April 23, 2011 (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) – The Elite Women’s XC is underway under sunny skies as 63 women will contest the first race of the season completing five laps of a 5.8km circuit. Canada has three riders on the start line including World Cup #1 plate Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team), Marie-Helene Premont (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek). The surprise announcement is that Willow Koerber is not racing as she’s pregnant. Sorry we’ve had technical problems delaying our coverage.
The riders are off as Switzerland’s Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) jumps out in front with U23 rider Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry) from France in tow and a pack with Pendrel and Premont close behind.
Bresset looks eager and has taken over the lead.
Bresset comes thru in 18:14 as China’s Chengyuan Ren (Specialized Racing) has moved up quickly from the back (47th place) into second with Russia’s Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) in third.
Thru the lap Pendrel has moved up into 3rd with Kalentieva in 4th. Near the end of the lap Ren catches Bresset and takes over the lead. Premont is around 10th and Batty’s in the 20s.
China’s Ren now has a gap on Bresset with Pendrel at around 20s in third with Kalentieva in 4th and Eva Lechner (Sui) in 5th.
Ren continues to take control as Bresse is chasing with Pendrel and Kalentieva behind. Lyne Byberg (Nor) Specialized has moved into 5th with Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro taking over 6th.
Premont is in the top 10 and Batty has moved up into 19th. Amanda Sin (Canada) is in the 40s as she crashed during lap 2 but looks ok.
Ren continues to lead with Bresset at 20s as Pendrel and Kalentieva battle for third.
Kalentieva has been riding Pendrel’s wheel letting the Canadian do the work and attacked on a climb to take over 3rd.
Canada’s Premont is in 7th now at 2:27 and Batty is 18th at 4:11.
Lap 5 Final
Ren extends her lead as she begins the last lap with almost 30s on Bresset. At around 1 minute it’s Kalentieva in third and Pendrel in 4th.
Byberg is 5th followed by Schneitter in 6th with Premont in 7th, Germany’s Sandra Spitz (Central Haibike Pro Team) is 8th, Lechner is 9th.
1. Chengyuan Ren (Chn) Specialized Racing 1:32:36
2. Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry 1:06
3. Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 2:18
4. Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team 2:44
5. Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Racing 3:16
6. Nathalie Schneitter (Sui) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol 5:01
7. Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Haibike Pro Team 5:18
8. Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) CCC Polkowice 5:26
9. Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain 5:33
10. Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team 5:57
11. Esther Süss (Sui) Wheeler-iXS pro team
12. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 6:24
13. Annika Langvad (Den) 6:30
14. Rosara Joseph (NZl) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 6:36
15. Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol 7:02
16. Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek 7:13
17. Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Orbea Geax 7:19
18. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team 7:31
19. Katrin Leumann (Sui) Ghost Factory Racing Team 8:04
20. Annie Last (Gbr) British National TEam 8:40
21. Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team 9:04
22. Anna Szafraniec (Pol) CCC Polkowice 9:35
23. Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda Seven Notubes 10:16
24. Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek 10:24
25. Alexandra Engen (Swe) 10:25
26. Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 10:37
27. Nina Homovec (Slo) Orbea Geax 11:02
28. Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry 11:33
29. Sarah Koba (Sui) Giant Swiss SR-Suntour 11:42
30. Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Central Haibike Pro Team 11:58
31. Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) Central Haibike Pro Team 12:20
32. Rie Katayama (Jpn) 12:29
33. Hanna Klein (Ger) 12:38
34. Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) CCC Polkowice 13:03
35. Amanda Sin (Can) Team Canada 13:20
36. Laura Turpijn (Ned) Team Merida Combee 13:28
37. Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Sui) Bikepark.Ch Scott 15:01
38. Silke Schmidt (Ger) 16:15
39. Krista Park (USA) 16:31
40. Anna Villar Argente (Esp) 16:48
41. Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 17:11
42. Vera Andreeva (Rus) 17:29
43. Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team 19:18
44. Oksana Rybakova (Rus) 20:01
45. Cécile Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix 21:11
46. Katherine O’Shea (Aus) -1 lap
47. Nicoletta De Jager (Ned) -1 lap
48. Inbar Ronen (Isr) -1 lap
49. Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team -1 lap
50. Stephanie Wiedner (Aut) -1 lap
51. Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Esp) -1 lap
52. Judith Pollinger (Ita) Infotre – Bi&Esse- Leecougan -1 lap
53. Samantha Sanders (RSA) -1 lap
54. Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team -2 laps
DNF Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team
DNF Anja Gradl (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team
DNS Willow Koerber (USA) Trek World Racing