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) TeamResult
1Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team1:25:34 
2Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:00:20 
3Julie Bresset (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:00:22 
4Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing XC0:00:54 
5Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:17 
6Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:02:48 
7Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:03:23 
8Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:17 
9Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:46 
10Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:05:15 
11Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:05:41 
12Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - iXS Team0:05:56 
13Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)0:06:07 
14Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:06:47 
15Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:07:01 
16Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:07:03 
17Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:07:13 
18Mikaela Kofman (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:07:58 
19Hanna Klein (Ger)0:08:48 
20Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:09:24 
21Lene Byberg (Nor)0:09:56 
22Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team0:10:17 
23Nadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:10:33 
24Mary Mcconneloug (USA)0:10:36 
25Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:10:44 
26Nina Wrobel (Ger)0:10:49 
27Kajsa Snihs (Swe)0:11:00 
28Vera Andreeva (Rus) Team Protek0:11:08 
29Heidi Rosasen Sandsto (Nor) Team Giant/United Bakeries0:11:13 
30Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike Team0:12:05 
31Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)0:12:33 
32Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team0:13:12 
33Lee Craigie (GBr)0:13:20 
34Kate Fluker (NZl)0:14:06 
35Erin Huck (USA)0:14:38 
-1lapLucie Vesela (Cze)  
-1lapAngelica Edvardsson (Swe)  
-1lapElisabeth Brandau (Ger)  
-1lapJitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)  
-2lapsCindy Montambault (Can)  
-4lapsRuth Owen-Evans (GBr)  
DNFOksana Rybakova (Rus)  
DNFBarbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team  
DNFTereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC  
DNSCorina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC  
DNSJane Nussli (GBr) Fischer-BMC  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luna Pro Team55 pts
2Ghost Factory Racing Team52 
3Team Colnago Sudtirol50 
4Topeak Ergon Racing Team48 
5Giant Pro XC Team45 
6BH - SR Suntour - KMC32 
7Specialized Racing XC30 
8Multivan Merida Biking Team28 
9Unior Tools Team26 
10Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team22 
11Wheeler - iXS Team19 
13Toka Print MTB Team9 
14Team Protek3 
15Team Giant/United Bakeries2 
16Calcit Bike Team1 
Elite women cross country World Cup final standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tanja Zakelj (Slo)1080 pts
2Eva Lechner (Ita)960 
3Katerina Nash (Cze)955 
4Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)890 
5Alexandra Engen (Swe)680 
6Jolanda Neff* (Swi)606 
7Catharine Pendrel (Can)605 
8Katrin Leumann (Swi)600 
9Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor)589 
10Lea Davison (USA)582 
11Irina Kalentieva (Rus)578 
12Emily Batty (Can)485 
13Adelheid Morath (Ger)482 
14Esther Süss (Swi)450 
15Julie Bresset (Fra)434 
16Elisabeth Osl (Aut)394 
17Georgia Gould (USA)386 
18Annika Langvad (Den)350 
19Blaza Klemencic (Slo)344 
20Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)323 
21Nathalie Schneitter (Swi)316 
22Mary Mcconneloug (USA)311 
23Hanna Klein (Ger)286 
24Sabrina Enaux (Fra)264 
25Sabine Spitz (Ger)250 
26Tereza Hurikova (Cze)244 
27Corina Gantenbein (Swi)242 
28Githa Michiels (Bel)242 
29Vera Andreeva (Rus)232 
30Lene Byberg (Nor)226 
31Mikaela Kofman (Can)222 
32Daniela Campuzano (Mex)220 
33Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol)194 
34Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)168 
35Pauline Ferrand Prevot* (Fra)164 
36Nadine Rieder (Ger)155 
37Nina Wrobel (Ger)153 
38Marianne Vos (Ned)150 
39Annie Last (GBr)141 
40Judy Freeman (USA)135 
41Amanda Sin (Can)130 
42Erin Huck (USA)130 
43Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)126 
44Anna Villar Argente (Spa)123 
45Lee Craigie (GBr)119 
46Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)118 
47Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg)117 
48Paula Gorycka (Pol)117 
49Kate Fluker (NZl)116 
50Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)108 
51Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)107 
52Fanny Bourdon (Fra)104 
53Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)88 
54Andréanne Pichette (Can)86 
55Cindy Montambault (Can)80 
56Nataliya Krompets (Ukr)79 
57Anja Gradl (Ger)79 
58Barbara Benko (Hun)79 
59Sandra Walter (Can)74 
60Chengyuan Ren (Chn)74 
61Lucie Vesela (Cze)73 
62Anna Szafraniec (Pol)70 
63Serena Calvetti (Ita)70 
64Samara Sheppard (NZl)64 
65Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)57 
66Amy Dombroski (USA)56 
67Kajsa Snihs (Swe)52 
68Isabella Moreira Lacerda (Bra)50 
69Kateryna Naberezhna (Ukr)49 
70Heidi Rosasen Sandsto (Nor)48 
71Teal Stetson-Lee (USA)48 
72Judith Pollinger (Ita)48 
73Chloe Woodruff (USA)46 
74Franziska Brun (Swi)45 
75Mandy Dreyer (Can)44 
76Katherine O'neill (NZl)44 
77Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mex)42 
78Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)41 
79Rebecca Beaumont (Can)40 
80Ruth Owen-Evans (GBr)39 
81Jamie Busch (USA)38 
82Sarah Kaufmann (USA)36 
83Annick Chretien (Can)34 
84Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa)34 
85Angelica Edvardsson (Swe)32 
86Erica Tingey (USA)32 
87Nikki Harris (GBr)32 
88Ann Berglund (Swe)30 
89Sarah Koba (Swi)29 
90Oksana Rybakova (Rus)28 
91Irina Slobodyan (Ukr)28 
92Joana Barbosa (Por)26 
93Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)  
94Laura Metzler (Fra)  
95Helle Qvortrup Bachmann (Den)  
96Hielke Elferink (Ned)  
97Lenka Bulisova (Cze)  
98Asuman Bura Balci (Tur)  
99Laura Turpijn (Ned)  
Team World Cup final standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luna Pro Team360 pts
2Giant Pro XC Team330 
3Ghost Factory Racing Team330 
4Team Colnago Sudtirol227 
5Unior Tools Team196 
6Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team192 
7Specialized Racing XC153 
8Trek Factory Racing126 
9Multivan Merida Biking Team117 
10Topeak Ergon Racing Team116 
11Wheeler - iXS Team98 
12BH - SR Suntour - KMC94 
13Team Davinci - Specialized59 
14Calcit Bike Team56 
17Bi&Esse Carrera31 
18Team Protek28 
19Toka Print MTB Team23 
20Isd MTB Team8 
21Team Giant/United Bakeries2 
224F Racing Team1 


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