Photo Gallery: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO race in Albstadt, Germany

Race Coverage

Katarina Nash

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Albstadt, Germany during the UCI World Cup XCO race as a guest of Cannondale for the world wide launch of their new F-Si 29 Carbon racing 29er hardtail. It had been several years since I’ve seen World Cup XC racing up close, in fact, the last one being the old races held in Napa, California. I even raced the old Grundig World Cup (as a beginner) in Napa when it was held at Skyline Park, before they moved it to the Domaine Chandon winery location (which is actually in Yountville, not Napa). Does anyone else out there remember the Disco Flyover and the cheerleaders? I also have fond memories of watching Miguel Martinez, Rune Hoydahl, Luca Bramati and Cadel Evans racing up the fireroad at sprint speed. On the women’s side, I recall racers like Alison Sydor, Lesley Tomlinson, Ruthie Matthes, Alison Dunlap, Shari Kain, Gunn-Rita Dahle (before she was married) and who could forget Olympic sensation Paola Pezzo. It was great to have this opportunity to see the modern day version of the highest level of mountain bike competition. Cannondale was gracious enough to give us free reign to roam on Sunday to enjoy all the sights and excitement of the Elite Men and Elite Women’s XC race.

Elite Women’s XC

First up was the Women’s Elite Cross Country. Building up a strong lead early and maintaining it all the way through, Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Liv Pro XC) from France followed up her win at Nove Mesto (previous World Cup round in the Czech Republic) with her second consecutive victory. Her brutal lead pace saw her finish with a gap of almost three minutes! Mountain bike racing legend, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) from Norway took second and current World Cup leader Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) from Switzerland took third.

Elite Women's Podium

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) placed highest for American riders with an 18th place finish with a time of 1:39:16.

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

Elite Men’s XC

Almost immediately following the Elite Women, the Elite Men’s XC race took off with a bang. The Albstadt course has become known for its steep climbs and narrow, fast descents. It has been referred to as a “climber’s course” but offers plenty of technical features as well.

Julien Absalon (BMC Racing Team)

Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) from Switzerland built up an early lead in the race but was gradually pulled in by eventual race winner Julien Absalon (BMC Racing) from France. With this win, Absalon became the first rider ever to win a record setting 29 cross country World Cups. With this third win of the season, Absalon holds a strong lead in the overall standing. After some serious dicing towards the end, Schurter took second by a scant five seconds over third place finisher, Stephane Tempier (BH-Suntour-KMC) from France. Overall it was a very strong day for France.

Men's Podium and crowd

U.S. rider Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) placed 21st, with a time of 1:34:29.

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Racing Team) Geoff Kabush (Scott-3 Rox Racing)

Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)

Expo

After the Elite Mens race was over, I was able to tour the expo area before the mad dash to tear down and move on to the next world destination. I am more comfortable taking static shots of bikes and gear, than I am being out on a race course trying to shoot the high speed action in varying lighting conditions of World Cup competition. Featured here are a few highlights from the booths including photos of Cannondale, Rotwild bikes, Continental tires, Sigma Sport computers and lights, Eleven Sportswear and Suntour forks.

Cannondale - F-Si 29 Carbon 1 Continental Tires Rotwild R2

If you haven’t seen a World Cup race in a while, I strongly suggest traveling to check one out. World Cup racing comes stateside in August (7-10th) to Windham, NY and that round will feature World Cup XCO (Cross Country Olympic), XCE (Cross Country Eliminator) and DHI (Downhill) races. For more information about this round, check out: http://racewindham.com/

Please click through to see all the race action and event photos.

Photo Gallery: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO race in Albstadt, Germany Gallery
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Julien and XTR Girls

to the winner, the spoils!
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Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Liv Pro XC Team)

at the start before her win
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Huge, Excited Crowds

World Cup XC racing is alive and well in Europe
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Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)

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Shlomi Haimy (Focus XC Team)

Israeli Pro Shlomi Haimy (Focus XC Team) warming up in the pits
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Racing Team)

US National Champ from Wenatchee, Washington
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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)

At the end of the day, Fumic would end up 7th
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Martin Haring from Slovakia

through the switchbacks
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Geoff Kabush (Scott-3 Rox Racing)

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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)

hometown favorite, Manuel Fumic races his 2015 Cannondale F-Si 29 Carbon
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Julien Absalon (BMC Racing Team)

Winner of the Albstadt World Cup
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Men's Podium

Well done, Julien!
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Men's Podium and crowd

a pulled back shot to show the crowd and the big screen
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Today's Fastest

Pauline Ferrand Prevot's winning Liv racing hardtail
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Elite Women's Podium

Pauline Ferrand Prevot takes the win!
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Maja Wloszczowska (Liv Pro XC Team)

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Evelyn Dong

Evelyn Dong from the US racing her Niner
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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

Gunn-Rita is a perennial crowd favorite and has been racing Pro XC for many, many years. How she is able to stay on top for so long is simply amazing. 17 years now? 18?
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Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)

hitting the drop
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Winning Style!

Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Liv Pro XC Team) hits the drop
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Katarina Nash (Luna Pro Team)

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Maja Wloszczowska (Liv Pro XC Team)

top of the climb before dropping into the Abbsa Abloy rock garden
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Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Liv Pro XC Team)

on the climb towards the Abbsa Abloy rock garden
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Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing)

Hitting the drop
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)

Hitting the drop
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Sabine Spitz

Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team) hits the Albstadt Drop
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team)

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) leads Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team) and Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools Team) down the Albstadt Drop
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Erin Huck - USA

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Katarina Nash

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) leads Maja Wloszczowska (Liv Pro XC Team) down the drop
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Cannondale - F-Si 29 Carbon Team

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Cannondale - F-Si 29 Carbon 1

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Cannondale - F-Si 29 Black Inc

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Cannondale - F-Si 29 Carbon 2

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Continental Tires

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Eleven Sportswear

(jerseys, bibs, socks and more)
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Sigma commuter lights

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Rotwild MTB Racing Team Car

Mercedes GLA 45 AMG
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Rotwild R2

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Rotwild R.C1 Prototype Hybrid

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Rotwild R.C1 proto close-up

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Rotwild S2 road bike

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 14 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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