Jolanda Neff wins the Mont-Sainte-Anne 2022 XCO World Cup with a brilliant technical performance
The rain changed the Mont-Sainte-Anne XCO World Cup course in a matter of minutes, but nothing could stop Jolanda Neff, who gave a lesson in technique and Swiss precision to take the victory.
Jolanda Neff wins the XCO World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne and signs a "perfect weekend" after her victory on the Short Track
The women's race in Mont-Sainte-Anne started with the news that Sweden's Jenny Rissveds would not be at the start after skipping Friday's Short Track due to illness, so the podium race would be as open as expected.
The tension at the start caused a hard crash on the finishing straight for Canadian Emily Batty and involved Spanish Rocío del Alba.
The local cyclist, arrived at this event in a great form that was truncated a few days ago with a crash that left her with a fractured rib and, despite trying to race, this fall left her completely out of the podium options.
At the head of the race, Australian Rebecca McConnell came out determined to reclaim the World Cup leader's jersey, which at the time was being worn by Dutch rider Anne Terpstra. McConnell tried to break the race from the first lap by going solo, but the advantage she gained was not enough for Jolanda Neff not to catch her at the start of lap 2.
Jolanda Neff was not satisfied with just getting to McConnell and when she reached the first position she set a very high pace that allowed her to go solo. Behind her were her compatriot Alessandra Keller of the Thomus team, American Halye Batten of the Specialized Factory, Anne Terpstra and Italian Santa Cruz rider Martina Berta.
When Jolanda Neff already had more than half a minute lead over the rest of her rivals, at the start of lap 3 of a total of 5, the race conditions changed drastically. Heavy rain changed the terrain of the circuit in a matter of minutes.
The delicate conditions in which the water left the circuit favored Neff and her refined technique. Before the start of lap 4, Haley Batten and Anne Terpstra were already more than a minute behind the Swiss in second and third position.
The rain had turned the race upside down and among the most affected was Australian rider McConnell, who went from leading the race to slipping to 17th position, more than 4 minutes behind.
The comeback of the day was once again being made by the Austrian Mona Mitterwallner who, after riding in a more backward position, had climbed up to third place with one lap to go.
The final lap bell rang with Jolanda Neff in front and 01:20 minutes ahead of the rest. But Mitterwallner and Haley Batten were in a tough fight to keep or take second place.
With no further setbacks, Jolanda Neff reached the finish line first to take the victory of the Mont-Sainte-Anne 2022 XCO World Cup. After winning the Short Track on Friday, it was a perfect weekend for the Swiss rider.
The second position was finally decided in a long sprint between Haley Batten and Mona Mitterwallner, which was decided in favor of the Austrian from Cannondale Factory Racing.
Results Women XCO World Cup of Mont-Sainte-Anne 2022
- NEFF Jolanda (TREK FACTORY RACING XC)
- MITTERWALLNER Mona (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
- BATTEN Haley (SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING)
- BERTA Martina (SANTA CRUZ FSA MTB PRO TEAM)
- KELLER Alessandra (THÖMUS MAXON)
- GERAULT Léna (KTM VITTORIA TEAM)
- TERPSTRA Anne (GHOST FACTORY RACING)
- COURTNEY Kate (SCOTT-SRAM MTB RACING TEAM)
- LÕIV Janika (KMC - ORBEA)
- BOHÉ Caroline (GHOST FACTORY RACING)