UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: 2010 champions decided in Windham

The 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano concluded in Windham, New York state, with some of the most exciting racing of the season. Five of the six overall titles were decided in just the final moments of competition.

4-Cross: no surprise for Jared Graves

The 4-cross World Cup series concluded with the crowning of one new champion and one repeat winner. Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox), who had already locked up the title, finished the season the way he started it, with a victory in the men’s event. In the women’s race, Austrian rider Anita Molcik overtook defending champion Anneke Beerten (Suspension Centre) to win both the final event and the overall title.

Downhill: close battles

The final round of the 2010 Mountain Bike World Cup concluded with the crowd favourite: downhill. The riders did not disappoint, with tight races in both the men’s and women’s events. Rachel Atherton (Commencal) took the women’s win, while Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) easily won her fifth overall title. Jonnier, who finished eighth in the Final, took the title with 1130 points, followed by World Champion Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center) at 1045 and Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) with 909.

The men’s overall competition was down to two riders – Gee Atherton (Commencal) and Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate). Atherton sealed the title by winning the event; only 37 hundredths of a second in front of Minnaar. Atherton took the title with 1229 points to Minnaar’s 1185. Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) finished third in the 2010 series with 864 points.

Cross-country: two new champions

Two new champions were crowned in the cross-country discipline: Catharine Pendrel (Luna) and Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower). Pendrel capped her World Cup season with her second victory of the year, while Schurter had to settle for second place behind first time World Cup winner Jaroslav Kulhavy (Rubena-Birell-Specialized). Kulhavy’s win was the first ever cross-country victory for a Czech rider.

Pendrel began the weekend 54 points ahead of Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) and 59 points in front of Willow Koerber (Subaru-Trek). Neither of her rivals could respond to her aggressive racing style, and the Canadian rode away to cement her victory. Koerber finished second in the overall standings, followed by Lechner.

In the men’s competition, 26 points separated Schurter and Absalon before the final race. A flat tire in the second lap ended Absalon’s hopes of repeating as the World Cup champion, although he made a remarkable effort to recover to sixth place by the end of the race. Schurter took the overall title with 1136 points, followed by Absalon at 1040 and Kulhavy, also at 1040 points. Absalon got the nod for second, but it took some calculating: they both had one win, but Absalon had two second places results to Kuhavy’s one; a very tight finish to the season.

Next stop World Championships.

From the state of New York, the world’s best athletes will now travel to Mont-Saint-Anne, Canada, for the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships.

All the newly-crowned World Cup champions are on the start list for this important rendezvous, which takes place from August 31st to September 5th. Judging from the tight competition for the World Cup titles, these World Championships will provide some nail-biting racing between the main contenders for the rainbow jerseys.