Neff wins Pietermaritzburg cross country World Cup

First career elite World Cup win for Swiss U23 rider

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) won the first elite World Cup of her career in the women's race at the first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on Sunday.

The 5.7-kilometre course is completely new from the one riders saw last fall at the world championships, and most riders considered it to be harder. It challenged riders with technical rock gardens and jumps, and gave them no chance to rest with multiple climbs per lap. The heat also took its toll, particularly during the women's race in the early afternoon.

Neff, the under 23 world champion in Pietermaritzburg last fall, chose to ride with the elite field this season, and she came into the race as a favourite after dominating early season races in Europe. She did not disappoint, jumping to an early lead on the first of five laps, and did not relinquish the front spot for the rest of the race.

The young Swiss rider had a bit of a scare on the second lap when a moment's inattention led to a crash, forcing her to stop and straighten her saddle, but she managed to hold onto the lead by a slim nine seconds over a chasing Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), who was shadowed by Neff's teammate Maja Wloszczowska.

Once Neff had stopped and banged her saddle straight, she extended her lead slowly over the remainder of the race to finish 25 seconds ahead of Dahle Flesjaa, with Wloszczowska taking third, a minute down on her teammate.

"I had a crash on the second lap after I had a lead of over a minute and when I crashed I lost a lot of time and hurt myself, and my saddle was out of place so I had to get off and fix it," Neff said. "It is not the best thing that can happen, but I was happy that I could find the rhythm again in the next lap and keep the lead until the finish line."

"It is such an amazing feeling; I knew that I was in good shape after I had a really good winter, where I could do a lot of good training, so I knew my shape was good. It is always really special when you can put it together when it counts, and it is amazing that I could do it today."

In the under 23 race held earlier in the day, Swedish national champion JennyRissveds (Scott-Odlo) took the title.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Liv Pro XC Team1:38:00 
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:25 
3Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Liv Pro XC Team0:01:00 
4Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing XC0:01:37 
5Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing0:01:55 
6Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:02:04 
7Irina Kalentieva (Rus)0:02:08 
8Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC0:02:48 
9Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing0:03:05 
10Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:03:27 
11Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team0:04:08 
12Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing0:04:18 
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:04:43 
14Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:05:00 
15Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing0:06:10 
16Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:06:38 
17Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:08:58 
18Hanna Klein (Ger) BH-Suntour-KMC0:09:22 
19Mariske Strauss (RSA) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:11:14 
20Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team0:11:39 
21Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:12:00 
22Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team0:12:21 
23Serena Calvetti (Ita)0:13:02 
24Michelle Hediger (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:13:21 
25Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:13:35 
26Karen Hanlen (NZl)0:13:59 
27Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team0:14:16 
28Vera Andreeva (Rus)0:14:31 
29Tracy Moseley (GBr)0:16:46 
30Cindy Montambault (Can)0:17:13 
31Tory Thomas (Aus)0:19:43 
-1lapEkateryna Anoshina (Rus)  
-2lapsElisabeth Brandau (Ger)  
DNFAdelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team  
DNSLene Byberg (Nor)  
DNSCherie Vale (RSA)  
DNSJenni King (Aus)  
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liv Pro XC Team72 pts
2Ghost Factory Racing63 
3Specialized Racing XC51 
4Trek Factory Racing37 
5BH-Suntour-KMC36 
6Multivan Merida Biking Team35 
7Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team32 
8Fischer-BMC21 
9Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team20 
10Team Colnago Sudtirol18 
11Unior Tools Team17 
12Orange Monkey Pro Team12 
13Wheeler - Ixs Team11 
14Luna Pro Team10 
154F Racing Team9 
16Focus XC Team4 
Elite women World Cup standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Liv Pro XC Team250 pts
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team200 
3Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Liv Pro XC Team160 
4Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing XC150 
5Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing140 
6Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team130 
7Irina Kalentieva (Rus)120 
8Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC110 
9Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing100 
10Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC95 
11Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team90 
12Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing85 
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol80 
14Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team78 
15Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing76 
16Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing74 
17Ekateryna Anoshina (Rus)42 
18Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)40 
Team World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liv Pro XC Team72 pts
2Ghost Factory Racing63 
3Specialized Racing XC51 
4Trek Factory Racing37 
5BH-Suntour-KMC36 
6Multivan Merida Biking Team35 
7Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team32 
8Fischer-BMC21 
9Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team20 
10Team Colnago Sudtirol18 
11Unior Tools Team17 
12Orange Monkey Pro Team12 
13Wheeler - Ixs Team11 
14Luna Pro Team10 
154F Racing Team9 
16Focus XC Team4 

 

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