Making up for a slow first lap at her home-country race, Canadian Catharine Pendrel went on to dominate the women’s World Cup cross-country event Saturday at Mont Ste Anne, Quebec.
Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) rode the five laps course for a total distance of 22.8 kilometres in a time of 1:38:23 to capture her first title of the season. Pendrel, who had a slower start, rejoined the lead group on the second lap and took full control of the race. Helped by her teammates, Georgia Gould — who lead lap one — and Katerina Nash — who finished fourth — Pendrel maintained the lead the entire race finishing nearly a minute ahead of Irina Kalentieva of Russia.
Pendrel, the 2010 World Cup champion, now sits in second place of the 2011 UCI World Cup standings, with 720 points, behind the surprise of the 2011 World Cup season, French rider Julie Bresset, who came third on Saturday. Bresset crashed twice on the treacherous technical descent dubbed “Beatrice.”
Pendrel remains in second in the overall standings after four rounds, 140 points behind Bresset. Premont jumped from ninth to third in the standings, at 480 points, tied on points with Lene Byberg (Specialized).
“This was one of my main goals for the season,” said Pendrel. “I had a poor start, but was able to make my way up to the leaders on the first lap. Julie [Bresset] and I got a gap on the others, and then when she crashed, I had a clear lead to the finish. Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of the hardest races in the series, so to win here is very special.”
Local favorite Marie-Hélène Prémont, (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) finished fifth 2:36 behind Pendrel’s winning time. Yet another strong showing by a Canadian was Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek), who finished seventh on the day.
The top-placed American woman on the day was Heather Irmiger, who placed 12th.
For the second time this season, Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) of the Czech Republic, rode a 29er to the top of a podium at a World Cup event. With his win at the fourth round of the World Cup, Kulhavy solidified his position as the current overall leader of the series.
Kulhavy dominated the race from start to finish, so the battle boiled down to second place, and with Julien Absalon, winner of World Cup #3 in Germany, opting to skip Mont Ste Anne and Windham, New York next weekend, the vacuum was filled by the usual suspects: Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower), Burry Stander (Specialized Racing),.Jose Hermida (Multivan-Merida) and Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing).
Hermida, the reigning XC world champ, won his rainbow jersey on the same course last year — a course that includes the technically nasty “Beatrice” descent. At one point or another, all the top riders who opted to ride the faster A-line on the descent crashed, including Stander. His mishap likely cost him a podium spot.
Schurter, meanwhile, regained his early season World Cup form and held down second place despite attacks from Hermida. The world champ was followed in by Flückiger and Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower).
Canada’s Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) was the highest-placed North American, finishing in seventh. Kabush raced the 27.3-kilometer course in 1:31:55, 4:14 behind Kulhavy.
The top American rider was Todd Wells, in 18th.
Men’s Brief Results
1 KULHAVY Jaroslav SPECIALIZED RACING 1:35:51
2 SCHURTER Nino SCOTT-SWISSPOWER +01:42
3 HERMIDA RAMOS José Antonio MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM +01:54
4 FLÜCKIGER Mathias TREK WORLD RACING +02:33
5 VOGEL Florian SCOTT-SWISSPOWER +02:51
6 STANDER Burry SPECIALIZED RACING +03:42
7 KABUSH Geoff TEAM MAXXIS – ROCKY MOUNTAIN +04:14
8 SAUSER Christoph SPECIALIZED RACING +04:31
9 LITSCHER Thomas FELT OETZTAL X – BIONIC TEAM +04:33
10 GUJAN Martin CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING +04:33
18 WELLS Todd SPECIALIZED RACING +07:43
22 SCHULTZ Samuel SUBARU-TREK +08:42
25 HORGAN-KOBELSKI Jeremy SUBARU-TREK +09:07
38 PAXSON Spencer KONA +13:49
39 CRAIG Adam RABOBANK-GIANT +13:55
41 MORKA Adam +14:10
45 BISHOP Jeremiah-1LAP
46 WATSON Andrew-1LAP
49 BATTY Eric -1LAP
50 ZANDSTRA Derek -1LAP
52 GLASSFORD Peter -1LAP
54 HADLEY Matthew -2LAP
55 GAGNE Raphael -2LAP
59 BRODERICK Michael -2LAP
63 JETTE Cameron-2LAP
64 DAIGLE Marc-Andre-2LAP
65 COTE Félix -2LAP
66 ISHAY Rotem -3LAP
67 WOODRUFF Travis -3LAP
72 HAMLIN Christopher -4LAP
1 PENDREL Catharine LUNA PRO TEAM 1:38:23
2 KALENTIEVA Irina TOPEAK ERGON RACING TEAM +00:58
3 BRESSET Julie BH – SUNTOUR-PEISEY VALLANDRY +01:52
4 NASH Katerina LUNA PRO TEAM +02:01
5 PREMONT Marie-Helene
TEAM MAXXIS – ROCKY MOUNTAIN +02:36
6 OSL Elisabeth GHOST FACTORY RACING TEAM +02:45
7 BATTY Emily SUBARU-TREK +03:07
8 SCHNEITTER Nathalie COLNAGO FARBE SUDTIROL +04:28
9 ZAKELJ Tanja ORBEA GEAX +05:10
10 DAHLE FLESJAA Gunn-Rita MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM +05:38
12 IRMIGER Heather SUBARU – TREK +06:29
19 DAVISON Lea SPECIALIZED RACING +08:18
20 GOULD Georgia LUNA PRO TEAM +08:26
25 MCCONNELOUG Mary +11:10 26 LAST
27 SIN Amanda +12:12
30 WALTER Sandra +13:16
33 COMPTON Katherine RABOBANK-GIANT OFF-ROAD TEAM +17:25
35 VIPOND Catherine +18:42
36 PARK Krista +18:43
37 BERKENPAS Jean Ann +19:56
38 HEISTERMAN Brandi +21:07
40 FORSMAN Chloe -1LAP
41 DYCK Mical -2LAP
43 MONTAMBAULT Cindy -2LAP
45 VILLENEUVE Caroline -2LAP