MTB World Cup Round 6

MTB World Cup Round 6

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Miss out on the live feed from Mt. St. Anne? Fear not, because we've got the reports from Downhill, Fourcross and Cross Country, along with video highlights.

CROSS COUNTRY | Results - Men - Women

Julien Absalon confirmed his status as absolute favourite for the World Championships, with an emphatic win in Mt. St. Anne, Canada at round five of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. From the gun Ralf Naef got his trademark lead and for a lap looked very comfortable with over thirty seconds lead. His strength was noted by Absalon however, who was caught in traffic on lap one and would not underestimate Naef as the race entered lap two.

Making a concerted attack, within half a lap Absalon was on Naef's wheel and by the bridge was ready to launch a devastating attack. For a moment Naef looked like an amateur with an effort sure to kill his morale. Behind it was the chasing duo of Jose Hermida and Geoff Kabush. For a short time Kabush looked good for second, but as Naef slipped back into fourth, Hermida rose through to second and maintained a solid gap of just thirty seconds to Absalon from lap three to the finish.

After the race Absalon commented that he enjoyed the technical course - something that Hermida echoed. "It was a beautiful course" the Spaniard said "but for some reason one where I can only come second to Absalon. But the fact that I held a consistent gap and only lost time in the beginning of the race gives me some confidence."

The course was however, not a good one for the Brit riders. British Champion Liam Killeen dropped out following a poor first lap, while Oli Beckingsale had a spectacular accident while riding into the top thirty. It's reported that a stick became embedded in Beckingsale's head - something which will have to be surgically removed. Whatever the story, it was clear that Oli was in a bad way as he was walked from the course with a heavily bloodied jersey and large dressing to his scalp.

Latest News: We've just had a mail from the stickman himself, who had this to report:

"Just read the BC report and happy to say it was not quite that bad. I cashed on the 'easier' rock option, the problem was that there was a piece of board walk with no chicken wire and this was getting super slick, I lost the front wheel and went over the edge and landed on loads of rocks and trees that had been cut back.

Somehow something went through my ear and caught my head too. Nothing that several stitches wont fix, it bled alot, it hurts alot and if you're having dinner with me best to sit on my good left side! But see no reason why i will not be racing next week in Bromont."

While it was a drying race that faced the men, the women faced the toughest track of the day with heavy rain making the already technical track a dangerfield. Catherine Pendrel - winner at Bromont 2008 - took her second career World Cup win in Mt. St. Anne, leading from the front and taking her chances on the slick course. Overall leader Marga Fullana faced a tough day and would finish in the twenties - a very uncharacteristic performance, but her biggest rival and standout favourite for the race - Marie Helene Premont - had a slow puncture and problems with her fork lockout, leading to a disappointing tenth place.

This meant that the podium was completed by Irina Kalentieva, showing the kind of form that helped her to the World Champions' title in 2007. She was followed by Katerina Nash, Lene Byberg and in fifth, a standout ride by Willow Koerber.

Sole British competitor was Sue Clarke who finished her second World Cup of the year in 34th position. This was good progress, considering her 52nd position in Houffalize two months previous, and Sue will race again next week in Bromont.

FOURCROSS | Results - Men - Women

Jared Graves and Anneke Beerten took the wins on the most technical fourcross track to date, in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada. On a track that was nearly a minute long and featured rock gardens and slabs amongst the usual mix of berms, logs, rhythm sections and a pro-line this was a real test for the best in the world.

The early rounds were deceiving with few crashes and mostly single-file racing, but as we got into the semi's riders became more desperate for the win, taking any risk to avoid the small finals. Unfortunately Scott Beaumont wouldn't make it that far - a mistake in the second corner stuck behind Dan Atherton the factor in that. However Junior rider Bernard Kerr would make his first ever small final and finish eighth - his highest ever World Cup appearance.

The main final was left for Jared Graves who made it look easy as Alvarez, Slavic and Rinderknecht made mistakes and hit the deck, handily just as they were getting close to Graves. That matters for nothing now though as Graves has secured his first major goal of the year; winning the World Cup fourcross series with an unassailable lead.

For the women it is a far closer contest - Jill Kintner and Anneke Beerten locked in a battle for the overall title. Beerten took the win in MSA, but it would have been closer had Kintner not washed out on the rocks with a flat tyre. A great return was made by Ffionn Griffiths who, after a couple of poor results found her way back onto the second step of the podium.

Latest Results

Men's Finals

1 Jared Graves
2 Rafa Alvarez
3 Tomas Slavik
4 Roger Rinderknecht

Men's Small Final

1 Dan Atherton
2 Joost Wichman
3 Filip Polc
4 Bernard Kerr

Women's Finals

1 Anneke Beerten
2 Ffionn Griffiths
3 Joanna Petersson
4 Jill Kintner

Women's Small Final

1 Melissa Buhl
2 Anita Molcik
3 Sara Huntington
4 Mio Suemasa

DOWNHILL | Results - Men - Women

Sam Hill destroyed the downhill opposition in Mt. St. Anne, taking the win by three seconds and with it the overall lead in the Mountain Bike World Cup. Last man down, the pressure was on Hill who was yet to score a World Cup win in 2009 and with Steve Peat in the hotseat, only a Sam Hill masterclass would do.

From the gate Hill looked composed and despite clocking a speed 2kmp/h slower then Peat through the trap, was up by over two seconds at the split. Through the rock garden Hill was by far the fastest, smoothing his way to the win over a dejected Peat.

But while the Brit - who crashed out of the British Championships seven days previous - did concede the victory, he would improve his position in the overall, holding second and narrowing the gap to first to just four points. That was entirely thanks to outgoing leader Greg Minnaar receiving his share of bad luck in MSA, with a flat tyre in qualifying and a slow top sector resulting in a lowly 22nd spot finish and throwing the World Cup competition wide open.

That might be nerve-wracking for the riders, but for the viewers it's great news as the series heads to Bromont in just seven days for the penultimate round.

For the women it was another great ride by Sabrina Jonnier who extended her lead in the overall standings to her nearest rival Emmeline Ragot. Ragot looked comfortable in the hotseat despite riding the race with a broken ankle and would only be beaten by Jonnier - the final rider down. Tracy Moseley put together a solid run to finish third, but it wasn't enough to worry either Frenchwomen - both of which have dominated the World Cup podium through 2009.

Latest Results:

Senior Men's Downhill - Finals

1. Sam Hill 4.38.44
2. Steve Peat +0.03.04
3. Aaron Gwin +0.04.47
4. Gee Atherton +0.05.07
5. Fabien Barel +0.06.19
6. Chris Kovarik +0.07.09
7. Steve Smith +0.07.95
8. Brendan Fairclough +0.08.14

22. Greg Minnaar N/A

UCI World Cup Overall Standings

1. Sam Hill 1039
2. Steve Peat 1035
3. Greg Minnaar 973
4. Gee Atherton 931
5. Mick Hannah 821

Senior Women's Downhill - Finals

1. Sabrina Jonnier 5.26.50
2. Emmeline Ragot +0.03.79
3. Tracy Moseley +0.04.77
4. Celine Gros +0.09.91
5. Floriane Pugin +0.10.21
6. Mio Suemasa +0.12.07
7. Melissa Buhl +0.20.28
8. Emilie Siegenthaler +0.21.14

UCI World Cup Overall Standings

1. Sabrina Jonnier 1382
2. Emmeline Ragot 1115
3. Tracy Moseley 966
4. Celine Gros 726
5. Floriane Pugin 714
6. Mio Suemasa 650
7. Ffionn Griffiths 480