Windham delivered some wild racing
Windham played host to the penultimate round of the XCO World Cup series and the dusty track did not disappoint
Men’s Windham XCO
Series leader, and winner in Mont-Sainte-Anne last week, Nino Schurter set off quickly and it seemed like he was looking to take the whole race solo.
He had a lead of 7 seconds by the end of the descent on lap one and had extended it by the end of lap two but he pushed a little too hard and punctured.
Thankfully, it happened near the pits so repairing it only cost him 20 seconds and he was soon able to play catch up to Absalon and the leading group.
On the final climb, Absalon and Schurter pulled away and were once again left to juke it out on the descent. In a repeat of last week’s race, Schurter maximised his technical advantage over Absalon and squeezed past him on the long rock garden.
The move proved to be decisive and he crossed the line four seconds up on Absalon. Special mention should go to to Manuel Fumic who grabbed his best ever result in third and impressed the crowd with his loose descending.
Schurter has extended his lead at the top of the overall to 190 points over second place Absalon. Kulhavy is squandering in third a further 128 points back despite his promising start to the season.
Women’s Windham XCO
Jolanda Neff’s dominating streak in the women’s XCO World Cup stuttered as a crash on lap one left her wallowing mid-pack.
Her misfortune was capitalised on by Pauline Ferrand Prevot who struck out on the following climb and had a visible gap by the end of lap one.
Neff spent the rest of the race scything through the pack – on lap five alone she came back from sixth to second – overtaking most of the top racers in the sport, underlining how much of a force she is to be reckoned with.
No-one could touch Prevot though. She ended the race 1:28 up on even Neff and could comfortably celebrate her first win of the season. The podium was rounded off by Annika Langvad despite her having two crashes herself.
On 1100 points, Neff now has a commanding lead on second placed Gunn-Rita Dahle, who has 910. Ferrand Pervot moves up to sixth following her win.
There’s just one race to go in the 2015 XCO World Cup, will we see another shake up in Val-di-Sole.