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Kulhavy crushes the competition for solo win on home turf

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Czech World Cup winner Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) greets the fans as he finishes

Czech World Cup winner Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) greets the fans as he finishes (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's cross country World Cup podium in Czech: Podium: José Hermida, Nino Schurter, Jaroslav Kulhavy, Julien Absalon, Sergio Mantecon

Elite men's cross country World Cup podium in Czech: Podium: José Hermida, Nino Schurter, Jaroslav Kulhavy, Julien Absalon, Sergio Mantecon (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Adam Craig (Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team)

Adam Craig (Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The chase group

The chase group (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite Men's start

Elite Men's start (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Samuel Schultz (Subaru - Trek)

Samuel Schultz (Subaru - Trek) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon (Orbea)

Julien Absalon (Orbea) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing)

Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jos

Jos (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing)

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Florian Vogel (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing)

Florian Vogel (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Kulhavy not only won his fourth World Cup of the year, but locked up the overall title

Kulhavy not only won his fourth World Cup of the year, but locked up the overall title (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

World Cup leader Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) had stated before the sixth round of the series, held in his home country of the Czech Republic, that he considered winning this event more important than a victory at the world championships. He did not disappoint nearly 20,000 of his compatriots in Nove Mesto na Morave, with a dominant performance that also locked up the World Cup title, with one race still remaining in the series. Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) secured second in the overall standings with his second place in Nove Mesto, while Julien Absalon (Orbea) took third.

The pressure was on Kulhavy to win the first cross country World Cup to be held in the Czech Republic in 14 years, with his face plastered on posters and billboards in the surrounding towns and countryside. On paper, it was almost a sure thing, since Kulhavy has been so dominant this year, and he admitted, the night before the race, that this was more important than the world championships for him.

One thing he was certainly not lacking was confidence. "When I heard and saw all the people cheering for me, I knew I would win for sure," he said.

He took no chances, attacking on the start loop and opening a gap of eight seconds on Nino Schurter by the start of the first lap, and then extending it steadily through the rest of the seven laps. Schurter, fighting an infection and having just finished a training camp at altitude, dropped back after he realized he could not match Kulhavy's pace.

"I wanted to get away early," said Kulhavy, "so that I could avoid any traffic and ride at my own pace. It was almost a perfect race for me, with only some little mistakes. It was incredible."

Absalon, another favourite, had a slow start to the race, commenting afterward, "That was the worst start I have ever had for a World Cup! I did not have the power to be able to follow, so I started losing places. It was not until maybe halfway through the race that I began to feel better and could move up again."

While Schurter and Absalon were fading, world champion Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida) took up the chase, closing to within 31 seconds by the end of lap two. However, that was as close as he would get to Kulhavy, and he was eventually picked up and dropped by Schurter and Absalon as they recovered and began moving back through the chasers.

By the end of lap five, the pair was back with Hermida, and then dropped him in lap six. Schurter had opened a small gap on Absalon as they began the sixth lap, but the Frenchman quickly closed it up again, and the pair started the seventh and final lap together, one minute and 15 seconds down on Kulhavy. Kulhavy was beginning to cruise on the last lap, confident of his victory, and enjoying the cheers of his compatriots.

He rolled into the finishing stadium to the roar of over 5,000 people in the stands, and lifted his bike over his head to stride across the finish line, with a wide grin cracking his normally serious demeanor.

Behind, Schurter had finally managed to drop Absalon in the last kilometres to claim second by nine seconds over Absalon. Hermida hung on for fourth, and a last lap surge by Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Wild Wolf-Trek) gave the Spaniard the final podium spot - his first ever World Cup podium finish.

Race Notes

- Kulhavy's fourth win (plus a second and a third) give him 1360 points to Schurter's 1070 and Absalon's 810 (Absalon skipped the two North American rounds). With a win worth 250 points, the Czech rider now has an unassailable lead in the standings. Schurter is also assured of second by the same margin, but Absalon is not as secure in third, going into next weekend's final in Val di Sole, Italy. Maxime Marotte (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry) is 70 points in back of Absalon, Hermida is 82 points behind and Burry Stander (Specialized) is at 102 points back.

- Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was the top North American finisher, in 15th, his best ever World Cup result. He was followed by teammate Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski in 22nd, and Canada's Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) in 30th. Todd Wells (Specialized) remains the top North American in the overall standings, despite missing the race (to compete in and win Leadville), in 21st, followed by Kabush in 24th place.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing1:41:52
2Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing0:00:45
3Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea0:00:54
4José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:23
5Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Racing0:01:51
6Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:02:11
7Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry0:02:32
8Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing0:02:46
9Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:02:54
10Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:03:03
11Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:16
12Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing0:03:23
13Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:25
14Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Racing0:03:37
15Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek0:03:43
16Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:04:35
17Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea0:04:47
18Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:05:02
19Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing0:05:10
20Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team0:05:14
21Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:05:19
22Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru - Trek0:05:27
23Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:05:36
24Kristian Hynek (Cze)0:05:39
25Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys - Evenza Team0:05:51
26Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:05:56
27Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:06:20
28Jiri Friedl (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team0:06:28
29Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team0:06:34
30Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain0:06:41
31Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea
32Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:06:52
33Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team0:06:59
34Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Team Protek0:07:03
35Christoph Soukup (Aut)
36Lukas Kaufmann (Swi)0:07:18
37Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:07:33
38Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:07:50
39Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team0:08:02
40Cédric Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix0:08:10
41Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:08:25
42Anton Sintsov (Rus)0:08:34
43Derek Zandstra (Can)0:08:37
44Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor0:08:42
45Umberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
46Filip Eberl (Cze)0:09:02
47Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:09:22
48Martino Fruet (Ita)0:09:40
49Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team0:09:53
50Balz Weber (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:10:00
51Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:10:08
52Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:10:09
53Robert Gehbauer (Aut)0:10:41
54Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:10:58
55Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team0:11:01
56Tony Longo (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:11:34
57Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:12:30
58Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:13:09
-1lapRalph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team
-1lapSimon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team
-1lapRene Tann (Ger)
-1lapMichal Lami (Svk)
-1lapSid Taberlay (Aus)
-1lapAndras Parti (Hun) Euro One - Cube MTB Team
-1lapSpencer Paxson (USA) Kona
-1lapMichael Broderick (USA)
-1lapSepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-1lapAdam Morka (Can)
-1lapPascal Meyer (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-1lapGiuseppe Lamastra (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec
-1lapRobby De Bock (Bel)
-1lapNiels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team
-2lapsNicola Rohrbach (Swi) Elettroveneta - Corratec
-2lapsSteffen Thum (Ger)
-2lapsJulien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
-2lapsSzilard Buruczki (Hun)
-2lapsCarl Jones (NZl)
-2lapsKazuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn)
-2lapsCameron Jette (Can)
-2lapsMatthias Waldhart (Aut)
-3lapsKen Onodera (Jpn)
-3lapsOleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team
-3lapsSang Hoon Na (Kor)
-3lapsSimon Gegenheimer (Ger)
-3lapsEddie Andres Rendon (Col)
-3lapsMartin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr - Suntour
-3lapsMartin Loo (Est) Infotre - Bi & Esse - Leecougan
-3lapsSeiya Hirano (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor
-3lapsPierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International
-3lapsChun Hing Chan (HKg)
-3lapsKyosuke Takei (Jpn)
-3lapsRenay Groustra (RSA)
-3lapsGiancarlo Sax (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-3lapsCristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)
-3lapsLudovic Dubau (Fra) Team Newcycling
-3lapsMarco Schätzing (Ger) Team Firebike - Droessiger
-3lapsLuis Anderson Mejia Sanchez (Col) Asptt Definitive Gitane
-3lapsGabor Bogar (Hun) Euro One - Cube MTB Team
-3lapsLukas Sablik (Cze)
-3lapsPeriklis Ilias (Gre) Team Protek
-4lapsMartin Haring (Svk)
-4lapsOliver Munnik (RSA)
-4lapsGeorgios Pattes-Toumanis (Gre) Team Protek
-4lapsMarc Colom (Fra) Team Newcycling
-4lapsPaul Remy (Fra)
-4lapsSeverin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-5lapsJohn Whittington (GBr)
DNFThomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team
DNFPatrik Gallati (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFOliver Beckingsale (GBr)
DNFIrjan Luttenberg (Ned) Mpl Specialized MTB Team
DNFSven Nys (Bel)
DNFSergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team
DNFMichele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec
DNFDaniel Mcconnell (Aus)
DNFJiri Novak (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team
DNFMichal Prokop (Cze)
DNSOla Kjören (Nor) Team Fokus - Danica
DNSDaniel Federspiel (Aut)
DNSPierre Lebreton (Fra) BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Racing75pts
2Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing54
3Multivan Merida Biking Team48
4Trek World Racing47
5Orbea46
6Wildwolf - Trek Racing45
7Cannondale Factory Racing43
8Subaru - Trek25
9BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry24
10BMC Mountainbike Racing Team22
11Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team18
12Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team11
13TX Active Bianchi10
14Versluys - Evenza Team6
15Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team5
16Topeak Ergon Racing Team4
17Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain1

Elite men cross country World Cup standings after six rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing1360pts
2Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing1070
3Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea810
4Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry740
5José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team728
6Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing708
7Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing650
8Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing600
9Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing568
10Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi532
11Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing498
12Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing496
13Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Racing488
14Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing478
15Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team450
16Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team437
17Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team434
18Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team431
19Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing413
20Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Racing392
21Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing369
22Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea367
23Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team358
24Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain327
25Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team318
26Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team304
27Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team249
28Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team249
29Patrik Gallati (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team241
30Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team235
31Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru - Trek228
32Derek Zandstra (Can)225
33Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr - Suntour214
34Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek213
35Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team204
36Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team182
37Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team179
38Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea174
39Jiri Friedl (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team173
40Cédric Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix169
41Lukas Kaufmann (Swi)168
42Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team142
43Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys - Evenza Team142
44Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor141
45Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team137
46Oliver Beckingsale (GBr)135
47Andras Parti (Hun) Euro One - Cube MTB Team134
48Marc Colom (Fra) Team Newcycling130
49Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International125
50Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Elettroveneta - Corratec125
51Severin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team114
52Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team109
53Jeremiah Bishop (USA)100
54Martino Fruet (Ita)99
55Jiri Novak (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team90
56Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team85
57Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Team Protek84
58Irjan Luttenberg (Ned) Mpl Specialized MTB Team82
59Christoph Soukup (Aut)78
60Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)73
61Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team70
62Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team68
63Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team65
64Kristian Hynek (Cze)58
65Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team54
66Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team52
67Pascal Meyer (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team51
68Balz Weber (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team50
69Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Milka Trek MTB Racing Team47
70Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team46
71Adam Morka (Can)43
72Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop42
73Tony Longo (Ita) TX Active Bianchi41
74Filip Eberl (Cze)38
75Michal Lami (Svk)38
76Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team37
77Matthew Hadley (Can)34
78Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)32
79Umberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.32
80Andrew Watson (Can)32
81Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona30
82Lachlan Norris (Aus) Giant Factory Off-Road Team30
83Anton Sintsov (Rus)26
84Peter Glassford (Can)25
85Periklis Ilias (Gre) Team Protek21
86Max Plaxton (Can)20
87Eric Batty (Can)19
88Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec19
89Rotem Ishai (Isr)17
90Martin Loo (Est) Infotre - Bi & Esse - Leecougan17
91Robert Gehbauer (Aut)15
92Benjamin Wittrup Justesen (Den)15
93Raphael Gagne (Can)13
94Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team13
95Joshua Carlson (Aus)11
96Rene Tann (Ger)10
97Michael Broderick (USA)9
98Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team8

 

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