World Cup XC Update. Premont primed for Mont St Anne
Rocky Mountain Haywood’s Marie Helene Prémont has stormed into the first half of the World Cup XC Series with a 2nd place in Germany and a 3rd place in Switzerland.
Rocky Mountain Haywood’s Marie Helene Prémont has stormed into the first half of the World Cup XC Series with a 2nd place in round two at Offenburg, Germany and a 3rd place in Champéry Switzerland.
She will come home to Mont St Anne for the World Cup race on June 24th to defend her past two victories in 2005 and 2006.
Prémont is currently in 3rd place overall in a tight race with Irina Kalentieva of Russia, and Marga Fullana of Spain.
Offenburg ,Germany turned into a muddy mess as rain fell heavily during the race. In spite of an early crash that slightly bent her derailleur, Marie drove through the field after falling back considerably after the start. With a lap to go she was in 2nd place and only the eventual winner, Kalentieva, was maintaining the same speed as Marie. The slick technical course suited Prémont. Whilst many riders bikes were shifting poorly due to the conditions, the Shimano XTR remained solid enabling Marie to focus on forward momentum.
In the beautiful resort of Champéry, Switzerland, the women's race was wide open, with the absence of perennial favourite Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa. Gunn Rita has cut her season short to return to Norway and seek medical advice on persistent stomach problems.
The technical nature of the course made round two winner Irina Kalentyeva (Topeak-Ergon) and Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain-Haywood) the favourites, but it was Fullana who prevailed after 36.5 kilometres (6 laps plus a start loop).
Prémont was struggling on the climb, "I woke up with a headache, from the altitude I think, but it was more that this climb was too steep for me. I like climbs, but the speed was very fast on the first laps and I overpaced myself. Then I made a mistake in the roots and they (Kalentyeva and Spitz) got a gap on me."
Premont recovered in the second half of the race to move back up and finish third. The World Cup lead is still tight, with Fullana at 560 points, Kalentyeva at 514 and Prémont at 490. The advantage has to be to Prémont, with the next two events in Canada, both circuits she has won on, including two World Cup wins at her home course in Mont Ste Anne, Quebec. Next race for all the Rocky Mountain Haywood Team will be Mont St Anne World Cup June 23rd and 24th.