Gehbauer wins in South Africa

Austrian under 23 talent Alexander Gehbauer got his 2012 UCI MTB World Cup season off to the perfect start when he narrowly outsprinted Italian star Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX Active Bianchi) to claim the spoils in the U23 men's cross country duel at Cascades MTB park on Saturday morning.

After a titanic three-way battle throughout the five-lap contest between the top two riders and Germany's Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Focus MIG), it came down to a last lap sprint to separate the trio and it was Gehbauer who ultimately had the legs and powered home six seconds ahead of Kreschbaumer with Schulte-Luenzum claiming third and South Africa's James Reid (Nedbank 360Life) putting a monumental effort to claim fourth spot.

"It was my first race (of the year) and I was really excited before the race," said Gehbauer. "I trained well in the winter and I am so happy. Last year I was injured two days before the European Championships and so it was unbelievable to win again; last year I won two World Cups... perfect!"

Cracker race for Reid

Having started slowly Kearsney College old boy Reid ground his way towards the front of the pack early on and put in a stellar effort as he attempted to hunt down to leaders on his own whilst always keeping a careful eye on those trying desperately to catch him.

"It's just incredible!" exclaimed an ecstatic Reid who, before the race, had said he was aiming for a top 10 finish. "That's definitely my best performance ever thus far and I'm just so chuffed!

"Being part of such a supportive outfit as Nedbank 360Life team has made all the difference. I have been able to raise my game as a result of it. I had it coming and I felt I was in great form coming into this World Cup. It is a confirmation of where I can go with the right guidance and support," he said. "I'm completely over the moon!"

Disappointment for Croeser

Whilst Reid took in his phenomenal result it was a day of disappointment for South Africa's top U23 contender Rourke Croeser (Orange Monkey-Cannondale) who, after a great start, suffered a second lap crash and had to pick his way through the field to finish 17th overall.

"I just hit a stump on the second lap and it was really tough after that," said a mortified Croeser shortly after crossing the finish line. "I'd really hoped for a podium finish coming into the race so it is just so so disappointing. It's hugely frustrating!"

Full Results

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Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Gehbauer (Aut)1:21:52
2Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:00:06
3Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus MIG Team0:00:38
4James Reid (RSA)0:01:13
5Ondrej Cink (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:01:43
6Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:01:47
7Ruben Scheire (Bel) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry0:02:10
8Jeff Luyten (Bel) Versluys Team0:02:25
9Daniele Braidot (Ita)0:03:09
10Zsolt Juhasz (Hun)0:04:05
11Nicholas Pettina (Ita)0:04:13
12Gregor Raggl (Aut)0:04:19
13Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:04:24
14Maxime Urruty (Fra) Bikepark.Ch Scott0:04:38
15Kenta Gallagher (GBr)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Roger Walder (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:05:05
17Rourke Croeser (RSA) Orange Monkey-Cannondale0:05:12
18Martin Gluth (Ger)0:05:13
19Christian Pfäffle (Ger)0:05:25
20Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team0:05:43
21Hugo Drechou (Fra) Team Newcycling0:05:45
22Luke Roberts (RSA)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Jordan Sarrou (Fra) Lapierre International0:06:00
24Pavel Priadein (Rus)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Julien Trarieux (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix0:06:31
26Lukas Loretz (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr - Suntour0:07:04
27Grant Ferguson (GBr)0:07:16
28Rens De Bruin (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:07:54
29Sebastian Batchelor (GBr)0:08:09
30Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss Sr - Suntour0:08:42
31Thomas Lapeyrie (Fra) Lapierre International0:08:56
32David Simon (Ger)0:09:24
33Ivan Smirnov (Rus) Team Protek0:09:28
34Arno Du Toit (RSA)0:10:59
35Erik Groen (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:11:46
36Gert Heyns (RSA)0:11:55
37Lourens Luus (RSA)0:13:20
38Travis Walker (RSA)0:13:41
39Severin Sagesser (Swi) Switzerland0:14:20
40Shaun Craig Silver (RSA)0:16:40
-1lapLuca Braidot (Ita)Row 40 - Cell 2
-1lapJens Schuermans (Bel) Versluys TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
-1lapMike Schuler (Swi) SwitzerlandRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFThijs Zuurbier (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
DNFMarc Stutzmann (Swi)Row 44 - Cell 2
DNFStefan Peter (Swi) SwitzerlandRow 45 - Cell 2
DNFTimofei Ivanov (Rus)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFSascha Bleher (Ger)Row 47 - Cell 2
DSQSimon Stiebjahn (Ger)Row 48 - Cell 2
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Under 23 World Cup standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alexander Gehbauer (Aut)90pts
2Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) TX Active Bianchi70Row 1 - Cell 3
3Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus MIG Team60Row 2 - Cell 3
4James Reid (RSA)50Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ondrej Cink (Cze) Merida Biking Team40Row 4 - Cell 3
6Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team35Row 5 - Cell 3
7Ruben Scheire (Bel) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry30Row 6 - Cell 3
8Jeff Luyten (Bel) Versluys Team27Row 7 - Cell 3
9Daniele Braidot (Ita)24Row 8 - Cell 3
10Zsolt Juhasz (Hun)22Row 9 - Cell 3
11Nicholas Pettina (Ita)20Row 10 - Cell 3
12Gregor Raggl (Aut)18Row 11 - Cell 3
13Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team16Row 12 - Cell 3
14Maxime Urruty (Fra) Scott14Row 13 - Cell 3
15Kenta Gallagher (GBr)12Row 14 - Cell 3
16Roger Walder (Swi) 77Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team10Row 15 - Cell 3
17Rourke Croeser (RSA) Orange Monkey-Cannondale9Row 16 - Cell 3
18Martin Gluth (Ger)8Row 17 - Cell 3
19Christian Pfäffle (Ger)7Row 18 - Cell 3
20Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team6Row 19 - Cell 3
21Hugo Drechou (Fra) Team Newcycling5Row 20 - Cell 3
22Luke Roberts (RSA)4Row 21 - Cell 3
23Jordan Sarrou (Fra) Lapierre International3Row 22 - Cell 3
24Pavel Priadein (Rus)2Row 23 - Cell 3
25Julien Trarieux (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix1Row 24 - Cell 3


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