MTB World Cup #2: Schurter and Zakelj score in cross country
The second round of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto, Slovakia saw Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team) and Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools Team) triumph in the cross country and Kenta Gallagher (Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team) and Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) take out the eliminator events.
Bouncing back from a poor race last weekend, Schurter beat BMC’s Julien Absalon and Lukas Flückiger to win the men’s cross country event (click for full results and report). That moved him into equal first position alongside Daniel McConnell (18th today) on the world cup points table.
The women’s race saw Slovenian Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools) take her first ever world cup victory, putting her in equal first spot on the points table alongside Maja Wloszczowska (Giant Pro XC Team). Zakelj, runner up last weekend, beat Wloszczowska after the Pole crashed on the last corner. Catharine Pendrel (Luna) rode in for third place, 1’21 behind the winner.
The men’s eliminator (click for full results and report) was a battle for survival. The final saw Brit Kenta Gallagher line up against Slovenia’s Miha Halzer and Germans Christian Pfäffle and Simon Gegenheimer. When Halzer broke his chain and Gegenheimer punctured, it was down to Gallagher and Pfäffle to sprint it out with Gallagher waiting until the final 150m to come round his rival to win.
In the women’s event (click for full results and report), Jenny Rissveds continued the run of Swedish success after Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing Team) won last weekend. Rissveds beat Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike), Engen and Eva Lechner (Team Colnago Sudtirol) to win the main final and move into second on the world cup table behind Engen.