Absalon takes World Cup career win number 21

Hermida and Kabush round out top three

Julien Absalon (Orbea) claimed victory on a rain-slicked course in the fifth round of the Mountain World Cup at Mont Ste Anne, Quebec. This was the fourth consecutive World Cup victory of this season for him.

Absalon has always performed well at Mont Ste Anne, going back to his World title in the Junior category in 1998. "I was concerned at the start of the race," said Absalon. "Through the first two turns at the start I wasn't in a good position. Through the first lap I tried to work my way up. Näf was very strong at the beginning of the race but he started to drop back and I took the lead.

"I had to work hard not to make mistakes," he added. "It was really, really slippery out there. It was a very technical track, but I like that. To win here under these conditions is very satisfying."

A large men's field of 104 riders took the line for a total of six laps. The off-and-on rain that had plagued the women had fortunately stopped by the time the men started. The clouds remained low all afternoon and it looked like the heavens would open at any moment but they never did, much to the relief of the riders. However, it did remain windy and cool for the duration, and the track was still wet from the morning's downpour.

Without a start loop, the whole key for many was to try and get to the front from the gun. The start was done at very high speed by the field. Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking Team) took the early lead, followed at 15 seconds by Martin Gujan (Cannondale Factory Racing) at the front of a large chase group.

Näf was still holding the lead at the end of lap one, with Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles) in second at 32 seconds and Absalon 41 seconds back in third. Just behind Absalon was a small group with Gujan, Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) and José Hermida (Multivan Merida).

Absalon had become comfortable with the conditions by the second lap and had caught and passed Kabush. He continued to gain time on the lead as Näf started to tire. Meanwhile, Hermida was slowly reeling in the leaders. By lap three, Näf had only one second on Absalon, with Kabush at 20 seconds and about to be caught by Hermida. It didn't take long for Absalon to take the lead and once he was at the front he started to open a gap on the chasers. Meanwhile Näf continued to go backward, dropping to fourth by the end of the lap.

Absalon was riding comfortably in the second half of the race, followed by Hermida at 29 seconds, Kabush at 32 seconds, and Näf at 58 seconds. In fifth was a surprising U23 rider - Alexis Vuillermoz (LaPierre International). Jean-Christophe Peraud (Massi), Todd Wells (Specialized), and Burry Stander (Specialized) were chasing just behind Vuillermoz.

With the top four firmly in place, the battle for the final podium spot was all that was left. The first to put on a charge was Stander, who by the fifth lap had moved up after his U23 opponent Vuillermoz hit the wall after a strong start and rapidly dropped out of the top 10 to finish 19th. Also blowing up was Wells, who fell to 15th by the finish after ridng as high as fifth.

Creating even more excitement was a last lap flat by Näf, who lost some time to Stander initially but then charged back to maintain his fourth place. Course conditions hadn't improved much, with even the lead motorbike crashing on the top of the rocky descent.

Absalon cruised in with a winning time of 2:06:05, 32 seconds up on Hermida and 2:48 up on Kabush. A tired Näf had enough left in the tank to retain fourth, 4:50 back. Stander claimed fifth (and the U23 win) 5:42 behind.

Two years ago Hermida also placed second to Absalon, with Kabush also third. Last year it was Absalon winning, with Kabush in second. Clearly this venue favours Absalon, Hermida and Kabush.

Hermida, one of the most congenial racers on the circuit, also liked his result. "I lost some time at the beginning of the race," said Hermida. "It was quite complicated and it was important without a start loop. I should have been more focused on the start. Julian and I both lost time. Overall, I thought I could catch him.

"In the beginning he had a gap of 30 seconds and it didn't change during the race so I thought I could attack and get him on the final lap, but it didn't happen,” he added.

Kabush was pleased by his result. His season hasn't been up the standards he has set in recent years. “I have a history of doing really well here. I started on the third row so I was really focused on the start,” said Kabush. “I got a really good start and I was climbing really well. This is a course that really suits me. The World Cup has been up and down this year and I'm happy to have a good result for my team.

“It's been a while," added Kabush. "It felt good to be back in the action. Being back in North America has been good for me. I feel grounded again. I'm 100-percent healthy now."

In the World Cup Points Series, Absalon has a 480-point lead over second place Stander. Hermida moved up to third from sixth with his placing here, while Kabush jumped 10 spots to 14th.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea2:06:05 
2José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:32 
3Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:02:48 
4Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:50 
5Burry Stander* (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing0:05:42 
6Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:07:11 
7Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:07:16 
8Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team0:07:21 
9Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:07:45 
10Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:07:48 
11Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo0:08:16 
12Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team0:08:20 
13Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:08:43 
14Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International0:08:47 
15Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:08:53 
16Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)0:09:05 
17Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:09:20 
18Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:09:36 
19Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International0:09:43 
20Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team0:10:16 
21Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing0:10:45 
22Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:10:49 
23Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:11:19 
24Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher  
25Seamus Mcgrath (Can)0:12:13 
26Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:12:44 
27Lukas Kaufmann* (Swi)0:12:53 
28Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International0:13:13 
29Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Giant Mountain Bike Team0:13:31 
30Derek Zandstra (Can)0:13:39 
31François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier0:14:05 
32Ludovic Dubau (Fra)0:14:20 
33Raphael Gagne* (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:14:26 
34Christof Bischof (Swi) ISD Cycling Team0:14:53 
35Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing0:15:06 
36Guillaume Vinit* (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier0:15:17 
37Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:15:42 
38Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned)0:15:56 
39Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour0:16:25 
40Bjorn Brems (Bel) Team Saeco0:17:12 
41Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team0:17:34 
42Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)0:17:50 
43Michael Broderick (USA)0:17:59 
44Bas Peters (Ned)  
45Matous Ulman (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team0:18:31 
46Stefan Widmer (Can)0:19:17 
47Marc Colom (Fra)0:19:59 
48Milan Spesny (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB0:20:20 
49Josef Kamler* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB0:20:35 
50Fabien Canal* (Fra) Lapierre International0:22:06 
-1lapRenay Groustra (RSA)  
-1lapKris Sneddon (Can) Kona  
-1lapCarl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team  
-1lapRobert Mennen (Ger)  
-1lapRobbie Squire* (USA)  
-1lapMatthew Hadley (Can)  
-1lapRotem Ishai (Isr)  
-1lapBarry Wicks (USA) Kona  
-1lapLachlan Norris* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com  
-1lapColin Cares* (USA)  
-1lapMartin Lazarski (Can)  
-1lapJulien Fillion (Can)  
-1lapAdam Snyder (USA)  
-1lapCristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)  
-1lapAndrew Watson (Can)  
-2lapsManuel Prado Gutierrez (CRc)  
-2lapsPierre Lebreton (Fra) BH-Suntour  
-2lapsJiri Hudecek (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team  
-2lapsAndrew Blair (Aus)  
-2lapsLeni Trudel* (Can)  
-2lapsCraig Richey (Can)  
-2lapsEric Batty (Can)  
-2lapsPatxi Cia Apezteguia (Spa) Conor - Camping La Siesta  
-2lapsCal Britten* (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition  
-2lapsCharlton Durie* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com  
-2lapsAndrew Freye (USA)  
-2lapsMark Leishman (NZl)  
-2lapsPaul Van Der Ploeg* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com  
-2lapsJuan Pedro Trujillo Hernandez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo  
-2lapsRyan Atkins* (Can)  
-2lapsTravis Livermon* (USA)  
-2lapsNiels Wubben* (Ned)  
-2lapsNick Both (Aus)  
-2lapsMike Garrigan (Can)  
-2lapsEthan Gilmour* (USA)  
-2lapsCameron Jette* (Can)  
-2lapsStephen Ettinger* (USA)  
-2lapsPeter Glassford (Can)  
-3lapsDaniel Sessford (Can)  
-3lapsVictor Galvez Perez (Chi)  
-3lapsAaron Snyder* (USA)  
DNFJean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Massi  
DNFUmberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.  
DNFMarco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing  
DNFOliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Mountain Bike Team Gmt  
DNFMax Plaxton (Can)  
DNFBenoit Simard (Can)  
DNFConnor Mcconvey* (Irl) De Brink-Ten Tusscher  
DNFNathan Haas* (Aus) Discovertasmania.Com  
DNFDaniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition  
DNFCarlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes  
DNFLiam Killeen (GBr) Trek World Racing  
DNFTroy Wells (USA)  
DNFBrian Bain (Can)  
DNSJochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team87 pts
2Specialized Factory Racing54 
3Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing44 
5Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles32 
6Giant Mountain Bike Team32 
7Lapierre International32 
8Trek World Racing24 
9Giant Italia Team23 
10Cannondale Factory Racing22 
11TX Active Bianchi21 
12Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo20 
13Merida Biking Team13 
14Subaru-Gary Fisher12 
15Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team9 
World Cup standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea1200 pts
2Burry Stander* (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing720 
3José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team660 
4Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team657 
5Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team650 
6Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Massi550 
7Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing525 
8Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team448 
9Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing446 
10Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing424 
11Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi414 
12Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing394 
13Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing370 
14Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles367 
15Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo348 
16Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing336 
17Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing331 
18Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team313 
19Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International310 
20Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)304 
21Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea290 
22Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team290 
23Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team276 
24Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International272 
25Manuel Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International261 
26Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team237 
27Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team236 
28Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team230 
29Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea222 
30Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing210 
31Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing207 
32Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher205 
33Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) TX Active Bianchi202 
34Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Mountain Bike Team168 
35Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International165 
36Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team161 
37Milan Spesny (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB159 
38Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes156 
39Ludovic Dubau (Fra)154 
40Liam Killeen (GBr) Trek World Racing134 
41Marc Colom (Fra)131 
42Umberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.123 
43Christof Bischof (Swi) ISD Cycling Team121 
44Bas Peters (Ned)110 
45Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Giant Mountain Bike Team109 
46Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition105 
47Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher100 
48Lukas Kaufmann* (Swi)96 
49Andrea Tiberi (Ita) TX Active Bianchi94 
50Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team92 
51Guillaume Vinit* (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier90 
52Derek Zandstra (Can)85 
53Emil Lindgren (Swe) De Brink-Ten Tusscher84 
54Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) TX Active Bianchi84 
55Sergiy Rusenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team83 
56Hannes Metzler (Aut)77 
57Bjorn Brems (Bel) Team Saeco75 
58Jürg Graf (Swi)71 
59Robert Mennen (Ger)66 
60Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)64 
61François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier63 
62Sven Nys (Bel)62 
63Thomas Litscher* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team61 
64Anders Hovdenes* (Nor) Team Etto Hoydahl61 
65Fabian Giger* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team58 
66Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned)58 
67Karl Markt (Aut) SRM Stevens Team58 
68Seamus Mcgrath (Can)56 
69Lachlan Norris* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com56 
70Lado Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International55 
71Filip Eberl (Cze)55 
72Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour53 
73Balz Weber (Swi) DS-Rennsport51 
74Raphael Gagne* (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles40 
75Johnny Cattaneo (Ita)38 
76Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team38 
77Connor Mcconvey* (Irl) De Brink-Ten Tusscher34 
78Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Central Ghost Pro Team31 
79Periklis Ilias (Gre) ISD Cycling Team29 
80Dries Govaerts* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team29 
81Silvio Bundi (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team29 
82Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team26 
83Michael Broderick (USA)25 
84Yader Zoli (Ita) Torpado-4US25 
85Matous Ulman (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team23 
86Stefan Widmer (Can)22 
87Pascal Meyer* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team21 
88Severin Disch* (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team21 
89Josef Kamler* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB19 
90Frank Schotman (Ned)19 
91Fabien Canal* (Fra) Lapierre International18 
92Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team18 
93Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc) Giant Italia Team18 
94Renay Groustra (RSA)17 
95Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona16 
96Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team15 
97Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)14 
98Robbie Squire* (USA)13 
99Peter Sagan* (Svk)13 
100Juan Pedro Trujillo Hernandez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo13 
101Matthew Hadley (Can)12 
102Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team12 
103Roan Exelby (RSA)12 
104Rotem Ishai (Isr)11 
105Barry Wicks (USA) Kona10 
106Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team10 
107Torsten Marx (Ger) DS-Rennsport9 
108Klaus Nielsen (Den)9 
109Andrew Blair (Aus)9 
110Colin Cares* (USA)8 
Team standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team402 pts
3Specialized Factory Racing263 
4Cannondale Factory Racing216 
5Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing171 
6Trek World Racing129 
7TX Active Bianchi120 
8Topeak Ergon Racing Team117 
10Lapierre International101 
11Giant Mountain Bike Team69 
12Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo69 
14Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles55 
15Giant Italia Team50 
16Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team50 
17Merida Biking Team49 
18Subaru-Gary Fisher29 
19MSC Bikes18 
20Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.10 
21Felt International MTB Team6 
22Ceska Sporitelna MTB6 


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