By Luke Webber in Vallnord, Andorra
In what was nearly a home race in Vallnord, Andorra, Spaniard Marga Fullana (Massi), finally secured her first World Cup win in emphatic style on a climber's course. Winding through the Pyrenees, the Spaniard started in the same style as every other race this year; pure aggression and leading from the front with the hope that nobody could follow.
"...The first three races I have fought a lot and now the reward for the hard work is worth it," said Fullana after her win. In previous weeks, aggressive starts were followed by a string of mid-race blues as she could not keep the searing initial pace set and was forced to back off.
Second position went to Eva Lechner (Colnago Cap Arreghini) with a career best result on which she hopes to build on for the Worlds. "From the start I was in third position and chasing [Laurence] Leboucher. On the fourth lap I had a bit of a fright on the decent – Marie [Helen Premont (Rocky Mountain)] was getting a bit close. Hopefully I can keep good form now for the Worlds and Olympics – I am headed straight home to get some good training in and skipping Fort William."
Another podium for Premont was enough to keep the World Cup leaders' jersey safely in her hands. "It was a hard race today – the first three laps I was so cold I could not steer the bike. I have a condition, when it gets this cold the blood doesn't want to get into my fingers! I couldn't even drink. In the last lap it became better. I am so pleased to have kept the jersey because it should have been so much worse I think."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the World Cup women's cross country.