Menu

Kabush, Byberg Score 1st World Cup Wins

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Aug. 3, 2009
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:56 PM EDT

by Wendy Booher

Got mud? Geoff Kabush feels no pain after his first World Cup win. Photo by Peter Kraiker

Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) took aim at a first-ever World Cup win and hit his target in round 6 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, held Sunday in Bromont, Quebec.

Lene Byberg (Specialized) also took her maiden World Cup win, thanks to power, prowess and an 11th-hour tire switch when she decided that mud would become a factor.

Heavy rain began falling at the start of the first climb in the men’s race, turning the long ascent into a search for the proper blend of power and traction. The reward for those who made it to the top was a brief downhill leading to wooded single-track.

“On the first lap I was in fifth or sixth. I was about 10 seconds back from (Julien) Absalon but I really had a lot in reserve,” Kabush said.

By the climb on the second lap, Kabush had advanced to within 20 bike lengths of the Orbea rider and each fought fiercely against the muddy slope in hopes of overpowering the other.

Kabush seizes his chance

Then Absalon’s chain snapped and he was gone, leaving Kabush to seize the lead.

“It was scary being out in front because I’ve never been there before but everything worked, everything was super smooth,” said Kabush, who went on to build a lead of nearly two minutes by the end of the race.

Another threat to Kabush, Spain’s José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida), flew through four laps without reliable brakes and was hovering around sixth place between crashes.

“Today I was really strong from the beginning but I had no brakes from the first lap,” Ramos explained. “I would catch a position then crash and lose it. I was 30 seconds back, but around the fourth or fifth lap, I thought, ‘If I fix my brakes now and lose time but push it to the limit, I think I will do OK.’”

And so he did. Ramos rode his ultimate lap faster than the previous five, overhauling Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing), Scott-Swisspower teammates Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel, and his own teammate Ralph Näf to score a distant second place behind Kabush.

Among the indistinguishable, mud-slimed racers trailing Kabush, Absalon doggedly pursued a decent finish to collect enough points to keep his series lead.

“I broke my chain after the first tech area and ran to the second tech area — about 2 kilometers,” Absalon said. “I fell back to around 35th place but finished 17th. It was important to gain points, so to finish is good for something.”

With his win in Bromont, Kabush climbs to seventh from 14th place in the series while Absalon holds firmly on to first.

It’s all in Byberg’s head

Winner Lene Byberg was the only pro woman to run a full-suspension rig. Photo by Peter Kraiker

The women’s race shaped up early when a group of six led by Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) set a blistering race pace. Series leader Catharine Pendrel (Luna), along with Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon), world champion Margarita Fullana (Massi), Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles) and Byberg chased down Koerber and a new leader, Kalentieva, took her place at the front.

“On the second lap, I was first with Pendrel,” said Kalentieva. “The third lap came and Lene passed me on the first climb. She was strong; we did the third lap together but by the end, she had gained a lead. By the fifth lap, there was no chance of catching her.”

Byberg rode in third place nearing the end of lap two but overtook both Pendrel and Kalentieva by lap three. With only two bike lengths distancing her from Kalentieva, Byberg punched up the speed on climbs and sustained an even pace with few mistakes to stuff more time into her widening lead.

One of the few racers on a dual-suspension rig, Byberg credited her controlled pace and a last-minute tire choice as key to her best finish ever.

“That’s kind of my style of riding,” Byberg said. “So many girls blow it at the start; I ride a lot with my head — I looked at the weather and saw that there would be a heavy rain at about the middle of the race so I chose mud tires and was probably the only one out there riding dual suspension.

“I’m not the fastest starter but my legs were incredible today; I think I had only a couple of meters ahead in lap two but I was able to stay ahead for the rest of the race.”

Byberg won by a gaping 2:35 ahead of Kalentieva while Pendrel, who finished third, graciously accepted the end to a three-week winning streak.

“From the first lap with Margarita, Willow, and Irina I felt like I had good legs and I tried to use them to get away,” Pendrel said. “But every time I tried I’d slip up and fall back.”

In a pre-race interview, Pendrel pointed out that yet again that the race ultimately comes down to who has the best legs that day. If there had to come a day for Kabush and Byberg, Sunday was that day.

Women
1. Lene Byberg (Specialized)
2. Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon)
3. Catharine Pendrel (Luna)
4. Elisabeth Osl (Central Ghost)
5. Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles)

Men
1. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
2. José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida)
3. Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida)
4. Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower)
5. Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing)

 

By Wendy Booher

Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) took aim at a first-ever World Cup win and hit his target in round 6 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, held Sunday in Bromont, Quebec.

Lene Byberg (Specialized) also took her maiden World Cup win, thanks to power, prowess and an 11th-hour tire switch when she decided that mud would become a factor.

Heavy rain began falling at the start of the first climb in the men’s race, turning the long ascent into a search for the proper blend of power and traction. The reward for those who made it to the top was a brief downhill leading to wooded single-track.

“On the first lap I was in fifth or sixth. I was about 10 seconds back from (Julien) Absalon but I really had a lot in reserve,” Kabush said.

By the climb on the second lap, Kabush had advanced to within 20 bike lengths of the Orbea rider and each fought fiercely against the muddy slope in hopes of overpowering the other.

Kabush seizes his chance

Then Absalon’s chain snapped and he was gone, leaving Kabush to seize the lead.

“It was scary being out in front because I’ve never been there before but everything worked, everything was super smooth,” said Kabush, who went on to build a lead of nearly two minutes by the end of the race.

Another threat to Kabush, Spain’s José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida), flew through four laps without reliable brakes and was hovering around sixth place between crashes.

“Today I was really strong from the beginning but I had no brakes from the first lap,” Ramos explained. “I would catch a position then crash and lose it. I was 30 seconds back, but around the fourth or fifth lap, I thought, ‘If I fix my brakes now and lose time but push it to the limit, I think I will do OK.’”

And so he did. Ramos rode his ultimate lap faster than the previous five, overhauling Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing), Scott-Swisspower teammates Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel, and his own teammate Ralph Näf to score a distant second place behind Kabush.

Among the indistinguishable, mud-slimed racers trailing Kabush, Absalon doggedly pursued a decent finish to collect enough points to keep his series lead.

“I broke my chain after the first tech area and ran to the second tech area — about 2 kilometers,” Absalon said. “I fell back to around 35th place but finished 17th. It was important to gain points, so to finish is good for something.”

With his win in Bromont, Kabush climbs to seventh from 14th place in the series while Absalon holds firmly on to first.

Winner Lene Byberg was the only pro woman to run a full-suspension rig. Photo by Peter Kraiker

It’s all in Byberg’s head

The women’s race shaped up early when a group of six led by Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) set a blistering race pace. Series leader Catharine Pendrel (Luna), along with Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon), world champion Margarita Fullana (Massi), Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles) and Byberg chased down Koerber and a new leader, Kalentieva, took her place at the front.

“On the second lap, I was first with Pendrel,” said Kalentieva. “The third lap came and Lene passed me on the first climb. She was strong; we did the third lap together but by the end, she had gained a lead. By the fifth lap, there was no chance of catching her.”

Byberg rode in third place nearing the end of lap two but overtook both Pendrel and Kalentieva by lap three. With only two bike lengths distancing her from Kalentieva, Byberg punched up the speed on climbs and sustained an even pace with few mistakes to stuff more time into her widening lead.

One of the few racers on a dual-suspension rig, Byberg credited her controlled pace and a last-minute tire choice as key to her best finish ever.

“That’s kind of my style of riding,” Byberg said. “So many girls blow it at the start; I ride a lot with my head — I looked at the weather and saw that there would be a heavy rain at about the middle of the race so I chose mud tires and was probably the only one out there riding dual suspension.

“I’m not the fastest starter but my legs were incredible today; I think I had only a couple of meters ahead in lap two but I was able to stay ahead for the rest of the race.”

Byberg won by a gaping 2:35 ahead of Kalentieva while Pendrel, who finished third, graciously accepted the end to a three-week winning streak.

“From the first lap with Margarita, Willow, and Irina I felt like I had good legs and I tried to use them to get away,” Pendrel said. “But every time I tried I’d slip up and fall back.”

In a pre-race interview, Pendrel pointed out that yet again that the race ultimately comes down to who has the best legs that day. If there had to come a day for Kabush and Byberg, Sunday was that day.

Women
1. Lene Byberg (Specialized)
2. Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon)
3. Catharine Pendrel (Luna)
4. Elisabeth Osl (Central Ghost)
5. Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles)

Men
1. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
2. José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida)
3. Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida)
4. Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower)
5. Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing)

 

FILED UNDER: MTB / News TAGS: / / /

Catch every stage of the Tour

Subscribe to the FREE VeloNews weekly newsletter