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Zakelj wins second straight World Cup cross country

Despite intense heat that saw many riders wilt, the leader in the cross-country mountain bike World Cup extended her lead in the elite women's series at Val di Sole, Italy. Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools) now holds a commanding lead in the overall standings at the halfway mark of the 2013 World Cup series.

The Val di Sole course is renowned for steep climbs, technical singletrack and hot, humid conditions; and this year was no different. Riders that went out hard early in the races were fading by the halfway point, and those who had played a tactical game then moved to the front.

In the elite women's six-lap race, defending World Cup overall champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna) blazed off the front, opening a 15-second gap on Zakelj, Katerina Nash (Luna) and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida). However, by the second lap the other three had caught her, and the Canadian faded to eventually finish sixth.

Zakelj and Nash had dropped Dahle Flesjaa and Pendrel by the end of lap three, and the pair rode together at the front for a lap before Nash attacked. The Czech rider carved out a slim eight-second lead, which she held into the final lap, but then also faded in the final half lap to finish 20 seconds down on Zakelj. Emily Batty (Trek World Racing), moving up steadily all race, moved into third on the fourth lap, and held it to the line.

"This course fits me well," said Zakelj. "Yes, I suffered so much; the uphills are very steep, but I am very fit now. I have my fan club here and from this race I have great memories. I always do great here.

"I didn't expect to win again, because there are so many strong girls, but of course I was ready to win. After Katerina [Nash] was in front on the last lap, I was prepared for second place, so i was surprised when I caught her again. Now I have the mental feeling that I am at the top so I am always ready to win."

Zakelj now leads the overall standings with 650 points, followed by Maja Wloszczowska (Giant Pro XC) at 490 and round one winner Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol) with 470 points.

Full Results
1Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team1:36:37
2Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:00:20
3Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing0:00:50
4Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:01:34
5Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:59
6Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:02:58
7Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - IXS Team0:03:08
8Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing XC0:03:14
9Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:03:26
10Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:04:04
11Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:40
12Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:05:03
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:05:25
14Jolanda Neff (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:05:39
15Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:06:05
16Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:06:22
17Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol) Bi&Esse Carrera0:06:41
18Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:07:31
19Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team0:07:48
20Mary McConneloug (USA)0:08:47
21Daniela Campuzano (Mex)0:09:10
22Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:09:45
23Nataliya Krompets (Ukr) ISD MTB Team0:10:03
24Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Calcit Bike Team0:10:26
25Vera Andreeva (Rus) Team Protek0:10:30
26Mikaela Kofman (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:10:44
27Annika Langvad (Den) Team Davinci - Specialized0:11:12
28Sabrina Enaux (Fra)0:12:08
29Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:12:11
30Lene Byberg (Nor)0:12:12
31Serena Calvetti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:12:51
32Nina Wrobel (Ger)0:13:16
33Hanna Klein (Ger)0:13:28
34Anna Villar Argente (Spa)0:13:35
35Judith Pollinger (Ita)0:14:13
36Kateryna Naberezhna (Ukr) ISD MTB Team-1lap
37Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)
38Samara Sheppard (NZl) Toka Print MTB Team
39Julie Bresset (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC
40Irina Slobodyan (Ukr)
41Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg)
42Fanny Bourdon (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise
43Kate Fluker (NZl)
44Katherine O'Neill (NZl)-2laps
45Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team
46Anja Gradl (Ger) Team Bulls
47Lucie Vesela (Cze)
48Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)
49Franziska Brun (Swi)
50Andréanne Pichette (Can)
51Helle Qvortrup Bachmann (Den)-3laps
52Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)
DNFAnnie Last (GBr) Trek Factory Racing
DNFElisabeth Brandau (Ger)
DNFKatarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)
DNFNadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team
DNFJitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)
DNFAnna Oberparleiter (Ita)
DNFPaula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team

1Luna Pro Team70pts
2Ghost Factory Racing Team59
3Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team49
4Unior Tools Team40
5Specialized Racing XC38
6Giant Pro XC Team37
7Trek Factory Racing32
8Multivan Merida Biking Team28
9Wheeler - IXS Team24
10Team Colnago Sudtirol20
11Bi&Esse Carrera14
13Toka Print MTB Team12
14Isd MTB Team8
15Calcit Bike Team7
16Team Protek6
18Team Davinci - Specialized4

World Cup standings - Individuals
1Tanja Zakelj (Slo)650pts
2Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)490
3Eva Lechner (Ita)470
4Katerina Nash (Cze)415
5Emily Batty (Can)390
6Alexandra Engen (Swe)385
7Catharine Pendrel (Can)375
8Katrin Leumann (Swi)326
9Adelheid Morath (Ger)326
10Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor)299
11Lea Davison (USA)292
12Esther Süss (Swi)280
13Jolanda Neff (Swi)266
14Irina Kalentieva (Rus)250
15Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)205
16Tereza Hurikova (Cze)202
17Blaza Klemencic (Slo)198
18Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol)194
19Annika Langvad (Den)192
20Vera Andreeva (Rus)182
21Georgia Gould (USA)178
22Corina Gantenbein (Swi)174
23Nathalie Schneitter (Swi)170
24Mary McConneloug (USA)168
25Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)164
26Elisabeth Osl (Aut)162
27Daniela Campuzano (Mex)154
28Sabrina Enaux (Fra)144
29Hanna Klein (Ger)142
30Annie Last (GBr)141
31Githa Michiels (Bel)132
32Nina Wrobel (Ger)99
33Marianne Vos (Ned)90
34Mikaela Kofman (Can)90
35Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)88
36Anna Villar Argente (Spa)85
37Lene Byberg (Nor)84
38Nataliya Krompets (Ukr)79
39Anja Gradl (Ger)79
40Kate Fluker (NZl)78
41Paula Gorycka (Pol)75
42Chengyuan Ren (Chn)74
43Anna Szafraniec (Pol)70
44Serena Calvetti (Ita)70
45Amanda Sin (Can)66
46Samara Sheppard (NZl)64
47Fanny Bourdon (Fra)60
48Barbara Benko (Hun)50
49Kateryna Naberezhna (Ukr)49
50Nadine Rieder (Ger)49
51Judith Pollinger (Ita)48
52Jacquelina Alvarez (Arg)47
53Lee Craigie (GBr)47
54Judy Freeman (USA)45
55Franziska Brun (Swi)45
56Katherine O'Neill (NZl)44
57Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)39
58Lucie Vesela (Cze)39
59Erin Huck (USA)34
60Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)32
61Nikki Harris (GBr)32
62Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)32
63Julie Bresset (Fra)29
64Sarah Koba (Swi)29
65Irina Slobodyan (Ukr)28
66Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)23
67Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)20
68Andréanne Pichette (Can)18
69Laura Metzler (Fra)18
70Helle Qvortrup Bachmann (Den)17
71Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)16
72Lucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)14
73Hielke Elferink (Ned)14
74Lenka Bulisova (Cze)13
75Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)13
76Ruth Owen-Evans (GBr)12
77Asuman Bura Balci (Tur)11
78Laura Turpijn (Ned)8

World Cup standings - Teams
1Giant Pro XC Team182pts
2Luna Pro Team180
3Ghost Factory Racing Team162
4Unior Tools Team110
5Team Colnago Sudtirol105
6Trek Factory Racing105
7Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team103
8Specialized Racing XC95
9Wheeler - IXS Team60
10Multivan Merida Biking Team59
11Topeak Ergon Racing Team50
12Calcit Bike Team33
13Bi&Esse Carrera31
14Team Davinci - Specialized30
15Team Protek25
17Toka Print MTB Team12
18ISD MTB Team8
204F Racing Team1

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