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Chengyuan wins opening World Cup cross country in Pietermaritzburg

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Chengyuan Ren (Specialized Racing) wins Elite Women's XC

Chengyuan Ren (Specialized Racing) wins Elite Women's XC
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Current elite women's cross country champion Maja Wloszczowska (CCC Polkowice)

Current elite women's cross country champion Maja Wloszczowska (CCC Polkowice)
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Lene Byberg (Specialized) rides to the final podium spot

Lene Byberg (Specialized) rides to the final podium spot
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida)

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida)
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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A ride nails the rock gardens.

A ride nails the rock gardens.
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Spectators line the course to witness some great technical riding

Spectators line the course to witness some great technical riding
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Can you ride these rocks?

Can you ride these rocks?
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Cross country spectators start young.

Cross country spectators start young.
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Candice Neethling on the cross country course.

Candice Neethling on the cross country course.
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Ren Chengyuan (Specialized) on her way to a win

Ren Chengyuan (Specialized) on her way to a win
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Maja Wloszczowska (CCC Polkowice)

Maja Wloszczowska (CCC Polkowice)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team)

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team)

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry)

Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Cup leader Chengyuan Ren (Specialized Racing)

World Cup leader Chengyuan Ren (Specialized Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Women's podium: Pendrel, Bressette, Ren, Kalentieva, Byberg

Women's podium: Pendrel, Bressette, Ren, Kalentieva, Byberg
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike Pro Team)

Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike Pro Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Lene Byberg (Specialized Racing)

Lene Byberg (Specialized Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team)

Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marie-Helene Premont (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)

Marie-Helene Premont (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team)

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) and Chengyuan Ren (Specialized)

Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) and Chengyuan Ren (Specialized)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol)

Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry)

Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) at the front at the start

Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) at the front at the start
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda Seven Notubes)

Mary McConneloug (Kenda Seven Notubes)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek)

Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

In the elite women's race Chinese star Ren Chengyuan made her return to the front of the field.  She had all but disappeared after the Beijing Olympic Games. With few UCI points, she started 47th out of 55 riders, but tore through the field to third place after one lap.

A lap later, she had joined front runner Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry), and by the third lap, she was out in front alone. In addition to her power, Chengyuan showed an impressive improvement in her bike handling skills as she railed technical sections that every other rider was approaching cautiously.

Bresset was clear in second, while Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) and Catharine Pendrel (Luna) battled for third. Kalentieva dropped Pendrel on the penultimate fourth lap with stronger technical skills to take third. Lene Byberg (Specialized) claimed the final spot on the podium and showed she is back in form after a season of illness.

Chengyuan claimed to be surprised with her victory and said, "I did not expect to win. I started far back, and the start was very fast. It was hard to pass at the beginning, but then it began to open up and I could move forward."

Prior to the start of the race, Trek World Racing made an announcement that had the World Cup family buzzing, with number two-ranked Willow Koerber pulling out of the race and announcing that she was pregnant, having just confirmed the fact the night before.

Team Director Martin Whiteley issued a statement. "Obviously this is a bittersweet development for Willow, who on one hand was ready to take on the world in season 2011, yet on the other hand, is now expecting her first child with all the joy and excitement that brings. One thing is clear:  we as a team are fully supportive of Willow in this new development and while this was not the plan, life is not predictable and all the team members have been so supportive since she spoke with everyone last night at dinner."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ren Chengyuan (Chn) Specialized Racing1:32:36
2Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry0:01:06
3Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:02:18
4Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:02:44
5Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Racing0:03:16
6Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol0:05:01
7Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Haibike Pro Team0:05:18
8Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) CCC Polkowice0:05:26
9Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:05:33
10Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:05:57
11Esther Süss (Swi)0:06:07
12Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:06:24
13Annika Langvad (Den)0:06:30
14Rosara Joseph (NZl) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:06:36
15Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol0:07:02
16Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek0:07:13
17Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Orbea Geax0:07:19
18Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:07:31
19Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:08:04
20Annie Last (GBr)0:08:40
21Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:09:04
22Anna Szafraniec (Pol) CCC Polkowice0:09:35
23Mary Mcconneloug (USA)0:10:16
24Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek0:10:24
25Alexandra Engen (Swe)0:10:25
26Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:10:37
27Nina Homovec (Slo) Orbea Geax0:11:02
28Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry0:11:33
29Sarah Koba (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr-Suntour0:11:42
30Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Central Haibike Pro Team0:11:58
31Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) Central Haibike Pro Team0:12:20
32Rie Katayama (Jpn)0:12:29
33Hanna Klein (Ger)0:12:38
34Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) CCC Polkowice0:13:03
35Amanda Sin (Can)0:13:20
36Laura Turpijn (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:13:28
37Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Scott0:15:01
38Silke Schmidt (Ger)0:16:15
39Krista Park (USA)0:16:31
40Anna Villar Argente (Spa)0:16:48
41Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:17:11
42Vera Andreeva (Rus)0:17:29
43Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team0:19:18
44Oksana Rybakova (Rus)0:20:01
45Cécile Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix0:21:11
46Katherine O'Shea (Aus)- 1 lap
47Nicoletta De Jager (Ned)- 1 lap
48Inbar Ronen (Isr)- 1 lap
49Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team- 1 lap
50Stephanie Wiedner (Aut)- 1 lap
51Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa)- 1 lap
52Judith Pollinger (Ita) Infotre - Bi&Esse- Leecougan- 1 lap
53Samantha Sanders (RSA)- 1 lap
54Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team- 2 laps
DNFAnja Gradl (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team
DNFBlaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team
DNSWillow Koerber (USA) Trek World Racing

Elite women cross country World Cup standings after one round

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ren Chengyuan (Chn) Specialized Racing250pts
2Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry200
3Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team160
4Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team150
5Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Racing140
6Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol130
7Sabine Spitz (Ger) Central Haibike Pro Team120
8Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) CCC Polkowice110
9Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain100
10Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team95
11Esther Süss (Swi)90
12Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team85
13Annika Langvad (Den)80
14Rosara Joseph (NZl) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team78
15Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol76
16Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek74
17Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Orbea Geax72
18Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team70
19Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team68
20Annie Last (GBr)66
21Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team64
22Anna Szafraniec (Pol) CCC Polkowice62
23Mary Mcconneloug (USA)60
24Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek58
25Alexandra Engen (Swe)56
26Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team54
27Nina Homovec (Slo) Orbea Geax52
28Laura Metzler (Fra) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry50
29Sarah Koba (Swi) Giant Swiss SR-Suntour48
30Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Central Haibike Pro Team46
31Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) Central Haibike Pro Team44
32Rie Katayama (Jpn)42
33Hanna Klein (Ger)40
34Magdalena Sadlecka (Pol) CCC Polkowice38
35Amanda Sin (Can)36
36Laura Turpijn (Ned) Team Merida Combee34
37Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Scott32
38Silke Schmidt (Ger)30
39Krista Park (USA)29
40Anna Villar Argente (Spa)28
41Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team27
42Vera Andreeva (Rus)26
43Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team25
44Oksana Rybakova (Rus)24
45Cécile Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix23
46Katherine O'shea (Aus)22
47Nicoletta De Jager (Ned)21
48Inbar Ronen (Isr)20
49Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team19
50Stephanie Wiedner (Aut)18
51Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa)17
52Judith Pollinger (Ita) Infotre - Bi&Esse- Leecougan16
53Samantha Sanders (RSA)15
54Anneke Beerten (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team14

Elite women cross country World Cup Team Standings after one round

Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Racing68pts
2Luna Pro Team43
3Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol42
4BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry38
5Topeak Ergon Racing Team32
6CCC Polkowice32
7Central Haibike Pro Team25
8Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain22
9Subaru-Trek22
10Ghost Factory Racing Team33
11Multivan Merida Biking Team19
12Orbea Geax18
13Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team12
14Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team10
15Giant Swiss SR-Suntour2

 

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