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Joseph and Leary Maintain Form at Houffalize
3 May, 2010
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup moved to Europe for round two of the Cross Country series in Houffalize, Belgium over the weekend. Fine weather during the week with dry and dusty race course conditions for practice gave way to overnight rain on Saturday, leaving many of the climbs too slippery to ride and the downhills treacherous for Sunday's race. On a course famous for its savagely steep climbs, it proved to be a tough and difficult race for the 119 Elite Women starters in the historic mountain bike capital of Houffalize.
 
Rosara Joseph (Christchurch) and Nic Leary (Rotorua) had moved up the World Cup start order after solid results in the UK last weekend. Joseph pushed hard during the start loop and first two laps of the four lap, 26km race, fading slightly in the tough conditions over the final two laps to finish in 20th position. Leary came to Houffalize aiming to start fast within this large World Cup field, however was swamped in mid pack and lost ground during the start loop. Leary kept working away for any gains she could make, and improved eleven places during the four laps to finish in 44th.
 
Both New Zealanders are reasonably happy with their performances in very trying conditions however, and now have a three week break in their World Cup schedules before heading to Offenburg in Germany for the third round.
 
Brief Results:
1 Eva Lechner (Italy) 1:40:30; 2 Willow Koerber (USA) +0:05; 3 Elisabeth Osl (Austria) +0:36; 4 Julie Bresset (France) +1:50; 5 Catharine Pendrel (Canada) +2:32; 20 Rosara Joseph (NZ) +7:34; 44 Nicola Leary (NZ) +15:12.
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