August 11, 2012 (London, UK) – The women’s MTB race is underway at the 550-acre site in Hadleigh Country Park in sunny conditions. Racing for Canada are reigning Elite Women’s MTB World Champ, Catharine Pendrel from Harvey, NB who races for Team Luna Pro, and won the London test event. Joining Pendrel is Emily Batty from Brooklin, ON who races for Team Subaru-Trek and scored her first World Cup victory at round one in South Africa.
They’ll be battling top contenders Julie Bresset from France, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa from Norway and defending Olympic champ Sabina Spitz from Germany. Missing on today’s start line is Maja Wloszczowska, 28, who won silver in Beijing but injured her right foot while training in Livigno, Italy. The women will complete short start loop and 6 laps of the 4.96km course for a total of 29.26km…
Germany’s Spitz is off the front… Bresset is up there – Pendrel and Batty are mid teens
Spitz, Annie Last (GBR) and Bresset are leading with Pendrel moving up…
Moving to front and getting away are Spitz, Last, Bresset and Pendrel
They finished lap 1 in 15:46… it’s Spitz, Last, Bresset and Pendrel leading.
Behind the chasers are led by Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould and Irina Kalentieva and trying to close.
Pendrel takes over the lead but can’t hold it…
Last who started fast doesn’t have it and is getting dropped as Gould moves up
It’s Bresset, Spitz and Pendrel starting lap 3 in 30:43 with chasers not far behind.
Gould now passes Pendrel among the four leaders… Batty is in the 20s
Thru the lap it’s Bresset leading with Spitz in second followed by Gould in 3rd with Pendrel in 4th… then it’s Last in 5th, Kalentieva is 6th, Katerina Nash is 7th.
Bresset and Spitz have opened a gap with Luna teammates Gould and Pendrel chasing…
Bresset is trying to get loose from Spitz but the German is not letting her get away… Gould is keeping pace but Pendrel is getting dropped.
Bresset comes thru in 45:45 with Spitz right behind with Gould at 4s.
Kalentieva is 4th now at around 40s and she’s with Last… Pendrel is with them and others in 8th.
The three leaders are lead by Bresset as she tries to escape.
Spitz crashes down the rock garden and holds up Gould as well… Bresset is getting away.
Dahle Flesjaa crashed earlier and now has a rear flat – her race is over.
Bresset has 20s on Gould now in 2nd as she passed Spitz… but Spitz is not giving up and reclaims the 3s-lead Gould had and takes back 2nd…
Pendrel is now 7th – it’s not clear if she had some kind of mechanical problem that forced her to drop back…
Bresset has a commanding lead and looks smooth – she’s on her way to gold unless something unexpected happens.
It’s Bresset on her own at 1:00:46 on the penultimate lap… Spitz has gapped Gould and is in 2nd at 33s with the American at 38s…
Kalentieva has taken over 4th on her own at 56s – she’s followed by Last in 5th at 1:12… then it’s Suss in 6th, Dawidowicz in 7th with Pendrel now in 8th at 1:49.
Bresset is riding smooth in excellent conditions… Spitz is not giving up and holding her second place over Gould.
At 40 years old Spitz will become one of the oldest Olympic medal winners if she hangs on.
Lap 6 FINAL
Bresset starts her final lap in 1:15:45… the U23 World Champ is not going to get caught and knows she’s clear of any challengers.
The real battle is for silver at Spitz comes thru at 57s but Gould is closing in only one second behind. Kalentieva is 4th on her own at 1:23.
Canada’s Batty is confirmed to have crashed in training on Aug. 7 and was injured…X-Ray results showed a fracture in her right clavicle – she also had multiple bruises and abrasions but was given the green light to race.
Suss of Switzerland is 5th… Pendrel is now 9th over 3-min behind.
The gap gets bigger for Bresset… Spitz is being challenged by Gould.
1. Julie Bresset (France) 1:30:52
2. Sabine Spitz (Germany) 01:02
3. Georgia Gould (United States of America) 01:08
4. Irina Kalentieva (Russian Federation) 01:41
5. Esther Suss (Switzerland) 01:54
6. Alexandra Engen (Sweden) 02:16
7. Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Poland) 02:28
8. Annie Last (Great Britain) 02:55
9. Catharine Pendrel (Canada) 3:36
10. Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia) 03:49
11. Lea Davison (United States of America) 04:22
12. Qinglan Shi (People’s Republic of China) 04:36
13. Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine) 04:54
14. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) 05:30
15. Elisabeth Osl (Austria) 05:55
16. Adelheid Morath (Germany) 06:25
17. Eva Lechner (Italy) 06:44
18. Karen Hanlen (New Zealand) 07:02
19. Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) 07:31
20. Rie Katayama (Japan) 07:34
21. Janka Stevkova (Slovakia) 08:13
22. Paula Gorycka (Poland) 08:26
23. Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia) 08:50
24. Emily Batty (Canada) 09:45
25. Rebecca Henderson (Australia) 10:43
26. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 11:29
27. Barbara Benko (Hungary) 12:32
28. Candice Neethling (South Africa) 14:11
DNF Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)
DNF Laura Valentina Abril Restrepo (Colombia)