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Cyclingnews.com

Latest Race Results from Cyclingnews.com
  1. World champion Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) had something to prove on Sunday, in Albstadt, Germany, at round 2 of the Mountain Bike World Cup. He had lost the first round of 2018 after sweeping the Series in 2017, and then did not finish the Short Track race on Friday, relegating him to the third row of the start grid.

    By the end of the start loop, Schurter was firmly in control at the front of the race. He was joined for the first laps by cyclo-cross pro turned mountain biker Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), Maxime Marotte (Cannondale Factory), Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus-RN Racing), Lars Forster (BMC) and round 1 winner Sam Gaze (Specialized).

    Gaze flatted and eventually dropped out of the race, while Flueckiger also flatted and Forster could not handle the pace, and were replaced by Stephane Tempier (Bianchi Countervail) and Jordan Sarrou (KMC-Ekoi-SR Suntour).

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    When Schurter ramped up the pressure on the fourth lap, only Tempier could go with him, leaving van der Poel and Marotte chasing 13 seconds back. Schurter dropped Tempier on the penultimate fifth lap, while van der Poel dropped Marotte for third.

    "It's a really good feeling to have my first World Cup win of the year," said Schurter. "I was quite disappointed after the Short Track, with the hard luck with a mechanical. It's a nice relief [to win]. The first lap I was lucky, I was able to ride well and into the first corner I was at the front. It's important to be at the front. Third row was okay, but it definitely makes it more difficult."

    Schurter leads the standings with 450 points, a slim 15-point margin over Van der Poel, with Marotte at 385 points and former leader Gaze at 350 points.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. World champion Jolanda Neff (Kross Racing) rode away from the rest of the women's field in Round 2 of the Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday, in Albstadt, Germany, taking both the event win and donning the leader's jersey for the series.

    Rain through the week and on the morning of the race made the circuit muddy and slick, with almost every rider crashing at least once on the steep and technical descents. Neff seemed to relish the conditions, and was already 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the field by the end of the start loop.

    Alessandra Keller (Thomus-RN Racing) spent most of the racing chasing solo in second place, until the final lap, when she was caught by defending World Cup champion Yana Belomoina (CST Sandd American Eagle) and Anne Tauber (CST Sandd American Eagle), who took second and third, still over two minutes behind Neff.

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    "The conditions were my best friend today," said Neff. "When I heard that it was going to be muddy and rainy, I was the happiest person on earth. I love these conditions and I love mountain biking. Today, we had a real mountain bike race and I loved every second. A two-minute gap [over second place] was my goal. I knew the conditions were going to play in my favour. It was like La Bresse [France] a couple years ago, we had similar conditions and I loved it. I knew if I could be the first through the downhills I could use it to my advantage. I just tried to be in front and from there it went all smooth."

    Neff jumped from sixth to first in the standings with 480 points, while round 1 winner Annika Langvad (Specialized) fell to second after struggling in the muddy conditions, finishing 29th. Tauber remains in third place.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. The first ever Mountain Bike World Cup short track (XCC) was held on Friday evening in Albstadt, Germany, with Annika Langvad (Specialized) and Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) coming out the winners. The top-16 finishers in the women and men will fill the first two rows for Sunday's cross-country (XCO) races, plus the event offered World Cup substantial points – 50 per cent of the XCO.

    The 1.7-kilometre course began with the start of the cross-country circuit on pavement and then grass past the tech zone, followed by a section of the singletrack near the end of the XCO circuit and the pavement finish.

    Jolanda Neff (Kross Racing) took the hole shot through the first corner for the women, but a group of 15 formed at the front by the end of the first lap, including most of the favourites, except for Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team) and Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Canyon Factory), who had to chase hard to get back to the leaders.

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    The lead yo-yo'd through the remaining eight laps, with no one able to open an advantage. However, Langvad, who had remained tucked in the middle of the group until that point, launched an attack halfway through the final lap to take the win ahead of Neff and Linda Indergand (Focus XC). The win cemented Langvad's lead in the World Cup standings.

    By finishing in the top 16, some riders dramatically improved their start positions for the XCO, while others lost out. The winners were Barbara Benko (Ghost Factory), Kate Courtney (Specialized) and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Merida), who will jump to the front row. The losers were Ferrand Prevot and Sabine Spitz (Wiawis Bikes), who drop to the third row.

    The men's race featured an immediate upset, when world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) had to stop right after the start to fix a problem with his electronic shifting. Schurter chased for a few laps before eventually abandoning, and will now start on the third row for Sunday's XCO. At the front, the race was dominated from start to finish by Van der Poel.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) put her mark on the stage 2 individual time trial at the Emakumeen Bira. The time trial world champion gained time on the rest of the field and took over the race lead. Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) was 14 seconds slower in second place, Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5) finished third 44 seconds slower.

    The 26.6-kilometre course was not completely flat; it featured two short climbs on the first half. On the second half, crosswinds on the open, exposed road could play a role. Mieke Kröger (Team Virtu Cycling) was the fifth rider to start and set the first benchmark when she finished in a time of 35 minutes and 32 seconds. Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo Bigla) could not reach this, finishing in 35:50 minutes.

    In 18:45 minutes, Hayley Simmonds (WNT Rotor) was 15 seconds slower than Lepistö at the time check halfway through the course. But at the finish she beat the times of both the Finn and Kröger, taking the lead with 35:28 minutes. Simmonds stayed in the hotseat for some time until New Zealand's ITT champion Georgia Williams (Mitchelton-Scott) finished, setting a time of 35:10 minutes.

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    Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas-Mettler) and Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans) were both two seconds faster than Williams at the time check, but were slower on the second half of the course and failed to beat the New Zealander's time at the finish.

    Now it was time for the favourites to start. Van Vleuten set a phenomenal split time of 17:34 minutes halfway through the course. Last year's overall winner Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo Bigla) was not far behind at the with 17:58 minutes, van der Breggen beat van Vleuten's split time by nine seconds.

    Former time trial world champion Lisa Brennauer passed the time check after 17:53 minutes. Yesterday's stage winner Sabrina Stultiens (WaowDeals) was the last rider on the course. Her split time of 19:03 minutes confirmed that time trials aren't her speciality; Stultiens would eventually finish in 36:57 minutes and lose the race lead.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Sagan
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