Posted by Editoress on 06/18/08
MTB World Championships Val di Sole, Italy
Coverage brought to you with the assistance of Velirium
The first full day of competition at the Mountain Bike World Championships saw strong performances by Canadian riders, with Bianca Adolf finishing sixth in the Junior Women's cross-country and Emily Batty also sixth in the U23 Women's race. In the Junior race, Laura Abril won Colombia's first ever world title in mountain bike with a start to finish ride from the front, while Tanja Zakelj of Slovakia was an unexpected winner over favoured Nathalie Schneitter of Switzerland in the U23 category.
For every rider it was a relief to wake up to sun after days of rain. The warm conditions quickly dried out the open sections of the circuit, however, the technical descents under tree cover were still slick and treacherous.
Vivianne Meyer (Switzerland) went to the front at the start of the Junior three lap race, but was quickly overtaken by Abril and Barbara Benko (Hungary). This pair stayed away together until the final climb of the race, when Abril attacked and dropped her rival to solo in 37 seconds ahead. Meyer was overtaken by European champion Mona Eiberweisser (Germany) for the bronze medal. Eiberweisser, who had been a favourite, had a poor start and had to work her way up through the field.
For Canada's Bianca Adolf, competing at her first world championships, it was a result far beyond her expectations.
"I initially was hoping for a top-10 finish, but then I found out that there were 45 riders in the race, so that changed it to top-20. So I'm really happy with sixth."
Adolf started in 15th place, and had to work her way through the field.
"There were a lot of girls to get around, but it spread out on the first lap and I just started catching riders one by one. A lot of them were suffering in the technical stuff and I was able to make up time there."
By the last lap she was up to sixth, and challenging Paula Gorycka of Poland for fifth.
"I kept catching her on descents and then she would get away on flats. But I got a little sloppy on the last descent and went down [crashed], and I just couldn't catch her again."
Canada's second competitor in the Junior race, Leah Kirchmann, finished 35th.
In the U23 four lap race, the favourite should have been defending champion Ren Chengyuan of China. But, after winning the first round of the World Cup, Ren has been inexplicably going backwards, finishing 25th at the Fort William, Scotland World Cup two weeks ago. This made Schneitter and Zakelj the favourites, and they did not disappoint.
France's Julie Krasniak jumped into the lead on the first lap, but Schneitter, Zakelj, Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Poland) and Laura Metzler (France) were the first of a long line of riders within a few seconds. Batty was sitting 13th on the first lap.
Schneitter jumped into the lead for the second lap, with Zakelj at nine seconds and Tereza Hurikova (Czech Republic) at 15 seconds. But Hurikova was having a bad day, eventually crashing and finishing well back in 20th place.
Zakelj moved up to join Schneitter on the climb, and then dropped her rival in the technical downhill sections before the second climb, gaining almost a minute.
Zakelj continued to ride away through the remainder of the race to finish nearly three minutes up on the Swiss rider, who barely managed to hold on for silver after suffering a flat on the last lap. Schneitter finished a slim 16 seconds ahead of a late surge by Poland's Aleksandra Dawidowicz.
Batty was moving up steadily through the race, up to ninth by the start of the second lap, then eighth early in the third lap, seventh by the midpoint of the lap, and passing early leader Krasniak for sixth in the last lap.
"it was a hard start, like always. I was back in mid pack, and on the first climb everyone took off, like usual," Batty explained. "I used the first few climbs to get comfortable, and then I started passing some people."
"On the second and third lap there was a French girl that I could see ahead on the climbs [Julie Bresset], so I just kept working a little harder and reeling her in, and after I caught her I could see another French rider [Krasniak]. So I dug a little deeper and got on her wheel and pass her at the start of the last lap. I was feeling pretty strong, so I jumped on the climb and got a gap on her."
|U23 Women - 23.4km|
|1. Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia)||1:35:31|
|2. Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland)||2:58|
|3. Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Poland)||3:14|
|4. Nataliya Krompets (Ukraine)||3:43|
|5. Caroline Mani (France)||4:04|
|6. Emiliy Batty (Canada)||5:00|
|7. Julie Krasniak (France)||5:54|
|8. Julie Bresset (France)||6:11|
|9. Maaike Polspoel (Belgium)||8:04|
|10. Daniela Campuzano (Mexico)||8:09|
|11. Stephanie Wiedner (Austria)||8:12|
|12. Hanna Klein (Germany)||8:18|
|13. Chengyuan Ren (People's Republic Of China)||9:31|
|14. Katarzyna Solus (Poland)||10:13|
|15. Silke Schmidt (Germany)||12:05|
|16. Alexandra Engen (Sweden)||12:45|
|17. Laura Metzler (France)||14:07|
|18. Vera Andreeva (Russian Federation)||15:33|
|19. Jamie Dinkins (United States Of America)||16:14|
|20. Tereza Hurikova (Czech Republic)||17:16|
|21. Anja Gradl (Germany)||18:13|
|22. Judith Pollinger (Italy)||19:30|
|23. Iryna Slobodyan (Ukraine)||21:09|
|24. Alexandra Gabriela Serrano Rodriguez (Ecuador)||23:08|
|26. Ana Zupan (Slovenia)||-1 Lap|
|27. Sibylle Werth (Italy)||-1 Lap|
|28. Karen Brouwer (Netherlands)||-1 Lap|
|29. Claudia Sieder (Italy)||-1 Lap|
|30. Semra Yetis (Turkey)||-1 Lap|
|31. Elisabetta Borgia (Italy)||-1 Lap|
|DNF. Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland)|
|DNF. Ines Thoma (Germany)|
|Junior Women - 17.62 km|
|1. Laura Abril (Colombia)||1:16:08|
|2. Barbara Benko (Hungary)||at 0:37|
|3. Mona Eiberweiser (Germany)||2:11|
|4. Vivianne Meyer (Switzerland)||3:18|
|5. Paula Gorycka (Poland)||6:31|
|6. Bianca Adolf (Canada)||6:46|
|7. Jana Valesova (Czech Republic)||7:46|
|8. Cornelia Schuster (Italy)||7:55|
|9. Annie Last (Great Britain)||8:00|
|10. Sanne Cant (Belgium)||8:10|
|11. Michelle Hediger (Switzerland)||8:18|
|12. Camille Devi (France)||9:45|
|13. Martina Giovanniello (Italy)||9:49|
|14. Karin Rappo (Switzerland)||9:52|
|15. Kajsa Snihs (Sweden)||10:06|
|16. Rozanne Slik (Netherlands)||10:21|
|17. Gesa Bruchmann (Germany)||10:51|
|18. Noga Korem (Israel)||11:12|
|19. Marina Giger (Switzerland)||11:12|
|20. Samara Sheppard (New-Zealand)||13:08|
|21. Mariske Strauss (South Africa)||13:57|
|22. Rebecca Henderson (Australia)||14:58|
|23. Cristina Molina (Ecuador)||17:10|
|24. Caitlin De Wet (South Africa)||17:24|
|25. Maria Babanova (Russian Federation)||18:07|
|26. Weronika Rybarczyk (Poland)||18:26|
|27. Jerneja Tratnik (Slovenia)||18:50|
|28. Serena Calvetti (Italy)||18:57|
|29. Michela Battaglia (Italy)||19:45|
|30. Nadezhda Orlova (Russian Federation)||21:01|
|31. Jill Behlen (United States Of America)||21:52|
|32. Daria Zaitseva (Russian Federation)||22:27|
|33. Diedre York (United States Of America)||24:14|
|34. Marta Pastore (Italy)||24:20|
|35. Leah Kirchmann (Canada)||25:34|
|36. Daniela Rojas (Chile)||27:18|
|37. Chiara Pastore (Italy)||29:21|
|38. Brigitta Koos (Hungary)||30:24|
|39. Javiera Ocampos (Chile)||30:48|
|DNF. Alla Boyko (Ukraine)|
|DNF. Anna Oberparleiter (Italy)|
|DNF. Jitka Skarnitzlova (Czech Republic)|
|DNF. Julia Haase (Germany)|
|DNF. Marketa Sladkova (Czech Republic)|
|DNF. Melissa Horvat (Austria)|
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