This weekend, Windham, New York State, prepares to welcome mountain bikers to the conclusion of the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano.
Nestled in the Catskill Mountains, the small resort town of Windham will be the site of the first World Cup event to be held in the US in five years. At the end of this final, we will know the World Cup winner in each of the three specialities: Olympic cross-country, downhill and 4-cross.
Of the six titles up for grabs, only one has been mathematically won: Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) is once again men’s 4-cross champion after three victories this season. In the women’s 4-cross, defending champion Anneke Beerten (Suspension Centre) holds a 45 point lead over her nearest rival, the Austrian Anita Molcik, so this title is still in contention.
In the downhill competition, Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) holds a significant 175 point lead over World Champion Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Centre), but Ragot is coming off two consecutive victories so Jonnier cannot celebrate yet. The men’s race for the title is one of the tightest in memory, with a mere seven points separating the current leader Gee Atherton (Commencal) from rival Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate). Whichever rider finishes ahead of the other will decide the title.
The cross-country finals will be equally exciting, with Catharine Pendrel (Luna) leading Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) by 54 points and Willow Koerber (Subaru Gary Fisher) by 59. All three have led the World Cup this season, but who will be the final one to don the jersey?
In the men’s race, World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wrested the leader’s jersey from Julien Absalon (Orbea) in round five, but his lead is only 26 points, so the title will go to whoever crosses the finish line first in Windham.
Next week the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships will bring the season to a close. The riders will gather in Mont-Saint-Anne (Canada) from 31st August to 5th September with the aim of claiming the rainbow jersey in their selected specialty.