A classic battle was waged at round five of the women's cross country World Cup between World Cup Series Leader Julie Bresset (BH - Suntour - Peisey Vallandry) and last week's winner (Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec) Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team).
They had attained a 40 second gap over the rest of the field by the end of the first of five laps and never looked back. The duo rode together for the rest of the race with victory coming down to the climb on the last lap. Bresset had the better attack and came over the top in the lead, while Pendrel had some mechanical problems on the descent. Bresset's winning time was 1:35:36, with Pendrel claiming second, 39 seconds back.
"I'm very happy with my win," said Bresset. "Catharine was very fast today. I attacked at the right time and she couldn't follow me. Catharine was more comfortable on the downhills than I was, and she attacked me many times, but I still had enough strength left to launch the final attack."
Veteran racer Marie-Helene Premont (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain) looked to be a solid bet for third place, based on her strong ride through laps three and four. However, Annika Langvad (Team Easton Rockets) bridged the gap to catch Premont on the final lap. They rode together to the finishing straight where Langvad carried more speed to claim third, five seconds in front of Premont. As Premont faded she was lucky to stay in front of a charging Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), who Premont beat to the line by only one second.
This was Bresset's third World Cup of the Series and she leads the points standings with 1110. Pendrel remains in second with 920. Bresset seems to have a lock on the Series title unless she has some disastrous finishes in the remaining two races in the Czech Republic and Italy. Premont is third in the series with 630 points.
Top team is the Luna Pro Team with three team members - Pendrel, Gould and Katerina Nash (7th) - all finishing in the top ten.
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com