MTB Worlds: Ferrand Prevot wins junior women's cross country

Road world champion adds second mountain bike title to collection

Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) won her second junior world championship mountain bike title in as many years when she rode to a solo victory in a time of 1:20:33 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, on Wednesday afternoon. Yana Belomoyna (Ukraine) at 47 seconds, and Helen Grobert (Germany) at 1:21 rounded out the top three.

The Frenchwoman topped the podium for the second time this year; earlier this season, she won the junior women's road race world championship title.

"I worked with my coach and took plenty of time to train on the course and get used to it," said Ferrand Prevot after her win. "I had so many support staff for our team out there cheering me throughout each lap."

The race started with a bang as racers set out for the second half of a lap before embarking on another three full laps. They raced under a blazing hot sun, thanks to a 2:00 pm start time, and heavy humidity.

On the first full lap, Switzerland's Jolanda Neff assumed the lead and distanced herself from the rest of the chasers, who were strung out behind her and were led by Ferrand Prevot and Belomoyna. Johanna Techt (Germany), Yai Bue (China) and Elise Marchal (Belgium) were also among the top contenders.

"The Swiss rider started quickly," said Ferrand Prevot, who took a sustainable, more measured approach based on experience. "The first lap, I had a hard time staying with her. I passed her, taking advantage of a fall she took. She did a similar fast start in Offenburg, and then she slowed down and I passed her there, too."

After the first full lap, Neff melted in the heat and withdrew from the race.

A determined Belomoyna was riding smoothly and steadily closed the gap to Ferrand Prevot to just 25 seconds, but then she had a mechanical. She ran into the pit halfway through the second full lap, and mechanics spent time removing and replacing her rear wheel.

As she was receiving technical assistance, Grobert caught and passed Belomoyna, who rolled out soon after her and resumed her smooth, steady pace, reeling the German back in to resume eventually her second place in the race.

Due to a lack of available translation, the Ukrainian had little she could say after the race, but she was clearly delighted with her ride.

Grobert was also content with her bronze after a tough start. "It was a good race. Although on the first lap, I had a big crash and my wheel was not attached to my bike any more, causing me to lose many places, I made the best of it from then on," said Grobert.

China's Yue Bai finished fourth and Belgium's Elise Marchal was fifth.

"I touched wheels with another girl at the start and then I worked my way back up starting on the first hill," said Marchal. "I was fourth on the first lap, but then I crashed on the downhill. After the crash, my bars were askew, and I stopped for tech assistance." She resumed her race in eighth place and struggled with the heat, but managed to work her way back up to fifth because she was riding faster than those around her in the technical parts. Marchal almost caught her Chinese competition near the end, but wasn't quite strong enough to overtake her.

For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

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