Posted by Editoress on 05/24/14
Canada had riders in the top-20 of all three cross-country races on Saturday at Round 3 of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Marine Lewis was 17th in the Junior Women, Marc-Andre Fortier 19th in Junior Men and Maghalie Rochette 19th in the Under-23 Women.
Despite heavy rain the evening before, the course had mostly dried up by the time the riders hit it. The Junior women were the first to race, for three laps plus a start loop (which is most of another lap). Switzerland's Nicole Koller was clearly the strongest, opening a gap on the first lap, and increasing it steadily to finish 1:35 ahead of second and third. Her Swiss teammate outsprinted the Danish rider Malene Degn to take second. Lewis rode a consistent race, and was happy with her result; not sure of what to expect in her first major race of the year.
In the Junior Men, Danish rider Simon Andreassen opened a gap on the first lap over Luca Schwarzbauer (Germany), and slowly increased it every lap to finish nearly a minute up. The duo were well ahead of the rest of the field, with the Netherlands' Milan Vader eventually dropping David Horwarth (Germany) to take third, two and a half minutes down on the winner. Top Canadian Fortier had a very impressive ride, moving up from 89th on the start grid to finish 19th.
The Under-23 women's race was the first World Cup category of the weekend. World Cup leader Jenny Rissveds (Scott-Odlo) was one of the favourites, and led the field out of the start. However, she suffered severe chainsuck before the end of the start loop, dropping back to mid-field and opening the win to others. Rissveds would eventually chase back to finish eighth.
Yana Belomoyna (betch.nl Superior Brentjens) came through in the lead at the end of the start lap, however, Margo Moschetti (Scott-La Clusaz) caught her on the climb in the next lap, and pulled away to win by nearly two minutes. Belomoyna held on for second, while Lisa Rabensteiner (Focus XC Italy) overtook Linda Indergand (Struby-Bixs) for third. With Rissveds well back there was also an opportunity for a change in the overall World Cup lead, and Helen Grobert (Focus XC) managed to overtake Indergand for fourth, putting her three points ahead of Rissveds in the standings.
Maghalie Rochette (Luna) had a strong start, moving into the top-10 by the first lap, due to her climbing strength, however, she faded mid-race and struggled in some technical sections, to eventually finish 19th. Rachel Pageau and Frederique Trudel (both Team Canada) were moving up steadily, but Trudel crashed hard, losing a number of spots and eventually getting pulled. Pageau moved up ahead of Rochette before fading to finish two spots behind, in 21st.