Ferrand-Prévot claims women's cross-country MTB world title

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot wept on the top step of podium for the Elite women at the Mountain Bike World Championships, on Saturday in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec. The French rider has struggling for two years with leg problems, and underwent iliac artery surgery at the beginning of the year. 

By mid-summer she was beginning to show signs of the talent that led to concurrent world titles in Mountain Bike, Road and Cyclo-cross, with a World Cup win, and in Mont-Ste-Anne she won the rainbow jersey for the first time since 2015.

The women's field had tremendous depth, with other contenders including Jolanda Neff (Switzerland), defending champion Kate Courtney (USA), Dutch riders Anne Tauber and Anne Terpstra, plus Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds (Sweden), another rider in the midst of a comeback.

By the end of the first lap, Neff, Australian champion Rebecca McConnell and Courtney had 15 seconds on the two Dutch riders, with Ferrand-Prévot seemingly out of contention at 49 seconds. However, Courtney was dropped by the other two and Ferrand-Prévot was slowing reeling in the chasers - 35 seconds back at the end of Lap 2, and up to third at 22 seconds by Lap 4.

Neff started to fade in the fourth lap, leaving McConnell at the front on her own, and then Ferrand-Prévot caught and dropped Neff to move into second, 30 seconds down on the Australian.

By the penultimate fifth lap, Ferrand-Prévot had caught and dropped McConnell to move into the lead, 41 seconds ahead at the start of the last lap, with Neff at 1:03. While Ferrand-Prévot was racing to victory, Neff gained her second wind, passing McConnell to claim second, with the Australian taking third.

"It was a difficult journey back," said Ferrand-Prévot. "Before my operation, it was almost like getting stabbed in the legs if I made an intense effort over two and a half minutes.  So, I had to get the operation, even though they told me it could be risky."

"I didn't want to miss this opportunity. I gave everything I had from the start to finish.  I really wanted to win today and I'm so happy to do it.

"The race overall was so crazy; to come from 15th to win!  It's been a hard journey to get back to here. But this makes all of the hard decisions, all of the efforts and sacrifices worth it."

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) France 1:28:51
2Jolanda Neff (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:43
3Rebecca Mcconnell (Aus) Australia 0:01:17
4Anne Terpstra (Ned) Netherlands 0:02:26
5Kate Courtney (USA) United States of America 0:02:42
6Annie Last (GBr) Great Britain 0:02:54
7Anne Tauber (Ned) Netherlands 0:03:12
8Tanja Žakelj (Slo) Slovenia 0:03:40
9Emily Batty (Can) Canada 0:03:59
10Linda Indergand (Swi) Switzerland 0:04:46
11Lea Davison (USA) United States of America 0:04:52
12Haley Smith (Can) Canada
13Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex) Mexico 0:04:54
14Catharine Pendrel (Can) Canada 0:05:31
15Chloe Woodruff (USA) United States of America 0:05:41
16Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Sweden 0:05:51
17Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Poland 0:06:08
18Sandra Walter (Can) Canada 0:06:22
19Githa Michiels (Bel) Belgium 0:06:31
20Jitka Čábelická (Cze) Czech Republic 0:08:52
21Eva Lechner (Ita) Italy 0:09:09
22Chiara Teocchi (Ita) Italy 0:09:39
23Janika Lõiv (Est) Estonia 0:09:40
24Julie Bresset (Fra) France 0:09:42
25Barbara Benkó (Hun) Hungary 0:10:04
26Hannah Finchamp (USA) United States of America 0:10:25
27Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Austria 0:10:32
28Paula Quiros (Arg) Argentina 0:10:36
29Malene Degn (Den) Denmark 0:10:45
30Alessandra Keller (Swi) Switzerland 0:11:29
31Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg) Argentina 0:11:46
32Jennifer Jackson (Can) Canada 0:11:59
33Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Russian Federation 0:12:14
34Ramona Forchini (Swi) Switzerland 0:12:34
35Erin Huck (USA) United States of America 0:13:06
36Cherie Redecker (RSA) South Africa LAP
37Candice Lill (RSA) South Africa LAP
38Lucie Urruty (Fra) France LAP
39Karla Štěpánová (Cze) Czech Republic LAP
40Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) Germany LAP
41Janka Keseg Stevkova (Svk) Slovakia LAP
42Adelheid Morath (Ger) Germany LAP
43Cindy Montambault (Can) Canada LAP
44Sophie Von Berswordt (Ned) Netherlands LAP
45Laura Valentina Abril Restrepo (Col) Colombia LAP
46Isla Short (GBr) Great Britain LAP
47Jaqueline Mourao (Bra) Brazil LAP
48Annika Langvad (Den) Denmark LAP
49Elyse Nieuwold (Can) Canada LAP
50Jovana Crnogorac (Srb) Serbia LAP
51Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg) Argentina LAP
52Aleksandra Podgorska (Pol) Poland LAP
53Fabienne Schaus (Lux) Luxembourg LAP
54Holly Harris (Aus) Australia LAP
55Meritxell Figueras Garangou (Spa) Spain LAP
56Leidy Johana Mera Cadena (Col) Colombia LAP
57Yosiana Fareidy Quintero Pineda (Col) Colombia LAP
58Milagro Mena Solano (CRc) Costa Rica LAP
59Teodora Savić-popović (Srb) Serbia LAP
60Alexis Skarda (USA) United States of America LAP
61Viviane Favery Costa (Bra) Brazil LAP
DNSYana Belomoina (Ukr) Ukraine
DNSRose Grant (USA) United States of America

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