Schneitter surprises with World Cup win

Lechner, Koerber round out top three

This year's women's cross country World Cup continues to be one of the most hard-fought, as both the fourth winner and the fourth World Cup leader in four rounds were awarded titles on Sunday in Champéry, Switzerland. Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) won the race before a home crowd, while her teammate Eva Lechner took over the leader's jersey from Catharine Pendrel (Luna).

For Schneitter it was possibly the biggest victory of her career, to win a World Cup on home soil. "It was a dream," she said. "I knew that if it stayed muddy in the forest, I could do well, and I was thinking that it would be possible to be on the podium, but I did not think of winning."

The 4.3-kilometre circuit may have been short, but it was more than tough enough. After a 3.2-kilometre start loop spread out the fields, the riders faced two difficult sections at opposite ends of the circuit. First, they had a very steep climb and then an immediate descent with a drop-off that launched them into the air for at least three metres. A ride-around was provided, but it was significantly slower.

From there the riders traversed the valley to the second, and main climb. At the top they dropped back into the woods for a long, muddy, singletrack descent full of roots and mud before heading into the start-finish area. Few riders could make it through a lap without running at least part of the circuit. The women did five laps plus a start loop.

The mad sprint from the gun saw Schneitter and Lechner immediately open a gap on the rest of the field. Willow Koerber (Subaru-Trek) gave chase, but couldn't quite close the gap to the front pair. Behind Koerber, the U23 World Cup leader Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour), was chasing in fourth and behind her a group kept forming and splintering, containing World Champion Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon), Katerina Nash (Luna), Esther Süss, Sabine Spitz (Central Pro), Katrin Leumann, Elisabeth Osl (Central Pro), Georgia Gould (Luna) and Marie-Hélène Premont (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain).

Significantly missing from the mix was the current World Cup leader Catharine Pendrel (Luna). Pendrel was having a rough day, starting with a sub-optimal start, then a jammed chain and, finally, a leaking tire that eventually required a wheel change. She would finish 16th and drop to third in the World Cup standings.

"I had a bad start, just didn't go fast enough," said Pendrel. "I got up to 11th, but entering the climb my chain lodged between my frame and cranks, and I lost a lot of time and places pulling it out. Just before entering the last lap at the end of the descent I burped my rear tire [lost air] and had to do a wheel change.

"The interruptions and running were tough mentally, but these things happen, particularly in ugly course conditions," she said. "It was not the best day, not the worst. I think I have good legs and look forward to challenging for the podium next weekend."

At the front, the first four were set: Schneitter, Lechner, Koerber and Bresset. Behind, the battle for fifth place continued for the first half of the race before Nash eventually settled into the final podium spot and began to open a gap on the remainder of the chasers.

Koerber, who needed to finish in front of Lechner to regain the World Cup lead she took after round two and lost to Pendrel after the next round, chased the Italian champion all race, but couldn't quite close the gap, finishing a scant 16 seconds behind her.

"I was getting close a few times, but I couldn't quite catch her," said Koerber. "I think I was climbing well, but losing some time on the descents. This just makes me more motivated for next weekend [round five], because I would really like to go into the final race in the US wearing that leader's jersey."

The gap between the top three is still tight, with Lechner at 655 points, Koerber at 640 and Pendrel at 594. Bresset continues to hold the Under 23 jersey.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol1:45:40 
2Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol0:02:13 
3Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Trek0:02:29 
4Julie Bresset* (Fra) BH-Suntour0:03:24 
5Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:03:39 
6Esther Süss (Swi)0:04:00 
7Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Pro Team0:05:10 
8Katrin Leumann (Swi)0:05:18 
9Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Central Pro Team0:05:35 
10Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Scott0:05:36 
11Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:05:40 
12Mary McConneloug (USA)0:05:47 
13Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:06:10 
14Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:06:12 
15Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Ccc Polkowice0:07:01 
16Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:07:49 
17Tanja Zakelj* (Slo) MBK Orbea0:08:23 
18Cécile Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International0:09:10 
19Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:09:53 
20Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Factory Racing  
21Sarah Koba (Swi) Giant Swiss Team0:11:36 
22Katherine Compton (USA)0:11:45 
23Emily Batty* (Can) Trek World Racing0:11:57 
24Anna Szafraniec (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team0:12:04 
25Vivienne Meyer* (Swi) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol0:12:47 
26Annie Last* (GBr)0:13:13 
27Rosara Joseph (NZl)0:13:14 
28Amanda Sin (Can)0:13:29 
29Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:13:39 
30Anja Gradl (Ger) Central Pro Team0:14:08 
31Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol) Ccc Polkowice0:14:26 
32Janka Stevkova (Svk)0:14:29 
33Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo0:14:31 
34Hanna Klein (Ger)0:14:58 
35Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-Suntour0:15:12 
36Fanny Bourdon* (Fra)0:15:17 
37Barbara Benko* (Hun)0:15:31 
38Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) Ccc Polkowice0:15:36 
39Judith Pollinger* (Ita)0:16:06 
40Yolande Speedy (RSA)0:16:15 
41Sandra Walter (Can)0:17:02 
42Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:17:13 
43Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek0:17:29 
44Fabienne Niederberger (Swi)0:17:52 
45Anna Villar Argente (Spa)0:18:23 
46Michelle Hediger* (Swi) Fischer-Bmc0:19:06 
-1lapNina Homovec (Slo) MBK Orbea  
-1lapAnne Terpstra* (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized MTB Team  
-1lapChloe Forsman (USA)  
-1lapElisabeth Sveum* (Nor) Hard Rocx Racing Team  
-1lapPaula Gorycka* (Pol) Ccc Polkowice  
-1lapRie Katayama (Jpn)  
-1lapLaura Turpijn (Ned) Team Merida Combee  
-1lapCoralie Redelsperger (Fra)  
-1lapNataliya Krompets (Ukr)  
-1lapKatarzyna Solus* (Pol)  
-1lapMaria Osl (Aut) Fischer-Bmc  
-2lapsAlla Boyko* (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team  
-2lapsKarin Groen (Ned)  
-2lapsDaniela Veronesi (SMr)  
-2lapsAlexandra Engen* (Swe)  
-2lapsLily Matthews* (GBr)  
-2lapsJulie Krasniak* (Fra)  
-2lapsCaroline Mani (Fra) BH-Suntour  
-2lapsSamara Sheppard* (NZl)  
-2lapsSofia Pezzatti (Swi)  
-2lapsCarina Ketonen (Fin) VZW Goeman Scott Cycling Team  
-2lapsSilke Schmidt (Ger)  
-2lapsLorraine Truong* (Swi)  
-2lapsStephanie Wiedner (Aut)  
-2lapsEvelyn Staffler (Ita)  
-2lapsCatherine Vipond (Can)  
-2lapsAnna Oberparleiter* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.  
-2lapsCorina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-Bmc  
-2lapsAdelheid Morath (Ger) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team  
-2lapsMaaris Meier (Est)  
-2lapsChengyuan Ren (Chn)  
-2lapsMirre Stallen (Ned)  
-2lapsSufen Ma (Chn)  
-2lapsKristien Nelen (Bel) VZW Goeman Scott Cycling Team  
-2lapsNicole Hanselmann* (Swi)  
-2lapsNicoletta De Jager (Ned)  
-2lapsNadine Rieder* (Ger)  
-2lapsZhuanzhuan Ye* (Chn)  
-2lapsMyriam Saugy (Swi)  
-2lapsYing Liu (Chn)  
-2lapsAlexa Hüni (Ger)  
-3lapsIvonne Kraft (Ger)  
-3lapsKatherine O'shea (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition  
-3lapsRocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa)  
-3lapsRozanne Slik* (Ned) Team Merida Combee  
-3lapsTanja Starkermann* (Swi) Fischer Junior MTB Team  
-3lapsNoga Korem* (Isr)  
-3lapsMariske Strauss* (RSA)  
-3lapsLesley Ingram (GBr)  
-3lapsCaitlin De Wet* (RSA)  
-3lapsChiara Pastore* (Ita)  
-3lapsJodie Willett (Aus)  
-3lapsRoberta Monaldini (SMr)  
DNFEszter Erdelyi (Hun)  
DNFTatjana Dold (Ger)  
DNFKathrin Stirnemann* (Swi)  
DNFQinglan Shi (Chn)  
DNFMikaela Kofman* (Can)  
DNFVirginie Pointet* (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Scott  
DNFAnnika Smail (NZl)  
DNFAsa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)  
DNFTherese Rhodes* (Aus)  
DNSMarie-Claude Surprenant* (Can)  
DNSMarta Pastore* (Ita)  
Elite women teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol81 pts
2Luna Pro Team63 
3Central Pro Team47 
4Subaru-Gary Fisher32 
5BH-Suntour30 Scott21 
7Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain18 
8Topeak Ergon Racing Team17 
9CCC Polkowice16 
10MBK Orbea14 
11Lapierre International13 
12Multivan Merida Biking Team12 
13Specialized Factory Racing11 
14Giant Swiss Team10 
15Trek World Racing8 
16JBG-2 Professional MTB Team7 
17Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team2 

World Cup standings after four rounds

World Cup individual standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol655 pts
2Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher640 
3Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team594 
4Julie Bresset* (Fra) BH-Suntour570 
5Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team518 
6Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team518 
7Esther Süss (Swi)494 
8Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Central Pro Team480 
9Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol458 
10Katrin Leumann (Swi)440 
11Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team400 
12Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain340 
13Mary McConneloug (USA)318 
14Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Scott309 
15Anna Szafraniec (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team290 
16Tanja Zakelj* (Slo) MBK Orbea260 
17Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher259 
18Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Factory Racing256 
19Cécile Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International235 
20Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team224 
21Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) CCC Polkowice222 
22Hanna Klein (Ger)218 
23Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Pro Team205 
24Emily Batty* (Can) Trek World Racing203 
25Margarita Fullana Riera (Spa) Massi Team178 
26Anja Gradl (Ger) Central Pro Team178 
27Rosara Joseph (NZl)174 
28Anna Villar Argente (Spa)168 
29Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team164 
30Alexandra Engen* (Swe)164 
31Fanny Bourdon* (Fra)163 
32Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo162 
33Annie Last* (GBr)162 
34Annika Langvad (Den)156 
35Janka Stevkova (Svk)150 
36Laura Turpijn (Ned) Team Merida Combee149 
37Amanda Sin (Can)142 
38Sarah Koba (Swi) Giant Swiss Team137 
39Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)134 
40Katherine Compton (USA)130 
41Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team120 
42Rie Katayama (Jpn)115 
43Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-Suntour108 
44Monique Pua Sawicki (USA)102 
45Caroline Mani (Fra) BH-Suntour100 
46Barbara Benko* (Hun)93 
47Coralie Redelsperger (Fra)88 
48Paula Gorycka* (Pol) CCC Polkowice86 
49Maria Osl (Aut) Fischer-BMC84 
50Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol) CCC Polkowice80 
51Nicola Leary (NZl)80 
52Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) CCC Polkowice70 
53Judith Pollinger* (Ita)63 
54Adelheid Morath (Ger) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team62 
55Vivienne Meyer* (Swi) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol56 
56Fabienne Niederberger (Swi)56 
57Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa)52 
58Nina Homovec (Slo) MBK Orbea49 
59Ivonne Kraft (Ger)46 
60Catherine Vipond (Can)45 
61Kathrin Stirnemann* (Swi)45 
62Eszter Erdelyi (Hun)42 
63Helene Marcouyre (Fra) BH-Suntour42 
64Virginie Pointet* (Swi) Scott41 
65Michelle Hediger* (Swi) Fischer-BMC39 
66Mical Dyck (Can)38 
67Vera Andreeva* (Rus)38 
68Anne Terpstra* (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized MTB Team33 
69Ekaterina Anoshina* (Rus)29 
70Yolande Speedy (RSA)28 
71Sandra Walter (Can)27 
72Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo25 
73Evelyn Staffler (Ita)22 
74Maaike Polspoel* (Bel)21 
75Nataliya Krompets (Ukr)21 
76Julie Krasniak* (Fra)20 
77Chloe Forsman (USA)19 
78Silke Schmidt (Ger)19 
79Elisabeth Sveum* (Nor) Hard Rocx Racing Team18 
80Daniela Veronesi (SMr)18 
81Lily Matthews* (GBr)17 
82Tatjana Dold (Ger)13 
83Katarzyna Solus* (Pol)12 
84Melanie Spath (Ger)12 
85Carina Ketonen (Fin) VZW Goeman Scott Cycling Team11 
86Alla Boyko* (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team10 
87Monique Zeldenrust (Ned) Giant Swiss Team10 
88Karin Groen (Ned)9 
89Camille Devi* (Fra) Asptt Definitive Gitane9 
90Mirre Stallen (Ned)8 
World Cup team standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luna Pro Team293 pts
2Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol202 
3Central Pro Team166 
4Subaru-Gary Fisher165 
6Topeak Ergon Racing Team98 
7Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain71 Scott62 
9Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team60 
10JBG-2 Professional MTB Team54 
11Specialized Factory Racing53 
12CCC Polkowice42 
13MBK Orbea42 
14Lapierre International32 
15Massi Team31 
16Trek World Racing27 
17Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo14 
18Multivan Merida Biking Team12 
19Giant Swiss Team11 
20Team Merida Combee6 

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