MTB World Cup: Blood, guts and cross-country glory

Photographic highlights of the fourth round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in La Bresse, France

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French flavour
La Bresse XCE race

French flavour

La Bresse, a town in the Lorraine region in the north-eastern part of France, hosted the fourth round of the MTB World Cup.

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Four to the floor
La Bresse XCE Beerten, Moseley, Woodruff and Petterson

Four to the floor

Anneke Beerten, Tracy Moseley, Chloe Woodruff and Joanna Petterson compete in the women's XCE sprint eliminator.

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Winner
La Bresse XCE Luthi wins

Winner

Swiss rider Patrik Luthi crosses the finish line first ahead of countryman Stefan Peter in the men's XCE eliminator final on Friday.

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Swiss joy
La Bresse XCE Mens podium

Swiss joy

Swiss Patrik Luthi topped the men’s XCE race ahead of his compatriot Stefan Peter and American Brian Lopes . Slovenian Miha Halzer came in fourth, while Frenchman Alexis Vuillermoz , the winner of the small final, completed the top five.

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Triumphant trio
La Bresse XCE Engen, Rissveds and Stirnemann

Triumphant trio

Alexandra Engen, Jenny Rissveds and Kathrin Stirnemann embrace at the end of Friday's XCE.

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Spinning Jenny
La Bresse XCE womens podium

Spinning Jenny

Jenny Rissveds, from Sweden, won the elite women’s sprint eliminator World Cup competition in La Bresse ahead of her compatriot Alexandra Engen and Swiss Kathrin Stirnemann.

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Riders ready
La Bresse XC U-23 mens start

Riders ready

The view from the start of the men's XC U-23 World Cup.

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Young and hungry
La Bresse XC Under-23 men's World Cup

Young and hungry

In-form Austrian Alexander Gehbauer won the men's XC U-23 World Cup race in La Bresse to follow up his third-placed finish at Nove Mesto, in the Czech Republic, the week before.

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Spilling blood for the cause
La Bresse XC U-23 injury

Spilling blood for the cause

Another gruelling weekend of mountain bike racing produced a series of scrapes. This bloody knee belongs to Austrian Lisa Mitterbauer.

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Man to beat
La Bresse XC Julien Absalon

Man to beat

Frenchman Julien Absalon, of the Orbea Racing Team, won the race with a time of 1:37:33 - seven seconds ahead of his closest challenger, 2011 champion Jaroslav Kulhavy.

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Home advantage
La Bresse XC Absalon in action

Home advantage

Julien Absalon, who lives about 10km away from the course in La Bresse, rode a smart race tactically in the Men's XC Elite and managed to escape the bad luck which affected some of the other favourites.

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Crowd favourite
La Bresse XC Absalon

Crowd favourite

Julien Absalon won the elite men's cross country World Cup in front of a home crowd in La Bresse.

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Chasing hard
La Bresse XC view of the course

Chasing hard

Czech Jaroslav Kulhavy, the leading rider in this trio, almost caught Julien Absalon following a fall by the Frenchman on the final lap but in the end had to settle for second.

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Photo finish
La Bresse XC mens podium

Photo finish

The press and fans, alike, snap the top riders following the men's XC World Cup race.

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Mother's Day
La Bresse XC Dahle Flesjaa

Mother's Day

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa celebrates her first World Cup win since having a baby. Dahle Flesjaa took the lead on the final descent of an exciting women's XC race in La Bresse which featured a technical course and regular lead changes.

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