Lukas Fl├╝ckiger wins South Africa World Cup preview race

Kalentieva fastest among the women

Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) and Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) won the cross country race on the UCI World Cup course in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Saturday. Lukas Flückiger beat Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) and his brother Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing) for the top three spots in the men's race while World Champion Kalentieva finished ahead of Willow Koerber (Trek World Racing) and Esther Süss.

Conditions were extremely difficult. Temperatures were lower than they've been all week, the rain bucketed down and the track was very muddy, providing a real test for the World Cup riders that took to the course.

In the women's race, Koerber took to the lead from the start and remained there for most of the first two laps. In the middle of the race, she rang out of energy after a difficult week fighting a stomach bug, but she pulled it together by the end of the race to finish second behind Kalentieva.

"That was probably the muddiest race I have ever done!" said Koerber. "It was 98 percent ride-able, but towards the end it was really hard to see. Eyewear was fogging up and it was almost a guessing game choosing lines. But I'm so happy to have done that."

After a fast start in the men's race, Lukas Flückiger crossed the line at the end of lap one of five in first place, just ahead of last year's big World Cup champion Kulhavy, with brother Mathias not far behind in third. The race soon became a battle between Luk and Kulhavy, and on lap 3, Luk punctured a rear tire and took the opportunity to swap tires. He caught back up to Kulhavy, and then began to make a break. His lead went out to 40 seconds by the end of the race.

"Good race for me today, and I enjoyed the conditions," said Lukas. "I learned a lot and I'm happy to be on the top step. Bike worked great... overall I am really happy."

"It was a little bit quiet for me with no riders around," said Mathias, "but I used the day as a good exercise in technical improvement. If it's wet next week for the World Cup, this was an important race today."

Tomorrow it's the downhillers' turn on the course, and the weather is looking mixed.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 2:01:41  
2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing 0:01:09  
3 Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 0:09:08  
4 Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team 0:10:11  
5 Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team 0:10:15  
6 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) 0:12:30  
7 Jiri Novak (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team 0:14:03  
8 Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team 0:16:01  
9 Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 0:17:15  
10 Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team 0:21:11  
11 Matthias Leisling (Ger) Muskelkater Genesis Team 0:23:05  
12 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys-Evenza Team 0:26:38  
13 Matthys Beukes (RSA) 0:28:05  
14 Michael Broderick (USA) 0:28:42  
15 Oliver Munnik (RSA) 0:33:51  
16 Marc Beaumont (GBr)    
17 Bjorn Brems (Bel) Versluys-Evenza Team    
  Marc Bassingthwaighte (Nam)    
DNF Renay Groustra (RSA)    
DNF Ben Henderson (Aus)    
DNF Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf-Trek Racing    
DNF Christoph Soukup (Aut)    
DNF Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) MTN Qhubeka    
DNS Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team    
DNS Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team    
DNS Patrik Gallati (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team    
DNS Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team    
DNS Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team    
DNS Justin Porteous (RSA)    
DNS Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team    
DNS Martinus Esmeyer (RSA)    
DNS Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing    
DNS Philip Buys (RSA)    
DNS Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)    
DNS Christopher Wolhuter (RSA)    
DNS Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing    
DNS Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 1:42:06  
2 Willow Koerber (USA) Trek World Racing 0:01:56  
3 Esther Süss (Swi) 0:02:36  
4 Mary Mcconneloug (USA) 0:09:12  
5 Katherine O'shea (Aus) 0:22:49  
6 Inbar Ronen (Isr) 0:23:14  
7 Rie Katayama (Jpn) 0:26:51  
8 Samantha Sanders (RSA)    
DNF Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Racing    
DNS Amy-Jane Mundy (RSA)    
DNS Eszter Erdelyi (Hun) MTN Qhubeka    
DNS Petru Prinsloo (RSA)    
Under 23 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Andy Eyring (Ger) 1:50:22  
2 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) 0:03:13  
3 Rourke Croeser (RSA) Orange Monkey / Cannondale (RSA) 0:04:11  
4 David Fletcher (GBr) 0:04:57  
5 Louis-Bresler Knipe (RSA) 0:05:39  
6 James Reid (RSA) 0:08:47  
7 Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Versluys-Evenza Team (Bel) 0:10:02  
8 Travis Walker (RSA) 0:16:11  
9 Lourens Luus (RSA) 0:18:37  
10 Shaun Craig Silver (RSA) 0:27:44  
11 Jedson Tooms (RSA)    
12 Luc Desvaux De Marigny (RSA)    
13 Jason Meaton (RSA)    
DNF Ryan Ellis (RSA)    
DNF Bryce Munro (RSA)    
DNF Dominic Calitz (RSA) Team Protek    
DNF Darryn Purtell (RSA)    
DNF Fabian Strecker (Ger)    
DNF Marcel Fleschhut (Ger)    
DNS Adriaan Louw (RSA)    
DNS Hilton Frost (RSA)    
DNS Ruan Du Toit (RSA)    
DNS Xander Botha (RSA)    
DNS Jeff Luyten (Bel) MPL Specialized MTB Team    
Under 23 women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mariske Strauss (RSA)    
2 Candice Neethling (RSA)    
3 Rebecca Henderson (Aus)    
4 Angela Egeland (RSA)    
5 Amy Mcdougall (RSA)    
DNF Caitlin De Wet (RSA)    
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