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Dahle Flesjaa and Marotte win in France

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

Both riders prove their form ahead of Worlds

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) on her way to winning in Meribel

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) on her way to winning in Meribel

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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) and Maxime Marotte (BH-SR Suntour-KMC) won the Coupe de France round in Méribel two weeks ahead of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

Women

Dahle Flesjå took her victory after sitting out last weekend's racing at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup. The Norwegian finished ahead of world and Olympic champion Julie Bresset (BH-SR Suntour KMC) who was second.

Coming straight from training at altitude, Dahle Flesjå had no problem with the thin air in Méribel. But a look at the list of starters in the women's race revealed that she was facing some stiff competition, with the main danger coming from Bresset.

When the race was on, Dahle Flesjå did not waste time in taking command. Halfway through the second lap, the Norwegian rider increased her speed and broke clear of her last rivals. From there, it was a triumphant solo ride without any problems, which also showed in the margin Dahle Flesjå built on the way to the finish. Bresset lost almost two minutes. Third place finisher Sabrina Enaux conceded more than three and a half minutes.

"I really liked the course here. With two weeks to go to the world championships, it's important for me to know where I am, and today provided a valuable test," said Dahle Flesjå. "The course is very technical, and I think today's race provided me with a lot of information that might be helpful in two weeks' time for the Worlds - and also for next year's World Cup finals that will be held in Méribel."

Bresset said, "Gunn Rita set a torrid pace in the beginning. In technical sections, I think I was able to take some advantage. She was superior, I couldn't follow. Yet, I had fun on this very technical course. I didn't felt very good, but that was not disastrous... When coming back from Canada, I thought the training week would be quite easy, but it was not, actually!"

"I won the overall ranking, that's nice for the team. Now I will keep preparing the Worlds, with the Basel [Swiss BMC Cup] race next weekend."

Men

In the men's race, Marotte finished ahead of Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX-Active Bianchi) and Stephane Tempier. The French winner had 30 seconds on his two chasers at the end.

Marotte won the race for the second consecutive year.

"Gerhard was really strong in the beginning of the race. I quickly noticed that I was more comfortable than him on the long climb," said Marotte. "On the last lap, I knew where to attack. This is my second win here, and my fourth overall victory in French Cup. I always like to come on the national circuit."

"There was many foreign riders in Méribel, and we felt really supported by the spectators. It's really an excellent course, I'm at my ease here. The riders liked the course, we will have a nice World Cup race. Now, I'll keep training for the Worlds, and the race in Basel will be the last before South Africa."

Marotte's teammate Tempier said, "We did a nice race with Maxime! I tried to attack...but I was quickly forced to slow it down. Kerschbaumer was strong in the beginning of the race, but paid for his efforts in the end. I like this course, I already won here in 2010, but the last two editions were not so good for me. I feel that I didn't totally recover from the Canadian jet lag yet; but it will be soon ok. Now, I will stay few days in Méribel, for a training camp with my coach, to prepare for the Worlds."

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Maxime Marotte (Fra) 1:29:16  
2 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) 0:00:32  
3 Stéphane Tempier (Fra) 0:00:34  
4 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) 0:03:08  
5 Jordan Sarrou (Fra) 0:03:22  
6 Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) 0:03:46  
7 Martin Gujan (Swi)    
8 Marvin Gruget (Fra) 0:05:10  
9 Alexis Chenevier (Fra) 0:05:19  
10 Ismael Ventura Sanchez (Spa) 0:05:26  
11 Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) 0:05:28  
12 Fabien Canal (Fra) 0:05:31  
13 Victor Koretzky (Fra) 0:06:16  
14 Hugo Drechou (Fra) 0:07:37  
15 Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) 0:07:39  
16 Cristofer Bosque Ruano (Spa) 0:07:40  
17 Frank Beemer (Ned) 0:08:32  
18 Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa) 0:08:41  
19 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) 0:08:47  
20 Sebastien Carabin (Bel) 0:08:48  
21 Emilien Mourier (Fra) 0:08:51  
22 Florent Pelizzari (Fra) 0:09:28  
23 Thomas Collinet (Fra) 0:09:54  
24 José González (Ecu) 0:10:14  
25 Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) 0:10:20  
26 Arthur Tropardy (Fra) 0:11:10  
27 Jonathan Galante (Fra) 0:11:26  
28 Alexis Paris (Fra) 0:12:09  
29 Jérome Chevallier (Fra) 0:13:01  
30 Thibaut Bellanger (Fra) 0:13:09  
31 Maxime Folco (Fra) 0:13:16  
32 Ludovic Dubau (Fra) 0:13:37  
33 Clément Souvray (Fra) 0:13:49  
34 Paul Mathou (Fra) 0:13:58  
35 Kevin Miquel (Fra) 0:14:12  
36 Nicolas Bonnieu (Fra) 0:14:13  
37 Etienne Puech (Fra) 0:14:27  
38 Arnaud Taurelle (Fra) 0:14:35  
39 Alex Dere (Fra) 0:14:39  
40 Benoit Igoulen (Fra) 0:14:55  
41 Octavien Maillard (Fra) 0:15:12  
42 Nicolas Levasseur (Fra) 0:15:37  
43 Alrick Martin (Fra) 0:15:53  
44 Guillaume Guilbaud (Fra) 0:15:57  
45 Theo Barthelemy (Fra) 0:16:00  
46 Remy Bourdon (Fra) 0:16:03  
47 Fabien Bragagia (Fra) 0:16:21  
48 Julien Toppan (Fra) 0:16:25  
49 Thibaud Lhenry (Fra) 0:16:46  
50 Alexandre Pelletier (Fra) 0:16:59  
51 Toki Sawada (Jpn)    
52 Theo Portal (Fra) 0:17:31  
53 Omer Shubi (Isr) 0:17:34  
54 Anthony Gauthier (Fra) 0:17:46  
55 Joseph De Poortere Emelien (Fra) 0:17:51  
56 Charly Sibille (Fra) 0:17:57  
57 Charlélie Cantaloube (Fra) 0:17:59  
58 Rémi Briere (Fra) 0:18:02  
59 Gwénaël Morra (Fra) 0:18:05  
60 Pierre Morque (Fra) 0:18:07  
61 Jean Louis Bourdevaire (Fra) 0:18:21  
62 Boris Cara (Bel) 0:18:24  
63 Bastien Rolland (Fra) 0:18:38  
64 Adria Noguera Soldevila (Spa) 0:18:54  
65 Romain Bernier (Fra) 0:19:07  
66 Thomas Fautrero (Fra) 0:19:08  
67 Harold Flandre (Fra)    
68 Damien Guillemet (Fra) 0:19:25  
69 Vincent Schmit (Fra) 0:19:40  
70 Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra) 0:20:17  
71 Alexis Bru (Fra) 0:20:50  
72 Alexandre Lavaud (Fra) 0:20:54  
73 Jonathan Perret (Fra) 0:21:03  
74 Clement Escalier (Fra) 0:21:08  
75 Lucas Garbellotto (Fra) 0:21:45  
76 Denis Miramond (Fra) 0:21:55  
77 Bastien Giret (Fra) 0:22:08  
78 Sébastien Roux (Fra)    
79 Joris Bagnol (Fra) 0:23:23  
80 Yohann Lebarillier (Fra)    
81 Vincent Lombardi (Fra)    
82 Guy Niv (Isr)    
83 Thomas Griot (Fra)    
84 Pieter Geluykens (Bel)    
85 Alexandre Savoye (Fra)    
86 Benjamin Delfino (Fra)    
87 Thibault Geneste (Fra)    
88 Romain Seigle (Fra)    
89 Arnaud Cannau (Fra)    
90 Pierre Colart (Fra)    
91 Jonathan Lefevre (Fra)    
92 Maxime Danon (Fra)    
93 Léo Bandiera (Fra)    
94 Gerard Alvarez Ortega (Spa)    
95 Benjamin Boulenc (Fra)    
96 Adrien Pascal (Fra)    
97 Vincent Thomas (Fra)    
98 Jimmy Le Clainche (Fra)    
99 Adria Llausas (Spa)    
100 Jérôme Delaire (Fra)    
101 Valentin Revaux (Fra)    
102 Gregory Pol (Fra)    
103 Maxime Herold (Fra)    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) 1:26:13  
2 Julie Bresset (Fra) 0:01:53  
3 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) 0:03:37  
4 Laura Metzler (Fra) 0:08:33  
5 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) 0:09:47  
6 Fanny Bourdon (Fra) 0:10:06  
7 Perrine Clauzel (Fra)    
8 Anna Villar Argente (Spa) 0:10:37  
9 Helene Marcouyre (Fra) 0:11:47  
10 Kate Fluker (NZl) 0:11:56  
11 Mercedes Pacios Pujado (Spa) 0:14:30  
12 Delphine Boissy (Fra) 0:17:04  
13 Marine Eon (Fra) 0:18:15  
14 Anais Simon (Fra) 0:19:48  
15 Sophie Borderes (Fra) 0:19:57  
16 Marine Strappazon (Fra) 0:20:09  
17 Estelle Boudot (Fra) 0:21:52  
18 Yuval Bar Ziv (Isr) 0:22:01  
19 Meghan Beltzer (Isr) 0:22:28  
20 Elea Boissy (Fra) 0:23:39  
21 Laura Joubert (Fra) 0:25:52  
22 Moran Tel Paz (Isr) 0:26:50  
23 Cecile Delaire (Fra) 0:27:30  
24 Idit Shub (Isr) 0:27:48  
25 Valentine Segrestan (Fra) 0:28:09  
26 Pauline Delhaye (Fra)    
27 Judith Sanchez (Spa)