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Sauser, Dahle triumph in Scottish World Cup

For the third consecutive week Gunn-Rita Dahle (Merida) won the women's World Cup cross-country race, and for the third consecutive week there was a new winner in the men's race, with Christoph Sauser (Siemens Mobile Cannondale) soloing in ahead of teammate and World Cup leader Roel Paulissen. It was no surprise to see Dahle off the front by the end of the first of four laps, but the woman chasing her was new: Marie-Helene Premont (Oryx). Premont rode an impressive race - only her third of the season - and only conceded 1:46 to Dahle by the end, the closest result of this season. "I was

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By Rob Jones, Special to VeloNews

Dahle dominates once more

Dahle dominates once more

Photo: Mark Dawson

For the third consecutive week Gunn-Rita Dahle (Merida) won the women’s World Cup cross-country race, and for the third consecutive week there was a new winner in the men’s race, with Christoph Sauser (Siemens Mobile Cannondale) soloing in ahead of teammate and World Cup leader Roel Paulissen.

It was no surprise to see Dahle off the front by the end of the first of four laps, but the woman chasing her was new: Marie-Helene Premont (Oryx). Premont rode an impressive race – only her third of the season – and only conceded 1:46 to Dahle by the end, the closest result of this season.

“I was feeling very good from the start of the race,” said Dahle. “At the end of the first lap I was with Alison (Sydor), and I could tell she was not as strong, so I increased my pace. I knew I was strong on the hills, so that is where I went.”

Behind, a group consisting of Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Annabella Stropparo, Irina Kalentieva (Merida), Kiara Bisaro (GearsRacing.com), Elsbeth Van-Rooy Vink and world champion Sabine Spitz (Fusion) were fighting for third. Spitz came off first, blown after chasing up from a poor starting position, the result of not starting the first World Cup in Madrid (illness) and not finishing the second in Houffalize (mechanical).

The others rode together until the final 2km, when Sydor tried to get away. Bisaro managed to get by, but Kalentieva locked bars with Sydor and went down, blocking the others. Sydor managed to get on Bisaro’s wheel, but could not pass her.

“I could see that some of the other riders in our group were having a hard time on the climb with two kilometers to go, so I tried to get a gap,” said Sydor. “I was time-trialing at my limit, but Kiara got by and I couldn’t do anything more. I think it is just incredible that we were able to get three Canadians on the podium, and this sends a strong statement about our preparation for Athens.”

Premont surprised herself and everyone else by finishing second

Premont surprised herself and everyone else by finishing second

Photo: Mark Dawson

Bisaro seemed slightly stunned afterwards by her first podium appearance at a World Cup.

“That finish was the hardest sprint I have ever done,” she said. “I passed Alison and Irina in the last technical section, and I knew she was right behind me, so all I could do was go as hard as I could. I didn’t know the others weren’t there – I thought they were all chasing. I just think it is pretty cool that a development team like Gears Racing can get a rider on the podium at a World Cup. It shows that the program is working.”

Alison Dunlap (Luna), second last week in Houffalize, Belgium, dropped off the pace early and finished back in 20th place. The top American finisher was Mary McConneloug, in 11th.

In the overall World Cup standings, after three rounds, Dahle leads the women with a perfect score of 750 points, followed by Irina Kalentieva with 401 and Alison Sydor at 380, tied with Annabella Stropparo. Marie-Helene Premont is fifth with 370 points, and Kiara Bisaro seventh at 320 points.

Sauser, Paulissen do it again

Last week in Houffalize, Sauser and Paulissen were able to team time trial away from the rest of the field – so why not try it again? By the end of the first technical descent the duo had a 15-second gap and never looked back during the five-lap race.

Sauser was riding one slippery downhill better than his teammate, and waiting for him each time. With two laps to go, the wait was getting longer, so he kept going on his own to take his fifth World Cup win.

“Before the race, we talked about it (if the two were off the front), and said that if it comes together like last week, this time it is my turn to win,” Sauser said. “In the downhill I had a gap, and waited each time for Roel, but with two to go the gap was too big.

“This was good because it was my first solo World Cup win. Sometimes I think I am a little lazy, and am just waiting for the final attack, but this time I was the strongest.”

This time, it was Sauser's turn to win

This time, it was Sauser’s turn to win

Photo: Mark Dawson

World champion Filip Meirhaeghe (Specialized) chased on his own after the second lap, but continued to lose time to the front pair, and became content to protect his third place. Behind him it was a race of attrition, with Miguel Martinez (Commencal-Oxbow) dropping out after a crash and Julien Absalon (Bianchi Agos) abruptly pulling off while in 15th, saying he had no power in his legs.

Brit Liam Killeen (Subaru-Gary Fisher), the World Cup U23 leader, put in the best World Cup ride of his career to finish fourth in front of a cheering crowd, a few seconds in front of Jean-Christophe Peraud (Lapierre International) and Jose Hermida (Merida).

Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher), still working his way back into mountain biking after spending much of the spring riding on the road for U.S. Postal, started out strong with the front group, but had to stop on the first lap to pull his spare tube out of his rear wheel’s spokes after it became detached. After that he managed to work his way back forward to 13th, but was obviously disappointed and quickly disappeared after the race.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (RLX Ralph Lauren) ended up 21st, a result he was happy with after a poor showing the week before, when he crashed in the start.

“This week, I made it around the wreck!” he said. “I feel pretty good after last week, but it is tough racing every weekend for the last five, so I’m pleased with this race. It was a hard course, really hard, and the downhills got slippery. I hit a couple of trees but managed to stay up right.”

And misfortune struck Roland Green (Trek-VW) once again. In the first kilometer, he had to stop when an accident in front took down many riders; then, when he was chasing back to the main field with Moriz Milatz (Merida), a drunk spectator walked out in front of them, with both going down hard. Green was holding his right elbow, but fortunately an X-ray showed no damage other than deep cuts and bruising.

Paulissen now leads the World Cup with 650 points, followed by Sauser at 580 and Meirhaeghe at 570. Horgan-Kobelski is the top North American in 21st with 144 points, one point and position ahead of Ryder Hesjedal, followed by Mathieu Toulouse (GearsRacing.com) in 27th with 118 points.

Old and new in 4-cross

A huge crowd came out in wet conditions to watch the first 4-Cross World Cup of the season. To no one’s surprise, Anne Caroline Chausson (Commencal-Oxbow) dominated the women’s competition with Tara Llanes taking second, but the men’s final was a complete surprise, with none of the favorites making it through. Guido Tschugg (Fusion) won ahead of Sam Hill.

Chausson made it look easy as she worked her way through the heats, to face Llanes, Sabrina Jonnier and Katrina Miller in the final. First out of the gate, Chausson was only challenged once by Llanes at the halfway mark when she swung wide in a corner, but by the next corner she was back in control.

But Tschugg was the upset winner in the men's race

But Tschugg was the upset winner in the men’s race

Photo: Mark Dawson

Tschugg, Hill, Romain Saladini (Commencal-Oxbow) and Robin Baloochi made up the final four. Wade Bootes (Trek-VW) was taken out by Nathan Rennie in the third round, world champion Michal Prokop crashed in the same round and Steve Peat (Orange) lost a tight race in the semi-final after knocking Cedric Gracia (Siemens Mobile Cannondale) out.

Photo Gallery

Results

Results

Women

1. Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor), Multivan Merida Biking Team, 34.1km in 1:51:46

2. Marie-Helene Premont (Can), Oryx, at 1:46

3. Kiara Bisaro (Can), Gears Racing, at 3:11

4. Alison Sydor (Can), Rocky Mountain Business Objects, at s.t.

5. Irina Kalentieva (Rus), Multivan Merida Biking Team, at 3:29

6. Elsbeth Van Rooy-Vink (Ned), at 3:39

7. Maria Ostergren (Swe), at 4:25

8. Katrin Leumann (Swi), at 4:31

9. Annabella Stropparo (I), at 4:33

10. Barbara Blatter (Swi), Specialized, at 4:36

11. Mary McConneloug (USA), at 6:33

12. Nina Gohl (G), at 6:35

13. Sabine Spitz (G), Fusion, at 6:36

14. Barbel Jungmeier (A), at 6:39

15. Laurence Leboucher (F), at 7:05

16. Ivonne Kraft (G), at 7:28

17. Susan Haywood (USA), Trek-Volkswagen, at 7:40

18. Elena Giacomuzzi (I), at 7:55

19. Chrissy Redden (Can), Subaru-Gary Fisher, at 8:36

20. Alison Dunlap (USA), Luna, at 9:20

21. Sabrina Enaux (F), at 9:22

22. Severine Hansen (Fra), at 9:33

23. Janka Stevkova (Svk), at 9:55

24. Trish Sinclair (Can), Gears Racing, at 10:51

25. Lisa Mathison (Aus), at 11:02

6. Anna Enocsson (Swe), at 11:10

27. Laura Turpijn (Ned), at 11:55

28. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA), Luna, at 12:04

29. Cecile Rode (F), at 12:31

30. Petra Schorkmayer (A), at 12:34

31. Daniela Louis (Swi), at 12:39

32. Nadja Walker (Swi), at 13:22

33. Catherine Delfosse (B), at 14:22

34. Bernardine Boog Rauwerda (Ned), at 14:46

35. Regina Marunde (G), at 15:29

36. Elina Sophocleous (Cyp), at 16:04

37. Jenny McCauley (Irl), at 16:23

38. Janet Puiggros Miranda (Sp), at 16:52

39. Maaris Meier (Est), at 16:53

40. Sandra Klose (Ger), at 17:12

41. Melanie McQuaid (Can), Team Ford, at 18:27

42. Sonia Foote (NZ), at 18:49

43. Katrin Schwing (G), at 19:05

44. Petra Hofs (Ned), at 22:44

45. Tarja Owens (Irl), at 22:52

46. Ruth Mcgavigan (GB), at 25:20

47. Valentina Pazitova (Rus), at 27:19

48. Caroline James (GB), at 27:29

49. Katy Middlehurst (GB), at 27:29

50. Noelia Rodriguez (Arg), at 27:49

51. Hazel Wakefield (GB), at 28:34

52. Francisca Campos (Chi), at 29:59

53. Jenny Copnall (GB), at 39:13

54. Caroline Goward (GB), at –1 lap

Men

1. Christoph Sauser (Swi) Siemens Mobile Cannondale, 42.50km in 1:59:32

2. Roel Paulissen (B) Siemens Mobile Cannondale, at 1:24

3. Filip Meirhaeghe (B) Specialized, at 2:33

4. Liam Killeen (GB) Subaru-Gary Fisher, at 3:30

5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (F) Lapierre International, at 3:32

6. Jose Antonio Hermida (Sp) Merida, at 3:35

7. Lado Fumic (G) Team-T-Mobile, at 4:05

8. Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team, at 4:11

9. Bart Brentjens (Ned) Team-T-Mobile, at 4:15

10. Sid Taberlay (Aus), at 5:16

11. Manuel Fumic (G) Team-T-Mobile, at 5:50

12. Cedric Ravanel (F) Team Orbea, at 5:58

13. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Subaru-Gary Fisher, at 6:06

14. Marek Galinski (Pol) Team Orbea, at 6:15

15. Philip Tavell (Swe) Merida, at 6:31

16. Jakob Fuglsang (Den), at 7:07

17. Christoph Soukup (A), at 7:15

18. Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Sp) Team Orbea, at 7:19

19. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe), at 7:48

20. Bas Peters (Ned), at 7:51

21. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) RLX Ralph Lauren, at 8:27

22. Nicolas Filippi (F), at 8:38

23. Chris Jongewaard (Aus), at 8:44

24. Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Gears Racing, at 8:58

25. Josh Fleming (Aus), at 9:01

26. Jeremiah Bishop (USA), at 9:23

27. Peter Riis Andersen (Den), at 9:30

28. Carsten Bresser (G), at 9:35

29. Michael Weiss (A), at 9:47

30. Yury Trofimov (Rus), at 10:29

31. Stefan Sahm (G), at 10:45

32. Wolfram Kurschat (G), at 10:49

33. Erwin Bakker (Ned), at 10:53

34. Adam Craig (USA), at 11:06

35. Thys Al (Ned), at 11:16

36. Martin Gujan (Swi), at 11:36

37. Tim Bohme (G), at 11:40

38. Andreas Dilger (G), at 11:43

39. Silvio Bundi (Swi), at 11:45

40. Nick Craig (GB), at 11:46

41. Simon Richardson (GB), at 11:49

42. Craig Gordon (Aus), at 11:54

43. Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Sp), at 12:14

44. Frederic Frech (F), at 12:20

45. S. Mantecon Gutierrez (Sp), at 12:27

46. Jimmy Tielens (B), at 12:45

47. Seamus McGrath (Can) Haro-adidas, at 12:47

48. Marx Till (Swi), at 12:57

49. Martin Kraler (A), at 13:00

50. Miha Solar (Slo), at 13:01

51. Robert Kircher (A), at 13:03

52. Todd Wells (USA), at 13:21

53. Torsten Marx (G), at 13:35

54. Marten Tjallingii (Ned), at 13:41

55. Raffael Schmid (Swi), at 13:53

56. Benjamin Rudiger (G), at 13:55

57. Ivan Seledkov (Rus), at 13:56

58. Zak Toogood (GB), at 14:01

59. Geoff Kabush (Can) MAXXIS, at 14:17

60. Andreas Kugler (Swi), at 14:31

61. Lukas Flueckiger (Swi), at 14:32

62. Karl-Emi Lindgren (Swe), at 14:42

63. Gody Jacobs (B), at 14:55

64. Sebastien Delfosse (B), at 15:04

65. Michael Broderick (USA), at 15:07

66. Sandro Spaeth (Swi), at 15:34

67. Oliver Beckingsale (GB), at 15:37

68. Calle Friberg (Swe), at 15:57

69. Tim Heemskerk (Ned), at 16:34

70. Jody Crawforth (GB), at 16:49

71. Fabio Bernasconi (Swi), at 17:38

72. Marc Hanisch (G), at 17:39

73. Balz Weber (Swi), at 18:01

74. Jurg Graf (Swi), at 18:01

75. Nahuela Andrada (Arg), at 18:57

76. Jamie Newall (GB), at 19:16

77. Christian Poulsen (Den), at 19:59

78. Lukas Mueller (Swi), at 20:22

79. Phil Dixon (GB), at 20:25

80. Tudor Oprea Ovidiu (Rou), at 21:16

81. Ricky Federau (Can) Gears Racing, at 21:37

82. James Ouchterlony (GB), at 22:23

83. Paul Oldham (GB), at 24:01

84. Ian Wilkinson (GB), at –1 lap

85. Stuart Bowers (GB), at –1 lap

86. Ricardo Figueiredo (Por), at –1 lap

87. Geoff Beetham (GB), at –1 lap

88. Chris Murley (GB), at –1 lap

89. Barrie Clarke (GB), at –1 lap

90. Paul Newnham (GB), at –1 lap

91. Mirko Pirazzoli (Ita), at –1 lap

92. Steve Hambling (GB), at –2 laps

93. James Fraser-Moodie (GB), at –2 laps