Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro Team) returned to the top step of the Mountain Bike World Cup podium on Sunday at Mont Ste Anne, Canada, for her third win of the season, extending her lead in the overall standings.
This year, Mont Ste Anne is celebrating its 25th anniversary, an impressive run that goes back to the very start of the World Cup in 1991. MSA has held a World Cup every year of the series except for the two occasions when it hosted the world championships in 1998 and 2010.
The cross-country at MSA is classic mountain biking, with steep climbs, rocks and roots. The XC racers were spared the rain that hit the Downhill event, but forested sections were still muddy and slippery.
Neff, the defending champion here, dropped the rest of the field less then halfway into the first lap, opening a gap of 34 seconds on Round 3 winner Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) by the end of the lap. World champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna), after a slow start, caught up to Dahle Flesjaa on the second lap, and then headed off in pursuit of Neff on her own for the rest of the race.
Neff's lead was up to 1:25 by the end of the third lap, but Pendrel was aggressively chasing, her body rocking as she powered up the climbs, and posting the fastest times for the final three laps. It wasn't enough, with Neff simply too far in front, and the young Swiss rider across the line 34 seconds ahead of Pendrel. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Raboliv), back to mountain biking after a long stint of road racing, took third after an impressive ride through the field from 31st on the start line, followed by Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) and Dahle Flesjaa.
"It was maybe the craziest race of my life," commented Neff, "because this morning when I got up I fainted, and I hit the floor with my head and I lost consciousness for a few seconds, and I wasn't sure if I would race today."
"I crashed every lap, which is not so normal for me. So it is unbelievable to win. I just wanted to win here. I love this track, I won here last year and I just really wanted to win, it's amazing. It is really cool I can keep the lead overall so I can wear this [leader's] jersey again, which I like a lot."
Neff now leads with 900 points, followed by Dahle Flesjaa at 790 and Pendrel at 670.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jolanda Neff (Swi)||1:28:15|
|2||Catharine Pendrel (Can)||0:00:34|
|3||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)||0:01:09|
|4||Emily Batty (Can)||0:01:56|
|5||Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor)||0:02:22|
|6||Lea Davison (USA)||0:03:05|
|7||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:03:18|
|8||Irina Kalentyeva (Rus)||0:03:53|
|9||Tanja Zakelj (Slo)||0:04:18|
|10||Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)||0:05:05|
|11||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:05:38|
|12||Helen Grobert (Ger)||0:05:59|
|13||Adelheid Morath (Ger)||0:06:13|
|14||Yana Belomoina (Ukr)||0:07:37|
|15||Anne Terpstra (Ned)||0:07:48|
|16||Daniela Campuzano (Mex)||0:08:57|
|17||Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut)||0:09:37|
|18||Elisabeth Osl (Aut)||0:09:48|
|19||Karla Stepanova (Cze)||0:09:56|
|20||Linda Indergand (Swi)||0:10:09|
|21||Githa Michiels (Bel)||0:10:24|
|22||Erin Huck (USA)||0:10:31|
|23||Corina Gantenbein (Swi)||0:11:16|
|24||Raiza Goulao-Henrique (Bra)||0:11:24|
|25||Georgia Gould (USA)||0:11:45|
|26||Sandra Walter (Can)||0:12:06|
|27||Annie Last (GBr)||0:12:28|
|28||Kate Fluker (NZl)||0:12:52|
|29||Nathalie Schneitter (Swi)||0:13:19|
|30||Anna Oberparleiter (Ita)||0:13:23|
|31||Hanna Klein (Ger)||0:13:24|
|32||Rose Grant (USA)||0:13:25|
|33||Rebecca Henderson (Aus)||0:14:16|
|34||Larissa Connors (USA)|
|35||Mikaela Kofman (Can)|
|36||Jovana Crnogorac (Srb)|
|37||Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)|
|38||Peta Mullens (Aus)|
|39||Chloe Woodruff (USA)|
|40||Alice Pirard (Bel)|
|41||Cindy Montambault (Can)|
|42||Rebecca Beaumont (Can)|
|43||Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)|
|44||Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)|
|45||Michelle Hediger (Swi)|
|46||Kim Hurst (NZl)|
|47||Katrin Leumann (Swi)|
|48||Noelia Rodriguez (Arg)|
|49||Elyse Nieuwold (Can)|
|50||Elisa Otter (USA)|
|DNF||Annika Langvad (Den)|
|DNF||Blaza Klemencic (Slo)|
|DNS||Barbara Benko (Hun)|