Despite intense heat that saw many riders wilt, the cross-country mountain bike World Cup saw an intense battle between two riders right to the finish line at Val di Sole, Italy.
World champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) outkicked his usual rival Julien Absalon (BMC) to win his second World Cup in a row, and now holds a commanding lead in the overall standings at the halfway mark of the 2013 World Cup series.
Schurter now leads the men's standings with 570 points, followed by Dan McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) at 450 and Lukas Fluckiger (BMC) with 440 points.
Elite women's event
The leader in the cross-country mountain bike World Cup extended her lead in the elite women's series at Val di Sole, Italy. Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools) now holds a commanding lead in the overall standings at the halfway mark of the 2013 World Cup series.
Zakelj now leads the overall standings with 650 points, followed by Maja Wloszczowska (Giant Pro XC) at 490 and round one winner Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol) with 470 points.
World Cup leader Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools Team)
Elite men's eliminator event
In the third round of the eliminator at the Mountain Bike World Cup, overall leader Daniel Federspiel (Otztal Scott) won his second World Cup of the year. In the final, Federspiel was joined by Slovenian Mika Halzer, Germany's Simon Gegenheimer and Fabrice Mels (Salcano Alanya).
Federspiel had a strong start in the final, opening a gap by the top of the climb and cruising to the win. Halzer had to come from behind to take second, just ahead of Gegenheimer, with Mels finishing fourth. Federspiel now leads the overall World Cup men's standings with 140 points after three rounds, followed by Halzer with 95 points and Gegenheimer with 74.
Elite women's eliminator event
World champion Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory) won her second World Cup of the year in the third round of the eliminator at the Mountain Bike World Cup.
Engen qualified first among the women, and then won each of her heats on the way to the final. The Swedish rider was joined in the final by three Swiss riders - Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike), Linda Indergand (Strubi MTB Kader) and Jolanda Neff (Giant Pro XC).
Engen now leads the overall World Cup standings with 150 points, followed by Stirnemann at 120 and Jenny Rissveds (Swedish National) at 80.
Elite men's downhill event
Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) beat rivals Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) and Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) to win round two of the men's downhill World Cup.
Gee Atherton in action at Val di Sole
Elite women's downhill event
Over in the women's DH event, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) followed up on her qualification result by taking first place, ahead of Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) in second, and Floriane Pugin (GSTAAD-Scott) in third.
For full coverage of the MTB world cup, visit Cyclingnews.com.
Elite men XC
1 Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team 1:32:47 2 Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 0:00:03 3 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC 0:01:57
Elite women XC
1 Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team 1:36:37 2 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 0:00:20 3 Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:50
Elite men eliminator
1 Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team 2 Miha Halzer (Slo) 3 Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)
Elite women eliminator
1 Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing Team 2 Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team 3 Linda Indergand* (Swi) Strübi MTB Kader
Elite men DH
1 Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:03:12.185 2 Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:01.001 3 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:01.250
Elite women DH
1 Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:03:43.810 2 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic 0:00:05.190 3 Floriane Pugin (Fra) GSTAAD-Scott 0:00:12.090