"It feels amazing. It's so meaningful to have that happen after spending half the season off the bike. I just got to training in June," the American rider told Cyclingnews.
"My injury was involved and not ideal. I was walking around on crutches for four weeks in January and February. In April, I was moving my hip around in the pool and wondering how I was going to make this happen. My coach said the entire time that he wasn't worried, but I was a little worried. It proves that hard work and determination paid off."
It was the second time Davison injured her hip - once on each side - and then had to have surgery and go through subsequent lengthy rehabilitation.
Davison didn't properly resume racing until the US National Championships in July, which she won.
Her previous career-best finish was two fourth places at World Cups - once in Hafjell last year and once at Mont-Sainte-Anne, almost a home course for Davison.
"I knew this course was good for me and they added in more technical elements. I was feeling good all week and hoping I would have the legs today," she said. "The field was strong this year and with so many different World Cup podiums, you never know."
Davison raced a bit in front of and in awe of Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa. "My first Worlds was in Vail, Colorado in 2001 and I was a junior and got to watch Alison Dunlap win over Gunn-Rita and I was thinking today that I'm racing Gunn-Rita now."
What's next for Davison is to race a few enduros for fun in the US. "I usually go to CrossVegas but I can't run yet because of my hip and I won't go to Langkawi stage race because there are a bunch of hike-a-bikes, I can't do yet."
"I guess this is just short, but sweet season."