Absalon wins La Bresse cross country in front of home crowd

Just seven seconds separate top two places

Julien Absalon (Orbea) won the elite men's cross country World Cup in front of a home crowd in La Bresse, France. The course had been described repeatedly as "old school", and Absalon clearly liked it, taking his 25th World Cup before his home crowd.

Absalon, who lives about 10km away, rode a smart race tactically and managed to escape the bad luck that affected some of the other favorites. Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) steadily worked his way up throughout the race and made a late bid to overtake Absalon, but finished second. Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) was third, putting in a strong performance in his quest to make the Swiss Olympic team.

"It is maybe one of my best races. It's been in mind forever - the first World Cup at home is a lot of pressure, and I'm happy," said Absalon after winning on the course, which was designed by his brother Remi.

It was a dramatic finish with Absalon crashing on the final technical descent. A surging Kulhavy nearly caught the Frenchman, who quickly got back up and into action.

"It was hard. I was in good shape, but I was suffering a lot. When I saw Jaroslav in the last half lap, I was dead," said Absalon to Redbull.tv. "I was thinking I needed to go slow and not crash on that last descent, but then I lost my concentration and I crashed."

While the women's race was influenced by crashes among the favorites, the elite men's race was influenced more by mechanicals and flats. Burry Stander (Specialized) was crashed into by another rider and burped a tire not long after the start, and Marco Fontana (Cannondale) flatted while leading the race, unfortunately immediately after passing the tech zone which meant he had a long way to go for help. Moritz Milatz (BMC) also had a mechanical just after the tech zone and Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) required a wheel change. World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) sat out the race due to "stomach problems".

Swiss riders Näf and Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower), each vying for an Olympic spot on the Swiss team, set the early fast pace, joined by Fontana until his flat. With so far to go until the next tech zone, Fontana dropped out.

Absalon bridged up on lap two of the six-lap race. Näf dropped back first, and then Vogel, as they struggled to match the searing pace of the French champion.

Milatz, Giger and Lukas Flueckiger chased together until Milatz's mechanical. That left Giger, Vogel and Naef to form the primary chase group.

At the end of lap 4, Naef made an impressive bid for victory by attacking, then catching and passing Absalon. But Absalon wasn't about to give up a win on home turf and he surged past Naef on the climb on lap 5.

World champion and 2011 World Cup champion Kulhavy, who had been steadily working his way up through the field after a poor start, overtook a fried Naef and went in hot pursuit of Absalon. He got to within 20 seconds and almost caught Absalon on the final descent of the final lap, when the fatigued Frenchman crashed by going over the bars. Absalon almost lost the race, but recovered in time to ride across the line, celebrating in front of thousands of hometown fans. It meant Kulhavy finished just seven seconds back in second place, and Näf soloed in for third.

The absent Schurter, the only Swiss man already guaranteed a spot on the nation's Olympic team, remains the World Cup leader, with 700 points, followed by Absalon with 650 and Kulhavy at 625.


Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea Racing Team 1:37:33  
2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing 0:00:07  
3 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:00:40  
4 Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team 0:01:24  
5 Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 0:01:41  
6 Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing 0:02:08  
7 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) 0:02:20  
8 Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry 0:02:35  
9 Max Plaxton (Can) 0:02:51  
10 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 0:03:20  
11 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:03:24  
12 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:03:45  
13 Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:03:46  
14 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing 0:04:15  
15 Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 0:04:42  
16 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing 0:05:32  
17 Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi 0:05:43  
18 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 0:05:46  
19 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:05:47  
20 Martino Fruet (Ita) 0:05:51  
21 Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) 0:06:05  
22 Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss SR -Suntour 0:06:08  
23 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 0:06:10  
24 Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing 0:06:21  
25 Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 0:06:26  
26 Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:06:52  
27 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:06:54  
28 Marek Konwa* (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team 0:06:59  
29 Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing 0:07:05  
30 Andras Parti (Hun) Euroone-Waberer's-Cube MTB Team 0:07:24  
31 Jürg Graf (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team 0:07:37  
32 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta - Corratec 0:07:44  
33 Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team 0:07:59  
34 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek 0:08:06  
35 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team 0:08:28  
36 Stephen Ettinger (USA) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team 0:08:55  
37 Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec 0:09:33  
38 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team 0:09:50  
39 Fabien Canal (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix 0:09:59  
40 Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop 0:10:02  
41 Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 0:10:07  
42 Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team 0:10:16  
43 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Giant Factory Off-Road Team    
44 David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey-Cannondale 0:10:18  
45 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team 0:10:24  
46 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) 0:10:38  
47 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru - Trek 0:10:44  
48 Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing 0:10:59  
49 Alexis Chenevier (Fra) Scott Les Saisies 0:11:10  
50 Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing 0:11:11  
51 Marek Galinski (Pol) JGB - 2 Professional MTB Team 0:11:29  
52 Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 0:11:37  
53 Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Isd MTB Team 0:12:01  
54 Umberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D. 0:12:22  
55 Ruben Almeida (Por) 0:12:28  
56 Hannes Metzler (Aut) 0:12:32  
57 Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) Giant Swiss SR -Suntour 0:12:34  
58 Piotr Brzozka (Pol) JGB - 2 Professional MTB Team 0:12:44  
59 Marc Bassingthwaighte (Nam) 0:12:52  
60 Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team 0:12:58  
61 Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus MIG Team 0:13:35  
62 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) 0:14:42  
-1lap Martin Loo (Est) Hard Rock Canossa Merida    
-1lap Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona    
-1lap Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Versluys Team    
-1lap Hans Becking (Ned) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team    
-1lap Patrik Gallati (Swi) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team    
-1lap Kazuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn)    
-1lap Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
-1lap Pascal Schmutz (Swi)    
-1lap Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)    
-1lap Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International    
-1lap David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)    
-2laps Tiago Jorge Oliveira Ferreira (Por) Bi&Esse - Infotre Protek    
-2laps Pascal Hossay (Bel) Merida Wallonie Mountain Bike Team    
-2laps Benjamin Wittrup Justesen (Den)    
-2laps Javier Eduardo Puschel (Chi)    
-2laps Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) Team Fujibikes Rockets    
-2laps Daniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team    
-2laps Severin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team    
-2laps Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team    
-2laps Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Team Newcycling    
-2laps Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing    
-2laps Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)    
-2laps Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)    
-2laps Michael Broderick (USA)    
-2laps Seiya Hirano (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team    
-2laps Lukas Sablik (Cze) Rubena Auto-Mencik Specialized    
-2laps Vitalii Zubchenko (Ukr) Isd MTB Team    
-2laps Dariusz Batek (Pol)    
-2laps Jonas Baumann (Swi) Wheeler - IXS Team    
-2laps Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)    
-3laps Davy Huygens (Bel)    
-3laps Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
-3laps Sid Taberlay (Aus)    
-3laps Simon Seehofer (Aut)    
-3laps Marco Schätzing (Ger)    
-3laps Brice Scholtes (Bel) Merida Wallonie Mountain Bike Team    
-3laps Tim Lemmers (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team    
-3laps Sandro Soncin (Swi)    
-3laps Bojan Djurdjic (Srb) Salcano Factory Team    
-3laps Steffen Thum (Ger)    
-3laps Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa)    
-3laps Weisong Tong (Chn)    
-3laps Pascal Meyer (Swi)    
-3laps Artyom Golovaschenko (Kaz)    
-3laps Klaus Nielsen (Den)    
-3laps Dennis Ebert (Ned)    
-3laps Philip Buys (RSA)    
-4laps Robby De Bock (Bel)    
-4laps Besik Gavasheli (Geo)    
DNF Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing    
DNF Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rubena Auto-Mencik Specialized    
DNF Moritz Milatz (Ger) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team    
DNF Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International    
DNF Jiri Novak (Cze)    
DNF Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea Racing Team    
DNF Daniel Geismayr (Aut)    
DNF Andy Eyring (Ger)    
DNF Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team    
DNF Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing    
DNF Christoph Soukup (Aut)    
DNF Oleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) Isd MTB Team    
DNF Giancarlo Sax (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team    
DNF Adam Morka (Can)    
DNF John Whittington (GBr)    
DNF Kirill Kazantsev (Kaz)    
DNF Oliver Beckingsale (GBr)    
DNF Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team    
DNF Sven Nys (Bel)    
DNF Tom Meeusen (Bel)    
DNS Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team    
DNS Cédric Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix    
DNS Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team    
DNS Brian Lopes (USA)    
DNS Heiko Gutmann (Ger)    
DNS Miha Halzer (Slo) Energijateam.Com    
DNS Florian Thie (Swi)    
DNS Arnould Jeremy (Fra)    
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Specialized Racing 68  pts
2 Multivan Merida Biking Team 64  
3 Cannondale Factory Racing 41  
4 Orbea Racing Team 40  
5 Trek World Racing 37  
6 Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 36  
7 Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing 32  
8 Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team 30  
9 BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry 23  
10 TX Active Bianchi 14  
11 Topeak Ergon Racing Team 13  
12 Giant Swiss SR -Suntour 9  
13 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 6  
14 Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team 3  
15 Euroone-Waberer's-Cube MTB Team 1  
Elite men individual World Cup standings after four rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Nino Schurter (Swi) 700  pts
2 Julien Absalon (Fra) 650  
3 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) 625  
4 Burry Stander (RSA) 568  
5 Manuel Fumic (Ger) 470  
6 Fabian Giger (Swi) 440  
7 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 410  
8 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) 405  
9 Ralph Naef (Swi) 395  
10 Florian Vogel (Swi) 390  
11 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) 385  
12 Christoph Sauser (Swi) 364  
13 Stéphane Tempier (Fra) 364  
14 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) 331  
15 Maxime Marotte (Fra) 314  
16 Moritz Milatz (Ger) 290  
17 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) 284  
18 Martin Gujan (Swi) 280  
19 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) 272  
20 Emil Lindgren (Swe) 242  
21 Mathias Flückiger (Swi) 236  
22 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) 227  
23 Max Plaxton (Can) 212  
24 Jochen Kass (Ger) 212  
25 Liam Killeen (GBr) 206  
26 Geoff Kabush (Can) 192  
27 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) 190  
28 Karl Markt (Aut) 189  
29 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) 187  
30 Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) 166  
31 Samuel Schultz (USA) 162  
32 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) 160  
33 Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) 152  
34 Thomas Litscher (Swi) 148  
35 Marek Konwa* (Pol) 143  
36 Michele Casagrande (Ita) 135  
37 Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) 127  
38 Milan Spesny (Cze) 124  
39 Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) 114  
40 Tony Longo (Ita) 111  
41 Martin Fanger (Swi) 108  
42 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) 105  
43 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 104  
44 Fabien Canal (Fra) 103  
45 Sven Nys (Bel) 100  
46 Martino Fruet (Ita) 98  
47 Jürg Graf (Swi) 98  
48 Jiri Novak (Cze) 91  
49 Stephen Ettinger (USA) 90  
50 Todd Wells (USA) 83  
51 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) 82  
52 Derek Zandstra (Can) 76  
53 Andrea Tiberi (Ita) 70  
54 Matous Ulman (Cze) 68  
55 Andras Parti (Hun) 63  
56 Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) 56  
57 Cédric Ravanel (Fra) 53  
58 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) 53  
59 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) 52  
60 Piotr Brzozka (Pol) 51  
61 Umberto Corti (Ita) 48  
62 Lukas Sablik (Cze) 42  
63 Lachlan Norris (Aus) 41  
64 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) 40  
65 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) 40  
66 Marek Galinski (Pol) 37  
67 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) 34  
68 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) 30  
69 Robert Mennen (Ger) 30  
70 Philip Buys (RSA) 30  
71 Adam Craig (USA) 29  
72 Alban Lakata (Aut) 29  
73 Periklis Ilias (Gre) 27  
74 David Fletcher (GBr) 24  
75 Patrik Gallati (Swi) 24  
76 Kristian Hynek (Cze) 20  
77 Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) 20  
78 Alexis Chenevier (Fra) 19  
79 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) 16  
80 Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) 15  
81 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) 14  
82 Ruben Almeida (Por) 13  
83 Hannes Metzler (Aut) 12  
84 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) 11  
85 Michal Lami (Svk) 10  
86 David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por) 10  
87 Sebastien Carabin (Bel) 10  
88 Marc Bassingthwaighte (Nam) 9  
89 Martin Loo (Est) 8  
Team World Cup standings after four rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Specialized Racing 295  pts
2 Cannondale Factory Racing 238  
4 Multivan Merida Biking Team 227  
3 Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team 194  
6 Orbea Racing Team 134  
5 Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 131  
7 Trek World Racing 119  
10 Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing 83  
8 TX Active Bianchi 74  
9 BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 59  
12 BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry 59  
11 Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team 39  
13 Scott-3Roxracing 35  
14 Elettroveneta - Corratec 24  
15 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 20  
20 Topeak Ergon Racing Team 17  
16 Subaru - Trek 11  
21 Giant Swiss SR -Suntour 10  
17 Rubena Auto-Mencik Specialized 8  
18 Lapierre International 6  
19 S&H Superior MTB Team 5  
  Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team    
  Euroone-Waberer's-Cube MTB Team    


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