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Neff wins Pietermaritzburg cross country World Cup

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Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team) wins the elite women's cross country at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team) wins the elite women's cross country at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Maja Wloszczowska (Liv Pro XC Team)

Maja Wloszczowska (Liv Pro XC Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing)

Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Annika Langvad (Specialized Racing Xc)

Annika Langvad (Specialized Racing Xc)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-KMC)

Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-KMC)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing)

Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Tereza Hurikova (Specialized Racing Xc)

Tereza Hurikova (Specialized Racing Xc)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team)

Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Irina Kalentieva

Irina Kalentieva
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The start

The start
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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South Africa's major hopeful in the women's elite Cross Country event, Mariske Strauss, produced a determined ride and ended in 19th place in her maiden elite race

South Africa's major hopeful in the women's elite Cross Country event, Mariske Strauss, produced a determined ride and ended in 19th place in her maiden elite race
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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After claiming the 2013 World Championship title in Pietermartizburg in 2013 Julie Bresset of Team BH-Suntour-KMC could not repeat her feat of seven months prior as she ended in eighth in the women's Cross Country World Cup

After claiming the 2013 World Championship title in Pietermartizburg in 2013 Julie Bresset of Team BH-Suntour-KMC could not repeat her feat of seven months prior as she ended in eighth in the women's Cross Country World Cup
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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Former winner in Pietermaritzburg and former World Champion Maja Wloszczowska was chasing Liv Pro XC Team team-mate Jolanda Neff throughout

Former winner in Pietermaritzburg and former World Champion Maja Wloszczowska was chasing Liv Pro XC Team team-mate Jolanda Neff throughout
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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Veteran rider and eight time World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahla Flesjaa produced one of the performances of the day to end in second place in the women's Cross Country in Pietermaritzburg

Veteran rider and eight time World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahla Flesjaa produced one of the performances of the day to end in second place in the women's Cross Country in Pietermaritzburg
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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Liv Pro XC Team star Jolanda Neff recorded her second victory in as many outings to the Cascades MTB Park after she won her maiden elite World Cup leg

Liv Pro XC Team star Jolanda Neff recorded her second victory in as many outings to the Cascades MTB Park after she won her maiden elite World Cup leg
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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In her first year of elite cross country racing, Liv Pro XC Team rider Jolanda Neff produced a dominant display, despite a crash on her second lap, to claim the World Cup leaders jersey after her win in Pietermaritzburg

In her first year of elite cross country racing, Liv Pro XC Team rider Jolanda Neff produced a dominant display, despite a crash on her second lap, to claim the World Cup leaders jersey after her win in Pietermaritzburg
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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World Cup leader Jolanda Neff

World Cup leader Jolanda Neff
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite women's podium at Pietermaritzburg

Elite women's podium at Pietermaritzburg
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) won the first elite World Cup of her career in the women's race at the first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on Sunday.

The 5.7-kilometre course is completely new from the one riders saw last fall at the world championships, and most riders considered it to be harder. It challenged riders with technical rock gardens and jumps, and gave them no chance to rest with multiple climbs per lap. The heat also took its toll, particularly during the women's race in the early afternoon.

Neff, the under 23 world champion in Pietermaritzburg last fall, chose to ride with the elite field this season, and she came into the race as a favourite after dominating early season races in Europe. She did not disappoint, jumping to an early lead on the first of five laps, and did not relinquish the front spot for the rest of the race.

The young Swiss rider had a bit of a scare on the second lap when a moment's inattention led to a crash, forcing her to stop and straighten her saddle, but she managed to hold onto the lead by a slim nine seconds over a chasing Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), who was shadowed by Neff's teammate Maja Wloszczowska.

Once Neff had stopped and banged her saddle straight, she extended her lead slowly over the remainder of the race to finish 25 seconds ahead of Dahle Flesjaa, with Wloszczowska taking third, a minute down on her teammate.

"I had a crash on the second lap after I had a lead of over a minute and when I crashed I lost a lot of time and hurt myself, and my saddle was out of place so I had to get off and fix it," Neff said. "It is not the best thing that can happen, but I was happy that I could find the rhythm again in the next lap and keep the lead until the finish line."

"It is such an amazing feeling; I knew that I was in good shape after I had a really good winter, where I could do a lot of good training, so I knew my shape was good. It is always really special when you can put it together when it counts, and it is amazing that I could do it today."

In the under 23 race held earlier in the day, Swedish national champion JennyRissveds (Scott-Odlo) took the title.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Liv Pro XC Team1:38:00
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:25
3Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Liv Pro XC Team0:01:00
4Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing XC0:01:37
5Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing0:01:55
6Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:02:04
7Irina Kalentieva (Rus)0:02:08
8Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC0:02:48
9Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing0:03:05
10Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:03:27
11Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team0:04:08
12Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing0:04:18
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol0:04:43
14Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:05:00
15Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing0:06:10
16Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:06:38
17Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:08:58
18Hanna Klein (Ger) BH-Suntour-KMC0:09:22
19Mariske Strauss (RSA) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:11:14
20Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team0:11:39
21Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:12:00
22Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Racing Team0:12:21
23Serena Calvetti (Ita)0:13:02
24Michelle Hediger (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:13:21
25Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team0:13:35
26Karen Hanlen (NZl)0:13:59
27Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team0:14:16
28Vera Andreeva (Rus)0:14:31
29Tracy Moseley (GBr)0:16:46
30Cindy Montambault (Can)0:17:13
31Tory Thomas (Aus)0:19:43
-1lapEkateryna Anoshina (Rus)
-2lapsElisabeth Brandau (Ger)
DNFAdelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team
DNSLene Byberg (Nor)
DNSCherie Vale (RSA)
DNSJenni King (Aus)

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liv Pro XC Team72pts
2Ghost Factory Racing63
3Specialized Racing XC51
4Trek Factory Racing37
5BH-Suntour-KMC36
6Multivan Merida Biking Team35
7Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team32
8Fischer-BMC21
9Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team20
10Team Colnago Sudtirol18
11Unior Tools Team17
12Orange Monkey Pro Team12
13Wheeler - Ixs Team11
14Luna Pro Team10
154F Racing Team9
16Focus XC Team4

Elite women World Cup standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff* (Swi) Liv Pro XC Team250pts
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team200
3Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Liv Pro XC Team160
4Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing XC150
5Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing140
6Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team130
7Irina Kalentieva (Rus)120
8Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC110
9Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing100
10Tereza Hurikova (Cze) Specialized Racing XC95
11Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team90
12Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing85
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol80
14Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team78
15Katrin Leumann (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing76
16Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing74
17Ekateryna Anoshina (Rus)42
18Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)40

Team World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liv Pro XC Team72pts
2Ghost Factory Racing63
3Specialized Racing XC51
4Trek Factory Racing37
5BH-Suntour-KMC36
6Multivan Merida Biking Team35
7Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team32
8Fischer-BMC21
9Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team20
10Team Colnago Sudtirol18
11Unior Tools Team17
12Orange Monkey Pro Team12
13Wheeler - Ixs Team11
14Luna Pro Team10
154F Racing Team9
16Focus XC Team4

 

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