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UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2010

Date range:
September 1- 5, 2010

September 04, Elite women cross country: Mont-Sainte-Anne - Mont-Sainte-Anne

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 2010 UCI Mountainbike World Championship. We will start off with the women's race.

  1. 10:45:06 EDT

    Hello, and welcome.  The women will be taking off shortly on this course in Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec, Canada.  Our Sue George is on the scene, and will be providing us with live updates.

    And the big news is:  it is raining!  Like really pouring down!

  2. 10:48:00 EDT

    Does Mont-Saint-Anne know mountain biking?  You bet!  The ski resort has hosted a World Cup or World Championship every year since 1991. This is its second World Championship, with the first one having been held in 1998.

  3. 10:49:46 EDT

    The good news is that the rain has stopped.  The bad news is that everything is still very wet and the rocks and roots will be very slippery.

  4. 10:51:00 EDT

    The course is a twisting turning one of  just under  5km,  with lots of ups and downs and rocks and roots and all those other things that make mountain biking so beloved.

  5. 10:51:56 EDT

    The women are being called to the start line and introduced.

  6. 10:52:55 EDT

    This weather could well play into the hands of top Americans mary McConneloug and Willow Koerber. They are both good in this kind of condition.

  7. 10:53:41 EDT

    Canadian Marie Helen Premont  was introduced to a huge roar.   The announcer had to pause to let them finish cheering.

  8. 10:55:07 EDT

    The week started out very hot and very humid with temperatures in the mid-90s and heavy humidity.   Every day it has gotten dryer and cooler,
    until today, when it's 100% humidity (raining) and cold.  Yesterday, conditions were the best, pretty much perfect for U23 and junior cross
    country racers and four cross racers.

  9. 10:59:00 EDT

    Mont-Sainte-Anne is a special venue, Sue George tells us.  Most racers like it and it has a real fun atmosphere.  There have been parties every night.

  10. 10:59:47 EDT

    We're at the start line and ready to go!

  11. 11:00:25 EDT

    And they're off!

  12. 11:00:49 EDT

    67 women take off on the wide asphalt road -- it gets narrower later.

  13. 11:01:00 EDT

    Some of the women had to click out on the first turn, and take a few steps.

  14. 11:02:00 EDT

    Willow Koerber (USA) is in the lead at the moment.

  15. 11:02:49 EDT

    Lechner and Koerber are sharing the lead, actually.

  16. 11:03:00 EDT

    Eva Lechner (Italy)  leads them up the first steep climb.

  17. 11:03:50 EDT

     Here is the weather forecast for today, and isn't it a lovely one.  Showers, with risk of thunderstorms in the late afternoon.  Wind, southwest, 40 km/h (27 mph) with gusts up to 60 km/h (37 mph).

  18. 11:04:28 EDT

    They are working their way up another difficult climb.

  19. 11:05:11 EDT

    And down they come over some rocks with a sharp turn at the bottom.  Some are walking down, and some are taking another route.

  20. 11:05:00 EDT

    SG:  Katrin Leumann and Nathalie Schneitter also have good starts. The Swiss have been good off the line every race so far

  21. 11:06:05 EDT

    Another very rocky section, with lots deciding to walk or half-walk.

  22. 11:06:21 EDT

    Great crowds here today.

  23. 11:06:46 EDT

    A New Zealand rider goes down on the rocks, but pops right back up.

  24. 11:07:23 EDT

    Ah, out of the woods and into a field.  An uphill field.....

  25. 11:07:00 EDT

    SG:  One spectator just shared her trick for keeping track of laps. Put pebbles in pocket. Remove one each time around.

  26. 11:08:39 EDT

    Sabine Spitz of Germany is near the front now.  Remember, she won the Olympic gold two years ago. 

  27. 11:09:27 EDT

    There is a rocky descent on the second half of the lap that's become famous at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Riders can go right down it or take a go
    around, which is theoretically longer time-wise, but safer.  The section is fairly straightforward to ride in the dry, but in the wet, it will be
    come extremely treacherous.  It's a favorite among spectators.

  28. 11:10:03 EDT

    Looks like KOerber is leading things here, followed by Schneitter.

  29. 11:11:02 EDT

    Last night, thousands of people came out to watch the four cross finals under the lights.  They cheered and drank beer.  The race didn't even
    start until 9:00 pm. Caroline Buchanan (Australia) successfully defended her world title.  Jared Graves (Australia) fell short by one place. He
    was passed at the last possible minute by Tomas Slavic (Czech), who won his first world title.

  30. 11:11:21 EDT

    A Chinese rider goes down and blocks the way.  Oops!

  31. 11:12:19 EDT

    Several other riders have problems at the same spot

  32. 11:12:51 EDT

    Lechner leads the way over the finish line to end the first lap in a time of 11,05.

  33. 11:13:28 EDT

    Lechner, Pendrel and Wloscczowska are in the lead.

  34. 11:14:00 EDT

    SG:  Canadian Catharine Pendrel looks very good. She stands up and takes lead on small climb.

  35. 11:15:12 EDT

    A back-up at the difficult stone-covered section.

  36. 11:16:22 EDT

    The cross country course has a lot of steep climbing and descents.  There is  nowhere to rest on it.  There are also plenty of technical
    sections and turns.  What makes this course technical is the presence of rocks and roots, which become notoriously slippery when it's wet.

  37. 11:18:13 EDT

    The three women are still leading, but they have been joined by others from behind.

  38. 11:18:29 EDT

    4.5 laps to go now....

  39. 11:19:03 EDT

    Pendrel is now in the lead.  We have a group of seven at the front.

  40. 11:20:25 EDT

    Pendel has taken off in a solo effort.  She has quite a lead.

  41. 11:21:09 EDT

    The other six are giving chase, but things are getting spread out.

  42. 11:22:00 EDT

    In the chase are Maja Wloszczowska, Irina Kalentieva, Willow Koerber, Catharine Pendrel, Nathalie Schneitter and Janka Stevkova.

  43. 11:23:25 EDT

    Of course the local women are favourites today:  Catharine Pendrel (2010 World Cup overall winner and winner of two rounds, and Marie Helen Premont (local from Quebec) in her swansong race.  Premont actually was going to retire then extended her career to race one last worlds at home.  When she comes out to race here, the fans go wild and you can tell where she in on course by how loud and where the cheering is.

    Both women could win a medal today and even the title.

  44. 11:24:16 EDT

    Pendrel got away on that climb and is holding on to her lead, although it seems to be getting smaller.  Wloszckowska is now second.

  45. 11:25:07 EDT

    SG:  Riders go thru tech zone twice each lap. It's the same zone. They pass once on each side

  46. 11:25:35 EDT

    Pendrel has gone down now twice in the last few minutes, trying to take the easier way.  Nerves?

  47. 11:26:53 EDT

    Wloszckowska has now caught Pendrel, who is having a tough time of it.

  48. 11:27:37 EDT

    Koerber now moves into third place.

  49. 11:28:09 EDT

    The top US favourites are Willow Koerber and Georgia Gould (2010 US National Champion XC).  Others who could do well are   Mary McConneloug and Heather Irmiger, both of whom are past national champions in XC.

  50. 11:29:10 EDT

    Pendrel is unable to drop her Polish rival.   There is now a huge gap behind them.  Koerber is third followed by Kalentieva.

  51. 11:29:59 EDT

    SG: There is Chicken wire is on some wooden bridges to make them less slippery. Useful today

  52. 11:30:58 EDT

    The two leaders approach the finish line.  Pendrel leads the way.  Four laps to go.

  53. 11:31:46 EDT

    Koerber third, Wloszckowska fourth, both about 25 seconds back.  Fifth is Spitz.

  54. 11:32:09 EDT

    SG:  Koerber asked USA staff for water next time she comes thru feed / tech zone

  55. 11:32:37 EDT

    Lechner led at the end of the first lap, but is now 1.29 down.

  56. 11:33:14 EDT

    Let's take a look at some of the sections along the way.  La Beatrice is new this year, and is short but very technical. Misjudge the start of the slope at your peril, then carefully negotiate the hairpin turn across a flat rock, and you’ll come hurtling across a series of huge steps.

  57. 11:34:01 EDT

    Heather Irmiger of the US crosses the line in ninth place, but we haven't spotted Georgia Gould yet.

  58. 11:35:03 EDT

    La Germaine:  A long, quick descent through the forest is littered with rocks, holes, and roots. The faster you go, the easier it is!

  59. 11:35:35 EDT

    Wloszckowska now moves ahead of pendrel.

  60. 11:36:10 EDT

    Huge gap behind Spitz, who is still in fifth.

  61. 11:37:00 EDT

    And now it is Wloszckowska who has built up a lead and is pulling away from Pendrel, as Koerber moves up on the Canadian.

  62. 11:37:42 EDT

    The Polish rider has built up a significant gap now.

  63. 11:38:52 EDT

    We also have La Marmotte, a very demanding climb and a succession of 180° turns will make you sweat.

  64. 11:41:49 EDT

    Wloszckowska leads Pendrel by about 12 seconds, then Koerber, Kalentieva and Spitz at about 20 seconds.  It is beginning to look like only a five-woman race.

  65. 11:42:24 EDT

    Sound easy enough already?  How about a tricky descent?  Les “S” Ecole has six technical ‘S’ turns which make for a nice descent. You’re going to need all your skills or you’ll lose a lot of time.

  66. 11:43:26 EDT

    Premont, Osl and Irmiger are getting close to Spitz, who has dropped back from the ealier two.

  67. 11:44:02 EDT

    SG:  Maja looked fresher than Catharine when they passed. Maybe the latter started too hard?

  68. 11:44:51 EDT

    Wloszckowska runs down the slower, rock-covered route, while the others ride down the fast way.

  69. 11:45:43 EDT

    SG:  I see US national champ Georgia Gould now. She's about half lap down. Not a great day for her

  70. 11:46:24 EDT

    And then there's La Perdrix.  This passage was already in place for the 1998 World Championships. It’s been updated to include a steep slope with a heavy fall—followed by a spectacular climb.

  71. 11:47:13 EDT

    Osl goes down on the rocks.  Her bike goes quite a way down without her.  Ouch....

  72. 11:48:02 EDT

    The women aren't alone out there.  THe downhillers are training for their finals tomorrow.  On a different course, naturally!

  73. 11:48:22 EDT

    Kalentieva has fallen back slightly.

  74. 11:50:09 EDT

    A huge gap for  Wloszckowska. She crosses the finish line with a time of 49:37.  Three laps to go.

  75. 11:50:46 EDT

    Koerber second ahead of Pendrel both at 16.  Kalentieva fourth at 30 seconds, and Spitz fifth at 44 seconds.

  76. 11:51:47 EDT

    AFter Spitz there is a gigantic gap, with the next woman coming over nearly a minute later.

  77. 11:53:00 EDT

    SG;  Katie Compton (USA) is spotted in the feed zone. She's sitting down with head in hands. So disappointing for her after crash and injury earlier this week in team relay

  78. 11:54:56 EDT

    Wloszckowska works her way up some hairpin turns in the woods, with Koerber and Pendrel in pursuit.

  79. 11:55:29 EDT

    SG:  Premont was in sixth at last sighting and looking good. She knows this course like back of her hand

  80. 11:56:04 EDT

    SG:  Heather Irmiger did a glasses hand off when she went through feed zone in an impressive 8th place.

  81. 11:57:32 EDT

    Cyclingnews' Sue George tells us, ““I think this is going to be a pretty exciting worlds, if for no other reason than the conditions are epic (dumping rain) on a technical course. But in addition, there are many top contenders, the race is very wide open."

  82. 11:58:36 EDT

    Pendrel and Koerber are still together.

  83. 11:59:52 EDT

    The four chasers now have Wloszckowska in their sights.

  84. 12:00:36 EDT

    Well, let's make that three chasers:  Pendrel, Koerber and Kalentieva.

  85. 12:01:22 EDT

    The gap has come down and the three are not at all that far back. 

  86. 12:02:29 EDT

    SG:  Spitz was the only one of the top riders off her bike in uphill rock garden section

  87. 12:03:00 EDT

    They all successfully negotiate the tricky ride down the rocks.

  88. 12:03:00 EDT

    SG: Watch out for Irina. She's very experienced and has won twice before at worlds.

  89. 12:04:00 EDT

    Kalnetieva runs down a tricky section.

  90. 12:05:08 EDT

    Last year, the Worlds were held in Canberra, Australia, and  the Top Ten looked like this:

    1      Irina Kalentieva (Russian Federation)      1:43:20
    2     Lene Byberg (Norway)     0:00:13
    3     Willow Koerber (United States of America)     0:00:52
    4     Sabine Spitz (Germany)     0:01:30
    5     Anna Szafraniec (Poland)     0:01:37
    6     Catharine Pendrel (Canada)     0:02:36
    7     Cécile Rode Ravanel (France)     0:03:07
    8     Esther Süss (Switzerland)     0:03:40
    9     Eva Lechner (Italy)     0:03:58
    10     Heather Irmiger (United States Of America)     0:04:12

    Last year Irina Kalentieva (Russia) took her second career world title.  Lene Byberg (Norway) had a break out performance and so did Willow
    Koerber (US).  They finished second and third.

  91. 12:05:48 EDT

    SG: Irmiger still in 8th at last pass. Mcconneloug in 13th. Nice riding by US women

  92. 12:06:40 EDT

    Kalentieva having some real problems -- perhaps something on the bike? She is ok now again, though.

  93. 12:07:27 EDT

    It's about 20° Celsius out there, which is quite pleasant.

  94. 12:08:03 EDT

    SG:  No Byberg today. I wonder why? She podiumed last year.

  95. 12:08:40 EDT

    Spitz and Kalentieva are now together, in fourth and fifth.

  96. 12:09:03 EDT

    SG:  Maja passes, taking a feed. She looks really good

  97. 12:09:00 EDT

    Wloszckowska goes over the finish line in 1:08:54.  Pendrel is at 0:30 and Koerber is at 0:32.

  98. 12:10:28 EDT

    Kalentieva and Spitz were also within one minute.  There are two full laps to go.

  99. 12:11:06 EDT

    30 seconds just isn't enough to be a comfortable lead.  Wloszckowska will be disappointed that she couldn't build her lead up.

  100. 12:11:42 EDT

    Osl is sixth at 1:58.  We definitely have a five-woman race here.

  101. 12:13:18 EDT

    SG:  Katerina Nash riding in 12th. She was part of medal winning Czech relay squad and also races cross.

  102. 12:15:28 EDT

    The gap between Koerber/Pendrel and Kalentieva/Spitz seems to be increasing.

  103. 12:16:00 EDT

    Wloszczowska continues on her solitary way.  Spitz has now been dropped by Kalentieva.

  104. 12:17:18 EDT

    A number of spectators are wearing rubber boots.  That is probably an excellent idea.

  105. 12:18:36 EDT

    Wloszczowska looks like her lead has increased..... where are the next two?

  106. 12:19:00 EDT

    SG:  Maja has a 35-second lead. Then Willow just passed Catharine. Spitz is in fourth and Irina is fifth.

  107. 12:20:17 EDT

    Spitz and Kalentieva are together again and not that far behind Koerber and Pendre.l.

  108. 12:20:52 EDT

    Spitz' husband is here too and just ran alongside his wife and shouted out some advice.

  109. 12:21:43 EDT

    NOw Kalentieva has dropped Spitz.

  110. 12:23:14 EDT

    Wloszczowska again runs down the long rocky descent.

  111. 12:23:44 EDT

    The women are starting to sport a number of mud flecks.

  112. 12:24:31 EDT

    Wloszczowska heads up the switchbacks.

  113. 12:25:02 EDT

    She has to put her foot down and loses her rhythm.

  114. 12:25:53 EDT

    Koerber now a few metres ahead of Pendrel, with Kalentieva in sight behind them.

  115. 12:27:20 EDT

    What a difficult course and race this is!

  116. 12:28:10 EDT

    It looks like Koerber has taken off on her own  She is taking all risk, flying along.

  117. 12:29:07 EDT

    Wloszczowska crosses the line at 1:29:29.  One lap to go.

  118. 12:29:49 EDT

    Koerber second at 37 seconds, and Pendrel third at 51 seonds.  Kalentieva behind her at 55 seconds.

  119. 12:30:19 EDT

    So Wloszczowska has finally been able to build her lead up, even if it is only by seven seconds.

  120. 12:31:17 EDT

    Koerber looks determined, with her blond curls spilling out on to her back.

  121. 12:31:51 EDT

    Osl fifth and Lechner sixth.  Spitz has dropped to ninth.

  122. 12:32:00 EDT

    Spitz and Premont are together at nearly 3 minutes down.

  123. 12:33:15 EDT

    UP goes Wloszczowska over this section of the course for the last time.

  124. 12:33:49 EDT

    ANd up a wooden ramp, covered with chicken wire.

  125. 12:34:13 EDT

    Pendrel and Kalentieva in third and fourth in pursuit.

  126. 12:34:48 EDT

    One of those two will be disappointed at the end of the day.

  127. 12:35:45 EDT

    It looks like we have our first- and second-place finishers.  The question now is who will take third.  Will one break out from teh other or will they sprint?

  128. 12:36:27 EDT

    Spitz moves ahead of Premont, but is much too far back to be a factor anymore.

  129. 12:36:48 EDT

    Pendrel does all of the lead work.

  130. 12:37:18 EDT

    Sue George has finally decided that Wloszczowska will probably take the win.

  131. 12:37:00 EDT

    Pendrel is doing the lead work and suffering.  Could be a smart move by Kalentieva.

  132. 12:38:13 EDT

    On the other hand, Pendrel really, really wants a medal here.

  133. 12:38:45 EDT

    Wloszczowska heads to the feed zone, about halfway through the final lap.

  134. 12:40:05 EDT

    Wloszczowska grits her teeth as she holds on to her 37 second lead.

  135. 12:41:34 EDT

    Pendrel leads Kalentieva up a climb.

  136. 12:43:00 EDT

    Pendrel and Kalentieva may have moved up a bit on the two leaders.  Wloszczowska again runs down the rocky descent, and slips dangerously.

  137. 12:43:42 EDT

    She didn't go down, but lost some seconds.  Must have been pretty scary, too.

  138. 12:44:53 EDT

    KOerber went down on the wet rocks and got caught in the advertising banner.  We now have a tight race for second and third.

  139. 12:45:13 EDT

    That did allow Wloszczowska to build up her lead.

  140. 12:46:03 EDT

    Kalentieva alone in second now.  She goes down.  Behind her are Pendrel and Koerber.  Lots of nerves here...

  141. 12:46:37 EDT

    Too bad there aren't four medals!

  142. 12:47:07 EDT

    Wloszczowska now descends.  Not so much further now for her!

  143. 12:48:04 EDT

    Kalentieva now leads ahead of Pendrel and Koerber.

  144. 12:48:00 EDT

    Wloszczowska is the new world champion!  The first Polish woman to win the title!

  145. 12:49:00 EDT

    Kalentieva has pulled away from the other two.

  146. 12:49:00 EDT

    The Russian is second at 48 seconds, and Koerber takes bronze four seconds later after a daring final pass of Pendrel.

  147. 12:50:14 EDT

    The winning time was 1:48.21.

  148. 12:51:28 EDT

    Osl comes in at fifth, exactly two minutes down.  Irmiger is sixth, at 2.03. 

  149. 12:53:11 EDT

    Congratuations to our three medal winners, and indeed, to all the women who took on this fearsome challenge.

    Come back in an hour and join us for the men's race.