Last is first at Lenzerheide World Cup

British rider is first in 20 years to win an Elite cross-country World Cup

Annie Last (OMX Pro Team) became the first British rider in 20 years to win an Elite cross-country World Cup race on Sunday at Round 4 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

The Lenzerheide circuit, while not at as high an altitude as Andorra last weekend, is still nearly 1500 metres above sea level. The 4.2 kilometre circuit has one longer opening climb and a series of short steep climbs, combined with numerous rough and rooty forest sections. Heavy rain the night before made the wooded sections almost unrideable in places, and the UCI made the unusual decision of cutting a lap from the women's race part way through the competition (they also cut a lap from the men's race after).

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Team Merida Gunn-Rita) and Yolanda Neff (Kross Racing) opened a gap on the first lap of six (initially seven), with Neff falling back halfway through the lap, leaving Dahle Flesjaa alone up front. The Norwegian, chasing her 30th career World Cup win, was joined at the front on the next lap by World Cup leader Yana Belomoina (CST Sandd American Eagle), and the two swapped the lead position over the next few laps, with Belomoina stronger on the climbs and Dahle Flesjaa better in the technical sections.

However, Last, who has struggled with back problems over the past few years, was steadily moving up from behind, into third by Lap 4 (when the lap reduction was announced) and joining the leaders on the fifth lap. She attacked late in the lap to move seven seconds clear of Dahle Flesjaa by the start of the final lap, with Belomoina starting to drop back further. Last had the fastest lap of the day on the final lap, to beat Dahle Flesjaa by 13 seconds and Belomoina by 27 seconds. With her win, Last became the first British World Cup winner since Caroline Alexander in 1997 at St-Wendel, Germany. It should be noted that Dahle Flesjaa was 17th in St-Wendel that year and Sabine Spitz (Wiawis Bikes), 13th in Lenzerheide, was 24th in the 1997 race.

"To be honest, I have no idea what I feel right now," said Last, overwhelmed by her win. "I've had a tough couple of years, and even to be racing felt incredible, and then to move forward like that ... it's not sunk in yet. It's unbelievable and I'm so happy."

Dahle, who was looking for her 30th World Cup win, was gracious in her defeat, saying "I'm really happy with my result, and I'm also happy for Annie winning her first World Cup ever. There were a lot of strong women out there and you need a good day to be top three."

In the overall standings, Belomoina has extended her lead after number two ranked Annika Langvad (Specialized) pulled out due to illness after a lap and drops to fifth. Belomoina has 800 points, with Maja Wlozczowska (Kross Racing) moving up to second with 610 points, followed by Linda Indergand (Focus XC) at 560.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annie Last (GBr) OMX Pro Team1:29:10 
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Team Merida Gunn-Rita0:00:13 
3Yana Belomoina (Ukr) CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team0:00:27 
4Jolanda Neff (Swi) Kross Racing Team0:01:03 
5Helen Grobert (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:01:08 
6Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Kross Racing Team0:01:23 
7Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing XC0:01:33 
8Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:01:54 
9Linda Indergand (Swi) Focus XC Team0:02:08 
10Catharine Pendrel (Can) Clif Pro Team0:02:11 
11Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:02:28 
12Alessandra Keller (Swi) Radon Factory XC Team0:02:38 
13Sabine Spitz (Ger) Wiawis Bikes Pro Team0:02:57 
14Adelheid Morath (Ger)0:03:11 
15Anne Tauber (Ned) Habitat Mountainbike Team0:03:49 
16Lea Davison (USA) Clif Pro Team0:04:06 
17Anne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory Racing0:04:45 
18Sabrina Enaux (Fra)0:04:57 
19Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon Factory Racing XC0:05:40 
20Raiza Goulao Henrique (Bra) Primaflor Mondraker0:05:42 
21Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing0:05:46 
22Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol) Volkswagen Samochody Uzytkowe MTB Team0:06:05 
23Haley Smith (Can) Norco Factory Team XC0:06:22 
24Erin Huck (USA) Cannondale-3Rox Racing0:06:44 
25Karla Stepanova (Cze)0:06:47 
26Eva Lechner (Ita) Clif Pro Team0:06:51 
27Sandra Walter (Can)0:06:53 
28Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Radon Factory XC Team0:07:13 
29Rebecca Henderson (Aus)0:07:34 
30Serena Calvetti (Ita)0:07:38 
31Githa Michiels (Bel)0:07:42 
32Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team0:07:54 
33Jovana Crnogorac (Srb) Salcano Cappadocia Cycling Team0:08:44 
34Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:08:52 
35Katrin Leumann (Swi)0:09:20 
36Esther Suss (Swi)0:10:11 
37Lisa Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Team0:10:38 
38Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)0:11:10 
39Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex) BH-Srsuntour-KMC0:11:25 
40Perrine Clauzel (Fra) Scott Creuse Oxygene Gueret0:11:29 
41Catherine Fleury (Can)0:11:59 
42Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)0:12:08 
43Aleksandra Podgorska (Pol)0:12:27 
44Ramona Forchini (Swi) Strüby-Bixs Team0:12:29 
45Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:12:31 
46Hanna Klein (Ger)0:13:07 
47Ariane Luethi (Swi)0:13:32 
48Marine Groccia (Swi)0:13:58 
49Margot Moschetti (Fra) CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team0:14:11 
50Cindy Montambault (Can)0:14:25 
51Cherie Redecker (RSA)0:15:16 
52Andrea Waldis (Swi) Clif Pro Team  
53Jessica Pellizzaro (Ita)  
54Fabienne Schaus (Lux)  
55Yosiana Fareidy Quintero Pineda (Col)  
56Lisette Rosenbeck (Den)  
57Eliane Muggler (Swi)  
58Amy Mcdougall (RSA)  
59Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut) BH-Srsuntour-KMC  
60Romaine Wenger (Swi)  
61Kathryn McInerney (Aus)  
62Kerry Macphee (GBr)  
63Ingrid Richter (Ger)  
64Noora Karoliina Kanerva (Fin)  
65Sarah Riley (Aus)  
66Giulia Gaspardino (Ita) Team Piemonte FCI  
67Evelyn Denisse Munoz Jaramillo (Chi)  
DNFNadine Rieder (Ger)  
DNFRebecca Beaumont (Can)  
DNFKatja Montani (Swi)  
DNFLinn Gustafzzon (Swe)  
DNFClaudia Galicia Cotrina (Spa)  
DNFPaula Gorycka (Pol) Strüby-Bixs Team  
DNFAnnika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing  
DNSAlexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing  
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