Final round World Cup victory for Jolanda Neff in Vallnord

Catharine Pendrel (Luna) capped off a season that already includes and Olympic bronze medal with the overall World Cup title in Women's Cross-country on Sunday, in Andorra. Pendrel finished third in the sixth and final round of the series. Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro) won the final round, ahead of Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida).

Riders faced vastly different conditions than the ones they had trained on, when heavy rain overnight made the rocks and roots very slippery. The altitude, at over 1800 metres, also proved to be a significant factor, with many riders hitting the wall after a fast start.

Pendrel attacked at the start of the race, hoping to put a gap between herself and World Cup leader Annika Langvad (Specialized), who began the race with a 56 point lead. Only Dahle Flesjaa was initially able to stay with Pendrel, and the duo began to open a gap until Pendrel crashed on the roots and was overtaken by Neff. The Swiss rider caught a fading Dahle Flesjaa on the fifth lap and then attacked on the sixth and final lap to win by 36 seconds, with Pendrel coming in at 1:21. Langvad struggled all race and could only manage 13th, to drop to second in the overall standings.

"It was incredibly tough [the final 2 laps]," said Neff. "I rode a new bike, a full suspension, so I didn't have back pain and that was better but my legs had to work in a different position so it was harder. It is incredible [to finish season with a win]. I couldn't be happier about the win. After having so many problems with my back that I could not solve, this gives me so much confidence for the winter to finish this season, to win a World Cup, I'm happy."

Pendrel won the overall title, her third, with 1030 points, in a season that included one World Cup victory, a second place and two third places. Annika Langvad was second with 1006 points, and Canadian national champion Emily Batty (Trek Factory) finished third with 710 points, including two third place results.

"World Cup Champion feels so good after the suffer fest out there today," said Pendrel. "This is an incredibly hard race. My start was amazing and I felt really good, but I definitely ran out of oxygen on the second lap. I had trouble staying up on the second descent, was kind of all over the place. I had to really regroup to get my breath. Then it was just about damage control; going as slow as I could just to stay upright on the descent and then hammer on the climb. It wasn't the prettiest race but it got the job done."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team1:31:32
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:36
3Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:01:21
4Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:02:25
5Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Kross Racing Team0:03:08
6Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex)0:03:09
7Yana Belomoina (Ukr) CST Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:04:50
8Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:05:22
9Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing0:05:55
10Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:06:20
11Linda Indergand (Swi) Focus XC Team0:06:30
12Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing XC0:07:38
13Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized Racing0:08:47
14Erin Huck (USA) Scott-3Rox Racing0:09:00
15Githa Michiels (Bel) Versluys Team0:09:11
16Adelheid Morath (Ger) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:09:29
17Annie Last (GBr) Novus Omx Pro Team0:09:43
18Karla Stepanova (Cze)0:09:49
19Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team0:09:55
20Raiza Goulao-Henrique (Bra)0:10:24
21Sabrina Enaux (Fra)0:11:04
22Eva Lechner (Ita) Luna Pro Team0:11:33
23Esther Suss (Swi) Wheeler Pro Team0:12:00
24Barbara Benko (Hun) Focus XC Team0:12:39
25Lisa Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Team0:13:00
26Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost Factory Racing0:13:06
27Hanna Klein (Ger)0:13:52
28Chloe Woodruff (USA)0:15:02
29Marine Groccia (Swi)- 1 lap
30Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Haibike Oetztal Pro TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Perrine Clauzel (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMCRow 30 - Cell 2
32Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing XCRow 31 - Cell 2
33Evelyn Dong (USA)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)- 2 laps
36Alexandra Engen (Swe) Ghost Factory RacingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Nadine Rieder (Ger)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Alice Pirard (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Julie Bresset (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMCRow 38 - Cell 2
40Cindy Montambault (Can)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Haley Smith (Can)- 3 laps
42Paula Gorycka (Pol)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Mercedes Pacios Pujado (Spa)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Alba Barrau Castan (Spa)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Ana Romina De La Hoz Ioszpe (Spa)- 4 laps
46Paola Zahonero Abril (Spa)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Amparo Chapa (Spa)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandra Keller (Swi) Stöckli Pro TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
DNSHelen Grobert (Ger) Ghost Factory RacingRow 48 - Cell 2
DNSAnne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory RacingRow 49 - Cell 2

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