Pendrel clinches World Cup Mountain Bike title 

Smith second at Windham world cup race

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It wasn't the kind of win Catharine Pendrel wanted.

The Canadian mountain bike rider came from behind to win the World Cup cross-country race at Windham, New York, on July 1. Pendrel's Luna teammate, Georgia Gould, was leading the race but suffered a pinch flat in the final lap. Gould used an inflation cartridge but that proved to be a short-term solution so Gould was forced to run the final few metres of the race with a flat tire.

Pendrel and Luna teammate Katerina Nash overtook Gould near the finish line.

"It was not the situation I wanted," Pendrel said after the race. "Yes, I wanted Luna one-two-three but I wanted the best legs to win on the day and that was Georgia."

Gould was visibly disappointed with the outcome after the race.

"I just didn't have enough traction for the last climb and had to get off and run," said the American rider on her home turf. "It's pretty disappointing."

The result for Gould was especially disappointing following her second place finish a week earlier at Mont-Ste-Anne in Québec. Pendrel overtook Gould a week earlier after the American faded in the last lap of the Mont-Ste-Anne race.

Canadian rider Marie-Helene Premont was fourth at Windham and American Olympian Lea Davison followed her.

The win for Pendrel gave her the World Cup title for 2012, as her lead in the overall World Cup standings is so great that no competitors can catch her. Pendrel will participate in the final World Cup race of the season then she'll compete in the Olympic Games in London next month.

The fastest male rider at Windham was Burry Stander. The Russian edged out Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez of Spain by 17 seconds while Italy's Marco Aurelio Fontana placed third in the men's cross-country event.

Max Plaxton was the top Canadian, finishing in seventh spot just five seconds ahead of Canada's Geoff Kabush.

The men raced in hot weather and the field was reduced by mechanical issues and heat-related dropouts.

"I think I had a bit of an off day, so seventh is pretty good," Plaxton said after the race. "That was a tough day."

Plaxton and Kabush are both scheduled to compete at the Olympics on Aug. 12.

Vancouver Island downhill rider Steve Smith placed second in the men's downhill event at Windham.

Smith was beaten by American Aaron Gwin with less than a second separating the two. British rider Gee Atherton placed third.

"I knew coming into this race that I had to be aggressive, and I attacked the course right from the top," Smith said.

His second place finish at Windham was a career best. For Gwin the win was his fourth out of five World Cup races this season and with only two downhills left this season Gwin's series lead almost guarantees he will win the overall title.

Rachel Atherton of Great Britain won the women's downhill race and Tracey Hannah of Australia followed her while France's Emmeline Ragot finished third.

The top Canadian was Micayla Gatto of West Vancouver in sixth place. Squamish's Miranda Miller placed 14th and Lauren Rosser, also of Squamish, finished in 17th place.

The next World Cup cross-country and downhill races are scheduled for Val d'Isère, France, July 28 and 29. The final downhill races of the season will take place in Hafjell, Norwary, Sept. 14 and 15.


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