September 1/10 17:31 pm - MTB World Championships: Junior Women XC report and photos
Posted by Editoress on 09/1/10
Mont Ste Anne World Championships - Junior Women XC
Our coverage of the 2010 World Championships brought to you with the support of Shimano
Photos from today's Junior Women's cross country
Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France won her second consecutive Mountain Bike World title at Mont Ste Anne in the first day of competition, adding to the Road World title she claimed earlier this year. Ukraine Yana Belomoyna took silver and Helen Grobert of Germany completed the podium. The top Canadian rider was local crowd favorite Andreanne Lanthier-Nadeau from nearby Quebec City, who outsprinted another Canadian, Lauren Rosser, to claim tenth place.
It was under scorching hot conditions that the Junior women started their 16.8 kilometre race (3.5 laps). The temperature was in the low 30s Celcius, and with the high humidity, it felt like nearly 40C to the riders. Leading the charge on the first two laps was the Swiss rider Jolanda Neff, putting 50 seconds on her closest chaser, Ferrand Prevot.
Neff was able to negotiate the course cleanly, and even the “Beatrice” rock garden section wasn't a problem for her. Heat, however, hit her hard and by the end of the second lap she had to withdraw due to heat exhaustion. That left the door open for Ferrand Prevot who, with one lap to go, found herself leading the Belomoyna and Grobert duo by 2:11. Although the pair were closing the gap quickly, they couldn't catch the French woman. Belomoyna crossed the line 47 seconds behind the winner, while Grobert came in a further 34 seconds later to claim the bronze.
"I couldn't follow Neff's pace at the start, that was too fast for me," Ferrand Prevot said, but "I knew Neff would go out fast, she always does, but I also knew she would slow down too. I passed her when she crashed."
The Canadian team had a solid performance. The crowd favorites Andreanne Lanthier-Nadeau, Laura Bietola and Lauren Rosser were all in the top 15 on the first lap, but Bietola was slowed by the heat and withdrew by the end of the second lap. During that time, Rosser was moving up nicely, starting the last lap in eighth place, while Lanthier- Nadeau was coming in tenth. The Quebec rider caught and passed Rosser at the top of the second climb. The British Columbia Junior used her downhill skills [she is also racing the Downhill at these Worlds] to close the gap on her team mate, which provided the crowd with a sprint finish between the two Canadians. Lanthier-Nadeau was able to hold off the Rosser's charge and to keep her tenth place.
"This is an amazing course, really hard," Lanthier-Nadeau said, "and I understand what Marie-Hélène [Premont] means now when she talk about [it] being magic with the crowd. All my family was here, my friends didn't have class this afternoon so they could come watch ... people all over the course were calling my name."
The third Canadian was Kristina Laforge in 16th, who returned from the Youth Olympics in Singapore last Saturday and only received her equipment yesterday. Valerie Meunier lost two places on the last lap and ended up 18th after breaking her chain in the middle of "La Perdrix", a technical descent followed by a steep climb. She had to run about a kilometre to the Tech Zone to get it replaced. That's when she saw the other two go by. Cayley Brooks, who was covered from head to toes in dust after a crash, finished 20th.
- Ferrand Prevot has three World titles now (2 MTB, 1 Road) and although she would like to keep racing both, she may be forced to make a decision as to which one she will focus on for the upcoming year. She will be meeting with the FFC (French Federation) about it later this month. "Personally, I would like to keep racing both" she said "it is my strength, and I think I would be bored otherwise ... doing both gives me balance." Her goal is take part in the London Olympics, and her decision [Road or MTB] will be based on what would give her the best chances to do that.
- Ukraine Belomoya was sort of happy with her second place, and blame poor tire selection for the problems she encountered on course.
- In her first international event, Andreanne Lanthier-Nadeau who the Quebec press already call "the next Marie-Hélène Premont", commented that she and Lauren Rosser, also a first year Junior, had a friendly race. As they exchanged positions through the race they would encourage each other and work together to catch the racers ahead of them.
Contrary to many riders, she claims she didn't suffer under the heat of the day, and she didn't have any problems with the technical difficulty of the course, as she trained on it for the past two weeks. "I knew the course, I didn't have to think about which line to take," she explained after the race. "It's an incredible feeling. I didn't really have any goals before the start of the race, my strategy was to start fast and try to maintain the rhythm during the entire race. I was focussed on my own race, not the others."
- Valerie Meunier celebrated her 18th birthday with an 18th place, "a nice present" she called it, although she would have been happier without the mechanical problem which cost her a couple spots. Well back after the first half lap, she moved up steadily "I always start slow," she stated. "I am working to improve that, but I am happy with my race."
- We will be posting separate interviews with Cayley Brooks, Mical Dyck, Kristina Laforge and Lauren Rosser.
report by Claire Bonin and Rob Jones