Windham, N.Y. – Spectacular weather and some of the fastest courses on the circuit made for great racing at the eighth stop of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano at Windham, N.Y. (USA).
In the fifth of six rounds of the Men’s Cross Country Eliminator, Catriel Andres Soto (ARG, MMR Bikes) took his first career win. Simon Gegenheimer of Germany edged out World Cup leader Fabrice Mels (BEL, Salcano Alanya) for second. With one round remaining, third-place finisher Mels needs the final round to win the World Cup title.
Jenny Rissveds (SWE, Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team) captured first place in the Women’s Cross Country Eliminator. Rissveds dominated on the uphills and grabbed the lead from Kathrin Stirnemann (SUI, Sabine-Spitz Haibike Pro Team). The two favorites dominated their heats on their way to the final. Stirnemann’s total points over the last five races earned her the overall World Cup title. Cindy Montambault of Canada placed third, while American Chloe Woodruff clinched fourth. American Kate Courtney (Specialized Racing XC) took the seventh spot.
In the Women’s Elite Downhill, there was no looking back for Emmeline Ragot (FRA, Lapierre Gravity Republic) who took the gold with a time of 2:40.146 and keeps gaining on the overall World Cup. Rachel Atherton (GBR, GT Factory Racing) took second and Tracey Hannah (AUS, Hutchinson UR) placed third. Top U.S downhill rider Jill Kintner finished in sixth. Manon Carpenter (GBR, Madison Saracen) holds the lead for the overall World Cup.
For the Men’s Elite Downhill, the fastest time (Steve Peat, GBR, Santa Cruz Syndicate) was clocked at 70+ kph. The top 10 riders quickly gave up the hot seat to other riders. Aaron Gwin (USA, Specialized Racing) had a fantastic run with fans hoping for a repeat of his 2012 victory. He bested the fastest qualifier, Troy Brosnan (AUS, Specialized Racing), by two seconds until Josh Bryceland (GBR, Santa Cruz Syndicate) had a flawless run shaving an additional second and a half off of Gwin’s time. Bryceland holds the lead for the overall World Cup. U.S rider Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) suffered a crash, but still came in 25th.
Up and coming U.S. downhill rider Luca Shaw (SRAM/TLD Racing) took the silver in the Men’s Juniors downhill with a time of 2:32.626 and holds the lead for the Men’s Juniors overall World Cup going into the last round. For the Elite Women’s Cross Country, the top four finishers were separated by only about 30 seconds. Catharine Pendrel (CAN, Luna Pro) celebrated her third victory at Windham with a winning time of 1:25:47. Tanja Zakelj (SLO, Unior Tools Team) took second place and Annika Langvad (DEN, Specialized Racing) came in third, her highest finish of the season. Jolanda Neff (SUI, Liv Pro XC) who came in fourth, still holds a commanding lead on the overall World Cup. American riders Lea Davison (Specialized Racing XC) and Georgia Gould (Luna) finished seventh and 12th , respectively.
For the Elite Men’s Cross Country, Nino Schurter (SUI, Scott-Odlo) took his third win of the season, besting second-place finisher Julien Absalon (FRA, BMC Mountainbike Racing) by six seconds. Schurter and Absalon each have three wins this season, but Absalon leads in the points tally for the overall World Cup by 210 points. Lukas Flückiger (SUI, BMC Mountainbike Racing) had an amazing ride and came in third; brother Mathias Flückiger (SUI, Stöckli Pro) shared the podium in fifth place. Daniel McConnell (AUS, Trek Factory Racing) came in fourth. Top U.S rider Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Racing) came in 27th place.
Up and coming U.S. cross country riders Howard Grotts placed fourth in the Men Under 23 and Kate Courtney (Specialized Racing) came in 10th for Women Under 23.
The World Cup moves to Méribel, France (Aug. 23 -24) for the conclusion of the 2014 season.
Windham World Cup organizers look forward to the return of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano and the family-friendly festival activities Aug. 8-9, 2015.
For more information on the Windham event, visit www.racewindham.com.