The eliminator at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup had a new face at the top of the podium for round 4 at Vallnord, Andorra. Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike) won the women's race, and now trails World Cup leader Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory) by a slim 10 points in the overall standings.
Stirnemann, who qualified first for the women, was unbeaten through the heats on her way to the final. She was joined in the final four by world champion Engen, round 2 winner Jenny Rissveds (Swedish National) and second place qualifier Jolanda Neff (Giant Pro). Rissveds and Neff took the early lead in the final and, going into the singletrack section 500 metres from the finish, looked to have the top two spots locked up. However, both Stirnemann and Engen passed the front runners with the World Cup leader running out of track as she tried to chase down Stirnemann.
"I think this is the best race I've had this season," said a very pleased Stirnemann. "I am so happy to win, even though I had to wait for this moment a long time. It is just the best day in my career."
"In the trees, I was the only one who took the upper line and caught Alex [Engen], then on the asphalt I had the best power and made it to the finish as the best. On this course it is not possible to do any tactics. You just have to go full the whole race. It was such a nice fight. The four strongest girls made the final and it was an amazing day."
Engen now leads Stirnemann in the overall standings by a slim margin of 10 points, with 190 to her rival's 180 with one race remaining. Rissveds is a distant third at 110 points.
|1||Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team|
|2||Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team|
|3||Jenny Rissveds (Swe)|
|4||Jolanda Neff (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team|
|5||Linda Indergand (Swi) Strübi MTB Kader|
|6||Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Team Colnago Sudtirol|
|7||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team|
|8||Nadine Rieder (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team|
|9||Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)|
|10||Anne Terpstra (Ned) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team|
|11||Ann Berglund (Swe)|
|12||Oksana Rybakova (Rus)|
|13||Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)|
|14||Pauline° Pajot (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec|
|15||Alessia Bulleri (Ita)|
|1||Alexandra Engen (Swe)||190||pts|
|2||Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)||180|
|3||Jenny Rissveds (Swe)||110|
|4||Jolanda Neff (Swi)||76|
|5||Linda Indergand (Swi)||70|
|6||Nadine Rieder (Ger)||58|
|7||Ingrid Sofie Jacobsen (Nor)||39|
|8||Anne Terpstra (Ned)||38|
|9||Eva Lechner (Ita)||37|
|10||Nathalie Schneitter (Swi)||34|
|11||Cécile Ravanel (Fra)||25|
|12||Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol)||22|
|13||Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)||22|
|14||Katerina Nash (Cze)||20|
|15||Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)||20|
|16||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)||18|
|17||Georgia Gould (USA)||16|
|18||Andréanne Pichette (Can)||16|
|19||Ramona Forchini (Swi)||16|
|20||Katrin Leumann (Swi)||14|
|21||Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau (Can)||14|
|22||Ann Berglund (Swe)||8|
|23||Alessia Bulleri (Ita)||8|
|24||Elvira Khayrullina (Rus)||7|
|25||Oksana Rybakova (Rus)||6|
|26||Lena Putz (Ger)||6|
|27||Pauline° Pajot (Fra)||3|
|28||Blaza Klemencic (Slo)||1|
|29||Laura Turpijn (Ned)||1|
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