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Fullana wins Andorra XC

Marga Fullana (Massi) became the fourth World Cup winner in four races this season, with a completely dominating performance Saturday at VallNord in Andorra. Another breakthrough for Pendrel Canada's Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) finished third behind Eva Lechner (Colnago), but added to her lead in the overall standings. Catharine Pendrel (Luna) put a second Canadian rider on the podium with her best ever World Cup result in fourth place.

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By Rob Jones

2008 Andorra WC: Marga Fullana

2008 Andorra WC: Marga Fullana

Photo: Rob Jones

Marga Fullana (Massi) became the fourth World Cup winner in four races this season, with a completely dominating performance Saturday at VallNord in Andorra.

Another breakthrough for Pendrel
Canada’s Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) finished third behind Eva Lechner (Colnago), but added to her lead in the overall standings. Catharine Pendrel (Luna) put a second Canadian rider on the podium with her best ever World Cup result in fourth place.

Ren Chengyuan (China) continues to lead the U23 standings, despite a disastrous day that saw her finish a distant 32nd.

2008 Andorra WC: Catharine Pendrel (Luna) was fourth

2008 Andorra WC: Catharine Pendrel (Luna) was fourth

Photo: Rob Jones

After two days of sun, everyone was starting to hope that the rain which has plagued the region had moved on. However, a hour before the start, a light rain began to fall, which turned into a steady pour by the time the starter fired his gun.

The rain did slacken and eventually stop halfway through the shortened race (to five laps from six), but the damage had been done, with the grassy slopes of the steepest climb slippery, and the roots and rocks in the woods slimy with mud.

2008 Andorra WC: Eva Lechner (Colnago) was second.

2008 Andorra WC: Eva Lechner (Colnago) was second.

Photo: Rob Jones

For Premont, the bigger problem was the cold. She had an uncharacteristically slow start, back in eighth place by the halfway point of the first lap, while Fullana and Lechner were charging off the front.

“I was very, very cold,” she said afterwards, still shivering despite a jacket. “I could not feel my fingers for the first three laps, and I could not shift or brake. Without the cold I think I could have done much better.”

She gradually made her way up to join Lechner, followed closely by Pendrel (who couldn’t clip into her pedal at the start), but they were over a minute down on Fullana, who was looking much less stressed at both the temperature and the 2000 metre (6500′) altitude.

Other early chasers, including Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago), Lui Ying (China) and Laurence Leboucher (France) — who led for a while on the first lap – fell back on the second and third laps as the altitude and high pace took their toll.

2008 Andorra WC:Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) finished third  and increased her World Cup lead.

2008 Andorra WC:Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) finished third and increased her World Cup lead.

Photo: Rob Jones

With one lap to go, Fullana was over two minutes up on Lechner, Premont and Pendrel, and Pendrel was starting to get gapped by the other two as they attacked each other on the climbs. Fullana cruised in to victory, losing a few seconds as she savoured the win. It was her first World Cup win since Champery (Switzerland) last year, and her last win before that was 2002 in Les Gets, France.

It was on the steepest climb that Premont made a tactical mistake that allowed Lechner to get away for second.

“I was stronger on the steep climb I think, and I tried to go by her. But there was really only one track, and I got off it and it was too slippery, and I had to walk my bike to the top, which killed my legs.”

For Pendrel, it was another breakthrough in a breakthrough season, as she recorded the fastest lap of the race (the second, as she chased up to the leaders).

“I had a really poor start because I couldn’t clip in, but that may have been a blessing, because i was able to start a little slower and pace myself as I moved up. When I caught up to Marie-Helene’s wheel with two laps to go, and then we caught Eva, I could see that a podium was possible. It was just so close!”

Mary McConneloug (Kenda) was the top U.S. finisher in 14th place, just behind Canada’s Kiara Bisaro (Opus) in 13th.

Photo Gallery

Results


Women’s results:

1. Margarita Fullana ((Esp)), Massi at s.t.
2. Eva Lechner ((Ita)), Colnago Cap Arreghini at at1:42
3. Marie-Helene Premont ((Can)), Rocky Mountain at 1:54
4. Catherine Pendrel ((Can)), Luna Womens Mtb Team at 2:18
5. Nathalie Schneitter ((Sui)), Colnago Cap Arreghini at 3:16
6. Katerina Nash ((Cze)), Luna Womens Mtb Team at 3:40
7. Tereza Hurikova ((Cze)), Ceska Sporitelna Mtb at 4:14
8. Petra Henzi ((Sui)), Fischer-Bmc at 4:24
9. Laurence Leboucher ((Fra)), at 4:39
10. Nina Homovec ((Slo)), Slovenia National Team at 5:37
11. Katrin Leumann ((Sui)), Goldwurst-Power / Sputnik at 6:09
12. Ying Liu ((Chn)), Chinese National Team at 6:27
13. Kiara Bisaro ((Can)), Opus at 6:59
14. Mary Mc Conneloug ((USA)), Kenda Seven at 7:16
15. Cécile Rode Ravanel ((Fra)), Team Lapierre Internation at 7:30
16. Blaza Klemencic ((Slo)), Giant Italia Team at 8:11
17. Georgia Gould ((USA)), Luna Womens Mtb Team at 8:30
18. Anna Villar Argente ((Esp)), Massi at 8:52
19. Adelheid Morath ((Ger)), at 9:33
20. Willow Koerber ((USA)), Subaru-Gary Fisher at 10:00
21. Sabrina Enaux ((Fra)), Team Lapierre International at 10:16
22. Maria Osl ((Aut)), Sunshine Racers Asv Nals at 10:47
23. Tanja Zakelj ((Slo)), at 11:14
24. Lea Davison ((USA)), Trek-VW at 11:31
25. Maroussia Rusca ((Sui)), at 11:40
26. Ivonne Kraft ((Ger)), Joybike / Mbc Bochum at 11:58
27. Heather Irmiger ((USA)), Subaru-Gary Fisher at 12:02
28. Julie Bresset ((Fra)), Breiz Mountain at 12:03
29. Sandra Walter ((Can)), X.O. Felt at 12:32
30. Sandra Santanyes Murillo ((Esp)), Cemelorca-Seguros10.Com at 13:28
31. Julie Krasniak ((Fra)), Team Lapierre Internation at 13:47
32. Chengyuan Ren ((Chn)), Chinese National Team at 14:19
33. Wendy Simms ((Can)), Kona at 15:19
34. Francisca Campos Salas ((Chi)), Massi at 15:32
35. Katrin Schwing ((Ger)), Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike at 15:43
36. Caroline Mani ((Fra)), at 15:46
37. Rocio Gamonal Ferrera ((Esp)), at 16:01
38. Sarah Koba ((Sui)), at 16:53
39. Alexandra Engen ((Swe)), at 17:08
40. Susan Haywood ((USA)), Trek-VW at 17:33
41. Githa Michiels ((Bel)), at 18:18
42. Cristina Mascarreras Sabria ((Esp)), Conor – Camping La Siesta at 19:22
43. Zoe King ((Aus)), at 19:38
44. Jingjing Wang ((Chn)), Chinese National Team at -1Lap
45. Neus Parcerissas ((Esp)), at s.t.
46. Kate Potter ((Aus)), at s.t.
47. Laure Boulay ((Fra)), Team Cibf Keops at s.t.
48. Janka Stevkova ((Svk)), at s.t.
49. Emma Colson ((Aus)), at s.t.
50. Fiona Macdermid ((GBr)), at s.t.
51. Sandra Dolcerocca ((Den)), at s.t.
52. Ruth Moll Marques ((Esp)), at s.t.
53. Rocio Martin Rodriguez ((Esp)), at s.t.
54. Jennifer Fischer ((Fra)), Team Cibf Keops at -2Laps
55. Asa Maria Erlandsson ((Swe)), Subaru-Gary Fisher at s.t.
56. Liliana Alejandra Uzcategui Vasquez ((Ven)), at s.t.
57. Daniela Bunzli Rojas ((Chi)), at s.t.
58. Athina Chatzistyli ((Gre)), at -3Laps
DNF. Nina Wrobel ((Ger)), Multivan Merida Biking Team
DNF. Mercé Tusell Quevedo ((Esp)), Massi
DNS. Elisabeth Osl ((Aut)), Team Ghost International
.

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