Julie Bresset World Champion

31/08/2013
 

Julie Bresset World Champion

Defending women’s Cross Country World Champion Julie Bresset of France repeated her feat of last year when she held off a relentless onslaught from Polish rider Maja Wloszczowska to claim the gold medal and title of World Champion in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. It was a group of six riders that held the momentum for the first lap and a half but it was whittled down to three riders – Bresset, Wloszczowska and Slovenian Tanja Zakelj – after Italian hopeful Eva Lechner took a bad dive at the treacherous Sharka’s Playground section on the second lap.

 

The top three fought it out for another lap until more drama unfolded with the Slovenian crashing out at the Corkscrew, which meant that the race was all but done for her and the French and Polish riders would be the ones to fight it out for the title. The race ebbed and flowed with both women taking turns to lead the race but it was Bresset who had too much in the tank when both riders arrived at the final Tree House section. This proved to be the defining moment of the race as the French rider negotiated her way through the section ahead and maintained the lead to the end.

 

Bresset was aware of the tactics of Wloszczowska and knew that she needed to be ahead going into the final rock garden in order to win the race. With that advantage it was her race to lose coming down the final straight. The crash by the Slovenian was unfortunate but for Wloszczowska it gave her a chance to focus on her attack of Bresset at the front. Having a final push at the end was the tactic that the Pole went with but she did not have enough power to take the lead.

 

The major surprise of the race came from Swiss rider Esther Süss who ended in third position after coming through the first split in 19th position. The 39-year-old showed her skills and experience to make her way through the field into third and consolidate that position for the final three laps of the race. The Russian rider Irina Kalentieva was the biggest challenge for Süss however the Swiss rider was able to get in front of the Russian just before the start of the final lap and had enough energy to hold off the Russian to take the bronze medal.

 

XCO Elite Women
1 Julie Bresset (FRA) 1:42.54
2 Maja Wloszczowska (POL) +00.05
3 Ester Süss (SUI) +01.06

 

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