Olympic champ Absalon, Pendrel win mountain bike world titles

September 6, 2014

HAFJELL, Norway -- Two-time Olympic gold medalist Julian Absalon of France won his fifth mountain bike world championship, pulling away from Nino Schurter for an easy victory Saturday.

Absalon won four consecutive world championships from 2004-07, but has had a hard time of late dealing with his Swiss rival. Schurter had won the last two titles.

Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy took the bronze medal over the cross-country course built around the Norwegian ski resort of Hafjell, near Lillehammer.

Catharine Pendrel of Canada won the women's race, holding off Russian rider Irina Kalentieva by 21 seconds for her second world title. Lea Davison of the U.S. finished third.

Davison, who competed at the London Olympics, had hip surgery in January and hadn't raced until July, when she won the national championship.