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MTB World Cup Cross Country #1 & Downhill #1 - Pietermaritzburg 2012

Date range:
March 16-18, 2012

March 17, Under 23 men cross country:

Gehbauer wins in South Africa

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 17, 2012, 11:15 GMT,
Updated:
March 18, 2012, 14:04 GMT

Kerschbaumer and Schulte-Luenzum round out top three

Alexander Gehbauer wins the U23 cross country race in Pietermaritzburg

Alexander Gehbauer wins the U23 cross country race in Pietermaritzburg

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Austrian under 23 talent Alexander Gehbauer got his 2012 UCI MTB World Cup season off to the perfect start when he narrowly outsprinted Italian star Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX Active Bianchi) to claim the spoils in the U23 men's cross country duel at Cascades MTB park on Saturday morning.

After a titanic three-way battle throughout the five-lap contest between the top two riders and Germany's Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Focus MIG), it came down to a last lap sprint to separate the trio and it was Gehbauer who ultimately had the legs and powered home six seconds ahead of Kreschbaumer with Schulte-Luenzum claiming third and South Africa's James Reid (Nedbank 360Life) putting a monumental effort to claim fourth spot.

"It was my first race (of the year) and I was really excited before the race," said Gehbauer. "I trained well in the winter and I am so happy. Last year I was injured two days before the European Championships and so it was unbelievable to win again; last year I won two World Cups... perfect!"

Cracker race for Reid

Having started slowly Kearsney College old boy Reid ground his way towards the front of the pack early on and put in a stellar effort as he attempted to hunt down to leaders on his own whilst always keeping a careful eye on those trying desperately to catch him.

"It's just incredible!" exclaimed an ecstatic Reid who, before the race, had said he was aiming for a top 10 finish. "That's definitely my best performance ever thus far and I'm just so chuffed!

"Being part of such a supportive outfit as Nedbank 360Life team has made all the difference. I have been able to raise my game as a result of it. I had it coming and I felt I was in great form coming into this World Cup. It is a confirmation of where I can go with the right guidance and support," he said. "I'm completely over the moon!"

Disappointment for Croeser

Whilst Reid took in his phenomenal result it was a day of disappointment for South Africa's top U23 contender Rourke Croeser (Orange Monkey-Cannondale) who, after a great start, suffered a second lap crash and had to pick his way through the field to finish 17th overall.

"I just hit a stump on the second lap and it was really tough after that," said a mortified Croeser shortly after crossing the finish line. "I'd really hoped for a podium finish coming into the race so it is just so so disappointing. It's hugely frustrating!"

Full Results

Under 23 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) 1:21:52  
2 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) TX Active Bianchi 0:00:06  
3 Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus MIG Team 0:00:38  
4 James Reid (RSA) 0:01:13  
5 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Merida Biking Team 0:01:43  
6 Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 0:01:47  
7 Ruben Scheire (Bel) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry 0:02:10  
8 Jeff Luyten (Bel) Versluys Team 0:02:25  
9 Daniele Braidot (Ita) 0:03:09  
10 Zsolt Juhasz (Hun) 0:04:05  
11 Nicholas Pettina (Ita) 0:04:13  
12 Gregor Raggl (Aut) 0:04:19  
13 Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team 0:04:24  
14 Maxime Urruty (Fra) Bikepark.Ch Scott 0:04:38  
15 Kenta Gallagher (GBr)    
16 Roger Walder (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team 0:05:05  
17 Rourke Croeser (RSA) Orange Monkey-Cannondale 0:05:12  
18 Martin Gluth (Ger) 0:05:13  
19 Christian Pfäffle (Ger) 0:05:25  
20 Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team 0:05:43  
21 Hugo Drechou (Fra) Team Newcycling 0:05:45  
22 Luke Roberts (RSA)    
23 Jordan Sarrou (Fra) Lapierre International 0:06:00  
24 Pavel Priadein (Rus)    
25 Julien Trarieux (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix 0:06:31  
26 Lukas Loretz (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr - Suntour 0:07:04  
27 Grant Ferguson (GBr) 0:07:16  
28 Rens De Bruin (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team 0:07:54  
29 Sebastian Batchelor (GBr) 0:08:09  
30 Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr - Suntour 0:08:42  
31 Thomas Lapeyrie (Fra) Lapierre International 0:08:56  
32 David Simon (Ger) 0:09:24  
33 Ivan Smirnov (Rus) Team Protek 0:09:28  
34 Arno Du Toit (RSA) 0:10:59  
35 Erik Groen (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team 0:11:46  
36 Gert Heyns (RSA) 0:11:55  
37 Lourens Luus (RSA) 0:13:20  
38 Travis Walker (RSA) 0:13:41  
39 Severin Sagesser (Swi) Switzerland 0:14:20  
40 Shaun Craig Silver (RSA) 0:16:40  
-1lap Luca Braidot (Ita)    
-1lap Jens Schuermans (Bel) Versluys Team    
-1lap Mike Schuler (Swi) Switzerland    
DNF Thijs Zuurbier (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team    
DNF Marc Stutzmann (Swi)    
DNF Stefan Peter (Swi) Switzerland    
DNF Timofei Ivanov (Rus)    
DNF Sascha Bleher (Ger)    
DSQ Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)    
Under 23 World Cup standings after round 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) 90  pts
2 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) TX Active Bianchi 70  
3 Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus MIG Team 60  
4 James Reid (RSA) 50  
5 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Merida Biking Team 40  
6 Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 35  
7 Ruben Scheire (Bel) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry 30  
8 Jeff Luyten (Bel) Versluys Team 27  
9 Daniele Braidot (Ita) 24  
10 Zsolt Juhasz (Hun) 22  
11 Nicholas Pettina (Ita) 20  
12 Gregor Raggl (Aut) 18  
13 Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team 16  
14 Maxime Urruty (Fra) Bikepark.ch Scott 14  
15 Kenta Gallagher (GBr) 12  
16 Roger Walder (Swi) 77Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team 10  
17 Rourke Croeser (RSA) Orange Monkey-Cannondale 9  
18 Martin Gluth (Ger) 8  
19 Christian Pfäffle (Ger) 7  
20 Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team 6  
21 Hugo Drechou (Fra) Team Newcycling 5  
22 Luke Roberts (RSA) 4  
23 Jordan Sarrou (Fra) Lapierre International 3  
24 Pavel Priadein (Rus) 2  
25 Julien Trarieux (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix 1