Julian Absalon (BMC) and Annika Langvad (Specialized) took the victory at Bike the Rock in Heubach, Germany, this weekend. The Frenchman won the HC-category race in front of teammate Moritz Milatz and Fabian Giger (Giant), while Langvad got the best of of Adelheid Morath and Jolanda Neff (Giant).
Men's cross country
There was no question that Julian Absalon was riding in Heubach more or less in his own class. The first two out of seven laps, Fabian Giger was together with the two-time Olympic champ, including up the 2.5km climb. Then Absalon left Giger behind and soloed to his second victory in Heubach following his first in 2010. He took a safe approach to the final lap, but still won by 28 seconds over Milatz.
"This race is always hard because you have to ride this uphill seven times. But I like the downhill. My shape is pretty good and I am confident for the upcoming World Cup races," said Absalon.
"I like this event. It's always a nice atmosphere with a lot of spectators," the Frenchman said.
The fight for second place was much more exciting. In the penultimate lap, Milatz caught a group of three behind Absalon, containing Giger, José Hermida (Multivan-Merida) and Stephane Tempier (BH Sr Suntour-KMC). The German champion put in a strong finish and together with Giger, he was able to leave Hermida and Tempier behind.
Not far away from the top of the climb, he accelerated and left Giger some seconds behind. Milatz kept his gap until the downhill and then secured the second place finish.
"My plan was not to over do it, but to do a fast last lap. Everything worked out well," said Milatz.
Giger said, "Moritz was a bit stronger than me, but I am really happy with one of my better races this year. I think my form is coming. It's a cool event every year, I like it."
Hermida took fourth and Tempier finished fifth.
Women's cross country
The special topography of the Bike the Rock cross country course creates two races of sorts. The uphill and the downhill are different specialties and so the way the race seems at the top of the climb is always different than it seems at the bottom.
Crossing the finish line for the first three laps, it was always World Cup leader Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC), who had about 10 seconds on Annika Langvad (Specialized). Adelheid Morath came by 20 to 30 seconds back.
But on the uphill, Morath always closed the gap and at the top, they were together.
Neff started to suffer in lap four. "I was a bit sick this week. So I knew I am not one hundred percent. I had to control my speed then," said Neff.
This led to a duel between Morath and Langvad, and right before the last downhill they were sprinting for the first position. The two-time marathon world champion Langvad won and took advantage in the downhill to the finish.
"These days, I feel very well and I hoped for a win, like four years ago. It was a great fight with Adelheid and Jolanda," said Langvad.
The same words were used Morath. "Great fight, really. I was not able to go to my limit, but could hold my rhythm. I am happy with my day, looking forward to the upcoming World Cups."
Olympic Gold medallist Julie Bresset (BH Sr Suntour-KMC), after her crash in Cairns, was not quite ready to fight for the podium. "It's not a course I like and after one week off, my form is not there. But I hope to be better in Nove Mesto," she said after finishing eighth.
Eliminator: Engen wins as usual while Gutmann surprises
Saturday's dliminator race saw Swede Alexandra Engen and German Heiko Gutmann (Lexware Mountainbike Team) on the top step of the podium
Engen was doing her job as always. Even a poor start didn't put her in serious danger. The two-time eliminator world champion jumped from fourth to first and defended her lead to win in front of former German champion Veronika Brüchle (Stevens) and Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing). Nadine Rieder (AMG-Rotwild) got fourth place.
"At the start, it was a bit dangerous for a moment, I decided to hold back. But afterwards I did well, I think," Engen said with a smile.
In the men's race, Heiko Gutmann was the surprise of the day. In a competition with three from the final of the Cairns World Cup, the 27-year-old from the southeast part of Germany gave a brave performance. With coolness, he took advantage of small mistakes by his competitors.
Paul van der Ploeg was in front in the final, but then slipped a bit in a corner, and Gutmann passed him. "For a moment I was afraid, that Paul would close the door, when I was already by his side, but I could make it," said Gutmann. "I am very happy. This victory is much more worth than others I took in the Bundesliga before."
"I should have won, but I made too many mistakes," said Paul van der Ploeg (Giant Australia).
Emil Lindgren (Giant Pro XC) defeated German national champion Simon Stiebjahn in the fight for the third spot on the podium.
"I was missing the power at the start. But it was fun, the eliminator is a cool format and we had a nice crowd here," said Lindgren.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Julien Absalon (Fra)||1:34:44|
|2||Moritz Milatz (Ger)||0:00:28|
|3||Fabian Giger (Swi)||0:00:39|
|4||José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa)||0:01:10|
|5||Stéphane Tempier (Fra)||0:01:27|
|6||Alexander Gehbauer (Aut)||0:03:38|
|7||Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:03:39|
|8||Maxime Marotte (Fra)||0:04:30|
|9||Rudi Van Houts (Ned)||0:04:46|
|10||Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa)||0:04:53|
|11||Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut)||0:05:03|
|12||Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger)||0:05:41|
|13||Markus Bauer (Ger)||0:05:42|
|14||David Valero (Spa)||0:06:10|
|15||Christian Helmig (Lux)||0:06:33|
|16||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)||0:07:06|
|17||Frank Beemer (Ned)||0:07:23|
|18||Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)||0:08:08|
|19||Hans Becking (Ned)||0:08:45|
|20||Michael Hutter (Swi)||0:09:06|
|21||Gerrit Rosenkranz (Ger)||0:09:57|
|22||Jorgen Flion (Bel)||0:10:26|
|23||Lysander Kiesel (Ger)||0:11:06|
|24||Rick Reimann (Swi)||0:11:59|
|25||Emil Lindgren (Swe)||0:12:20|
|26||Kerry Werner (USA)||0:12:29|
|27||Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)||0:13:07|
|28||Christopher Maletz (Ger)|
|29||Evgenii Pechenin (Rus)|
|30||Steffen Greger (Ger)|
|31||Jeffrey Andris (Ger)|
|32||Benjamin Oesterle (Ger)|
|33||Mario Espinoza (Chi)|
|34||Severin Schweisguth (Ger)|
|35||Alexey Belokrylov (Rus)|
|36||Simon Grün (Ger)|
|37||Gusty Bausch (Lux)|
|38||Vitus Wagenbauer (Ger)|
|39||Simon Staufner (Ger)|
|40||Samuel Maryns (Bel)|
|41||Christian Ludewig (Ger)|
|42||Daniel Ullmann (Ger)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annika Langvad (Den)||1:35:12|
|2||Adelheid Morath (Ger)||0:00:20|
|3||Jolanda Neff (Swi)||0:01:25|
|4||Lisi Osl (Aut)||0:02:04|
|5||Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)||0:04:51|
|6||Nina Wrobel (Ger)||0:06:17|
|7||Alexandra Engen (Swe)||0:07:30|
|8||Julie Bresset (Fra)||0:07:31|
|9||Peta Mullens (Aus)||0:09:56|
|10||Anne Terpstra (Ned)||0:12:56|
|11||Ramona Forchini (Swi)||0:14:46|
|12||Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)||0:16:29|
|13||Britt Van Den Boogert (Ned)||0:17:13|
|14||Anna Konovalova (Rus)||0:17:56|
|15||Isabelle Klein (Lux)||0:19:20|
|16||Theresa Wolfrum (Ger)|
|17||Majlen Müller (Ger)|
|18||Jessica Benz (Ger)|
|19||Tina Kindlhofer (Aut)|
|20||Vanessa Kleih (Ger)|
|21||Chiara Eberle (Ger)|
|22||Cemile Trommer (Ger)|
|23||Nina Krauss (Ger)|
|24||Fabienne Schauss (Lux)|
|25||Hannah Traupe (Ger)|
|26||Theresia Schwenk (Ger)|
|27||Amelie Etzel (Ger)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Grant Ferguson (GBr)||1:23:07|
|2||Bart De Vocht (Bel)||0:01:01|
|3||Keegan Swenson (USA)||0:01:55|
|4||Jordan Sarrou (Fra)||0:02:11|
|5||Didier Bats (Bel)||0:02:13|
|6||Robbert De Nijs (Ned)||0:03:38|
|7||Samuel Gaze (NZl)||0:04:17|
|8||Aaron Beck (Ger)||0:05:03|
|9||Maximilian Maier (Ger)||0:05:26|
|10||Sepp Kuss (USA)||0:05:48|
|11||Philipp Bertsch (Ger)||0:06:41|
|12||Marian Pablo Burkhardt (Ger)||0:06:55|
|13||Kjell Van Den Boogert (Ned)||0:07:15|
|14||Craig Oliver (NZl)||0:07:24|
|15||Marcel Lehrian (Ger)||0:07:49|
|16||Michael Crosbie (Aus)||0:08:30|
|17||Scott Bowden (Aus)||0:08:32|
|18||Sven Strähle (Ger)||0:08:34|
|19||Christopher Platt (Ger)||0:09:19|
|20||Guy Niv (Isr)||0:09:20|
|21||Michael Thompson (GBr)||0:09:21|
|22||Johannes Bläsi (Ger)||0:09:32|
|23||Jannik Lambert (Ger)||0:09:49|
|24||Florian Kortüm (Ger)||0:10:54|
|25||Heiko Hog (Ger)||0:11:02|
|26||Jakob Hartmann (Ger)||0:11:10|
|27||Simon Schilli (Ger)||0:11:47|
|28||Tim Streckenbach (Ger)||0:12:51|
|29||Simon Gessler (Ger)||0:14:23|
|30||Marco Faßbender (Ger)||0:15:11|
|31||Markus Siebert (Ger)||0:16:32|
|32||Alexander Gläser (Ger)|
|33||Quentin Winandy (Bel)|
|34||Isak Unal (Tur)|
|35||Tobias Rotermund (Ger)|
|36||Sam Weber (Ger)|
|37||Lucas Arnhold (Ger)|
|38||Matthias Baldauf (Ger)|
|39||Vladislav Maksimov (Rus)|
|40||Arndt Puls (Ger)|
|41||Kyle Ward (Aus)|
|42||Yves Ketterer (Ger)|
|43||Koen Van De Ven (Ned)|
|44||Felix Legler (Ger)|
|45||Pirmin Eisenbarth (Ger)|
|46||Tim Rosenkranz (Ger)|
|47||Loic Maryns (Bel)|
|48||Sebastian Jayne (Aus)|
|49||Tobias Sindlinger (Ger)|
|50||Manuel Schreier (Ger)|
|51||Nils Dillmann (Ger)|
|52||Patrick Pfeifer (Ger)|
|53||Stefan Schreier (Ger)|
|54||Luis Haußmann (Ger)|
|55||Alessandro Sepp (Ger)|
|56||Nick Wichmann (Ger)|
|57||Raven Hilderts (Ger)|
|58||Dominik Voss (Ger)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Heiko Gutmann (Ger)|
|2||Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)|
|3||Emil Lindgren (Swe)|
|4||Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)|
|5||Marco Schätzing (Ger)|
|6||Samuel Gaze (NZl)|
|7||Louis Wolf (Ger)|
|8||Martin Frey (Ger)|
|9||Sean Christopher Feldhaus (Ger)|
|10||Florian Kortüm (Ger)|
|11||Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)|
|12||Alexander Gläser (Ger)|
|13||Hendrik Grobert (Ger)|
|14||Timo Häfner (Ger)|
|15||Vitus Wagenbauer (Ger)|
|16||Luis Neff (Ger)|
|17||Gerrit Rosenkranz (Ger)|
|18||David Bertram (Ger)|
|19||Evgenii Pechenin (Rus)|
|20||Sam Weber (Ger)|
|21||Simon Gutmann (Ger)|
|22||Benjamin Oesterle (Ger)|
|23||Jeffrey Andris (Ger)|
|24||Gabriel Sindlinger (Ger)|
|25||Jannik Stegmaier (Ger)|
|26||Marco Thalhofer (Ger)|
|27||David Lenz (Ger)|
|28||Kevin Waibel (Ger)|
|29||Tobias Wagner (Ger)|
|30||Yves Ketterer (Ger)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Alexandra Engen (Swe)|
|2||Veronika Brüchle (Ger)|
|3||Rebecca Henderson (Aus)|
|4||Nadine Rieder (Ger)|
|5||Majlen Müller (Ger)|
|6||Theresia Schwenk (Ger)|
|7||Tina Kindlhofer (Aut)|
|8||Vanessa Kleih (Ger)|
|9||Chiara Eberle (Ger)|
|10||Hannah Traupe (Ger)|
|11||Anna Konovalova (Rus)|
|12||Daniela Storch (Ger)|
|13||Nina Krauss (Ger)|
|14||Amelie Etzel (Ger)|
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