June 25/05 5:28 am - Mont-Ste-Anne World Cup: Men's XC brief report
Posted by Editoress on 06/25/05
MTB World Cup Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC
Reports brought to with the support of Gestev
The Men's XC was really a two person race. From the gun Christoph Sauser (Siemens Cannondale) and team-mate Fredrik Kessiakoff of Sweden built a strong lead and then see-sawed back and forth, until Sauser pulled away at the start of the last lap.
Sauser, who is the World Cup leader and the defending World Cup Champion, helped to pull Kessiakoff to his best World Cup finish ever. Both were pleased and so was the Cannondale Team, with both riders on full suspension Scalpels. Kessiakoff was the most emotional. "I'm very happy. I just had a good day. Christoph has so much experience. I think he is still a better rider than I am, but I proved today that I am closer to the top riders and I tried to stay with him as much as I could, but at the end he just rode away from me."
Sauser looked like it was business as usual. "I knew from the first lap that we were pretty safe up here. When Adam Craig (Giant) got close I decided to add some more seconds. We weren't cruising but we were always aware of where he was. We always had a gear in reserve. The last lap you always worry about a mechanical so I added a little more time."
Canadian fans were very pleased with the fine third place from National Champion Geoff Kabush (Maxxis). Kabush was in a tight battle with Liam Killeen (Specialized), Raul Paulissen (Giant), and Jeremiah Bishop (Trek VW) into the 3rd lap. Bishop had a meltdown on lap three, and Paulissen also began to fall back. Kabush eventually dropped Killeen and then set his sights on Craig. Going into Lap 5 Kabush caught Craig on the climb through the feed zone and then put him away for good on the big climb. "I've raced all season in North America so it has been frustrating not to have been on the podium at a World Cup this year. Once I made it into a podium position I became more conservative Ë† maybe I could have closed it up a bit on second (place), but I just wanted to protect my podium spot."
Also showing a return to World Class form was former 2 time World Champion Roland Green, racing his first World Cup in over a year. Green was pleased with his 9th place finish. "Starting that far back, I forgot what it was like. There was a lot of traffic to go through. I knew with the heat that if I started too fast I would blow up, so I just rode a steady race."
Liam Killeen (Specialized) rounded out the podium in fifth place.
More detailed report on the XC to follow.