Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) won her second junior world championship mountain bike title in as many years when she rode to a solo victory in a time of 1:20:33 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, on Wednesday afternoon. Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine) at 47 seconds, and Helen Grobert (Germany) at 1:21 rounded out the top three.
The Frenchwoman topped the podium for the second time this year; earlier this season, she won the junior women's road race world championship title.
"I worked with my coach and took plenty of time to train on the course and get used to it," said Ferrand Prevot after her win. "I had so many support staff for our team out there cheering me throughout each lap."
The race started with a bang as racers set out for the second half of a lap before embarking on another three full laps. They raced under a blazing hot sun, thanks to a 2:00 pm start time, and heavy humidity.
On the first full lap, Switzerland's Jolanda Neff assumed the lead and distanced herself from the rest of the chasers, who were strung out behind her and were led by Ferrand Prevot and Belomoyna. Johanna Techt (Germany), Yai Bue (China) and Elise Marchal (Belgium) were also among the top contenders.
"The Swiss rider started quickly," said Ferrand Prevot, who took a sustainable, more measured approach based on experience. "The first lap, I had a hard time staying with her. I passed her, taking advantage of a fall she took. She did a similar fast start in Offenburg, and then she slowed down and I passed her there, too."
After the first full lap, Neff melted in the heat and withdrew from the race.
A determined Belomoyna was riding smoothly and steadily closed the gap to Ferrand Prevot to just 25 seconds, but then she had a mechanical. She ran into the pit halfway through the second full lap, and mechanics spent time removing and replacing her rear wheel.
As she was receiving technical assistance, Grobert caught and passed Belomoyna, who rolled out soon after her and resumed her smooth, steady pace, reeling the German back in to resume eventually her second place in the race.
Due to a lack of available translation, the Ukrainian had little she could say after the race, but she was clearly delighted with her ride.
Grobert was also content with her bronze after a tough start. "It was a good race. Although on the first lap, I had a big crash and my wheel was not attached to my bike any more, causing me to lose many places, I made the best of it from then on," said Grobert.
China's Yue Bai finished fourth and Belgium's Elise Marchal was fifth.
"I touched wheels with another girl at the start and then I worked my way back up starting on the first hill," said Marchal. "I was fourth on the first lap, but then I crashed on the downhill. After the crash, my bars were askew, and I stopped for tech assistance." She resumed her race in eighth place and struggled with the heat, but managed to work her way back up to fifth because she was riding faster than those around her in the technical parts. Marchal almost caught her Chinese competition near the end, but wasn't quite strong enough to overtake her.
The top two North American finishers were Canadians Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau in 10th and Lauren Rosser in 11th, both at 7:39. After crossing the line, Lanthier-Nadeau, who is from Quebec, was swarmed by supporters, friends and family.
"It was an amazing course, really hard. Marie (Helen Premont, who is also from Quebec) had said to me when the crowds really cheer for you, it's magic. Now I understand what she meant."
Rosser, who hails from Squamish and was competing as a first-year junior in her first Worlds, managed her placing on a borrowed demo bike. "I cracked my carbon fiber Vertex, and I didn't get my new frame in time. My local bike shop let me borrow their demo bike. I got it two days before I left." She was one of the few top junior women spotted on a full suspension bike. Most were on hardtails.
Rosser explained her strategy. "I'd ridden here before and knew what it was like, and I knew I liked it. My strategy was to chase as many people as I could see and if I couldn't see anyone else, I just went harder."
The top American was Essence Barton in 13th at 12:13. "The beginning was discouraging because I started as the last American junior woman due to my rankings. Once I got going, I knew what I needed to do and tried to pick people off one at a time. I won when nationals were in Vermont, so I knew I could do it."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)||1:20:33|
|2||Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine)||0:00:47|
|3||Helen Grobert (Germany)||0:01:21|
|4||Yue Bai (People's Republic of China)||0:01:43|
|5||Elise Marchal (Belgium)||0:02:42|
|6||Karolina Kalasova (Czech Republic)||0:05:18|
|7||Lisa Mitterbauer (Austria)||0:06:02|
|8||Cecile Delaire (France)||0:07:25|
|9||Johanna Techt (Germany)||0:07:34|
|10||Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau (Canada)||0:07:39|
|11||Lauren Rosser (Canada)|
|12||Ingrid Sofie Jacobsen (Norway)||0:09:45|
|13||Barton Essence (United States Of America)||0:12:13|
|14||Candice Neethling (South Africa)||0:14:12|
|15||Marta Tereshchuk (Ukraine)||0:15:15|
|16||Kristina Laforge (Canada)||0:17:24|
|17||Oksana Zamyatina (Russian Federation)||0:18:21|
|18||Valerie Meunier (Canada)||0:18:32|
|19||Alicia Rose Pastore (United States Of America)||0:19:50|
|20||Cayley Brooks (Canada)||0:21:01|
|21||Florencia Espineira (Chile)||0:21:23|
|22||Torunn Stake Laengen (Norway)||0:22:33|
|-1lap||Manami Iwade (Japan)|
|-1lap||Natalia Simorova (Slovakia)|
|-1lap||Verena Brunner (Argentina)|
|-2laps||Sofia Hamilton (United States Of America)|
|DNF||Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)|
|DNF||Julie Berteaux (France)|
|DNF||Vania Schumacher (Switzerland)|
|DNF||Laura Bietola (Canada)|
|DNF||Emily Fisher (Canada)|
|DNF||Alexa Peters (New Zealand)|
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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