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MTB World Cup #2 — Men’s XC

May 8, 2005 (Madrid, Spain) – Julien Absalon (FRA, Bianchi-Agos) is King of Casa de Campo after completing seven blistering laps under the Spanish sun the fastest of the day. He completed seven laps of the 7.4-kilometre course in 2:06:11. He held his arms high as he cruised into the start/finish area to the sound of fans banging the barriers with their hands and Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

Close on his heels was race favourite, Spain’s Jose Antonio Hermida (ESP, Multivan-Merida). Christoph Sauser (SUI, Siemens Mobile-Cannondale) zoomed into third position. The three had been in a leading group of five up until the last lap. It was just a matter of time before someone’s attack stuck and it was Absalon’s that finally did. The Frenchman is on fire after winning the Olympics and World Championships last year and then taking victory in World Cup #1 in Belgium.

Spanish cycling fans were out in full force with cries of “Venga! Venga! Venga!” all over the course. They were especially concentrated in a steep, sandy climb, where they cheered for each of the 172 riders, regardless of nationality. Racers who managed to clean the tricky ascent without having to dismount were rewarded with the loudest cheers of all.

Provisional Results
1. Juelien Absalon (FRA, Bianchi-Agos) 2:06:11
2. Jose Antonio Hermida (ESP, Multivan-Merida)
3. Christoph Sauser (SUI, Siemens Mobile-Cannondale)
4. Roel Paulissen (BEL, Giant)
5. Mario Bui (ITA, Full Dynamix)

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