A classic battle was waged in the women's race between World Cup Series Leader Julie Bresset (BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry) and round four winner Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team). They had attained a 40 second gap over the rest of the field by the end of the first of five laps and never looked back.
The duo rode together for the rest of the race with victory coming down to the climb on the last lap. Bresset had the better attack and came over the top in the lead, while Pendrel had some mechanical problems on the descent. Bresset's winning time was 1:35:36, with Pendrel claiming second, 39 seconds back.
"I'm very happy with my win," commented Bresset. "Catharine was very fast today. I attacked at the right time and she couldn't follow me. Catharine was more comfortable on the downhills than I was, and she attacked me many times, but I still had enough strength left to launch the final attack."
Annika Langvad (Team Easton Rockets) outsprinted Marie-Helene Premont (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) for thrd, with Georgia Golud (Luna) taking fifth. Bresset leads the points standings with 1110. Pendrel remains in second with 920. Bresset seems to have a lock on the series title unless she has some disastrous finishes in the remaining two races in the Czech Republic and Italy. Premont is third in the series with 630 points.
In the Under-23 women's four lap race, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Lapierre International) took her third straight win to cement her lead in the series. The French rider rode clear the rest of the field on the first climb, however, Norwegian Elisabeth Sveum (Team Merida Smart Safety) and Kathrin Stirnemann (Central Haibike) kept Ferrand-Prevot) closer than previous races, finishing 18 and 27 seconds behind her respectively.
Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) led the men's in Windham from start to finish. His race was one of true dominance, with the Czech rider able to open a lead on the first climb, stretching it to 11 seconds by the end of the first lap and increasing it every lap from there. It was a truly dominating performance, affording Kulhavy the luxury of backing off on the final lap but still winning by a margin of 29 seconds over second place.
Kulhavy's winning time was 1:35:34 for six laps of the race course, as he took his third World Cup victory of the season. "This course does not suit me as well as Mont Ste Anne last week," commented Kulhavy. "But I decided that I would try to take the lead on the first lap on the climb, and it worked." While Kulhavy had a lock on first place, there was a fierce battle for second among eight riders.
Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) prevailed, after dropping world Marathon champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized) in the final descent. Burry Stander took fourth to put a third Specialized rider on the podium, and Maxime Marotte (BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry) took the fifth and final podium spot. With his third win of the season Kulhavy now has 1110 points to second placed Schurter's 870. In third place in the points race is Julien Absalon, who decided not to race in North America. Even with only three races to his credit this season Absalon has 650 points.
Men's Top Ten