Langvad wins MTB World Cup #1 in Cairns

The opening round of the Cross-country World Cup in Cairns, Australia, saw the winner of the final round of 2015 continue her winning ways, with Annika Langvad (Specialized Racing) becoming the first rider to don the leader's jersey in 2016.

Cairns has a long history in mountain biking, stretching back to the 1996 world championships. This year's event will be a final test event for organizers before they host the world championships next year (2017), and then the Commonwealth Games (for cross-country) the year after.

Two years ago, riders faced torrential rain, turning the course into a mud bog, however, despite rain earlier in the week, on race day the 4.3-kilometre course was hard, dusty and fast. After a flat start loop, the riders head out to a long and, in places, technical climb for the first half of the circuit. Once at the top, it is a fast and technical descent to the bottom, with a final flat loop to the finish. The dry conditions led to numerous riders suffering flats on the sharp rocks and roots.

The women's field was missing a number of the top riders, who elected to skip the long trip to Australia. Among those absent were Jolanda Neff (Stockli), Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) and Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv).

Langvad quickly jumped into the lead, with only Linda Indergand (Focus XC) able to respond. Australian champion and local favourite, Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) initially went with the front two, but the pace was too much and she had to back off, eventually being caught by Catharine Pendrel (Luna).

Langvad and Indergand stayed together until a lap and a half to go, when the Danish rider attacked on the climb, quickly opening a gap, which she held to the finish line. Henderson, buoyed on by the crowd dropped Pendrel to take third.

"This [win] is so special," said Langvad. "The first one [in Val di Sole, Italy, last year] was quite a surprise to me, because I came straight from a crazy race the weekend before and I was absolutely dead during the week leading up to Val Di Sole. So to win that one was absolutely amazing."

"This week I struggled a lot with the jet lag and the heat and everything and only just yesterday I felt great. So I said today I don't care about anything, let's go. I felt really good and I focused a lot on staying within my comfort zone, and it paid off quite well."

"Only in the last kilometre I allowed myself to say 'yeah, this is really, really amazing'. I'm just so excited because it's the first time I have the leader's jersey in the World Cup and it is so special to
me."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing1:28:41
2Linda Indergand (Swi) Focus XC Team0:00:10
3Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing XC0:00:52
4Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:01:14
5Sabine Spitz (Ger)0:01:24
6Helen Grobert (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing0:01:41
7Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing XC0:02:44
8Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team0:02:47
9Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-ODLO MTB Racing Team0:03:09
10Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:03:23
11Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team0:03:39
12Alessandra Keller (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:04:04
13Chloe Woodruff (USA)0:04:27
14Perrine Clauzel (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:04:32
15Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:04:56
16Adelheid Morath (Ger) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:05:12
17Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler Pro Team0:05:31
18Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing0:05:37
20Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing0:05:42
21Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory RacingRow 20 - Cell 2
22Yana Belomoina (Ukr) CST Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:06:08
23Eva Lechner (Ita) Luna Pro Team0:06:21
24Sandra Walter (Can)0:06:24
25Chengyuan Ren (Chn) China Jiangsu ZGL MTB Team0:06:42
26Kate Fluker (NZl)0:07:19
27Erin Huck (USA) Scott-3Rox Racing0:08:17
28Samara Sheppard (NZl)0:08:19
29Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:08:57
30Ekateryna Anoshina (Rus)0:09:05
31Hanna Klein (Ger)0:09:49
32Peta Mullens (Aus)0:10:06
33Mary Mcconneloug (USA)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Margot Moschetti (Fra) CST Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:10:07
35Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Rose Vaujany Fueled By Ultrasports0:10:24
36Cindy Montambault (Can)0:10:25
37Karla Stepanova (Cze)0:10:57
38Jovana Crnogorac (Srb)0:11:30
39Anne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory Racing0:12:25
40Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:13:57
41Mio Suemasa (Jpn)- 1 lap
42Ingrid Richter (Ger)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Karen Hill (Aus)- 2 laps
44Sabrina Enaux (Fra)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Kim Hurst (NZl)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Haley Smith (Can)- 3 laps
47Myra Moller (NZl)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Kanako Tanikawa (Jpn)Row 47 - Cell 2

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