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Kabush, Byberg score 1st World Cup wins

Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) took aim at a first-ever World Cup win and hit his target in round 6 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, held Sunday in Bromont, Quebec. Lene Byberg (Specialized) also took her maiden World Cup win, thanks to power, prowess and an 11th-hour tire switch when she decided that mud would become a factor.

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By Wendy Booher

2009 Bromont WC: Geoff Kabush became the first Canadian man to win a World Cup race at Bromont.

2009 Bromont WC: Geoff Kabush became the first Canadian man to win a World Cup race at Bromont.

Photo: ©Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com

Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) took aim at a first-ever World Cup win and hit his target in round 6 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, held Sunday in Bromont, Quebec.

Lene Byberg (Specialized) also took her maiden World Cup win, thanks to power, prowess and an 11th-hour tire switch when she decided that mud would become a factor.

Heavy rain began falling at the start of the first climb in the men’s race, turning the long ascent into a search for the proper blend of power and traction. The reward for those who made it to the top was a brief downhill leading to wooded single-track.

“On the first lap I was in fifth or sixth. I was about 10 seconds back from (Julien) Absalon but I really had a lot in reserve,” Kabush said.

By the climb on the second lap, Kabush had advanced to within 20 bike lengths of the Orbea rider and each fought fiercely against the muddy slope in hopes of overpowering the other.

2009 Bromont WC: Lene Byberg worked her way through the field to take a 2 1/2 minute lead to the line.

2009 Bromont WC: Lene Byberg worked her way through the field to take a 2 1/2 minute lead to the line.

Photo: ©Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com

Kabush seizes his chance

Then Absalon’s chain snapped and he was gone, leaving Kabush to seize the lead.

“It was scary being out in front because I’ve never been there before but everything worked, everything was super smooth,” said Kabush, who went on to build a lead of nearly two minutes by the end of the race.

Another threat to Kabush, Spain’s José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida), flew through four laps without reliable brakes and was hovering around sixth place between crashes.

“Today I was really strong from the beginning but I had no brakes from the first lap,” Ramos explained. “I would catch a position then crash and lose it. I was 30 seconds back, but around the fourth or fifth lap, I thought, ‘If I fix my brakes now and lose time but push it to the limit, I think I will do OK.'”

2009 Bromont WC: Jose Hermida overcame early technical difficulties with an amazing last lap to grab the silver medal.

2009 Bromont WC: Jose Hermida overcame early technical difficulties with an amazing last lap to grab the silver medal.

Photo: ©Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com

And so he did. Ramos rode his ultimate lap faster than the previous five, overhauling Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing), Scott-Swisspower teammates Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel, and his own teammate Ralph Näf to score a distant second place behind Kabush.

Among the indistinguishable, mud-slimed racers trailing Kabush, Absalon doggedly pursued a decent finish to collect enough points to keep his series lead.

“I broke my chain after the first tech area and ran to the second tech area — about 2 kilometers,” Absalon said. “I fell back to around 35th place but finished 17th. It was important to gain points, so to finish is good for something.”

With his win in Bromont, Kabush climbs to seventh from 14th place in the series while Absalon holds firmly on to first.

2009 Bromont WC: Emily Batty of Canada was the top U23 woman of the day.

2009 Bromont WC: Emily Batty of Canada was the top U23 woman of the day.

Photo: ©Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com

It’s all in Byberg’s head

The women’s race shaped up early when a group of six led by Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) set a blistering race pace. Series leader Catharine Pendrel (Luna), along with Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon), world champion Margarita Fullana (Massi), Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles) and Byberg chased down Koerber and a new leader, Kalentieva, took her place at the front.

“On the second lap, I was first with Pendrel,” said Kalentieva. “The third lap came and Lene passed me on the first climb. She was strong; we did the third lap together but by the end, she had gained a lead. By the fifth lap, there was no chance of catching her.”

Byberg rode in third place nearing the end of lap two but overtook both Pendrel and Kalentieva by lap three. With only two bike lengths distancing her from Kalentieva, Byberg punched up the speed on climbs and sustained an even pace with few mistakes to stuff more time into her widening lead.

2009 Bromont WC:   Irena Kalentieva took her second World Cup silver medal in a row at Bromont.

2009 Bromont WC: Irena Kalentieva took her second World Cup silver medal in a row at Bromont.

Photo: ©Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com

One of the few racers on a dual-suspension rig, Byberg credited her controlled pace and a last-minute tire choice as key to her best finish ever.

“That’s kind of my style of riding,” Byberg said. “So many girls blow it at the start; I ride a lot with my head — I looked at the weather and saw that there would be a heavy rain at about the middle of the race so I chose mud tires and was probably the only one out there riding dual suspension.

“I’m not the fastest starter but my legs were incredible today; I think I had only a couple of meters ahead in lap two but I was able to stay ahead for the rest of the race.”

Byberg won by a gaping 2:35 ahead of Kalentieva while Pendrel, who finished third, graciously accepted the end to a three-week winning streak.

“From the first lap with Margarita, Willow, and Irina I felt like I had good legs and I tried to use them to get away,” Pendrel said. “But every time I tried I’d slip up and fall back.”

2009 Bromont WC: Marie-Helene Premont enjoyed the sunshine at the start of the race, before the rains came.

2009 Bromont WC: Marie-Helene Premont enjoyed the sunshine at the start of the race, before the rains came.

Photo: ©Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com

In a pre-race interview, Pendrel pointed out that yet again that the race ultimately comes down to who has the best legs that day. If there had to come a day for Kabush and Byberg, Sunday was that day.

Women
1. Lene Byberg (Specialized)
2. Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon)
3. Catharine Pendrel (Luna)
4. Elisabeth Osl (Central Ghost)
5. Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles)

Men
1. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
2. José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multivan Merida)
3. Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida)
4. Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower)
5. Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing)

Photo Gallery

Results

Men’s Results Click for: Women’s results

  • 1. Geoff Kabush in 1:52:39
  • 2. José Antonio Hermida Ramos at 01:31
  • 3. Ralph Naef at 01:51
  • 4. Florian Vogel at 02:10
  • 5. Lukas FlÜckiger at 02:22
  • 6. Nino Schurter at 03:35
  • 7. Stander Burry at 03:43
  • 8. Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez at 04:39
  • 9. Todd Wells at 04:46
  • 10. Adam Craig at 05:10
  • 11. Cédric Ravanel at 05:43
  • 12. Carlos Coloma Nicolas at 05:47
  • 13. Christoph Sauser at 06:00
  • 14. Chris Jongewaard at 06:06
  • 15. Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez at 06:45
  • 16. Vuillermoz Alexis at 06:50
  • 17. Julien Absalon Orbea at 07:14
  • 18. Jeremy Horgan-kobelski at 07:27
  • 19. Derek Zandstra at 07:44
  • 20. Jan Skarnitzl at 07:53
  • 21. Liam Killeen at 08:05
  • 22. Aurelio Fontana Marco at 08:56
  • 23. Martin Gujan at 09:46
  • 24. Ludovic Dubau at 10:01
  • 25. Andrew Watson at 10:07
  • 26. Milan Spesny at 11:02
  • 27. Bas Peters at 11:41
  • 28. Seamus Mcgrath at 11:44
  • 29. Fanger Martin at 11:50
  • 30. Marc Colom at 12:17
  • 31. Maxime Marotte at 12:24
  • 32. Christof Bischof ISD – Neri at 12:28
  • 33. Carl Decker at 12:32
  • 34. Michael Broderick at 12:32
  • 35. Canal Fabien at 13:00
  • 36. Stéphane Tempier at 13:46
  • 37. Rotem Ishai at 13:55
  • 38. Luttenberg Irjan at 14:08
  • 39. Samuel Schultz at 14:10
  • 40. Gagne Raphael at 14:15
  • 41. Roel Paulissen at 14:16
  • 42. Kaufmann Lukas at 14:53
  • 43. Renay Groustra at 15:26
  • 44. Vinit Guillaume at 15:31
  • 45. Matthew Hadley at 16:02
  • 46. Wubben Niels at 17:25
  • 47. Stefan Widmer at 25:07
  • 48. Giuseppe Lamastra at -1LAP
  • 49. Barry Wicks Team Konica Minolta / Bizhub at -1LAP
  • 50. Eric Batty at -1LAP
  • 51. Kris Sneddon Team Konica Minolta / Bizhub at -1LAP
  • 52. Benoit Simard at -1LAP
  • 53. Cristobal Silva Ibaceta at -1LAP
  • 54. Ploeg Paul Van Der at -1LAP
  • 55. Andrew Blair at -1LAP
  • 56. Martin Lazarski at -1LAP
  • 57. Juan Pedro Trujillo Hernandez at -1LAP
  • 58. Bjorn Brems at -1LAP
  • 59. Julien Fillion at -1LAP
  • 60. Haas Nathan at -1LAP
  • 61. Craig Richey at -1LAP
  • 62. Patxi Cia Apezteguia at -1LAP
  • 63. Gilmour Ethan at -1LAP
  • 64. Robert Mennen at -1LAP
  • 65. Umberto Corti at -1LAP
  • 66. Jette Cameron at -1LAP
  • 67. Peter Glassford at -1LAP
  • 68. Jiri Hudecek at -2LAP
  • 69. Pierre Lebreton at -2LAP
  • 70. Norris Lachlan at -2LAP
  • 71. Cowie Tristan at -2LAP
  • 72. Mark Leishman at -2LAP
  • 73. Andrew Freye at -2LAP
  • 74. Snyder Aaron at -2LAP
  • 75. Ettinger Stephen at -2LAP
  • 76. Livermon Travis at -2LAP
  • 77. Trudel Leni at -2LAP
  • 78. Daniel Sessford at -2LAP
  • 79. Nick Both at -2LAP
  • 80. Macky Franklin at -2LAP
  • 81. Manuel Prado Gutierrez at -2LAP
  • 82. Durie Charlton at -2LAP
  • 83. Kamler Josef at -2LAP
  • 84. Paul Robertson at -2LAP
  • 85. Squire Robbie at -2LAP
  • 86. Atkins Ryan at -2LAP
  • 87. Matous Ulman at -2LAP
  • 88. Cares Colin at -2LAP
  • 89. Geoffroy Plantet Pierre at -3LAP
  • 90. Daniel Mcconnell at -3LAP
  • 91. Brian Bain at -3LAP
  • 92. Victor Galvez Perez at -3LAP
  • 93. Mcconvey Connor at -3LAP
  • 94. Christoph Soukup at -3LAP

Women’s results | Click for: Men’s results

  • 1. Lene Byberg in 1:45:58
  • 2. Irina Kalentieva at 02:35
  • 3. Catharine Pendrel at 03:13
  • 4. Elisabeth Osl at 03:31
  • 5. Mary Mcconneloug at 03:50
  • 6. Katherine Compton at 04:08
  • 7. Willow Koerber at 04:41
  • 8. Georgia Gould at 05:46
  • 9. Katerina Nash at 07:38
  • 10. Cécile Rode Ravanel at 08:58
  • 11. Heather Irmiger at 09:16
  • 12. Lea Davison at 09:50
  • 13. Marie-helene Premont at 11:12
  • 14. Katrin Leumann at 12:01
  • 15. Batty Emily at 12:07
  • 16. Amanda Sin at 13:14
  • 17. Laura Metzler at 13:57
  • 18. Sabrina Enaux at 14:08
  • 19. Mani Caroline at 15:01
  • 20. Krasniak Julie at 17:57
  • 21. Laura Turpijn at 18:15
  • 22. Hurikova Tereza at 18:42
  • 23. Katherine O’shea at 20:22
  • 24. Forsman Chloe at 21:11
  • 25. Nicola Leary at 28:17
  • 26. Rowena Fry at 28:51
  • 27. Mical Dyck at -1LAP
  • 28. Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet at -1LAP
  • 29. Karine Travaillaud at -1LAP
  • 30. Helene Marcouyre at -1LAP
  • 31. Caroline Villeneuve at -1LAP
  • 32. Beaumont Reb