UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: World Cup Action Returns to Albstadt for Eliminator & Cross-country

Posted: May 29, 2014 by kirisyko in Bike
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UCI: May 29, 2014 – One week after the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano returned to Europe for the first time in 2014 at Nove Mesto Na Morave in the Czech Republic, teams and riders will descend upon Albstadt, Germany, for Round Three of the Eliminator (XCE) and Round Four of the Cross-country (XCO).

Last year, Albstadt was the opening round of the UCI World Cup, and provided some of the hardest and most exciting racing of the season, with new names making it onto the podium.

The Eliminator has been moved from an urban venue to the main competition site, keeping everything in one compact location. Incorporating elements of the XCO circuit, the approximately one kilometre course starts with a climb and then traverses the side of the mountain, hitting the technical “Deep Hole” section of the XCO course before finishing with a sprint down pavement to the finish line.

World Cup leader and World Champion Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory) is the clear favourite for the Women, having won both of the first two rounds. However, she will receive competition from Katharin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike) and Jenny Rissveds (Scott-Odlo), who have both appeared on the podium in the previous two rounds.

For the Men, Daniel Federspiel (Oetztal-Scott) took over the World Cup lead after Round Two, when Round One winner Samuel Gaze of New Zealand broke his chain in the quarterfinals and was eliminated. Others to watch will include the very fast Miha Halzer of Slovenia, who won the last round, and World Champion Paul van der Ploeg of Australia.

The XCO circuit is little changed from last year, but the riders are well aware of how difficult it is, with steep punishing climbs in the first half of the 4.18 kilometre course.

The Women’s cross-country series has had three winners in three rounds, so there is no clear favourite in Albstadt. Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC), the winner of Round One, continues to lead the overall standings, however, her team mate Pauline Ferrand Prevot absolutely dominated the last round, winning by almost three minutes. The other rider to watch will be former World Cup Champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna). Pendrel returned to World Cup competition last weekend after missing the earlier rounds due to injury, however, the Canadian showed that she is clearly on form by finishing second to Ferrand Prevot.

The Men’s competition will be equally interesting. Julien Absalon (BMC) won the first two rounds, while his perennial rival Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) won last weekend. Both had difficulties last year at Albstadt, with Absalon having to drop out with mechanical problems while holding a commanding lead, and Schurter having an uncharacteristically bad day to finish 18th. Others to watch include Olympic Champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing XC) and Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing), who had a breakthrough ride at Albstadt last year, winning the first World Cup of his career, and who has since become a regular podium threat.

Watch all the action on Redbull TV, beginning Friday afternoon with the Eliminator : www.redbull.tv

see more:http://boxscorenews.com/uci-mountain-bike-world-cup-world-cup-action-returns-to-albstadt-for-elimi-p89976-68.htm

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