There was another triple bill of MTB racing action over the weekend, as UCI World Cup Cross Country, Cross-Country Eliminator, and Downhill rounds hit the Norwegian town of Hafjell.
For cross-country and cross-country eliminator, these were the concluding rounds of the season; where riders placed in these races would not only count for these rounds, but also secure their positions in the overall series.
1. UCI MTB XCO - Round 5, Hafjell
The sixth and final round of the cross-country series saw riders take to a short but sharp course, with 6 laps of a 4.1 kilometres route filled with tough climbs and rocky descents.
Four riders took to the front of the race from the beginning; Irina Kalentieva, Eva Lechner, World Champion Julie Bresset, and Lea Davison all vied for the top spot. Davison dropped back on the third lap, and Bresset on the second. Kalentieva broke clear on one of the final climbs, grabbing victory with a clear 20 second lead over Eva Lechner. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flessjaa maintained a steady pace, staying in 5th place
Tanja Zakelj, who held the overall series lead, rode the majority of the race back in 8th place, coming forward as the race drew to a close to take 6th place. Although this meant no spot on the podium, it did secure her place as overall winner of the XC World Cup series.
- Irina Kalentieva
- Eva Lechner
- Julie Bresset
- Lea Davison
- Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
View the results in full at the UCI results page.
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2. UCI MTB XCE – Round 5, Hafjell
The final round of the XC Eliminator series brought another tough course, with steep climbs, rock gardens, and a series of BMX jumps. Riders were racing not only for victory in this round, but also the overall series title.
The large double jumps caught out more than one rider, with Alexandra Engen falling foul of them in one of the early rounds, crashing and loosing a tooth in the process.
Luckily, Engen was fit to continue the day, and made it to the final. Joining her was Kathrin Stirnemann, Jenny Rissveds and Eva Lechner. Stirnemann came into the race close in points behind Engen, the number one ranking female rider, meaning a win for her would also mean taking the World Cup overall.
Rissveds and Lechner rode hard, with Rissveds taking the lead early on and holding on to it, placing first with Lechner close behind. Engen battled to stay ahead of Stirnemann, who finally dropped back on the last climb, leaving Engen to ride a steady and careful pace to complete the race safely.
However despite not winning the final, Engen has won the overall XC Eliminator World Cup. In the series, Stirnemann takes the second place spot, and Rissveds placed third.
- Jenny Rissveds
- Eva Lechner
- Alexandra Engen
- Kathrin Stirnemann
- Jolanda Neff
View the results in full at the UCI results website.
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3. UCI MTB DH - Round 5, Hafjell
The course in Hafjell alternates between wide, fast, open sections, and tight, steep and rocky sections through the trees. After a week of good weather in the lead up the final, for the day itself inevitably enough the heavens opened, making for interesting race. Intermittent rain throughout the day
Manon Carpenter, who has been riding consistently well over the season, grabbed the top spot from Morganne Charre. Myriam Nicole made excellent time down the course, but wasn’t quick enough to dislodge Carpenter. The final rider down was Rachel Atherton, World Champion, who has dominated the 2013 series, winning all but one round.
Atherton continued her awesome - in the truest sense of the word - performance this year; a 4 second lead at the first split grew to a staggering 7.5 seconds by the time she swept to victory, with a final time of 4.09.858.
With one more race to go, Rachel seems on track to win the World Cup series; but it ain’t over yet. Ragot is back in second place in the overall rankings, but could yet close the gap. Carpenter is in third position, with a smaller gap between herself and Ragot. It could all change.
Junior World Champion Tahnee Seagrave came in two places shy of the top ten, occupying the 12th position in the results table.
- Rachel Atherton
- Manon Carpenter
- Myriam Nicole
- Morgane Charre
- Emmeline Ragot
View the full results at the UCI results website.
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Headline image copyright Sven Martin.