. Bernardine Boog-Rauwerda (Ned) 17:17 38. Amanda Sin (Can) 3 Rocks Racing 17:27 39. Anna Villar Argente (Esp) Massi 17:51 40. Maria Osl (Aut) Sunshine Racers Asv Nals 18:01 41. Sarka Chmurova (Cze) Max Cursor 18:30 42. Helene Marcouyre (Fra) Bh-Sr. Suntour 18:31 43. Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Cap Arreghini 19:16 44. Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 20:08 45. Anna Szafraniec (Pol) Halls Professional MTB Team 20:53 46. Arielle Van Meurs (Ned) 21:04 47. Francisca Campos Salas (Chi) Massi 21:42 48. Julie Bresset * (Fra) Breiz Mountain 22:21 49. SÃƒÂ©verine Hansen (Fra) Bh-Sr. Suntour 23:05 50. Claudia Seidel (Ger) 23:22 51. Ivonne Kraft (Ger) 23:22 52. Emma Colson (Aus) 24:25 53. Nataliya Krompets * (Ukr) 24:26 54. Kaytee Boyd (NZl) 24:54 55. Kate Potter (Aus) 25:01 56. Mical Dyck (Can) Terrascape Trek 25:36 57. Vera Andreeva * (Rus) 26:01 58. Maaike Polspoel * (Bel) 29:02 59. Laura Metzler * (Fra) Bh-Sr. Suntour 29:10 60. Caroline Mani * (Fra) 31:25 61. Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Esp) Cemelorca-Seguros10.Com -1Lap 62. Hanna Klein * (Ger) -1Lap 63. Stephanie Wiedner * (Aut) -1Lap 64. Julie Krasniak * (Fra) Team Lapierre International -1Lap 65. Tory Thomas (Aus) -1Lap 66. Ksenia Chernykh (Rus) -1Lap 67. Yolanda Speedy (RSA) -1Lap 68. Agnes Naumann * (Ger) -1Lap 69. Renata Bucher (Sui) -1Lap 70. Alexandra Engen * (Swe) -1Lap 71. Oxana Rybakova (Rus) -1Lap 72. Rowena Fry (Aus) -1Lap 73. Myriam Saugy (Sui) -1Lap 74. Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe) Subaru-Gary Fisher -1Lap 75. Susan Butler (USA) -1Lap 76. Kathrin Stirnemann * (Sui) -1Lap 77. Kristien Nelen (Bel) -1Lap 78. Katrin Schwing (Ger) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team -1Lap 79. Laure Boulay * (Fra) Team Cibf Keops -1Lap 80. Sandra Dolcerocca (Den) -1Lap 81. Zoe King (Aus) -1Lap 82. Judith Pollinger * (Ita) Sunshine Racers Asv Nals -1Lap 83. Cristina Mascarreras Sabria (Esp) Conor - Camping La Siesta -1Lap 84. Hanna Israel * (Fra) -1Lap 85. Monika Heuveling (Ned) -1Lap 86. Monique Zeldenrust (Ned) -1Lap 87. Nina Kunz (Ger) -2Laps 88. Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Halls Professional MTB Team -2Laps 89. Maaris Meier (Est) -2Laps 90. Inbar Ronen (Isr) -2Laps 91. Ekaterina Melnikova * (Rus) -2Laps 92. Nancy Bober (Bel) -2Laps 93. Sabine Bombaert (Bel) -2Laps 94. Iryna Slobodyan * (Ukr) -2Laps 95. Jennifer Fischer * (Fra) Team Cibf Keops -2Laps 96. Karin Groen (Ned) -2Laps 97. Daniela Bunzli Rojas (Chi) -2Laps 98. Evgenia Belozerova * (Rus) -2Laps 99. Ingrid Bosscha (Ned) -2Laps 100. Franciska De Vries (Ned) -2Laps 101. Karen Brouwer * (Ned) -2Laps 102. Elisabeth Mottet * (Bel) Windose Houffalize -2Laps 103. Kim Vrielink * (Ned) -3Laps 104. Katherine O'shea (Aus) -3Laps 105. Sofia Shashova * (Rus) Format-Udmurtia -3Laps
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