Getting some quality time on their mountain bikes last weekend were a host of big-name ’cross riders testing their legs at the third MTB World Cup cross country race, held in Offenburg, Germany. While the spoils of victory went to Elite MTBer’s Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Catharine Pendrel (Luna), our favorite barrier-hoppers still made a strong showing.
Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) turned the tables on ’cross legend Sven Nys by taking 15th to Nys’ 24th, in a nice reversal from the order at the Fidea MTB Cup. “World Cup mid-term exam today,” Kabush tweeted, “Progress report says form is coming around. Start was average – 40th – but good power up to 15th at finish.”
Todd Wells’ (Specialized Factory Racing) report on his 60th place was not so optimistic: ” Man my race was bad today, good for half a lap and horrible the rest of the time. Not a good ratio.” Michael Broderick’s disappointment at finishing two laps down was certainly dampened by partner Mary McConneloug’s top ten finish.
Speaking of the women, Georgia Gould (Luna) showed what it means to take the hole-shot and launched out of the gates to take a strong lead over her field. The only racer who could match her was teammate Catharine Pendrel, who clawed her way up to Gould and then continued on for the win. Italian cyclocross champion Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol), who took fifth at Worlds in Tabor, grabbed a top ten with seventh place, which puts her third overall for the series – not bad considering, according to her Twitter post, that she felt it “wasn’t the best race” for her.
Seconds behind her, Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven Cycles) closed out the top ten.
Katie Compton appears to be on the road to recovery from the cramps that plagued her last season, storming up from a 68th starting position to take 19th place in her first MTB race 0f the year. Hubby Mark Legg-Compton reports Katie loved the course. Noticeably missing from the women’s field was Czech Cyclocross Champion Katerina Nash, who had two top-ten placings heading into this race.
Want more? Check out Christine Vadaros’s article about the Houffalize MTB World Cup, in which she rubs shoulders with many of the names mentioned here.