Pendrel prevails in Olympic Test Event

The test event for the 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike races proved to be a stunning success, with the small but select fields putting on an exciting show for some 4000-plus spectators. Catharine Pendrel (Canada) and Julien Absalon (France) proved to be the strongest riders on the day, taking solo victories in the women's and men's races, respectively.

After cool weather earlier in the week, race day dawned sunny, and the wide-open venue heated up quickly, with the heat becoming a significant factor in the latter laps of the races.

Pendrel and World Cup leader Julie Bresset (France) broke away on the first lap of the women's race, as they have done at almost every World Cup this season. They were joined part way through the first lap (of six) by Pendrel's Luna teammate Georgia Gould (USA). Behind, Elisabeth Osl (Austria), Eva Lechner (Italy) and Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland) battled for fourth, but were never in medal contention.

Pendrel attacked at the midpoint of the race, gaining 11 seconds by the time she started the fourth lap. Behind, Gould was marking Bresset, and when the French rider made no move to chase, Gould dropped her and soloed up to Pendrel. The North American pair rode together until the last half lap, when a crash in a loose, gravel corner knocked Gould out of contention. Pendrel soloed in 56 seconds ahead of Gould, with Bresset at 1:32.

"You appreciate the hardness of the climbs in race conditions," said Pendrel. "I think it races well; it's a hard course, a fast course, I think it's anyone's course. A lot of the Europeans were training through this, I think, preparing for the European championships next week, so this result is not indicative of what we will see next year."

Gould was clearly pleased with her result, despite her crash. "I was following [Catharine Pendrel] a bit too closely through a big left hand turn and I completely washed out and full-on slid on my hip for a long time. It was enough to give her that gap, and then I had to nurse it in because my brake lever broke and I had no rear brake. I was surprised at how tactical it was; there was never any section long enough that someone good at it could create an uncloseable gap, so I think it is a really exciting course."

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Full Results
1Catharine Pendrel (Canada)1:32:04
2Georgia Gould (United States Of America)0:00:56
3Julie Bresset (France)0:01:32
4Elisabeth Osl (Austria)0:03:40
5Eva Lechner (Italy)0:03:51
6Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland)0:04:00
7Alexandra Engen (Sweden)0:04:29
8Sabine Spitz (Germany)0:05:00
9Shi Quinglan (Chile)0:05:32
10Esther Süss (Switzerland)0:06:24
11Katrin Leumann (Switzerland)0:06:57
12Annika Langvad (Denmark)0:07:32
13Rosara Joseph (New Zealand)0:09:23
14Amanda Sin (Canada)0:10:05
15Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)0:11:21
16Angela Carolina Parra Sierra (Colombia)0:11:53
17Lisa Mitterbauer (Austria)0:12:12
18Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mexico)0:12:51
19Melanie Spath (Germany)0:13:38
20Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)-1lap
21Serena Calvetti (Italy)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Oksana Rybakova (Russian Federation)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Rebecca Henderson (Australia)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Rozanne Slik (Netherlands)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Caitlin Elliott (Ireland)-2laps
26Jessica Roberts (Great Britain)-3laps
27Carla Haines (Great Britain)Row 26 - Cell 2
DNFSabrina Enaux (France)Row 27 - Cell 2
DNFMaxine Filby (Great Britain)Row 28 - Cell 2
DNFRoberta Kelly Stopa (Brazil)Row 29 - Cell 2
DNSLene Byberg (Norway)Row 30 - Cell 2
DNSRowena Fry (Australia)Row 31 - Cell 2
DNSMaddie Horton (Great Britain)Row 32 - Cell 2

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