UCI Mountain Bike World Cup - XCO - Round 7 - Val d'Isere
Event: 28 July 2012
Location: Val d'Isere, France
Great Britain Podium Programme riders Liam Killeen and Annie Last made the journey to Val d'Isere in France for the final round of the UCI Mountain Bike World cup, and their last chance to compete at elite level prior to the Olympic Mountain Bike races on 11 and 12 August.
British Cycling Podium Programme rider Annie Last has finished her World Cup campaign on a high, finishing third in the final round of the 2012 UCI XCO series in Val d’Isere.
Gunn Rita Dahle took the victory, the 39 year old Norwegian superstar taking the lead in the early stages and never looking troubled for the win. Julie Bresset took second after pressing hard to stay in contact with Dahle throughout – a late crash from Dahle offering a glimmer of hope to the French rider.
Last lay in fifth position after two laps and pushed on into the latter half of the race, staged on a beautiful course in the French ski resort, a technical section throughout the village contrasting with the epic open sections through the Alpine pastures.
The 21 year old from Bakewell, honing her form ahead of the Olympic Mountain Bike race in Hadleigh on 11 August, continued to press into the final stages of the race as rain began to fall, finishing strongly, 1:09 behind Gunn Rita Dahle and just 20 seconds behind Bresset.
Despite a lacklustre performance on the day, Catherine Pendrel took the overall World Cup win, with Last’s podium finish securing 7th place in the rankings for the British rider.
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa 1:32.07
2 Julie Bresset @ 0:46
3 Annie Last @ 1:09
4 Emily Batty @ 1:34
5 Georgia Gould @ 2:26
6 Sabine Spitz @ 3:13
7 Elisabeth Osl @ 3:33
8 Esther Suss @ 4:05
Final World Cup Standings
1 Catherine Pendrel
2 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
3 Katerina Nash
4 Julie Bresset
5 Georgia Gould
6 Emily Batty
7 Anne Last
8 Marie-Helene Premont
Nino Schurter took victory in the Elite Men’s race and with it, the overall World Cup victory. The Swiss rider led at the start in the torrential rain, before a strong charge from Fontana saw the Italian rider take the lead. Schurter took a fall in the slippery conditions but didn’t falter and was soon back in control, locked in a duel with Fontana. Following the pair was Vogel, Hermida, Ramos, Fluckiger and Fumic. Burry Stander, Schurter’s closest World Cup rival was in 7th after a poor start.
An hour into the race, Schurter led Fontana by a second and eventually gapped the Italian. Into the final lap, Schurter pressed on as Fontana fell into the clutches of Fluckiger who had piled on the gas as the race progressed, the Italian eventually overhauled by Swiss Trek World Racing rider as his countryman Schurter sealed World Cup victory.
British Cycling Podium Programme rider David Fletcher finished 57th. Liam Killeen did not start due to illness.
1 Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower 1:34:03
2 Lukas Flueckiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 0:00:13
3 Marco Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:00:33
4 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:01:17
5 Jose Antonio Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida 0:01:22
6 Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower 0:01:49
7 Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized 0:02:16
8 Ralf Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida 0:02:28
9 Stephan Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi 0:02:54
10 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Wildwolf 0:03:08
57 David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey-Cannondale 0:12:34
Liam Killeen (GBr) DNS