Jaroslav Kulhavy moved to the top of the World Cup standings after dominating the fourth round in Mont-Saint-Anne, Canada.
With previous leader Julien Absalon opting not to race, Kulhavy, who stormed to victory in May’s Dalby Forest leg, seized the initiative to lead from start to finish.
The Specialized Racing rider claimed another victory on 29-inch wheels, crossing the line one minute, 42 seconds ahead of Nino Schurter, while José Antonio Hermida completed the podium, 12 seconds further back. Liam Killeen finished as the top Brit in 31st.
“It was fast and I had the legs for it,” said Kulhavy, who won silver behind Christoph Sauser at last week’s Marathon World Championships. “It was a good course for my 29er Specialized Epic.”
Czech rider Kulhavy now tops the World Cup standings on 860 points, while Schurter is second on 670 points and Absalon slips to third on 650 points.
Meanwhile, Catharine Pendrel recorded victory on home soil ahead of Russian Irina Kalentieva and French World Cup leader Julie Bresset, with Great Britain’s Annie Last in 26th.
Pendrel and Bresset dropped the lead group on the second lap before French World Cup leader Bresset’s hopes of yet another victory ended after a crashing on the rock garden descent.
“It was definitely the worst start I’ve had this year,” said Pendrel. “So I had to chase up, but once I got there, Julie and I went on the climb and no one could stay with us.
“I was feeling really good, but Julie was also riding strong. I heard her crash behind me, and then I was on my own.”
Suntour-Peisey Vallandry rider Bresset continues to lead the World Cup competition on 860 points, while Pendrel closes the gap to 140 points. Marie-Helene Premont, fifth in Mont-Saint-Anne, is third on 480 points.
|1||Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing||1:35:51|
|2||Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott – Swisspower MTB – Racing||+1:42|
|3||José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team||+1:54|
|4||Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing||+2:33|
|5||Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott – Swisspower MTB – Racing||+2:51|
|6||Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing||+3:42|
|7||Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis – Rocky Mountain||+4:14|
|8||Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing||+4:31|
|9||Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X – Bionic Team||+4:33|
|10||Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing||same time|
|1||Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team||1:38:23|
|2||Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak Ergon Racing Team||+58|
|3||Julie Bresset (Fra) BH – Suntour – Peisey Vallandry||+1:52|
|4||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||+2:01|
|5||Marie-Helene Premont (Can) Team Maxxis – Rocky Mountain||+2:36|
|6||Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing Team||+2:45|
|7||Emily Batty (Can) Subaru – Trek||+3:07|
|8||Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol||+4:28|
|9||Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Orbea Geax||+5:10|
|10||Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team||+5:38|