Catharine Pendrel took a third consecutive victory for Canada in the women’s cross country mountain biking event at the Commonwealth Games. Pendrel rode an impressive race to take a convincing win over her teammate Emily Batty, who finished over a minute behind her teammate. Australia's Rebecca Henderson completed the podium.
Pendrel had to chase after a fast start from Karen Hanlen (New Zealand), but the Canadian was quick to take the lead after the riders passed through the quick descent of "Double Dare". There was no looking back for the Canadian who was fully focused as she kept building on her lead. Pendrel showed no signs of the broken collarbone that she suffered in April, during an almost flawless performance.
"I didn't expect that, I found myself by myself. Anyone who watches me race knows I like to go hard from the start. When you get some space at the front, you just go for it," Pendrel said after the race. "We trained as a team. I knew from training and the nationals that Emily was on fire, so I'm proud she got silver. Emily and I pushed each other hard in the nationals, so I knew I could push myself hard for an hour and a half."
There was a moment of worry as she unclipped going through the broken biscuits section, but she hardly skipped a beat as she pushed off the floor to maintain her momentum. By the final lap, Pendrel was leading by just under two minutes – giving her time to make a quick check of her tyre pressure. Happy there nothing was wrong, the Canadian drove it home to take gold. Canada has won all the women’s cross country event on all three occasions that it has appeared in the Commonwealth Games.
While the battle for gold was almost done and dusted by the end of the first lap, the fight for silver went on until the final lap. Henderson was the only one who could stay close to Pendrel when she made her move. However, it was evident that she wouldn’t be able to catch her despite the arrival of Batty. The two stuck together, riding side by side through some of the wider section.
Henderson was the first to force the pace, testing Batty and forcing the Canadian to push up one of the climbs. However, Batty had the last laugh on the final two laps. Batty distanced the Australian on lap five with a little dig on the back end of the course. Henderson wasn’t willing to give up though and dug in to regain touch before the end of the lap. Aware that her rival was struggling, Batty bided her time before she did it again. This time she was more successful and fended off Henderson to seal the silver medal, despite a late surge from her Trek Factory teammate.
Annie Last made a late drive on the final lap to take fourth place from her England teammate Alice Barnes. After making such a strong start, Hanlen faded to finish in sixth place.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Catharine Pendrel (Canada)||1:39:29|
|2||Emily Batty (Canada)||0:01:10|
|3||Rebecca Henderson (Australia)||0:01:22|
|4||Annie Last (England)||0:03:05|
|5||Alice Barnes (England)||0:03:58|
|6||Karen Hanlen (New Zealand)||0:04:02|
|7||Lee Craigie (Scotland)||0:04:07|
|8||Kate Fluker (New Zealand)||0:05:27|
|9||Bethany Crumpton (England)||0:06:35|
|10||Mariske Strauss (South Africa)||0:07:48|
|11||Jessie Roberts (Scotland)||0:08:03|
|12||Peta Mullens (Australia)||0:09:37|
|13||Kerry Macphee (Scotland)||0:10:19|
|14||Tory Thomas (Australia)||0:13:03|
|15||Claire Oakley (Nir)||0:18:58|
|16||Vera Adrian (Namibia)|
|17||Retha Harding (Swaziland)|
|DNF||Aurelie Halbwach (Mauritius)|
|DNF||Joyce Nyaruri (Kenya)|
|DNF||Mary Mburu (Kenya)|
|DNF||Mary Wanjiku Muchina (Kenya)|
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