Thousands of spectators took the opportunity to come
out to the ski area to watch Leigh Donovan (USA, Schwinn/Toyota) upset
points-leader Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA, Volvo-Cannondale) in an
exciting women’s race. Hours later, world cup leader Nicolas Vouilloz (FRA,
Vouilloz Racing Team) continued his domination of the season by winning for the
second week over friend and ex-teammate Mickael Pascal (FRA, Be-One).
Donovan took the first victory of the day, winning
her second-career world cup since winning a round in Virginia, USA two years ago.
For Donovan, who has been chasing Chausson in both downhill and the dual since arriving
on the world cup in Cortina last week, victory was about as sweet as it gets.
"I’ve done well in the world cup since winning
two years ago, but have never beat out Anne," she said afterward. "I
really like this course here – it suits my style, and last year I crashed really
bad and lost here. But Anne rides in a whole other league, so when you beat her it’s
usually because she crashes or has an off day."
Donovan went on to credit her coach Stephane Girard,
who not only coaches the American but French winner Vouilloz as well. "I’ll
never claim to be the best, but I will claim to be one of the best – and to win here
makes me feel like I’m definitely one of the best."
In fact, second-place Chausson didn’t have a particularly
bad race, but did hit a tree in the exact same place as last season. Crossing the
finishline, the multi-time champion looked genuinely surprised at the leader’s board.
"I made a mistake in the woods, and was on
the brakes too much I think" she said. "It’s good sometimes to lose,
now I will be that much more motivated for Worlds – I care more and will concentrate
Third place was Missy Giove (USA, Foes/Azonic),
who continues to race on a sore foot but kept enough speed throughout training and
racing to stay within three seconds of Donovan. "You have to ride this course
really clean" she said. "It’s really physical, and I’m still not
100 percent – so I’m happy with today. Plus my neck and back are sore from a really
bad crash earlier today."
Teammates Katja Repo (FIN, Team GT)
and Sabrina Jonnier (FRA, Team GT) rounded out the women’s podium in
4th and 5th place, the two riders coming within a second of each others’ times and
commenting how much strength and concentration it took to go fast on this steep course.
|place||bib||UCIcode||name||nom||nat||tt / gs||t||t+||points|
|USA19711211||DONOVAN||Leigh||USA||SCHWINN TOYOTA RAV 4||4:31.80|
|USA19680805||BRUTSAERT||Elke||USA||SCHWINN TOYOTA RAV 4||4:41.78|
|SUI19770322||SANER||Marielle||SUI||HOT CHILI TEAM||4:44.66|