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First World Cup win of 2016 for Jolanda Neff

Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro Team), the defending World Cup champion, took her first World Cup win of the season on Sunday, in La Bresse, France. However, she had a close battle with two Canadian riders, Catharine Pendrel (Luna) and Emily Batty (Trek Factory), who finished second and third respectively.

The rain that had been forecast for race day came the night before, leaving the descent muddy but rideable. After a long climb out of town, riders faced a technical section traversing the top of the course before a long, switchback descent back to the finish, for a total of 4.2 kilometres.

Neff missed the first round, choosing to skip the long trip to Cairns, Australia, and she was a last minute scratch last weekend in Albstadt, Germany, after falling sick. However, her form is good, having won the European Championships earlier in the month. She started the race strong, breaking away on the first long climb and then using her descending skills to further open a gap on the first lap. Behind, Batty, Katerina Nash (Luna), Jenny Rissveds (Scott-Odlo) and Lea Davison (Specialized) took up the early chase. Pendrel had got caught in traffic, but was working her way towards the front.

Rissveds, who had crashed heavily a week earlier pulled out after having difficulty on the descents with her injured wrist. Davison also crashed and fell off the pace, but Batty and Nash were chasing together until Batty dropped the Czech rider. By the fourth lap, Pendrel was up to third, and both she and Batty were closing on Neff, as she nursed a flat down the descent to the tech zone.

Batty took the lead as they started the final lap, but was soon joined by both Neff and Pendrel. Pendrel upped the pace on the climb, with Batty getting gapped, and then Neff attacked and Pendrel could not respond.

"I wasn't sure how I would feel on the final climb," said Neff, "because on the earlier laps I could just ride my own pace. But I had some energy left, so I was able to attack and go well. I'm not yet back at 100%, so today I really didn't know before the race how I was going to feel. So, I am extremely happy to have done so well and that I could ride. I am really looking forward to recover completely."

Annika Langvad (Specialized), the winner of the first two rounds and the World Cup leader, was never in contention, and was covered in mud after the second lap; clearly having difficulty with the descents and finishing 15th. Langvad continues to lead with 576 points, but Pendrel is now only 66 points behind, making the competition tight for the second half of the season. Linda Indergand (Focus XC) is a distant third, at 373 points, only 8 points in front of Batty.  

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team1:28:30
2Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:00:25
3Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing XC0:00:48
4Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:02:18
5Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Kross Racing Team0:02:47
6Alessandra Keller (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:03:07
7Adelheid Morath (Ger) BH-SR Suntour-KMC
8Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing XC0:03:18
9Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:27
10Linda Indergand (Swi) Focus XC Team0:03:39
11Helen Grobert (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing0:04:29
12Eva Lechner (Ita) Luna Pro Team0:04:47
13Yana Belomoina (Ukr) CST Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:05:17
14Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team0:05:20
15Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing0:05:25
16Daniela Campuzano (Mex)0:05:53
17Raiza Goulao-Henrique (Bra)0:05:57
18Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing0:06:11
19Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:06:22
20Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing0:06:34
21Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:06:40
22Perrine Clauzel (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:06:42
23Erin Huck (USA) Scott-3Rox Racing
24Githa Michiels (Bel) Versluys Team0:06:45
25Karla Stepanova (Cze)0:07:31
26Chengyuan Ren (Chn) China Jiangsu ZGL MTB Team0:07:39
27Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)0:08:01
28Annie Last (GBr) Novus OMX Pro Team0:08:14
29Esther Suss (Swi) Wheeler Pro Team0:08:25
30Sabine Spitz (Ger)0:08:32
31Hanna Klein (Ger)0:08:40
32Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory Racing0:09:18
33Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team0:09:32
34Anne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory Racing0:09:36
35Chloe Woodruff (USA)
36Mariske Strauss (RSA) Novus OMX Pro Team0:09:39
37Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Raboliv0:09:45
38Sabrina Enaux (Fra)0:09:47
39Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:09:58
40Marine Groccia (Swi)0:10:25
41Katrin Leumann (Swi)0:10:44
42Estelle Boudot (Fra)0:10:50
43Larissa Connors (USA)0:11:05
44Cherie Vale (RSA) Novus OMX Pro Team0:11:08
45Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)
46Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:11:09
47Peta Mullens (Aus)0:11:16
48Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Rose Vaujany Fueled By Ultrasports0:11:20
49Ariane Kleinhans (Swi)0:11:39
50Sandra Walter (Can)0:11:58
51Rebecca Beaumont (Can)0:12:03
52Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet (Mex)0:12:37
53Serena Calvetti (Ita)0:12:51
54Evelyn Dong (USA)0:13:03
55Ekateryna Anoshina (Rus)0:14:15
56Mary McConneloug (USA)
57Haley Smith (Can)0:14:16
58Monika Zur (Pol) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:15:13
59Cindy Montambault (Can)0:16:23
60Florence Darbellay (Swi)0:17:09
61Rocio Martin Rodriguez (Spa) Primaflor Orbea Racing Team0:17:18
62Maxine Filby (GBr)0:17:53
63Paula Gorycka (Pol)- 1 Lap
64Isabella Moreira Lacerda (Bra)
65Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut) BH-SR Suntour-KMC
66Lenka Bulisova (Cze)
67Ingrid Richter (Ger)- 2 Laps
68Romaine Wenger (Swi)
69Viviane Favery Costa (Bra) Rose Vaujany Fueled By Ultrasports
DNFNina Wrobel (Ger)
DNFJulie Bresset (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC
DNFJenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team
DNFKate Fluker (NZl)
DNFCorina Gantenbein (Swi) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team
DNFLisa Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Team
DNFLucia Vazquez Crespo (Spa)
DNSAleksandra Dawidowicz (Pol)
DNSFabienne Schaus (Lux)

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