Val di Sole XC Finals in Photos

Jun 15, 2013
by Colin Meagher  
 
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In both the men’s and the ladies Elite Cross Country, there were no stunning underdog winners; rather a classic hammerfest between two wily veterans in the men’s elites, and a game of cat and mouse that was abruptly ended on the penultimate lap in the ladies race. The ladies were up first. The opening lap saw a resurgence to form by Canada’s Catharine Pendrel, but she seemed to blow up a bit midway through the third lap and started slipping , going into damage control as the heat seemed to take a toll on her.While Pendrel was striving to find her legs again, the top two contenders played cat and mouse, with Pendrel’s Luna teammate Katerina Nash and Tanja Zakelj going head to head. The Luna rider has never won a World Cup, and was firing on all cylinders, but the Slovenian proved to be too much, attacking and passing on the main climb, and then romping to her second win of the season. For the men, so far this year, it’s been a battle between Nino Schurter and Julien Absalon, with Jaroslav Kulhavy riding third wheel. This race followed that formula to a “T”. Schurter topped out the first climb, did a head check to look for his rivals, and stomped on the gas. Absalon, meanwhile, was caught in traffic but the French man is never to be underestimated. Within a lap he was on Schurter’s wheel, and from there it was a drag race the rest of the day, with Kulhavy dangling but never quite closing the gap. At the end of the day, on the home stretch, it was Schurter’s legs that owned the day, with Absalon conceding the W on the final straight and with some 100 meters to go.


Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa is simply amazing. At 39 years old she s still killing it. She came home fifth on the day
  Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa is simply amazing. At 39 years old, she's still killing it. She came home fifth on the day

In lap 4 Katerina Nash seized the lead and looked to be on track to record her first ever World Cup win.
  In lap 4 Katerina Nash seized the lead and looked to be on track to record her first ever World Cup win.

Adelheid Morath overtook the faltering Pendrel somewhere in lap 5 and moved into fourth place. Meanwhile Pendrel did damage control essentially working hard to stay on the podium but ultimately sliding into sixth place and off the podium.
  Adelheid Morath overtook the faltering Pendrel somewhere in lap 5 and moved into fourth place. Meanwhile, Pendrel did damage control, essentially working hard to stay on the podium, but ultimately sliding into sixth place and off the podium.

Nash looked to be a shoe in for her first ever World Cup win but Tanja Zakelj threw in a vicious attack midway up the first climb of the last lap and Nash was unable to respond.
  Nash looked to be a shoe in for her first ever World Cup win, but Tanja Zakelj threw in a vicious attack midway up the first climb of the last lap and Nash was unable to respond.

High-Five for her fans from Zakelj on the finishing straight with no one in sight. Nash finished 20 seconds back.
  High-Five for her fans from Zakelj on the finishing straight with no one in sight. Nash finished 20 seconds back.

It was brutally hot in the sun today. Temps were easily in the 30s with the humidity.
  It was brutally hot in the sun today. Temps were easily in the 30s with the humidity.

Women s elite podium L-R Adelheid Morath 4 Katerina Nash 2 Tanja Zakelj 1 Emily Batty 3 and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa 5 .
  Women's elite podium, L-R: Adelheid Morath (4), Katerina Nash (2), Tanja Zakelj (1) Emily Batty (3), and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (5).

Catharine Pendrel led out the ladies in the Elite Women s race but after a single lap the wheels started slipping. Pendrel comented post race that she had too much sugar before the race and crashed hard midway through.
  Catharine Pendrel led out the ladies in the Elite Women's race, but after a single lap, the wheels started slipping. Pendrel comented post race that she had too much sugar before the race and crashed hard midway through.

Nino Schurter led out the Elite Men s race with Julien Absalon and Jaroslav Kulhavy as his most likely threats. Top of the first climb and Schurter was looking to see who was gunning for him Absalon was caught in traffic but Kulhavy was a mere 3 seconds down.
  Nino Schurter led out the Elite Men's race with Julien Absalon and Jaroslav Kulhavy as his most likely threats. Top of the first climb and Schurter was looking to see who was gunning for him; Absalon was caught in traffic, but Kulhavy was a mere 3 seconds down.

The rest of the bunch was led out by a Marco Aurelio Fontana who s been taking fashion notes from Adam Craig it appears.
  The rest of the bunch was led out by a Marco Aurelio Fontana, who's been taking fashion notes from Adam Craig, it appears.

By lap three Absalon had caught up and attacked Schurter but the Frenchman could not shake a tenacious Schurter.
  By lap three, Absalon had caught up and attacked Schurter, but the Frenchman could not shake a tenacious Schurter.

Schurter and Absalon continued to slug it out swapping leads and effectively keeping well ahead of Kulhavy who was dangling in no man s land some 60 seconds or so back for most of the race.
  Schurter and Absalon continued to slug it out, swapping leads and effectively keeping well ahead of Kulhavy, who was dangling in no man's land some 60 seconds or so back for most of the race.

It was bloody damn hot today. Jose Hermida loves the heat and even he was visibly wilting in today s heat.
  It was bloody damn hot today. Jose Hermida loves the heat, and even he was visibly wilting in today's heat.

Schurter smelling the victory on the penultimate lap as he managed to get away from Absalon before starting the final lap.
  Schurter, smelling the victory on the penultimate lap, as he managed to get away from Absalon before starting the final lap.

Kulhavy went full gas to try and reel in the two front runners but it was useless. They simply had too much advantage and the Czech is not in prime form yet.
  Kulhavy went full gas to try and reel in the two front runners, but it was useless. They simply had too much advantage, and the Czech is not in prime form yet.

Break out winner in round one Daniel McConnell of Trek leading out Fontana in lap 6.
  Break out winner in round one, Daniel McConnell of Trek leading out Fontana in lap 6.

Absalon is never one to relent he dogged Schurter right up until the end finishing 3 seconds down to Schurter.
  Absalon is never one to relent; he dogged Schurter right up until the end, finishing 3 seconds down to Schurter.

Schurter put just enough into the final sprint to be able to savor the win.
  Schurter put just enough into the final sprint to be able to savor the win.

A little style from Kulhavy in the finishing straight.
  A little style from Kulhavy in the finishing straight.

64 Comments

  • + 112
 Love seeing xc finally get a break on PB. The way these guys race is amazing. Show us more in the future!!
  • + 41
 Those guys are machines. Video would be welcomed as well.
  • + 111
 More pics of Emily Batty also!
  • + 28
 And finally a XC racer wearing acceptable clothing!
  • + 8
 Omg my future wife is up there..Emily Batty Big Grin
  • + 7
 Yeah! Tanja Zakelj is on fire. She smoked them all. Go, Tanja, go! Expect to see more of her.
  • + 9
 Probably because these days XC is more than road cycling in the mud. Really digging the direction things are moving in right now, both material wise (through axles, real tyres, dropper posts, sensible stem lengths) and how technical XC tracks are becoming.
  • + 0
 the tracks have always been technical...
  • + 2
 Not where I live.
[Reply]
  • + 34
 These pictures really sell the whole XC experience, which is very complicated to photograph. Great job...
  • + 11
 Agreed, these are fantastic photos!
[Reply]
  • + 15
 wow. those are some flava flav sized medals.
  • + 1
 That was exactly my thought!
[Reply]
  • + 15
 Great to see XC coverage on PB!
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Fontana is a boss, just saying Smile
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Last year I thought that xc races were the most boring thing to watch.Well, I was retarded.Yesterday I saw this race live at redbulltv and I was hooked. I will never say that I don t like something until I see it.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Absalon is just such a badass name...
[Reply]
  • + 5
 wow! thx for bringing is the UCI XC PinkBike!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 someone on the Pinkbike staff sleeping with Pendrel? all the talk and pics of Pendrel and she doesnt even end up on the Poduim... not even a mention of the other Canadian Emily Batty and no a pic til she shows up on the podium 3rd. nice reporting.
  • + 4
 I agree. Maybe not sleeping with anyone, but maybe upset someone else got engaged.... haha. Emily deserved coverage. She was on an actual step on the podium, finished WAY better than Pendral and didn't even get mentioned.
  • + 1
 So honkonbobo gets negative props, and atrokz gets positive props, for saying basically the same thing. Yay Pinkbike users.
  • + 1
 Pretty much. I + prop'd him because I respect and represent that opinion, minus the sleeping with people part... haha.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice to see some XC action on pinkbike, this guys have also skills, you should have included this picture as well fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s403x403/1014370_10152026096368782_584040882_n.jpg nice whipping by Nino Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa, what a mouthful.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nino did a tabletop at the end of the race likaeany DHer..Grande Nino!, I'm an anti XC-spandex guy, but at his level of racing I recognize these guys are bad ass!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Emmmmmily Batty
  • + 4
 Was going to say, the author (Colin) has two pics of Pendral, and mentions her a few times, but completely drops the ball on the 3rd place finisher, and only North American on the podium. Not even mentioned......
[Reply]
  • + 3
 more pics of emily batty please.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Thanks for the break from the non stop dh coverage.Still plenty of us xc fans on hardtails out here. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How fit does Emily Batty look, she's much better looking than her sister Norah.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bravo Tanja! Nice win! Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the mens race was great! awesome riding by everyone
  • + 0
 yes, and Schurter is a monster ! Congrats to the Merida team, the best all-round team .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No one seems to be using a 26 anymore...26 is history for XC it seems.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Did trek build a 650b for emily batty yet to development test or is she on the goofy fit setup 29er still?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I wish absolon won round one. too bad his bmc is a piece of carbon fibre confetti.
  • + 0
 camel toes......... camel toes every where
  • + 16
 you horny bro?
  • - 2
 Couldn't resist
  • + 1
 I would have been cool to see Absalon get his mojo back, but I got stoked for Mcconnell with his first ever top 20 finish being a win!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Szép volt Andris! Hajrá!
  • + 1
 Hanyadik lett?
  • + 1
 29.
korábbi postban megtalálod a részleteket
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ontario Represent!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's on backwards
[Reply]
  • + 0
 its good to see that the tracks are getting harder
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nino for the the whip!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Need moar Lycra!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 always confuse remy and julien absalon, I was like "remy left commencal for BMC??? why?"
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Temp in the 30s??? Ha Ha Ha!!! (~90 F)
[Reply]
  • - 3
 What's up with Absalon's fork?
  • + 2
 It's a Fox... what is wrong with it?
[Reply]
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