Koerber ends World Cup season in 2nd overall as U.S. hosts finals

Georgia Gould earned the bronze medal in the World Cup final on Saturday.
Georgia Gould earned the bronze medal in the World Cup final on Saturday.
Windham, NY (August 28, 2010) -- Saturday was a good day for American women as both Willow Koerber (Durango, Colo./Subaru-Trek) and Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna) wrapped up the Mountain Bike World Cup season on the podium, in second and fourth respectively in the final overall standings.  

The women’s success came during a busy day of racing at New York’s Windham Mountain. The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup finale not only featured the elite men’s and women’s cross country contests on Saturday, but also the elite four cross competitions and the junior men’s and women’s cross country events.  

Koerber moved up into second place overall in the standings with a sixth-place effort in the women’s cross country contest at the Windham Mountain finale. Gould found herself in fourth overall after a powerful ride in Windham earned her the day’s bronze medal.

The Canadian duo of Catharine Pendrel (CAN) and Marie-Helene Premont (CAN) grabbed first and second place in Saturday’s race after riding off from the rest of the field in the first of five laps and holding a sizeable gap for the duration of the contest. Pendrel’s win secured her number one spot in the overall World Cup rankings while Italian Eva Lechner finished behind Koerber in third overall. The final World Cup podium was rounded out by Swiss woman Esther Suss who ranked fifth behind Gould.

“I didn’t have my best day out there so it’s always a little harder when you’re suffering,” Koerber said after crossing the finish line in sixth-place on Saturday. “But I’m happy to have pulled it off am looking forward to next week (World Championships). It’s the big goal of the year.”

Besides Koerber and Gould, three other Americans finished in the top 20 in Saturday’s World Cup finale:  Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) in ninth place, Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) in 11th, and Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in 20th.

As part of its ongoing efforts to develop the future of the sport, USA Cycling fielded a pair of young U23 women for the elite contest: Teal Stetson-Lee (Durango, Colo.) rode to 47th place while donning the red, white and blue. Her teammate, Lydia Tanner (San Clemente, Calif./Montana State University), finished the event in 60th.

CLICK HERE to check out a video of the women’s race start at Windham.

The elite men’s race on Saturday was won by Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) while Nino Schurter (SUI) wrapped up the overall World Cup title with a solid second-place ride.  Florian Vogel (SUI) rounded out third. The highest placed American of the day was USA Cycling National Development Program graduate Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) in 22nd-place.

After getting caught up in a couple of crashes at the beginning of the race, Schultz made an impressive effort working his way back up in the field.

“It made for a long day but maybe that was for the best because I seem to do better when I’m picking people off rather than getting picked off,” he explained of the early race mishaps. “I decided well I’m gonna work my way up and see what I can pull out of a bad start. I felt really good. I feel like I’m finally coming into World Cup form on the final World Cup.”

Check out the YouTube video of Sam talking about the race below...

Next up for the U.S. contingent in Windham was Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized). After a 24th-place effort, the Colorado rider wrapped up the World Cup season as the highest-ranked American in 19th overall.

In addition to the seasoned American riders, nine U23 competitors entered the elite event on Saturday as riders for USA Cycling’s National Development Program squad. Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./Arlberg Sports) rode to 67th place in the Team USA jersey while Mitch Hoke (Colorado Springs, Colo./Tokyo Joe's), Jack Hinkens (Edenprairie, Minn./Trek),  Peter Ostroski (Intervale, NH), and Tom Sampson (Plymouth, NH) were 76th, 77th, 78th, and 79th.Kerry Warner (Banner Elk, NC/Shirks-Trek Bikes)finished 83rd, Seamus Powell (Round Top, NY)in 85th, Ethan Gilmour (Ludlow, Vt.)in 87th, and Alex Ryan (Lewisville, NC/Champion System-Cannondale) in 96th.

CLICK HERE for a video of the men’s start.

In addition to the elite contests, Saturday also saw the next generation of mountain biking super stars take to the dirt. Americans Seth Kemp (Campobella, SC) and Alicia Rose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) made the silver medal efforts in the junior men’s and women’s contests while riding for USA Cycling’s National Development Program squads. 

After completing four laps, Kemp finished two minutes and 12 seconds off the winning pace set by Jonas Pedersen (Denmark).

“It was pretty hard. Everybody started off pretty fast,” the silver medalist said at the finish line. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hang on. I started dropping off and people got ahead of me but then they started slowing down and I just started catching them slowly.”

CLICK HERE to check out the YouTube video of Seth talking after the race.

In the junior women’s race, the ladies completed three laps for a total distance of 16.5 kilometers. Pastore grabbed the podium’s second spot after China’s Yue Bai dominated the field to take the gold medal. 

Joining Kemp on USA Cycling’s Team in the junior men’s competition were Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo.) in ninth place, Kevin Fish (Austin, Texas) in 12th, Payson McElveen (Austin, Texas) in 14th, and Nathaniel Williams (Hickory, NC/Scott RC Mountain Bike Team) in 17th.

Aussie Jared Graves won the elite men’s four cross, beating out Czech pair Michal Prokop and Tomas Slavik, and Joost Wichman of the Netherlands in the final. The top placed American was Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.) in 14th place. In the women’s contest, Austrian Anita Molcik took the win over Aussie Caroline Buchanan, Jana Horakova (CZE) and Anneke Beerten (NED). No American women contested the final.

The 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup final concludes on Sunday with the pro men’s and women’s downhill contests. Reigning U.S. National Champ Aaron Gwin (Morongo Valley, Calif./Yeti Fox Shox) qualified in second on Friday and will be a top contender in Sunday’s final. In the women’s race, American talent will include 2008 BMX Olympian Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Transition Racing). Stay tuned to www.usacycling.org to find out how all of the U.S. riders fare.

Click here for complete results from the World Cup finale on the UCI’s website.

CLICK HERE for USA Cycling’s PHOTO GALLERY of the World Cup finale.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finale
Windham Mountain, NY
July 27-29, 2010

Elite Women’s Cross Country
1. Catharine Pendrel (CAN)
2. Marie-Helene Premont (CAN)
3. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna)
4. Blaza Klemencic (SLO)
5. Elisabeth Osl (AUT)
6. Willow Koerber (Durango, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
9. Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
11. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
20. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Elite Women’s Final Overall World Cup Standings
1. Catharine Pendrel (CAN)
2. Willow Koerber (Durango, Colo./Subaru-Trek)
3. Eva Lechner (ITA)
4. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna)
5. Esther Suss (SUI)

Elite Men’s Cross Country
1. Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE)
2. Nino Schurter (SUI)
3. Florian Vogel (SUI)
22. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek)
24. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized)
Alex Ryan (Lewisville, NC/Champion System-Cannondale)
Elite Men’s Final Overall World Cup Standings
1. Nino Schurter (SUI)
2. Julien Absalon (FRA)
3. Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE)
19. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized)
Junior Women’s Cross Country
1. Yue Bai (China)
2. Alicia Rose Pastore
(Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory)
3. Florencia Espineira (Chile)
4. Sofia Hamilton
(San Anselmo, Calif./Whole Athlete Cycling Team)
Junior Men’s Cross Country
1. Jonas Pendersen (Denmark)
2. Seth Kemp
(Campobella, S.C.)
3. Brad Hudson (New Zealand)
7. Tony Smith
(Whole Athlete Cycling Team)
9. Skyler Trujillo
(Fort Collins, Colo.)
11. Zachary Valdez
(Hemet, Calif./Whole Athlete Cycling Team)
12. Kevin Fish
(Austin, Texas)
13. Will Curtis
(Whole Athlete Cycling Team)
14. Payson McElveen
(Austin, Texas)
15. Nick Newcomb
(Whole Athlete Cycling Team)
17. Nathaniel Williams
(Hickory, NC/Scott RC Mountain Bike Team)
19. Max Houtzager
(Whole Athlete Cycling Team)
Elite Men’s Four Cross
1. Jared Graves (AUS)
2. Michal Prokop (CZE)
3. Tomas Slavik (CZE)
Elite Women’s Four Cross
1. Anita Molcik (AUT)
2. Carolina Buchanan (AUS)
3. Jana Horakova (CZE)

About USA Cycling   

Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 66,500+ licensees; 2,200 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.

This Article Published August 28, 2010 For more information contact: