There was never a dull moment during this year's UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and world championship racing. No single woman dominated any sub-discipline, and with several favorites out at various times of the year due to injury, there was also room for some newer faces on the podium in the post-Olympic year.
Julie Bresset (BH-SR Suntour KMC) made a steady comeback after breaking her collarbone earlier in the season. The French woman patiently worked her way back up to the front of the field, in time to win the cross country world championships in South Africa.
Perhaps the surprise of the season was Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools), a former U23 world champion who consistently excelled and ended up winning the cross country World Cup overall title.
Maja Wloszczowska (Giant) also made an impressive comeback from a severe leg injury in 2012 which had kept her out of the Olympic Games. The Polish star was back in action among the top cross country contenders throughout 2013.
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) again did double duty by racing both cross country and marathons. She not only won a round of the cross country World Cup, but also earned the marathon world championship title.
Eliminator queen Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing) again proved her dominance, both by winning the world championships and also the World Cup overall. Not far behind her on a regular basis was fellow Swede Jenny Rissveds.
On the gravity side, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) won both the downhill world championships and the downhill World Cup. When she wasn't winning, usually French woman Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) was.
Caroline Buchanan made a successful return to four cross racing and won the world championship - she also raced some downhill events.
Last but not least, former downhill World Cupper Tracy Moseley (Trek), made a successful transition to enduro racing and won the inaugural, seven-round Enduro World Series.
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