Road To 2012
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCE/XCO
Round 4: La Bresse, France
Posted 18 May 2012
Words And Photography By Luke Webber
UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country Eliminator World Cup Round 3 Results:
Men | Women
UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country Olympic World Cup Round 4 Results:
Junior Women | Under 23 Men | Junior Men | Elite Men | Elite Women
British Cycling Olympic Academy athlete Annie Last recorded her best cross country result in 2012 and in the process all but qualified the first British woman to the Olympic Games since Sydney 2000 in an historic weekend for the Olympic Performance Programme.
Last finished eighth place in La Bresse on a course in contrast to previous rounds. Featuring a steep extended climb and a descent including sections from the previous downhill world cup events hosted on the same hillside, the course was the most physically demanding of 2012 to date.
Forcing riders to be conservative in their approach in order to avoid mistakes and crashes, Last rode with the lead group in the early stages, but mistakes on the descent left her alone in sixth position. With no chance of regaining contact with the podium places, Last set about an individual race, finishing eighth after a long battle with Georgia Gould, Katrin Leumann and Emily Batty.
With Olympic qualification all but confirmed (the UCI will finalise the rankings table on May 23), Last and British Cycling's Olympic Mountain Bike Coach Phil Dixon can focus on London 2012 after completing the first aim of a five year project.
In the men's race British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete David Fletcher scored his career best result in senior racing finishing 44th with Liam Killeen 25th.
After a nightmare race in Nove Mesto, Grant Ferguson returned to the top-25 in La Bresse, moving up from 35th on the grid. Ferguson was the top-placed British Cycling Olympic Academy athlete, with Kenta Gallagher one lap down in 70th.
In the junior racing Olympic Development Programme Athlete Bethany Crumpton continued her consistent results with 15th place, while the first year junior men gained further international experience in a World Cup environment.
1 Julien Absalon (FRA) 1.37.33
2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) +.7
3 Ralph Naef (SUI) +.30
25 Liam Killeen (GBR) +6.26
44 David Fletcher (GBR) +10.18
1 Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa (NOR)
2 Katerina Nash (CZE)
3 Julie Bresset (FRA)
8 Annie Last (GBR)
1 Alexander GEHBAUER (AUT) 1:22:24
2 Markus SCHULTE-LUENZUM (GER) +1:37
3 Matthias STIRNEMANN (SUI) +2:01
25 Grant FERGUSON (GBR) +6:44
70 Kenta GALLAGHER (GBR) -1LAP
1 Perrine CLAUZEL (FRA) 1:05:20
2 Margot MOSCHETTI (FRA) +1:05
3 Sofia WIEDENROTH (GER) +1:49
15 Bethany CRUMPTON (GBR) +8.58
1 Victor KORETZKY (FRA) 1:15:20
2 Dominic ZUMSTEIN (SUI) +13
3 Titouan CAROD (FRA) +17
55 Michael THOMPSON (GBR) +12:05
73 Iain PATON (GBR) +14:05
107 Alexander Welburn (GBR) -1LAP
DNF Tom EVANS (GBR)