Schurter and Ferrand-Prevot victorious in Windham-XCO | LIMBC Malaysia 2015

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Schurter and Ferrand-Prevot victorious in Windham-XCO

0 Comments 📁 Front Page, Info, News, News Clipping, Slider 🕔10.August 2015
Schurter and Ferrand-Prevot victorious in Windham-XCO
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (FRA) and Nino Schurter (SUI) take the victory in the Windham XCO race. While Ferrand-Prevot celebrates her first win of the season, it’s Schurter’s second win in seven days. The Scott Swiss rider so increases his lead in the overall standings against Julien Absalon.
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In the men’s race, series leader Nino Schurter locked horns with the greatest rider ever to have thrown a leg over a cross-country bicycle, Julien Absalon.

Perhaps buoyed by last week’s win in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Swiss speedster Schurter was quick to move to the front on the opening lap, with his superior skills on the long downhill section allowing him to pull away still further from Julien Absalon and the chasing pack.

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Schurter’s speed on the downhill was however, too much for his tyres, suffering a rear puncture towards the end of the lap and subsequently losing 20 seconds to Absalon and Manuel Fumic, who put in a 15 second lead before Schurter was back up and back on it.

Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic was clearly revelling in the long downhill section, drifting around the corners and taking the sketchy descent in a manner that many downhill racers would be proud of.

At the halfway point there was little to choose between Schurter and Absalon, who had been joined at the front by Fumic and Australian birthday boy Daniel McConnell.

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Those that have followed the XCO World Cup over recent years won’t have been surprised to then see series stalwarts Schurter and Absalon make short work of the final climb of the race, pulling clear of Fumic and McConnell as Absalon looked to put himself in a position to protect his lead on the final descent.

It was however Schurter’s superior skills on the descent that was to be the difference between first and second place.

Manuel Fumic, who over-cooked a corner while tearing down the descent finished 27 seconds down on Absalon, posting his best result to date. He was followed by Spain’s Sergio Gutierrez with McConnell in fifth.

 

The women’s Windham cross-country race was a hot and dusty battle. The start lap began at a blistering pace as riders fought to get a good position. From the initial lap, it looked like the usual domination by Jolanda Neff was not going to happen this round. The Swiss rider slipped off during the woods section, putting her back in the pack while the rest of the field began fighting for the lead.

As the laps wore on and the gap from Neff to leader Pauline Ferrand Prevot widened to a massive two minutes, it didn’t look like today was going to be Neff’s day. In fact it was even questionable if she’d manage to secure a podium spot.

As the field was spread out by the long climb, there was one dominant force amongst the Windham dust – Ferrand Prevot. The French rider aggressively attacked on the climbs, climbing out of her saddle and powering her way into a comfortable lead. By the time the first lap was over Prevot was riding alone, with a visual gap back to second place.

Catharine Pendrel was able to keep Prevot in sight during the long, exposed and exhausting climbs, and early in the race it still seemed possible to close the gap. However the veteran appeared to flag as the race continued and was passed by a chasing pack who were hungry to secure some podium spots.

The big advancing group continuously tussled for the elusive second position, with the likes of Lea Davison, Annika Langvad, Gunn-Rita Dahle, Morath Adelheid and Blaza Klemencic all pushing hard to try and close Prevot’s huge lead.

Davison, who only lives four hours from the Windham resort, had plenty of support from a cheering home crowd and enthusiastic family members. Notably, Davison’s parents Lucia and Jeff, who hollered support to their daughter as she tackled the demanding climb.

With three laps to go Prevot still held a sizeable lead, with a defeated looking Neff over two minutes back from the French lady.

A dusty Annika Langvad, who’d crashed earlier in the race, had pulled back up through the ranks and was now heading the chasing pack.

Prevot was in a league of her own however. Keeping a fast pace on the climbs, with two laps to go she had held onto an incredible 1m 39s gap to second-placed Langvad and the chasing pack.

When all seemed to be falling into place, Neff turned the tables. In a staggering comeback, the Swiss rider, who was back in sixth place, began attacking and advancing through the field.

Picking off riders one-by-one, the powerful figure of Neff passed Dahle and Davison on the climb and began to close Langvad.

With the pressure of Neff on her tail, Langvad pushed hard to try and maintain her lead on the descents but the pressure was too much and she had her second crash of the day coming out the rocks.

That was all Neff needed and she sped off down the Windham track to claim second place. Her comeback was complete.

A dusty, but smiling Langvad crossed the line in third place, followed by Davison in fourth and Morath in fifth. Prevot sealed her first World Cup win of the season with a sizeable 1m 28s lead.

​Source: Red Bull Content Pool​
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