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