Kalentieva wins the elite women's cross country at Hafjell World Cup

Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) won the eighth cross country World Cup of her career in Hafjell, Norway on Saturday. Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol) narrowly beat Julie Bresset (BH-SR Suntour-KMC) for the second spot while Lea Davison (Specialized) put in a top five finish for fourth and home crowd favorite Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) was fifth.

"It's unbelievable," said Kalentieva after winning. "This year I had a lot of bad luck. I was fourth in the Worlds, like at the Olympics. I know this feeling from earlier, when I won many times in the World Cup and Worlds. I'm so happy."

"I knew that in this race, I'd have to be at the front in the beginning. It was so fast and today I did it - I was near the front. When I was in third and fourth, I was thinking, today I can win, so I tried and gave everything."

The short 4.1-kilometre course proved to be very tough, with many riders underestimating the constant climbing and rough, rocky descents. Four riders went to the front on the first lap of the six lap women's race, and attrition gradually whittled their numbers down. Kalentieva was joined at the front by round one winner Lechner, world champion Bresset and Davison.

Behind, local favourite Dahle Flesjaa rode her own pace for the entire race to stay in fifth, while the lead was constantly shuffled at the front.

Davison was the first to get dropped, on lap three, while Kalentieva, Lechner and Bresset took turns pushing each other. Lechner made a strong attack with a lap and a half to go, dropping Bresset for good, but Kalentieva clawed her way back up and then broke clear on the one of the final climbs, to solo in by 20 seconds ahead of Lechner.

The race came down to the last lap. With one and a half laps to go, Bresset made her attack and distanced Lechner and Kalentieva while Davison chased alone in fourth. However, after a flat tire, Bresset was reeled back in and passed. She was not near a tech zone and lost substantial time on her way to getting a wheel change, dropping back to fourth.

The French woman put in an impressive comeback to catch and pass Davison. She also caught up to Lechner on the final lap, but the Italian held her off.

Kalentieva, alone at the front after Bresset's flat, had plenty of time to celebrate her win while Lechner held off the chase from Bresset.

Behind, Zakelj rode back in eighth place for the first half of the race before starting to move forward to eventually finish sixth, cementing her overall World Cup title, and becoming the first Slovenian to win both an individual World Cup (rounds two and three), as well as an overall title. Lechner's second place moved her into second overall from fourth, leapfrogging Katerina Nash (Luna), who dropped from second to third.

"It's so amazing. I never expected it at the beginning of this season," said the new World Cup champion Zakelj. "I never expected before this season that something this awesome would happen to me. This race was so tough - the toughest in my whole career. I felt a lot of pressure and wanted to keep focused. What I achieved is so important and simply amazing, I haven't been able to think about it yet."

"All the pressure that I felt (made the race hard) and the conditions were not perfect for me. I like it more warm and more sunny, but the conditions were the same for everybody. And I think it was normal that the other girls to be at the front that were not so strong at the beginning of the season, because it is very tough to keep so high every race,. This day I still managed to be very close to the podium and I am very happy about it."

"I hope I will continue to do races like that in my future. I am still young, and I have many opportunities in front of me, I am looking forward to next season," said Zakelj.

Race note

Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike) sat out the race after injuring herself in a crash during training at the world championships two weeks ago. She has since undergone surgery on her shoulder.

Full Results

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Elite women cross country
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team1:25:34
2Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:00:20
3Julie Bresset (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:00:22
4Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing XC0:00:54
5Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:17
6Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:02:48
7Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:03:23
8Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:17
9Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:46
10Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:05:15
11Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:05:41
12Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - iXS Team0:05:56
13Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)0:06:07
14Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:06:47
15Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:07:01
16Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:07:03
17Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:07:13
18Mikaela Kofman (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:07:58
19Hanna Klein (Ger)0:08:48
20Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:09:24
21Lene Byberg (Nor)0:09:56
22Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team0:10:17
23Nadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:10:33
24Mary Mcconneloug (USA)0:10:36
25Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:10:44
26Nina Wrobel (Ger)0:10:49
27Kajsa Snihs (Swe)0:11:00
28Vera Andreeva (Rus) Team Protek0:11:08
29Heidi Rosasen Sandsto (Nor) Team Giant/United Bakeries0:11:13
30Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike Team0:12:05
31Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)0:12:33
32Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team0:13:12
33Lee Craigie (GBr)0:13:20
34Kate Fluker (NZl)0:14:06
35Erin Huck (USA)0:14:38
-1lapLucie Vesela (Cze)Row 35 - Cell 2
-1lapAngelica Edvardsson (Swe)Row 36 - Cell 2
-1lapElisabeth Brandau (Ger)Row 37 - Cell 2
-1lapJitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)Row 38 - Cell 2
-2lapsCindy Montambault (Can)Row 39 - Cell 2
-4lapsRuth Owen-Evans (GBr)Row 40 - Cell 2
DNFOksana Rybakova (Rus)Row 41 - Cell 2
DNFBarbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFTereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XCRow 43 - Cell 2
DNSCorina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMCRow 44 - Cell 2
DNSJane Nussli (GBr) Fischer-BMCRow 45 - Cell 2
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Luna Pro Team55pts
2Ghost Factory Racing Team52Row 1 - Cell 3
3Team Colnago Sudtirol50Row 2 - Cell 3
4Topeak Ergon Racing Team48Row 3 - Cell 3
5Giant Pro XC Team45Row 4 - Cell 3
6BH - SR Suntour - KMC32Row 5 - Cell 3
7Specialized Racing XC30Row 6 - Cell 3
8Multivan Merida Biking Team28Row 7 - Cell 3
9Unior Tools Team26Row 8 - Cell 3
10Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team22Row 9 - Cell 3
11Wheeler - iXS Team19Row 10 - Cell 3
12Scott-3Roxracing13Row 11 - Cell 3
13Toka Print MTB Team9Row 12 - Cell 3
14Team Protek3Row 13 - Cell 3
15Team Giant/United Bakeries2Row 14 - Cell 3
16Calcit Bike Team1Row 15 - Cell 3
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Elite women cross country World Cup final standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Tanja Zakelj (Slo)1080pts
2Eva Lechner (Ita)960Row 1 - Cell 3
3Katerina Nash (Cze)955Row 2 - Cell 3
4Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)890Row 3 - Cell 3
5Alexandra Engen (Swe)680Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jolanda Neff* (Swi)606Row 5 - Cell 3
7Catharine Pendrel (Can)605Row 6 - Cell 3
8Katrin Leumann (Swi)600Row 7 - Cell 3
9Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor)589Row 8 - Cell 3
10Lea Davison (USA)582Row 9 - Cell 3
11Irina Kalentieva (Rus)578Row 10 - Cell 3
12Emily Batty (Can)485Row 11 - Cell 3
13Adelheid Morath (Ger)482Row 12 - Cell 3
14Esther Süss (Swi)450Row 13 - Cell 3
15Julie Bresset (Fra)434Row 14 - Cell 3
16Elisabeth Osl (Aut)394Row 15 - Cell 3
17Georgia Gould (USA)386Row 16 - Cell 3
18Annika Langvad (Den)350Row 17 - Cell 3
19Blaza Klemencic (Slo)344Row 18 - Cell 3
20Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)323Row 19 - Cell 3
21Nathalie Schneitter (Swi)316Row 20 - Cell 3
22Mary Mcconneloug (USA)311Row 21 - Cell 3
23Hanna Klein (Ger)286Row 22 - Cell 3
24Sabrina Enaux (Fra)264Row 23 - Cell 3
25Sabine Spitz (Ger)250Row 24 - Cell 3
26Tereza Hurikova (Cze)244Row 25 - Cell 3
27Corina Gantenbein (Swi)242Row 26 - Cell 3
28Githa Michiels (Bel)242Row 27 - Cell 3
29Vera Andreeva (Rus)232Row 28 - Cell 3
30Lene Byberg (Nor)226Row 29 - Cell 3
31Mikaela Kofman (Can)222Row 30 - Cell 3
32Daniela Campuzano (Mex)220Row 31 - Cell 3
33Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol)194Row 32 - Cell 3
34Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)168Row 33 - Cell 3
35Pauline Ferrand Prevot* (Fra)164Row 34 - Cell 3
36Nadine Rieder (Ger)155Row 35 - Cell 3
37Nina Wrobel (Ger)153Row 36 - Cell 3
38Marianne Vos (Ned)150Row 37 - Cell 3
39Annie Last (GBr)141Row 38 - Cell 3
40Judy Freeman (USA)135Row 39 - Cell 3
41Amanda Sin (Can)130Row 40 - Cell 3
42Erin Huck (USA)130Row 41 - Cell 3
43Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)126Row 42 - Cell 3
44Anna Villar Argente (Spa)123Row 43 - Cell 3
45Lee Craigie (GBr)119Row 44 - Cell 3
46Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)118Row 45 - Cell 3
47Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg)117Row 46 - Cell 3
48Paula Gorycka (Pol)117Row 47 - Cell 3
49Kate Fluker (NZl)116Row 48 - Cell 3
50Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)108Row 49 - Cell 3
51Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)107Row 50 - Cell 3
52Fanny Bourdon (Fra)104Row 51 - Cell 3
53Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)88Row 52 - Cell 3
54Andréanne Pichette (Can)86Row 53 - Cell 3
55Cindy Montambault (Can)80Row 54 - Cell 3
56Nataliya Krompets (Ukr)79Row 55 - Cell 3
57Anja Gradl (Ger)79Row 56 - Cell 3
58Barbara Benko (Hun)79Row 57 - Cell 3
59Sandra Walter (Can)74Row 58 - Cell 3
60Chengyuan Ren (Chn)74Row 59 - Cell 3
61Lucie Vesela (Cze)73Row 60 - Cell 3
62Anna Szafraniec (Pol)70Row 61 - Cell 3
63Serena Calvetti (Ita)70Row 62 - Cell 3
64Samara Sheppard (NZl)64Row 63 - Cell 3
65Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)57Row 64 - Cell 3
66Amy Dombroski (USA)56Row 65 - Cell 3
67Kajsa Snihs (Swe)52Row 66 - Cell 3
68Isabella Moreira Lacerda (Bra)50Row 67 - Cell 3
69Kateryna Naberezhna (Ukr)49Row 68 - Cell 3
70Heidi Rosasen Sandsto (Nor)48Row 69 - Cell 3
71Teal Stetson-Lee (USA)48Row 70 - Cell 3
72Judith Pollinger (Ita)48Row 71 - Cell 3
73Chloe Woodruff (USA)46Row 72 - Cell 3
74Franziska Brun (Swi)45Row 73 - Cell 3
75Mandy Dreyer (Can)44Row 74 - Cell 3
76Katherine O'neill (NZl)44Row 75 - Cell 3
77Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mex)42Row 76 - Cell 3
78Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)41Row 77 - Cell 3
79Rebecca Beaumont (Can)40Row 78 - Cell 3
80Ruth Owen-Evans (GBr)39Row 79 - Cell 3
81Jamie Busch (USA)38Row 80 - Cell 3
82Sarah Kaufmann (USA)36Row 81 - Cell 3
83Annick Chretien (Can)34Row 82 - Cell 3
84Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa)34Row 83 - Cell 3
85Angelica Edvardsson (Swe)32Row 84 - Cell 3
86Erica Tingey (USA)32Row 85 - Cell 3
87Nikki Harris (GBr)32Row 86 - Cell 3
88Ann Berglund (Swe)30Row 87 - Cell 3
89Sarah Koba (Swi)29Row 88 - Cell 3
90Oksana Rybakova (Rus)28Row 89 - Cell 3
91Irina Slobodyan (Ukr)28Row 90 - Cell 3
92Joana Barbosa (Por)26Row 91 - Cell 3
93Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)Row 92 - Cell 2 Row 92 - Cell 3
94Laura Metzler (Fra)Row 93 - Cell 2 Row 93 - Cell 3
95Helle Qvortrup Bachmann (Den)Row 94 - Cell 2 Row 94 - Cell 3
96Hielke Elferink (Ned)Row 95 - Cell 2 Row 95 - Cell 3
97Lenka Bulisova (Cze)Row 96 - Cell 2 Row 96 - Cell 3
98Asuman Bura Balci (Tur)Row 97 - Cell 2 Row 97 - Cell 3
99Laura Turpijn (Ned)Row 98 - Cell 2 Row 98 - Cell 3
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Team World Cup final standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Luna Pro Team360pts
2Giant Pro XC Team330Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ghost Factory Racing Team330Row 2 - Cell 3
4Team Colnago Sudtirol227Row 3 - Cell 3
5Unior Tools Team196Row 4 - Cell 3
6Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team192Row 5 - Cell 3
7Specialized Racing XC153Row 6 - Cell 3
8Trek Factory Racing126Row 7 - Cell 3
9Multivan Merida Biking Team117Row 8 - Cell 3
10Topeak Ergon Racing Team116Row 9 - Cell 3
11Wheeler - iXS Team98Row 10 - Cell 3
12BH - SR Suntour - KMC94Row 11 - Cell 3
13Team Davinci - Specialized59Row 12 - Cell 3
14Calcit Bike Team56Row 13 - Cell 3
15Scott-3Roxracing37Row 14 - Cell 3
16Fischer-BMC33Row 15 - Cell 3
17Bi&Esse Carrera31Row 16 - Cell 3
18Team Protek28Row 17 - Cell 3
19Toka Print MTB Team23Row 18 - Cell 3
20Isd MTB Team8Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Giant/United Bakeries2Row 20 - Cell 3
224F Racing Team1Row 21 - Cell 3

 

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