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Kabush claims first World Cup win

Victoria rider wins muddy Bromont race, Pendrel third

Victoria's Geoff Kabush became the first Canadian man to win a World Cup cross country race in six years when he emerged from the mud at Bromont, Quebec Sunday.

Catherine Pendrel of Kamloops was third in the women's cross country event, marking the second consecutive weekend the two had been first and third in World Cup races. The previous weekend at Mont Ste-Anne their positions were reversed.

Kabush finished a water-logged course in one hour, 52 minutes, 39 seconds, 91 seconds ahead of Spain's Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos. Ralph Naef of Switzerland was third, a further 20 seconds back.

Olympic champion Julien Absalon of France had won the last four World Cup races but found the Bromont mud too much for him. Kabush caught him on the climb on the third lap and left the Frenchman behind.

Absalon finished 17 th .

It was Kabush's first ever World Cup win and his second World Cup medal this season.

The last Canadian male to win a World Cup race was Ryder Hesjedal, also of Victoria, in 2003. Hesjedal competed in his second consecutive Tour de France last month, riding for the Garmin-Slipstream team.

A heavy downpour greeted the racers at the start, and by the end of the first lap four riders had already dropped out. Riders were barely recognizable by the second lap as they became encrusted in mud.

With two World Cup events remaining, Absalon still leads the World Cup standings with 1,272 points. Kabush is seventh overall.

The women's race also experienced weather challenges. Lene Byberg of Norway was the winner in 1:45:58, Irina Kalentieva of Russia was second 2:35 back and Pendrel took third 3:13 back of the winner.

Marie-Helene Premont of Chateau-Richer, Que., was 13th, Emily Batty of Toronto 15th and Amanda Sin of Wolfville, N.S., 16th.

With her win Byberg takes the lead in the World Cup standings with 965 points. Pendrel, with three medal performances this season, is fifth at 880, only 60 points from third spot. Premont, the defending overall champion, is seventh.