Road world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Raboliv) returned to mountain biking last weekend with a third place at the Mont Ste Anne World Cup, and followed that up this week with a win at the penultimate round in Windham, New York, on Sunday.
The Windham course is 'old school' with a long grueling climb followed by a fast, technical descent. The very dry conditions meant that riders rode in a cloud of dust, and corners were loose and slippery.
The odds-on favourite was World Cup leader Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro Team), with three wins in four races, however, Neff had not trained all week after fainting and hitting her head, and so she started uncharacteristically slowly, allowing Ferrand-Prevot to take the lead.
World champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna), the defending champion at Windham, chased Ferrand-Prevot for a lap, before succumbing to the pace and drifting backwards out of contention.
Neff then began to move up, joining Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), Annika Langvad (Specialized) and Lea Davison (Specialized) in the chase. Neff dropped the rest on the fifth of six laps to roll in second and pad her lead in the standings. Langvad just beat team mate Davison for third, with Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools) taking fifth.
"I am really happy, of course," said Ferrand-Prevot. "Last week I felt really good on the uphill and sometimes in the descent. Today I wanted to take a good start and to fight to be the first if possible on the uphill and to relax a bit on the downhill. It worked, so it was perfect."
"It is a good course for me, but I didn't think Catharine Pendrel would be dropped, and when I was alone I said, 'OK I just have to go full gas and don't turn back'."
Neff commented, "It was a really tough race, I think I was really far back in the beginning, like out of top 10 or top 15, really far back. I really fought hard until the finish. I'm so happy to take second place."
"I think today was very important [for the overall]. I didn't feel so good and I really fought hard for the overall. I think second place was the maximum I could do today, Pauline rode really strong."
With one round remaining, Neff now has 1100 points, with Dahle Flesjaa a distant 190 points behind and Pendrel just holding onto third at 726 points, 26 ahead of Davison.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv||1:33:25|
|2||Jolanda Neff (Sui) Stoeckli Pro Team||0:01:28|
|3||Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing||0:02:09|
|4||Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing||0:02:12|
|5||Adelheid Morath (Ger) BH-SR Suntour-KMC||0:02:41|
|6||Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team||0:02:58|
|7||Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team||0:03:17|
|8||Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Kross Racing Team||0:03:49|
|9||Yana Belomoina (Ukr) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team||0:04:12|
|10||Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Habitat Mountainbiketeam||0:04:28|
|11||Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol||0:04:47|
|12||Erin Huck (USA) Scott-3Rox Racing||0:04:52|
|13||Annie Last (GBr)||0:05:01|
|14||Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing||0:05:30|
|15||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:05:52|
|16||Helen Grobert (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing||0:06:10|
|17||Daniela Campuzano (Mex) Mexican National Team||0:06:50|
|18||Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team||0:07:16|
|19||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:07:28|
|20||Corina Gantenbein (Sui) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team||0:07:37|
|21||Anne Terpstra (Ned) Habitat Mountainbiketeam||0:08:12|
|22||Isabella Moreira Lacerda (Bra) Brazilian National Team||0:08:18|
|23||Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut) Habitat Mountainbiketeam||0:08:20|
|24||Chloe Woodruff (USA)||0:08:31|
|25||Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team||0:08:38|
|26||Rose Grant (USA)||0:08:42|
|27||Linda Indergand (Sui) Focus XC Team||0:09:34|
|28||Karla Stepanova (Cze)||0:10:02|
|29||Githa Michiels (Bel) Versluys Team||0:10:07|
|30||Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing||0:10:18|
|31||Hanna Klein (Ger) BH-SR Suntour-KMC||0:10:49|
|32||Mikaela Kofman (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing||0:11:11|
|33||Raiza Goulao-Henrique (Bra)||0:11:36|
|34||Larissa Connors (USA)|
|35||Katrin Leumann (Sui) Ghost Factory Racing||0:12:11|
|36||Cindy Montambault (Can)||0:12:38|
|37||Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida-Wallonie Mountain Bike Team|
|38||Anna Oberparleiter (Ita) Italian National Team||0:13:03|
|39||Peta Mullens (Aus)||-1Lap|
|40||Kate Fluker (NZl)|
|41||Lesley Paterson (GBr)|
|42||Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)|
|43||Michelle Hediger (Sui) Giant Swiss Team|
|44||Rebecca Beaumont (Can)||-2Laps|
|45||Elyse Nieuwold (Can)|
|46||Elisabeth Sveum (Nor) Norway National Team|
|47||Crystal Anthony (USA)|
|48||Kim Hurst (NZl) New Zealand National Team||-3Laps|
|49||Noelia Rodriguez (Arg) Argentinian National Team|
|DNF||Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing|
|DNF||Jovana Crnogorac (Srb) Salcano Cappadocia|
|DNF||Nathalie Schneitter (Sui) Rose Vaujany Fueled By Ultrasports|
|DNS||Sandra Walter (Can)|
|DNS||Elisa Otter (USA) US National Team|