Kalentieva wins the elite women's cross country at Hafjell World Cup

Zakelj celebrates overall standings victory

Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) won the eighth cross country World Cup of her career in Hafjell, Norway on Saturday. Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol) narrowly beat Julie Bresset (BH-SR Suntour-KMC) for the second spot while Lea Davison (Specialized) put in a top five finish for fourth and home crowd favorite Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) was fifth.

"It's unbelievable," said Kalentieva after winning. "This year I had a lot of bad luck. I was fourth in the Worlds, like at the Olympics. I know this feeling from earlier, when I won many times in the World Cup and Worlds. I'm so happy."

"I knew that in this race, I'd have to be at the front in the beginning. It was so fast and today I did it - I was near the front. When I was in third and fourth, I was thinking, today I can win, so I tried and gave everything."

The short 4.1-kilometre course proved to be very tough, with many riders underestimating the constant climbing and rough, rocky descents. Four riders went to the front on the first lap of the six lap women's race, and attrition gradually whittled their numbers down. Kalentieva was joined at the front by round one winner Lechner, world champion Bresset and Davison.

Behind, local favourite Dahle Flesjaa rode her own pace for the entire race to stay in fifth, while the lead was constantly shuffled at the front.

Davison was the first to get dropped, on lap three, while Kalentieva, Lechner and Bresset took turns pushing each other. Lechner made a strong attack with a lap and a half to go, dropping Bresset for good, but Kalentieva clawed her way back up and then broke clear on the one of the final climbs, to solo in by 20 seconds ahead of Lechner.

The race came down to the last lap. With one and a half laps to go, Bresset made her attack and distanced Lechner and Kalentieva while Davison chased alone in fourth. However, after a flat tire, Bresset was reeled back in and passed. She was not near a tech zone and lost substantial time on her way to getting a wheel change, dropping back to fourth.

The French woman put in an impressive comeback to catch and pass Davison. She also caught up to Lechner on the final lap, but the Italian held her off.

Kalentieva, alone at the front after Bresset's flat, had plenty of time to celebrate her win while Lechner held off the chase from Bresset.

Behind, Zakelj rode back in eighth place for the first half of the race before starting to move forward to eventually finish sixth, cementing her overall World Cup title, and becoming the first Slovenian to win both an individual World Cup (rounds two and three), as well as an overall title. Lechner's second place moved her into second overall from fourth, leapfrogging Katerina Nash (Luna), who dropped from second to third.

"It's so amazing. I never expected it at the beginning of this season," said the new World Cup champion Zakelj. "I never expected before this season that something this awesome would happen to me. This race was so tough - the toughest in my whole career. I felt a lot of pressure and wanted to keep focused. What I achieved is so important and simply amazing, I haven't been able to think about it yet."

"All the pressure that I felt (made the race hard) and the conditions were not perfect for me. I like it more warm and more sunny, but the conditions were the same for everybody. And I think it was normal that the other girls to be at the front that were not so strong at the beginning of the season, because it is very tough to keep so high every race,. This day I still managed to be very close to the podium and I am very happy about it."

"I hope I will continue to do races like that in my future. I am still young, and I have many opportunities in front of me, I am looking forward to next season," said Zakelj.

Race note

Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike) sat out the race after injuring herself in a crash during training at the world championships two weeks ago. She has since undergone surgery on her shoulder.

Full Results

Elite women cross country
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 1:25:34  
2 Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol 0:00:20  
3 Julie Bresset (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC 0:00:22  
4 Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing XC 0:00:54  
5 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:01:17  
6 Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team 0:02:48  
7 Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team 0:03:23  
8 Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team 0:04:17  
9 Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team 0:04:46  
10 Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team 0:05:15  
11 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 0:05:41  
12 Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - iXS Team 0:05:56  
13 Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol) 0:06:07  
14 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team 0:06:47  
15 Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team 0:07:01  
16 Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol 0:07:03  
17 Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team 0:07:13  
18 Mikaela Kofman (Can) Scott-3Roxracing 0:07:58  
19 Hanna Klein (Ger) 0:08:48  
20 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team 0:09:24  
21 Lene Byberg (Nor) 0:09:56  
22 Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team 0:10:17  
23 Nadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 0:10:33  
24 Mary Mcconneloug (USA) 0:10:36  
25 Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team 0:10:44  
26 Nina Wrobel (Ger) 0:10:49  
27 Kajsa Snihs (Swe) 0:11:00  
28 Vera Andreeva (Rus) Team Protek 0:11:08  
29 Heidi Rosasen Sandsto (Nor) Team Giant/United Bakeries 0:11:13  
30 Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike Team 0:12:05  
31 Elisabeth Sveum (Nor) 0:12:33  
32 Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team 0:13:12  
33 Lee Craigie (GBr) 0:13:20  
34 Kate Fluker (NZl) 0:14:06  
35 Erin Huck (USA) 0:14:38  
-1lap Lucie Vesela (Cze)    
-1lap Angelica Edvardsson (Swe)    
-1lap Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)    
-1lap Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)    
-2laps Cindy Montambault (Can)    
-4laps Ruth Owen-Evans (GBr)    
DNF Oksana Rybakova (Rus)    
DNF Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team    
DNF Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC    
DNS Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC    
DNS Jane Nussli (GBr) Fischer-BMC    
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Luna Pro Team 55  pts
2 Ghost Factory Racing Team 52  
3 Team Colnago Sudtirol 50  
4 Topeak Ergon Racing Team 48  
5 Giant Pro XC Team 45  
6 BH - SR Suntour - KMC 32  
7 Specialized Racing XC 30  
8 Multivan Merida Biking Team 28  
9 Unior Tools Team 26  
10 Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team 22  
11 Wheeler - iXS Team 19  
12 Scott-3Roxracing 13  
13 Toka Print MTB Team 9  
14 Team Protek 3  
15 Team Giant/United Bakeries 2  
16 Calcit Bike Team 1  
Elite women cross country World Cup final standings
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Tanja Zakelj (Slo) 1080  pts
2 Eva Lechner (Ita) 960  
3 Katerina Nash (Cze) 955  
4 Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) 890  
5 Alexandra Engen (Swe) 680  
6 Jolanda Neff* (Swi) 606  
7 Catharine Pendrel (Can) 605  
8 Katrin Leumann (Swi) 600  
9 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) 589  
10 Lea Davison (USA) 582  
11 Irina Kalentieva (Rus) 578  
12 Emily Batty (Can) 485  
13 Adelheid Morath (Ger) 482  
14 Esther Süss (Swi) 450  
15 Julie Bresset (Fra) 434  
16 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) 394  
17 Georgia Gould (USA) 386  
18 Annika Langvad (Den) 350  
19 Blaza Klemencic (Slo) 344  
20 Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) 323  
21 Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) 316  
22 Mary Mcconneloug (USA) 311  
23 Hanna Klein (Ger) 286  
24 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) 264  
25 Sabine Spitz (Ger) 250  
26 Tereza Hurikova (Cze) 244  
27 Corina Gantenbein (Swi) 242  
28 Githa Michiels (Bel) 242  
29 Vera Andreeva (Rus) 232  
30 Lene Byberg (Nor) 226  
31 Mikaela Kofman (Can) 222  
32 Daniela Campuzano (Mex) 220  
33 Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol) 194  
34 Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol) 168  
35 Pauline Ferrand Prevot* (Fra) 164  
36 Nadine Rieder (Ger) 155  
37 Nina Wrobel (Ger) 153  
38 Marianne Vos (Ned) 150  
39 Annie Last (GBr) 141  
40 Judy Freeman (USA) 135  
41 Amanda Sin (Can) 130  
42 Erin Huck (USA) 130  
43 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) 126  
44 Anna Villar Argente (Spa) 123  
45 Lee Craigie (GBr) 119  
46 Elisabeth Sveum (Nor) 118  
47 Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg) 117  
48 Paula Gorycka (Pol) 117  
49 Kate Fluker (NZl) 116  
50 Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze) 108  
51 Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) 107  
52 Fanny Bourdon (Fra) 104  
53 Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg) 88  
54 Andréanne Pichette (Can) 86  
55 Cindy Montambault (Can) 80  
56 Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) 79  
57 Anja Gradl (Ger) 79  
58 Barbara Benko (Hun) 79  
59 Sandra Walter (Can) 74  
60 Chengyuan Ren (Chn) 74  
61 Lucie Vesela (Cze) 73  
62 Anna Szafraniec (Pol) 70  
63 Serena Calvetti (Ita) 70  
64 Samara Sheppard (NZl) 64  
65 Elvira Khayrullina (Rus) 57  
66 Amy Dombroski (USA) 56  
67 Kajsa Snihs (Swe) 52  
68 Isabella Moreira Lacerda (Bra) 50  
69 Kateryna Naberezhna (Ukr) 49  
70 Heidi Rosasen Sandsto (Nor) 48  
71 Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) 48  
72 Judith Pollinger (Ita) 48  
73 Chloe Woodruff (USA) 46  
74 Franziska Brun (Swi) 45  
75 Mandy Dreyer (Can) 44  
76 Katherine O'neill (NZl) 44  
77 Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mex) 42  
78 Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa) 41  
79 Rebecca Beaumont (Can) 40  
80 Ruth Owen-Evans (GBr) 39  
81 Jamie Busch (USA) 38  
82 Sarah Kaufmann (USA) 36  
83 Annick Chretien (Can) 34  
84 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa) 34  
85 Angelica Edvardsson (Swe) 32  
86 Erica Tingey (USA) 32  
87 Nikki Harris (GBr) 32  
88 Ann Berglund (Swe) 30  
89 Sarah Koba (Swi) 29  
90 Oksana Rybakova (Rus) 28  
91 Irina Slobodyan (Ukr) 28  
92 Joana Barbosa (Por) 26  
93 Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)    
94 Laura Metzler (Fra)    
95 Helle Qvortrup Bachmann (Den)    
96 Hielke Elferink (Ned)    
97 Lenka Bulisova (Cze)    
98 Asuman Bura Balci (Tur)    
99 Laura Turpijn (Ned)    
Team World Cup final standings
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Luna Pro Team 360  pts
2 Giant Pro XC Team 330  
3 Ghost Factory Racing Team 330  
4 Team Colnago Sudtirol 227  
5 Unior Tools Team 196  
6 Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team 192  
7 Specialized Racing XC 153  
8 Trek Factory Racing 126  
9 Multivan Merida Biking Team 117  
10 Topeak Ergon Racing Team 116  
11 Wheeler - iXS Team 98  
12 BH - SR Suntour - KMC 94  
13 Team Davinci - Specialized 59  
14 Calcit Bike Team 56  
15 Scott-3Roxracing 37  
16 Fischer-BMC 33  
17 Bi&Esse Carrera 31  
18 Team Protek 28  
19 Toka Print MTB Team 23  
20 Isd MTB Team 8  
21 Team Giant/United Bakeries 2  
22 4F Racing Team 1  


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