Last weekend saw the second XC World Cup event to come to Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire. Held near the picturesque village of Pickering, the venue is proving to be a popular one with riders and spectators alike. The technically demanding 6km course was compact enough to let spectators view riders on all parts and thanks to to commentary being piped to all areas they could keep up with events as they happened.
As well as the course offering more than a fair share of difficulties for riders, the weather also lent a hand with conditions described best as “changeable” – meaning shorts and T shirt weather one second followed by torrential rain half an hour later. The event village especially suffered, with high winds almost bringing down exhibitor’s EZ-ups.
Despite that the racing went off without a hitch – in the Junior Men’s race Jens Schuermans took victory with the top place Brit being Grant Ferguson in fourth, an excellent result for the 18 year old.
In the Junior Women’s race Ramona Forchini of Switzerland took top honours and there was an excellent showing from British riders Bethany Crumpton and Katy Winton, who took fourth and fifth place respectively.
In the U23 Men’s race, Austrian Alexander Gehbauer took the win and top Brit was David Fletcher in 6th.
The U23 Women’s race was won by Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France, Lily Matthews being the top placed British rider in 15th place.
In the Elite field, the five lap Women’s race was won by 22 year old Julie Bresset (BH – Suntour – Peisey Vallandry) from France, despite an early breakaway by the winner of round one Ren Chengyuan (Specialized Racing). The pair worked together to drop the chasing group before Ren lost pace in the final lap, Bresset managing to pull away to her first World Cup victory in the final kilometres of the race. Ren had given her all but was crossed the line in 5th place, second being taken by Dane Annika Langvad while Sabine Spitz battled her way to third place.
“I was very surprised when Ren slowed down,” said Bresset, “but I did not wait, I just went! It is very special to win my first World Cup, and to win the leader’s jersey, and I did not expect this. I will just do my best now to keep it.”
Annie Last was the top British female in 14th, Maddie Horton took 53rd and Tracey Moseley took a very respectable 69th, showing that downhillers can pedal – and much faster than most.
In the Elite men’s six lap race Czech Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) dominated from the start, despite the best efforts of a field that included Olympic Champion Julien Absalon (Orbea). The Frenchman had a poor start but worked hard to close the gap, bringing it down to 20s at the mid point before flagging and but losing the ground he had made up, trailing in the in the final laps before finishing a 50s behind. Italian Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) rounded off the podium.
“This is a course that suits me,” said Kulhavy, who now takes the World Cup lead “I knew before the start that this would be a good course for me, and it was my plan to attack right from the start of the race.”
Top Brit was Oli Beckinsdale in 23rd, Liam Kileen taking 30th and Nick Craig showing that he’s still got pace, taking 81st.
All in all, a top event with a good showing from the home riders. We’ll apologise now for not giving the results for the Elite Women’s race on our Twitter feed – the staff were busy stopping the marquee getting blown away and Mark’s son had been dispatched to do the job…
If you’d like full results then check the British Cycling site here…
Just for our Premier Users, here are some of Sim’s shots from the weekend….