April 23/11 8:30 am - World Cup Pietermaritzburg: Men's XC UPDATES
Posted by Editoress on 04/23/11
The men are off on the first lap of 6 laps
Lap 1 (5.16 km) is a slightly shortened version of the full course (5.63)
Start at 8:30 am
The Swiss riders get the holeshot and they head out fast and furious. The rock garden is closed for the first lap, and the narrow course casues a huge bottleneck at the back of the field
A large group of 15 leading a long, long line
Mathias Flückiger and Sauser are well back, and seem to be having problems with the fast start
Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) is at the front leading Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing)
8:39 Through the feedzone for the first time
Kulhavy, Schurter and Absalon together. With one chaser at 2 seconds is Burry Stander
8:40 am Stander has joined the leaders
A pack of 5 has started to form at 5 seconds behind
Rock Garden: 4 leaders together, but Schurter riding better lines and moves to the front
at 12 seconds is the chase group: Hermida, Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing), Milatz, Ralph Naef (Multivan Merida Biking Team) and more
As they head out for their first full lap
Schurter, and Kulhavy together. Absalon 3rd at 1 sec, Stander 4th at 11 sec.
Manuel Fumic 5th at 16 sec
Hermida 6th at s.t.
Todd Wells 16th
Kabush 19th at 50 sec
Sam Schultz 21st at 1:05
JHK 40th at 1:42
Zandstra 45th at 1:48
LOTS of traffic jams and crashing riders causing problems for riders behind at the rock garden
Making their way up the climb the 3 leaders are losing their gap on 1 chaser behind : Hermida
A group of 3 at 35 sec: Fontana, Stander and Fumic
Absalon moves to the front and with Schurter are putting the pressure on Kulhavy opening a gap on the descent... and Hermida is closing quickly on 3rd place.
Schurter passes Absalon on the Rock garden. Kulhavy off the back by 4 sec. Hermida moving up, but is now under pressure by Fontana
As they start the 3rd lap, Schurter leading, Absalon and Kulhavy at 1 sec. Hermida 4th 14 sec back, Fontana 5th at 25 sec
Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Orbea) 6th at 31 sec
Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) 7th at 38th
Wells 8th at s.t.
Stander 9th at s.t.
Kulhavy back at the front leading Schurter and Absalon
The heat and humidity are causing a lot of suffering in the ranks. Both Sauser and Stander are showing the effects of having raced the Cape Epic a couple of weeks back - not a lot of speed in the legs.
Through the feedzone and Hermida slowly is reeling in the leaders and is only 6 seconds back
Schurter takes the lead descending through the rock garden, Absalon 2nd and Kulhavy hanging back. Hermida scoots through cautious but easily navigatiing the rock. Fontana 5th, but not making any ground
Lap 4 - 9:19 am
The leaders go through to start Lap 4. Hermida 4th at 18 sec. Fontana 5th at 25 sec
Stander 6th at 47 sec, Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Orbea) 7th at 49 sec, Wells 8th at s.t.
Kabush 20th at 1:58
Zandstra crashed on rock garden on Lap 3 but is pressing on and has actually moved up a place.
Up the climb Absalon and Schurter are gapping Kulhavy, who is starting to look tired
Flying down the descent, Absalon and Schurter are opening up a gap now of 11 seconds on Kulhavy
Hermida at 20 seconds with Fontana on his wheel almost crashing into him, Fontana loses time in the Rock Garden
Stander holding onto 6th, but with Lejarreta and Wells right behind him
Lap 5 - 9:34 am
Starting the 2nd last lap it is Schurter and Absalon. Kullhavy 3rd at 10 sec. Hermida at 33 sec, Fontana 5th at 50 sec. Stander 6th at 1:03, Stéphane Tempier (TX Active Bianchi) 7th at 1:06, Lejarreta 8th at 1:10, wells 9th at s.t., Fumic 10th at 1:18
Through the feedzone and up the climb, Absalon leading Schurter. Kulhavy has dropped even further back
Schurter is starting to put some pressure on Absalon
Schurter attacks at the Rock garder and Absalon cannot repond. Absalon loses concentration, comes off his bike and loses time.
Kulhavy comes through at 34 sec and Hermida at 50 sec back
Schurter has opened a gap of 10 sec on Absalon as they head out onto the final lap.
Kulhavy 3rd at 40 sec, Hermida 4th at 1:02, Fontana 5th at 1:19
Lejarreta 6th at 1:30, Tempier 7th at s.t.
Fumic 8th at 1:32
Stander 9th at 1:43
Wells 10th at 2:04
Kabush 18th at 3:27
Schurter looking comfortable in the lead. Absalon not panicking, but his gap to the leader is opening.
Kulhavy holding onto 3rd, but looking back over his shoulder for Hermida, who is still along in 3rd. Fontana has 3 chasers: Lejarret, Tempier and Fumic who are closing the gap
Through the rock garden and no changes to the top 3
Hermida comfortable in 4th
Fontana is under pressure by Lejarreta UNTIL the Rocks where he loses ground to Tempier and Fumic who pass him
Stander crashed in the rocks and went down hard
1 Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing), 1:34:50
2 Julien Absalon (Orbea) at 0:16
3 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing),1:07
4 José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team), 1:15
5 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing), 1:48