Pro Team Race Reports
Catharine Pendrel wins World Cup Title!
photo: Michal Cerveny
Val d’Isère, France (July 28, 2012) Catharine Pendrel claimed her career second World Cup overall title, riding into ninth place after a challenging opening lap. The Canadian had already secured the title entering this final round, especially after winning two back-to-back North American World Cups in June.
Despite stopping for a wheel change, Georgia Gould kept things consistent with a fifth place, riding conservatively while showing the world she is also on form to medal at the Olympics. Katerina Nash managed to stay in the top ten after dealing with a flat tire on the slick, tricky course.
Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa won the race, tying mountain bike legend Julie Furtado’s record of 28 World Cup career wins.
Pendrel claimed her victory with 1,290 points, as Dahle Flesjaa finished 2nd overall with 1,048 and Nash took 3rd with 954 points. Georgia was 5th overall for the season, with 893 points behind Julie Bresset.
The LUNA Pro Team finished first in the world once again in the world cup team overall standings, the fourth time in its 11-year history.
Conditions were so slippery, all of the riders used mud tires (which is rare at the world cup level). Catharine chose 26" Maxxis Beavers for her Orbea Alma hardtail. Georgia tried the 29" (wheel) prototype Maxxis Beavers on her Orbea Alma 29er hardtail. Katerina also went with Maxxis Beavers on her 26" Orbea Alma hardtail. When Katerina stopped in tech zone on lap 3, she upgraded her rear tire to a UST Medusa when she got a hole in the rear Beaver (luckily, she was able to ride in and not lose any more positions).
From the gun, Gunn Rita charged up the first climb with Chix Georgia and Katerina in tow. Catharine stated later she had a decent start, but got her foot caught in the netting in the first corner.
From Catharine, "Today it was super hard. It is a tough course, there's no recovery and there's significant altitude for someone from my neck of the woods. I didn't feel horrible, but there are definitely some girls out there with amazing legs. I had a good start until the first corner and then I got caught up in the course and then the whole pack went by me. So I just buried myself for two laps and paid for that, I think.”
Halfway through the race, Georgia was riding in third place behind Gun Rita and Julie Bresset, and Katerina was not seen in the front group. By then, Catharine had worked her way back into the top ten, by digging herself out of the self-described burial. She knew she would win the war, but still wanted to stay in the battle.
Crossing the finish line in ninth place and putting a tough battle behind her, Pendrel ultimately won the war. She said, "There was no saving myself today.. just suffering!
I actually got my foot and crank caught in the fencing on the first corner and got passed by almost the entire field. I bridged up to 12th by end of lap 1, but I hope just due to altitude and no acclimation i could not make much progress after that."
Catharine commented to Cyclingnews.com afterwards, “Winning the World Cup is awesome. It is cool to be able to show consistency and also to be able to get it done on the day. And now I am happy to have two weeks in Europe to get used to the time zone and be ready for London."
"Kika" Pendrel told insiders that she feels good and confident for London and is looking forward to another week of training in France and attacking (team manager) Waldek on some cols!
Georgia is also feeling ready, as she mentioned, "Val d'isere was a solid race for me. i crashed the day before the race and banged up my leg, and that served as a bit of a wake up call for me to be careful and stay safe for the next two weeks. i had a good start, and i was climbing well, but the course was a little slick and i rode pretty conservatively on the downhills. i ended up 5th, which I was happy with. Now i have a little down time, a little training and then the OLYMPICS! i am really excited, and i am ready!"
And Katerina also commented, "The World Cup final took place in beautiful mountains. I can't say enough about all the great locations we got to travel to during this world cup season. Val d Isere was breathtaking and I don't mean just the high altitude. I had a good start and was in the lead group. It was slippery and people started to make mistakes. I stayed calm and focused until I hit a rock. I picked mud tires for the race but it was lighter weight than i usually run and it wasn't a good choice for me. I wasn't far from the pits and was able to get a quick wheel change from Chris. Off I went back with good wheel, but now my legs decided to give up. Unfortunatelly, Chris didn't have spare set of those and I had to get myself to the finish. I managed 10 which kept me on the overall podium. I'm so happy to finish my best world cup season in 3rd overall. I'm heading to my parents for week of training in familiar environment and mom's home made cooking! Best preparation I can have."
Although career-long stripes are not awarded, the World Cup overall title is arguably considered the highest achievement in the sport of mountain biking, where the rider’s performance, skills and equipment must consistently stay top notch throughout 7 rounds of racing around the world.
Next up for the three LUNA Pros is the cross-country event at the Olympic games on August 11th (12:30 pm London time) at Hadleigh Farm in the Essex countryside.
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa 1:32:07
2 Julie Bresset 00:46
3 Annie Last 01:09
4 Emily Batty 01:34
5 Georgia Gould 02:26
9 Catharine Pendrel 04:48
10 Katerina Nash 05:06
Photo: Michal Cerveny
L-R: Emily Batty, Julie Bresset, Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa, Annie Last, Georgia Gould
Georgia and Katerina on a training ride
Team Manager Waldek reinventing the Euroshower
Team LUNA Chix Blogs
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