Ferrand Prevot destroys rivals to win second MTB world title in 48 hours
Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) won her second mountain bike title of World Championship weekend with a dominant performance in the women’s cross-country race. In the end her margin of victory was more than a minute over Olympic champion Jolanda Neff (Switzerland), with Haley Batten (United States) rounding out the podium.
Ferrand Prevot started 20th on the grid, reflecting her world rankings, and surged straight to the front. She had passed almost every rider ahead of the long first climb and then attacked the ascent out of the saddle.
Neff struggled in the opening sections of the first lap, falling down the field after making an aggressive start of her own.
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Having made it count on the steep pitches of the ‘never-ending climb’, Ferrand Prevot soon had a visible and measurable advantage over fellow Frenchwoman Loana Lecompte.
She went through the first lap with a time of 13 minutes dead. Lecompte followed through 22 seconds later, with Alessandra Keller (Switzerland) nine seconds further back.
Lecompte, however, soon slipped back and the closest chasers to Ferrand Prevot were Keller and Batten.
Midway through the second lap, with Ferrand Prevot almost a minute to the good, the chasing pair appeared to be fighting it out for the remaining podium places.
On the third lap, Batten was able to ride away from Keller on the descent, as Neff began to make her way back into the race
Halfway through the race, after three of six laps, Ferrand Prevot was cruising – 82 seconds ahead of anyone else.
With a third of the race remaining, Neff had caught and overhauled the pair ahead, subsequently forming a new pairing with Batten on the fifth lap.
The alliance did not last long, however, Neff using her technical advantage to ensure the silver was hers outright. The Swiss star was never going to get close to Ferrand Prevot, though.
The 30 year-old was barely out of breath as she crossed the line carrying the Tricolore. Neff followed 1’35” later for a hard-fought second place. Batten claimed bronze with a comfortable margin on Lecomte.
British pair Annie Last and Evie Richards finished 10th and 11th respectively.
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