Those not racing in the Benelux Cup were otherwise testing their legs at the fourth round of the six-race German Bundesliga series or at the Fort William test race on the world championship course in Scotland. In front of enthusiastic crowds in Albstadt, Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Irina Kalentieva (Team Ergon-Topeak) took the win.
"It was a good preparation for the next World Cup (next weekend) in Offenburg," said Frenchman Absalon, who spent a good portion of the ten laps off the front before finishing 21 seconds ahead of Orbea teammate and compatriot Jean-Christophe Péraud and 24 seconds ahead of Roel Paulissen (Cannondale-Vredestein).
Russian Irina Kalentyeva (Team Ergon-Topeak) and German Sabine Spitz (Ghost International) led the race together until the last lap when Kalentieva rode a fast downhill section, got some seconds advantage and decided to push hard. Spitz was suffering from some cramps, and Kalentieva built her lead to 42 seconds over Spitz at the end
An impressive third-place finish was logged by American Heather Irmiger (Subaru - Gary Fisher), who's been working her way up the international ladder. She beat first World Cup winner Ren Chengyuan of China and her teammate Ying Liu.
Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjå failed to start due to stomach problems.
For full coverage of the Albstadt round of the German series, click here.