May 26, 2013 (Nove Mesto, Czech Republic) – The Elite Women’s race is soon underway in cool temperatures with overcast skies in Nove Mesto for round #2 with 65 riders on the start line – it’s dry. Last week’s winner Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol will be looking to repeat as Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro Xc Team is hoping for a win. Racing for Canada are Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team), Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) and Amanda Sin (Scott-3Rox Racing) – France’s Julie Bresset is still out with a broken collar bone. The women will complete 1 start loop (3.2km) + 5 laps (4.2km)… the start loop is long about 8 min.
Jolanda Neff (Sui) Giant Pro Xc Team jumps out front…Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team is up there as well.
Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team is near the front with Lechner there too.
Lechner is leading now – Pendrel and Batty are in the teens.
Neff crashes on the first downhill section…
Wloszczowska is near the front now – Pendrel is in the top 10.
Engen is now leading with Lechner second and Wloszczowska third.
Engen is in front with Lechner and Wloszczowska right there at 8:56…
Zakelj is 4th with Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team and Neff just behind at 10s.
Then it’s Pendrel in 7th at 27s with Batty in her group in 11th.
Wloszczowska takes over the lead… Lechner is in second.
On the climb Lechner takes over the lead – Pendrel is now 4th – Batty is behind…
Pendrel is now 3rd… as Lechner continues to lead.
Pendrel is now leading – she won here in 2011…
Four riders have separated themselves – Pendrel, Lechner, Wloszczowska and Zakelj – Dahle Flesjaa is alone in 5th.
Zakelj is getting dropped… Engen is alone in 6th.
Pendrel and Lechner come thru in 24:22…. Wloszczowska is at 4s and Zakelj is 4th at 8s.
Engen and Dahle Flesjaa are 5th and 6th at 22s… Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team is 7th.
Then it’s Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing Xc in 8th and Batty is 9th at 49s.
The sun is coming out… down the Rock n Roll Pendrel is leading and trying to break away.
Up the climb Wloszczowska takes over second…
Zakelj is struggling but hanging in at 9s… Dahle Flesjaa is at 40s.
Wloszczowska takes over the lead… behind Davison is with Kalentieva with Batty just behind.
Kalentieva is catching Engen… dark clouds are back
Wloszczowska, Pendrel and Lechner start the third lap in 39:40…
Zakelj is in 4th at 8s… Dahle Flesjaa is 5th at 58s.
Then it’s Engen, Kalentieva, Davison and Batty together at 1:12.
Wloszczowska and Pendrel exchange the lead… they have a small gap on Lechner.
The rain has started…
Engen, Kalentieva, Davison have caught and passed Dahle Flesjaa
Thru the BMX section it’s Wloszczowska now leading with Pendrel second and Lechner 3rd.
Zakelj is still riding strong in 4th… Kalentieva and Davison are leading the chase behind.
Wloszczowska, Pendrel have a bit of a gap on Lechner – now thru the Rock n Roll section.
Our four leaders are together… Wloszczowska, Pendrel, Lechner and Zakelj start the penultimate lap in 55:14.
Kalentieva and Davison are 5th and 6th at 1:34… Batty is now 11th at 2:24.
Suddenly Zakelj is leading… and she’s gapping the others Wloszczowska is second with Pendrel third.
It’s not clear if something happened giving Zakelj the lead.
Lechner has a rear flat… Zakelj is being chased down by Wloszczowska at 7s… Pendrel is at 32s.
Wloszczowska is trying to close in Zakelj, 24, the former U23 champ – Pendrel is alone in 3rd.
Zakelj crashes in the rock garden…
Lap 5 FINAL
Zakelj and Wloszczowska cross together and start the final lap in 1:10:33…
Pendrel is in third at 32s…
Lechner has a new wheel and holds on the fourth at 1:49 but Kalentieva and Davison are very close.
Wloszczowska takes over the lead…
But Zakelj is not giving up and she regains the lead thru the Rock and Roll…
Engen passes Lechner and is now in 4th with Kalentieva with her in 6th.
Zakelj has never won a World Cup and is leading at the half way point in the lap – Pendrel is at 50s in 3rd.
Engen is 4th at 1:48 with Lechner 5th at 2:02… Kalentieva is 6th at 2:07
Thru the BMX section Zakelj continues to lead – looks like a sprint finish is coming up.
The rain is back…
Thru the Rock and Roll Zakelj is leading…
On the final turn Wloszczowska crashes..
Zakelj takes it – her first World Cup
1. Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team 1:25:50
2. Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro Xc Team 0:19
3. Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team 1:21
4. Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team 2:07
5. Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol 2:19
6. Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 2:32
7. Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 3:24
8. Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing XC 3:29
9. Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing 3:46
10. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 3:57
32. Amanda Sin (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing 10:12