Round three of the XCE Eliminator, part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup weekend, took place around the streets of La Bresse, France over the weekend, and produced some surprise winners.
From Switzerland Patrik Luthi took to the top step of the podium, fending off a late surge from Stefan Peter and Brian Lopes.
Going into the race, and the final round, Brian Lopes was undoubtedly the favourite to taste the champagne but his hopes unravelled with a slow start. The narrow course and tight corners that typified the course meant that once Luthi has the upper hand he held on, powering to the finish line for the win.
“It is just unbelievable to win my first World Cup,” commented Lüthi. “I never thought I would be in this place. I thought it might be difficult to qualify and now I am here … just unbelievable. I think it is very hard, this race. The winner could have been anyone. It is just great to be the one.”
Elite Men, La Bresse Sprint Eliminator World Cup
1 LÜTHI Patrick SUI
2 PETER Stefan SUI MTB KADER ZENTRALSCHWEIZ
3 LOPES Brian USA
4 HALZER Miha SLO ENERGIJATEAM.COM
5 VUILLERMOZ Alexis FRA LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL
6 GUTMANN Heiko GER
7 FEDERSPIEL Daniel AUT NOTEBOOKSBILLIGER.DE TEAM
8 GEGENHEIMER Simon GER
9 WIDMER Mirco SUI GIANT SWISS SR – SUNTOUR
10 PERRIN GANIER Titouan FRA
The course was held on a paved course and measured just over a half mile long. Launching out of the start, the riders cross a river via a footbridge and then over a steep bridge, negotiated a short climb to a church, turned left and down a flight of steps. A series of sharp turns followed before the sprint for the finish line.
In the women’s race 17-year-old Jenny Rissveds from Sweden ride the course to perfection, leading the final from the start gate, crossing the finish line triumphant. Alexandra Engen finished second and Katrhin Stirnemann was third.
Elite Women, La Bresse Sprint Eliminator World Cup
1 RISSVEDS Jenny SWEDEN
2 ENGEN Alexandra SWE GHOST FACTORY RACING TEAM
3 STIRNEMANN Kathrin SUI SABINE SPITZ HAIBIKE TEAM
4 FRY Rowena AUS
5 RAVANEL Cécile FRA GT SKODA CHAMONIX
6 BEERTEN Anneke NED MILKA-SUPERIOR MTB RACING TEAM
7 MEIER Maaris EST
8 MOSELEY Tracy GBR
9 TERPSTRA Anne NED
10 WOODRUFF Chloe USA
Tracy Moseley didn’t contend the final, after a crashing in the semi-final, tangling with Rowena Fry on a sharp left-hand turn. She finished 8th overall.