Events

Spitz takes mechanical-marred cross country at Grouse Mountain

It's been a long time since the German national anthem has been played at the end of a women's World Cup cross-country race. But after winning round 4 of the Tissot UCI World Cup series at Grouse Mountain, British Columbia Saturday, Merida's Sabine Spitz changed that Saturday — sort of. Spitz took the lead for good with three laps to go in the 28.82km race, then held off a late charge from American Alison Dunlap to capture her first career World Cup win. But afterward organizers had problems with their national anthem CD, and twice played the wrong song. Finally Spitz was offered a

By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor

Spitz celebrates her win.

Spitz celebrates her win.

Photo: Mark Dawson

It’s been a long time since the German national anthem has been played at the end of a women’s World Cup cross-country race. But after winning round 4 of the Tissot UCI World Cup series at Grouse Mountain, British Columbia Saturday, Merida’s Sabine Spitz changed that Saturday — sort of.

Spitz took the lead for good with three laps to go in the 28.82km race, then held off a late charge from American Alison Dunlap to capture her first career World Cup win. But afterward organizers had problems with their national anthem CD, and twice played the wrong song. Finally Spitz was offered a microphone by one of the event MCs and after some prodding from the crowd, the 30-year-old German sang her country’s anthem.

“It’s probably the first time I’ve sung that since I was in grade school,” said Spitz, whose win moved her into second place in the overall World Cup standings with one race to go.

Blatter's day ended early.

Blatter’s day ended early.

Photo: Jason Sumner

Spitz earned her win by surviving a difficult race, that saw six of the top 10 riders fail to finish because of mechanicals or crashes. The most costly of those mishaps was the flat rear tire suffered by Annabella Stropparo (Be One). The Italian had been in the lead for the first half of the race, before a slow leak in her tubeless tire ruined her day.

Initially Stropparo simply walked off the course, tears running down her round cheeks. But a moment later she opted back into the race and would eventually claw her way back onto the podium, finishing fifth. The question floating around the race afterward was how Stropparo had fixed her flat. Several team managers said they were certain she wasn’t carrying a quickfill or a spare tube, meaning she would have had to have taken a illegal hand up.

But Stropparo insisted she fixed the tire herself, and no protest was filed, allowing her result to stand. A year ago Stropparo was disqualified from this same race, after her team manager was caught on film helping Stropparo free a jammed chain.

Barbara Blatter, Mary Grigson, Jimena Florit, Regina Marunde, Gunn-Rita Dahle and Marie-Helene Premont all ran into problems on the very technical Grouse course as well, but none of them was able to finish.

Blatter was the first to go. The Swiss Specialized rider crashed hard just seconds after the start of the race and was unable to continue.

“I think someone hit my tire from behind, but I did not see,” said Blatter who sat on the ground visibly dazed for several minutes.

Florit was gone next, the victim of a cut in her tubeless tire. Premont, Dahle and Marunde all suffered flats as well, while Grigson crashed out of the race.

It was Stropparo’s flat that was the biggest, though. She and Spitz had been off the front together during the early portions of the race, coming down the newly-added Peak Plunge a minute ahead of Trek-Volkswagen’s Alison Sydor at the halfway point. Dunlap was another minute back at the time, with Dahle in fourth. But with Stropparo struggling, Spitz was able to cruise to the win, finishing 2:06 ahead of Dunlap, who overtook Sydor on the last lap. Sydor held on to third, followed by American Sue Haywood (Trek-Volkswagen), then Stropparo in fifth.

In the overall standings Dunlap retained her overall lead, 75 points ahead of Spitz. Stropparo is next, 170 behind Dunlap, while round one and two winner Marga Fullana fell to fourth, after skipping her second straight race. The series concludes the first weekend in September with the finals in Les Gets, France.

The men take on Grouse Mountain Sunday, rolling out at 2 p.m. Check back to VeloNews.com for a full report, photos and results.

Photo Gallery

Results

TISSOT UCI WORLD CUP; CROSS COUNTRY NO. 4; GROUSE MOUNTAIN, BRITISH COLUMBIA; JULY 6-7; WOMEN; 1. Sabine SPITZ (G), 28.82km in 1:58:28.00; 2. Alison DUNLAP (USA), at 2:06; 3. Alison SYDOR (Can), at 2:59; 4. Susan HAYWOOD (USA), at 7:06; 5. Annabella STROPPARO (I), at 9:32; 6. Chrissy REDDEN (Can), at 9:44; 7. Ivonne KRAFT (G), at 10:03; 8. Kiara BISARO (Can), at 10:49; 9. Willow KOERBER (USA), at 12:05; 10. Maroussia RUSCA (Swi), at 13:16; 11. Trish SINCLAIR (Can), at 14:13; 12. Melissa THOMAS (USA), at 14:22; 13. Hiroko NAMBU (Jpn), at 14:46; 14. Sandra KLOSE (G), at 15:08; 15. Katerina HANUSOVA (Cze), at 15:30; 16. Eron CHORNEY (Can), at 16:10; 17. Robyn WONG (NZ), at 18:20; 18. Nikola STARKO (Can), -1Lap; 19. Gretchen REEVES (USA), -1Lap; 20. Dellys FRANKE (Aus), -1Lap; 21. Wendy SIMMS (Can), -1Lap; 22. Sandra WALTER (Can), -1Lap; 23. Yan Ping MA (Chn), -1Lap; 24. Kerry BARNHOLT (USA), -1Lap; 25. Claire TOWNSEND (Can), -2Laps; 26. Hilde VAN DEUN (B), -2Laps; 27. Jenny COPNALL (GB), -2Laps; 28. Na ZHANG (Chn), -2Laps; 29. Selena LAWRIE (Can), -2Laps; 30. lea DAVISON (USA), -2Laps; 31. Annie TYKWINSKI (USA), -2Laps; 32. Linda ROBICHAUD (Can), -2Laps; 33. Madelaine BOUZ (Can), -3Laps; 34. Martina FELDMANN (Can), -3Laps; 35. Laurie COPANS (Isr), -3Laps; 36. Christina PICCONE (Can), -3Laps; 37. Anne-Marie JOBIN (Can), -3Laps; 38. Marie-Helene COTE (Can), -3Laps; 39. Michelle SCHEIBER (Can), -3Laps; – Barbara BLATTER (Swi), at DNF; – Regina MARUNDE (G), at DNF; – Gunn-rita DAHLE (Nor), at DNF; – Mary GRIGSON (Aus), at DNF; – Marie-Helene PREMONT (Can), at DNF; – Jimena FLORIT (Arg), at DNF; – Jacqueline MOURAO (Bra), at DNF; – Kelli EMMETT (USA), at DNF; – Sadie PARKER (NZ), at DNF; – Xiaoning GAO (Chn), at DNF; – Tiffany KENNY (USA), at DNS; – Karen MASSON (Aus), at DNS; – Daniela LUCKIN(G) AUT, at DNS; – Shari KAIN (USA), at DNS

WORLD CUP POINTS STANDINGS; (after 4 of 5 races);1. Alison DUNLAP, 720 POINTS; 2. Sabine SPITZ, 645; 3. Annabella STROPPARO, 550; 4. Marga FULLANA, 500; 5. Alison SYDOR, 455; 6. Caroline ALEXANDER, 350; 7. Barbara BLATTER, 330; 8. Regina MARUNDE, 280; 9. Susan HAYWOOD, 279; 10. Ivonne KRAFT, 265; 11. Maroussia RUSCA, 262; 12. Kiara BISARO, 247; 13. Gunn-Rita DAHLE, 231; 14. Sandra KLOSE, 230; 15. Chrissy REDDEN, 213; 16. Hiroko NAMBU, 209; 17. Mary GRIGSON, 203; 18. Marie-Helene PREMONT, 197; 19. Yan Ping MA, 170; 20. Jimena FLORIT, 150; 21. Dellys FRANKE, 144; 22. Laurence LEBOUCHER, 142; 23. Trish SINCLAIR, 138; 24. Hilde VAN DEUN, 136; 25. Willow KOERBER, 135; 26. Jenny COPNALL, 135; 27. Jacqueline MOURAO, 134; 28. Petra HENZI, 129; 29. Elena GIACOMUZZI, 123; 30. Alla EPIFANOVA, 122; 31. Katerina HANUSOVA, 120; 32. Gretchen REEVES, 111; 33. Sonja TRAXEL, 111; 34. Marion THEVENET, 109; 35. Robyn WONG, 106; 36. Laurie COPANS, 106; 37. Anna SZAFRANIEC, 106; 38. Helene MARCOUYRE, 104; 39. Katrin SCHWING, 102; 40. Claire TOWNSEND, 99; 41. Barbel JUNGMEIER, 94; 42. Irina KALENTIEVA, 90; 43. Janet PUIGGROS MIRANDA, 88; 43. Daniela PORTA, 88; 45. Petra SCHORKMAYER, 88; 46. lea DAVISON, 87; 47. Mary MCCONNELOUG, 85; 48. Marie-Helene COTE, 81; 49. Mette ANDERSEN, 77; 50. Maria OSTERGREN, 75; 51. Na ZHANG, 74; 52. Ragnhild KOSTOL, 73; 53. Sue THOMAS, 70; 54. Melissa THOMAS, 67; 55. Jaci LOW, 66; 56. Shonny VANLANDINGHAM, 62; 57. Eron CHORNEY, 60; 58. Nikola STARKO, 58; 59. Kelli EMMETT, 58; 60. Silvia ROVIRA PLANAS, 58; 61. Carolin RAHNER, 57; 62. Sadie PARKER, 56; 63. Wendy SIMMS, 55; 64. Sandra WALTER, 54; 65. Corine DORLAND, 53; 66. Kerry BARNHOLT, 52; 67. Karen MASSON, 52; 68. Anna ENOCSSON, 50; 69. Karen MATAMOROS, 49; 70. Birgit BRAUMANN, 49; 71. Hannele STEYEN-KOTZE, 49; 72. Janka STEVKOVA, 48; 73. Selena LAWRIE, 47; 74. Karen DE WOLFE, 46; 75. Hildegard EMBACHER, 46; 76. Annie TYKWINSKI, 45; 77. Linda ROBICHAUD, 44; 78. Madelaine BOUZ, 43; 79. Martina FELDMANN, 42; 80. Marisol BERNIER, 42; 81. Nadja WALKER, 41; 82. Christina PICCONE, 40; 83. Nadine PETIT, 40; 84. Anne-Marie JOBIN, 39; 85. Tiffany KENNY, 39; 86. Julie SANDERS, 38; 87. Gina HALL, 38; 88. Michelle SCHEIBER, 37; 89. Xiaoning GAO, 37; 90. Valentina PAZITOVA, 35; 91. Katrin LEUMANN, 33; 92. Bernardine BOOG RAUWERDA, 33; 93. Virginie SOUCHON, 31; 94. Marta VAJDA, 30; 95. Sabrina ENAUX, 28; 96. Sandrine GUIRRONNET, 28; 97. Aida NUNO PALACIO, 2