May 29, 2005 (Houffalize, Belgium) – Gunn-Rita Dahle (NOR, Multivan-Merida) rode the Houffalize race like a freight train, taking the lead in the first lap of five. She rode the 6.6 kilometre course with its short, intense climbs and bone-rattling descents like she was on rails. Her final time for the 32 kilometres was 1:43:21 and she had victory sewn up with over a minute to spare on second place, Sabine Spitz (GER, Specialized). Russia’s superstar, Irina Kalentieva (RUS, Multivan-Merida), finished third, 1:42 back from Dahle. Canada’s Marie-Helene Premont (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) was just edged out of the top three by a mere 15 seconds. She finished fourth.
Alison Sydor (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) was eighth, Kiara Bisaro (CAN, Gears Racing) finished ninth, Trish Sinclair (CAN, Scott USA) rode into 24th position and Sandra Walter (CAN, AdventureBound.ca) was 62nd.
The women’s race started on a modified loop, which included a long road section at the beginning in order to string out the pack of 84 riders. The pace from the gun was hot and the weather soon became so as well, as the clouds (which weather forecasters promised would hang out all day and even bring thundershowers in time for the men’s race) broke up and let the sun’s full strength pound down on the course’s open sections.
Marco Bui (ITA, Full Dynamix) crossed the line with his fists in the air and a giant grin on his face as he won his first cross-country World Cup. The Italian won the World Championships in the Espoir category in 1999.
Bui finished the race in 2:05:53, after attacking and leading from the first lap. On arrival at the finish, he commented on the huge number of race fans on the course.
Christoph Sauser (SUI, Siemens Mobile-Cannondale) rolled into second place, 1:47 back from the lead. Jose Antonio Hermida (ESP, Merida) was right behind him and took third. Hermida commented that the race had been long and difficult.
1. Gunn-Rita Dahle (NOR, Multivan-Merida) 1:43:21
2. Sabine Spitz (GER, Specialized) at 1:12
3. Irina Kalentieva (RUS, Multivan-Merida) 1:42
4. Marie-Helene Premont (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) 1:57
5. Mary McConneloug (USA, Seven Cycles-Kenda) 3:48
6. Margarita Fullana (ESP, K2-Zero RH+) 5:22
7. Petra Henzi (SUI, Fischer-BMC) 6:28
8. Alison Sydor (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) 6:38
9. Maja Wloszczowska (POL, Lotto) 7:20
10. Rusca Maroussia (SUI, Univega) 7:26
11. Kiara Bisaro (CAN, Gears Racing) 7:34
24. Trish Sinclair (CAN, Scott USA) 10:33
62. Sandra Walter (CAN, AdventureBound.ca) -1 Lap
Men’s Results (Provisional)
1. Marco Bui (ITA, Full Dynamix) 2:05:53
2. Christoph Sauser (SUI, Siemens Mobile-Cannondale) at 1:47
3. Jose Antonio Hermida (ESP, Merida) 1:58
4. Roel Paulissen (BEL, Giant) 2:29
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA, Lapierre)
6. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE, Siemens Mobile-Cannondale)
7. Lado Fumic (GER, Fumic Bros. Racing)
8. Liam Killeen (GBR, Specialized)
9. Erwin Bakker (NED, Heijdens-Ten Tusscher)
10. Michael Weiss (AUT)