Posted by Editoress on 08/11/19
Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds completed her return to the highest level of mountain biking with a win at the seventh round of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Sunday. Rissveds had retired the season after winning the Olympic title, publicly discussing her mental health issues, and only returned to the sport this season.
Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro) returned to the podium for the first time in two years, finishing fifth. Emily Batty (Trek Factory) was 19th, Cindy Montambault (Equipe du Quebec) 29th, Haley Smith (Norco Factory) 34th after flatting, Jennifer Jackson (Team Canada) 38th, Emily Unterberger (Pendrel Racing) 52nd and Sandra Walter (Team Canada) 60th after flatting. In the Under-23 Women's race, Canadian champion Laurie Arseneault after racing for the top-10 for much of the race, finished 12th.
The 4.8 kilometre course was the same one used for last year's world championships, with the altitude - 1500-plus metres - and rough, technical track taking its toll in crashes and flat tires.
Rissveds bridged up after crashing in the first lap to a lead group of Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory), Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory), Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Canyon Factory), Sina Frei (Ghost Factory) and Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro). Pendrel lost contact after a crash, and Frei was dropped first, followed by Ferrand Prevot and Neff. Rissveds and Terpstra rode together until the last lap, when the Swedish rider was able to gap her opponent early in the lap and ride into a 25 seconds lead. Ferrand Prevot took third, while Frei was fourth after Neff flatted, and Pendrel took the final podium spot.
"I have so much emotions after two years away," said Rissveds. "Two years ago I didn't want to be alive, so I just want to say that it is possible ... never give up. I was so nervous before the start because I was in the front row [after finishing third in the XCC on Friday], and I think that is why I crashed in the first lap. The circle is complete; two years ago I won this same World Cup. It's such a journey that I can't believe it."
Neff continues to lead the overall standings with one round remaining, 73 points ahead of Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM), with Ferrand Prevot bumping Terpstra out of third. Rissveds jumped all the way up to ninth from 20th. Pendrel is now the top Canadian, moving up one spot to tenth, Smith, after her flat and limited points, drops to 13th from tenth, Batty moves up one spot to 23rd, and Walter stays 33rd.
Lenzerheide World Cup: Elite and U23 Women's results
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