French multi discipline racing legend Pauline Ferrand-Prevot proves she’s back on form in Val di Sole.
An aggressive 3rd place in the horribly muddy and slick conditions of Friday night’s short track race showed the Canyon Factory Racing XC rider was undoubtably back to race pace after a four-month post-surgery lay off last winter. A definitive display of determination in the Sunday XCO showed winning is about more than just watts though.
Prevot attacked from the gun, leading after the start loop before charging determinedly clear on the second lap. European Champion Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing XC) fought back with an incredible late charge, closing 52 seconds in a lap and a half to take the lead on the final climb.
Pauline didn’t become the only rider ever to take Elite World Championship titles in road, cross country and cyclocross in the same year (2014) by giving up though. She fought back past Neff into the final technical descent before sprinting home just a second ahead of the Swiss rider.
It’s so so good, I’ve had a tough past three years, now winning again is such an amazing feeling. It’s just so cool.
Jolanda’s hard-fought second place along with her win in the short track race moved her into the overall series lead. And, she’s planning a home country win in Switzerland next weekend to add to overall standings.
I haven’t won a World Cup yet this year and I’ve never won in Lenzerheide. It’s a big goal for me, I want to do everything I can to have a good race.
With World Champion Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM Racing Team) in 2nd, Ghost Factory Racing team mates Anne Terpstra in 3rd and Sina Frei in 5th; SRAM & RockShox athletes now all-but-fill the top five overall positions in the Elite Women’s World Cup, with two rounds remaining.
Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Team) still tops the overall World Cup standings after his 3rd place in Val Di Sole. He’s fired up for Lenzerheide where he won his 7th Elite World Championship last year.
It’s one of my biggest goals of this year. It’s a track where I know how to win, I’m feeling good, I’m looking forward for the home World Cup.
With both DH and XCO back to back again next weekend we certainly can’t wait for another round of the most exciting MTB race season for years.