Spitz wins Vallnord women's cross country World Cup

Zakelj continues as World Cup leader

Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike) made a strong return to competition, after missing the first half of the season due to injury, by winning the fourth round of the UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra. Altitude, heat and strong winds all played a factor in making this one of the hardest races of the season. Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools) held onto the women's overall lead with a fifth place result.

Katerina Nash (Luna) set an aggressive pace in the first lap of the women's race, quickly shattering the field. Five riders joined Nash at the front of the race by lap two: Spitz, Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol), Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), Maja Wloszczowska (Giant Pro XC) and Jolanda Neff (Giant Pro XC). Zakelj was just behind, but losing ground.

A lap later, both Neff and Wloszczowska were gone, unable to hold the pace. The front four stayed together through most of lap four until Nash attacked, opening a five-second gap as she began the final lap. The Luna rider extended her lead to 10 seconds by the halfway mark of the lap, as the chase began to fall apart.

Spitz, who is just back from shoulder surgery that took her out of action just before the start of the World Cup season, began to surge in the final two kilometres, catching Nash in the final 600 metres as the pair entered the last section of singletrack before a short climb to the finish.

Spitz, the 2008 Olympic champion, put in a last effort over the final 200 metres to take her first World Cup win since 2002, finishing just one second in front of Nash, with Lechner at four seconds and Dahle Flesjaa at nine seconds - one of the closest finishes in recent history.

"With the headwind, nobody wanted to go into the lead," said Spitz. "Eight weeks ago I crashed on my home course in Albstadt [before the World Cup], and, yeah, it's amazing to win. I never expected to come back like this."

"I had hoped for a top ten place...but this win is unbelievable. It [the win] means so much because when you have an accident and have to go out of competition, then you are not sure how your fitness is when you get back to the World Cup circuit. It means so much to me."

Zakelj now leads the women's World Cup standings with 790 points, with two races remaining. Lechner moves up from third to second, 160 points back, and Nash moves up a spot to third, a further 15 points in arrears.

Full Results

Elite women cross country
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team1:26:54 
2Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:00:01 
3Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:00:04 
4Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:09 
5Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:01:24 
6Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:01:35 
7Jolanda * Neff (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:01:49 
8Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:02:20 
9Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike Team0:02:32 
10Julie Bresset (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:02:43 
11Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team0:02:54 
12Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team0:03:05 
13Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:03:09 
14Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:03:20 
15Hanna Klein (Ger)0:03:23 
16Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:04:01 
17Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:04:43 
18Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg)0:05:17 
19Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:05:38 
20Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:05:47 
21Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:05:52 
22Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:06:13 
23Marianne Vos (Ned)0:06:18 
24Annika Langvad (Den) Team Davinci - Specialized0:06:26 
25Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)0:08:17 
26Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)0:08:37 
27Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:08:57 
28Sabrina Enaux (Fra)0:09:20 
29Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team0:09:40 
30Nadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:09:58 
31Fanny Bourdon (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise0:10:20 
32Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:10:25 
33Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)0:10:44 
34Anna Villar Argente (Spa)0:10:51 
35Judy Freeman (USA)0:11:06 
36Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa)0:11:11 
37Lee Craigie (GBr)0:11:16 
38Ann Berglund (Swe)0:11:39 
39Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team0:12:26 
40Oksana Rybakova (Rus)0:13:15 
41Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)0:15:38 
42Joana Barbosa (Por)0:15:55 
-2lapsElvira Khayrullina (Rus)  
DNFKate Fluker (NZl)  
DNFSamara Sheppard (NZl) Toka Print MTB Team  
DNSEmily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing  
Elite Women Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team67 pts
2Ghost Factory Racing Team64 
3Luna Pro Team46 
4Team Colnago Sudtirol46 
5Giant Pro XC Team44 
6Multivan Merida Biking Team30 
7Unior Tools Team28 
8BH - SR Suntour - KMC25 
9Calcit Bike Team22 
10Wheeler - Ixs Team19 
11Topeak Ergon Racing Team18 
13Team Davinci - Specialized7 
14Toka Print MTB Team2 
Elite women individual World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team790 pts
2Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol630 
3Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team615 
4Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team580 
5Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team495 
6Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team456 
7Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team449 
8Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team406 
9Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing390 
10Jolanda * Neff (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team386 
11Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team375 
12Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team365 
13Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team328 
14Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike Team298 
15Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing XC292 
16Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team267 
17Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team250 
18Annika Langvad (Den) Team Davinci - Specialized250 
19Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC244 
20Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team244 
21Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol242 
22Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC242 
23Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team236 
24Hanna Klein (Ger)218 
25Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol) Bi&Esse Carrera194 
26Sabrina Enaux (Fra)194 
27Vera Andreeva (Rus) Team Protek182 
28Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team180 
29Mary Mcconneloug (USA)168 
30Pauline * Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Giant Pro XC Team164 
31Daniela Campuzano (Mex)154 
32Marianne Vos (Ned)150 
33Annie Last (GBr) Trek Factory Racing141 
34Julie Bresset (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC124 
35Anna Villar Argente (Spa)123 
36Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg)117 
37Fanny Bourdon (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise104 
38Nina Wrobel (Ger)99 
39Nadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team95 
40Mikaela Kofman (Can) Scott-3Roxracing90 
41Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)88 
42Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)88 
43Lene Byberg (Nor)84 
44Judy Freeman (USA)81 
45Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) ISD MTB Team79 
46Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)79 
47Lee Craigie (GBr)79 
48Anja Gradl (Ger) Team Bulls79 
49Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team79 
50Kate Fluker (NZl)78 
51Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)77 
52Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team75 
53Chengyuan Ren (Chn)74 
54Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)74 
55Anna Szafraniec (Pol)70 
56Serena Calvetti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop70 
57Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC68 
58Amanda Sin (Can) Scott-3Roxracing66 
59Samara Sheppard (NZl) Toka Print MTB Team64 
60Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)57 
61Kateryna Naberezhna (Ukr) ISD MTB Team49 
62Judith Pollinger (Ita)48 
63Franziska Brun (Swi)45 
64Katherine O'neill (NZl)44 
65Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)41 
66Lucie Vesela (Cze)39 
67Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa)34 
68Erin Huck (USA)34 
69Nikki Harris (GBr)32 
70Ann Berglund (Swe)30 
71Sarah Koba (Swi) JB Felt Team29 
72Oksana Rybakova (Rus)28 
73Irina Slobodyan (Ukr)28 
74Joana Barbosa (Por)26 
75Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)23 
76Andréanne Pichette (Can)18 
77Laura Metzler (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC18 
78Helle Qvortrup Bachmann (Den)17 
79Hielke Elferink (Ned)14 
80Lenka Bulisova (Cze)13 
81Ruth Owen-Evans (GBr)12 
82Asuman Bura Balci (Tur)11 
83Laura Turpijn (Ned) SBJ Bike Team8 
Elite Women World Cup Team Standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Giant Pro XC Team226 pts
2Luna Pro Team226 
3Ghost Factory Racing Team226 
4Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team170 
5Team Colnago Sudtirol151 
6Unior Tools Team138 
7Trek Factory Racing105 
8Specialized Racing XC95 
9Multivan Merida Biking Team89 
10Wheeler - Ixs Team79 
11Topeak Ergon Racing Team68 
12Calcit Bike Team55 
13Team Davinci - Specialized37 
15Bi&Esse Carrera31 
16BH - SR Suntour - KMC25 
17Team Protek25 
18Toka Print MTB Team14 
19ISD MTB Team8 
214F Racing Team1 

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