May 16, 2010 (Germany) – Julien Absalon and Annika Langvad were taking the second round of the International MTB-Bundesliga in Heubach (Ger). Frenchman Absalon won the HC category race ahead of Roel Paulissen (Bel) and José Hermida (Esp) while Danish champion Langvad surprised as well as second Anja Gradl (Ger). Emily Batty (Can) jumped on the podium as third.
Everybody was excited about the expected duel between Julien Absalon and Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) who won the “Bike the Rock” in Heubach in 2009. Kurschat aiming to take the victory again set a real high speed and was in the lead by 30 seconds after less than two of seven laps (4,3 km).
But then he had a problem with his derailleur and then in consequence with his chain. He felt back and had no more chance to fight for his third Heubach win. So Absalon took the lead, extending the gap up to 1:25 minutes, securing his first win after rank three in 2008 and rank two in 2009.
“The two years before I had not my best shape when I was at Heubach. Today I felt good in the uphill and also in the downhill. Heubach is maybe the hardest race the whole year but this long downhill makes a lot of fun. I like it,” Absalon was saying.
Four chasers were fighting for second place. While Moritz Milatz (Ger) in pre last lap made a small mistake and crashed, Roel Paulissen was getting stronger and stronger lap by lap. At the end he sprinted out world cup overall leader José Hermida for the second spot on the podium. “I had good tires for the mud and the longer race was lasting the more I could speed up” Paulissen said.
Hermida was “satisfied” with his race. “One week before the Offenburg world cup everybody wants to come into shape. I’m looking forward to defend my leader jersey.”
Fourth position went to Fabian Giger (Sui) also in a sprint decision. Some centimeter decided against Milatz.
Women’s Race – Langvad “happy with perfect race”
Surprisingly in women’s competition Irina Kalentieva was not able to fight for a fourth win in Heubach. The world champion, living only 15 km far from Heubach was complaining that she still have not recovered from world cup races. “My legs aren’t fresh” she said.
So the way was free for Annika Langvad. The 26 years old went into race very fast followed by Anja Gradl and Emily Batty. The gap was about 45 seconds after one of four laps and it was so after two laps. But then the leading position got into danger because Langvad crashed and lost her complete advance against Gradl.
But exact at this time, at the beginning of the last lap, the German lost air from her back wheel and so the decision was taken.
“I had some reserves left,” Langvad told. “Now I’m really happy because i was pretty nervous before the race. Last year I had a bad race in Heubach but today it was perfect.”
Gradl was not quite sure whether she should be happy about a great result or being sad about a lost chance to get her first win in an international race. “Maybe I would have had my chance in the last downhill but anyway my race was not too bad today,” she said.
Emily Batty secured third place ahead of Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) and Irina Kalentieva. “The climb was not too bad, I could go my rhythm and the downhill was really fun,” Batty said.
1. Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea 1:47:01
2. Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale-Factory Team 0:52
3. Jose Hermida (Esp) Multivan Merida Biking 0:53
4. Fabian Giger (Sui) Rabobank Giant Offroad 1:03
5. Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking 1:03
6. Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team 2:09
7. Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Esp) Orbea 2:34
8. Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad 3:06
9. Lejarreta Errasti Inaki, (Esp) Orbea 3:23
10. Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Esp) Giant Italia Team 3:24
13. Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain 5:00
1. Annika Langvad (Den) HMTBK 01:16.4
2. Anja Gradl (Ger) central Pro Team a0:18
3. Emily Batty (Can) Trek World Racing 1:49
4. Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) Team Haibike 2:16
5. Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 2:18
6. Hanna Klein (Ger) Rothaus-CUBE MTB Team 3:10
7. Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Otztal X-Bionic World 3:22
8. Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Felt Otztal X-Bionic World 3:23
9. Alexandra Engen (Swe) Rothaus-CUBE MTB Team 3:49
10. Maria Osl (Aut) Fischer-BMC 5:16