Two of the best riders in the history of Mountain Bike racing won brilliant victories at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec, Canada: France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Swiss superstar Nino Schurter.
In the women’s Cross Country event, Ferrand-Prevot came in with good recent results, having been first and third in the two World Cup races in August. She started 10th and after a modest start, moved up to ninth after the first of six laps on the hilly course.
Then she took over. Her second lap was the fastest of the entire field in the entire race at 14:07, then her third lap of 14:11 and fourth lap of 14:08 were all faster than anyone else on the day and she found herself with a three-second lead over Australia’s Rebecca McConnell in what had become a two-woman race.
Ferrand Prevot kept the pressure up and broke McConnell on the fifth lap, timing 14:22 as McConnell had trouble and moved back to third (15:00), as 2017 World Champion Jolanda Neff (SUI) moved into second place. But the gap was now more than a minute and Ferrand Prevot cruised home to win in 1:28:51, 43 seconds ahead of Neff and 1:17 ahead of McConnell in third. American Kate Courtney, the 2018 World Champion, finished fifth in 1:31:33.
For Ferrand Prevot, it continues her remarkable run of individual world titles: the 2014 world title in the women’s Road Race, then 2015 wins in Mountain Bike Cross Country and Cyclo-Cross and now a second individual title in Mountain Bike Cross Country. And she is still just 27.