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August 5/22 21:48 pm - Mont-Ste-Anne World Cup XCC Report: 2nd Wins for Neff and Colombo

Posted by Editoress on 08/5/22

Neff Takes Second XCC Win of the Season

The Mountain World Cup returned to the legendary venue of Mont-Ste-Anne, Canada, on Friday for Round 8 of the Series, opening with the XCC (Short Track). Olympic XCO champion Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory) took her second XCC win of the season in a three way sprint against Round 7 winner Gwendalyn Gibson (Norco Factory) and World Cup leader Alessandra Keller (Thomus Maxon).




Jenn Jackson (Canyon Factory) was the top Canadian finisher in 14th, which will put her on the second row for Sunday's XCO. Canadian XCC champion Laurie Arseneault (Canyon Factory) was 18th, Sandra walter (Liv Collective) 19th and Sidney McGill (Pedalhead Race Room) was 24th, putting all three on the third row for the XCO. Emily Batty (Canyon Factory), still recovering from a crash and rib injury suffered at Nationals, was caught up in a crash on the first corner and did not finish.




"Happy for another second row call up!," said Jackson. "It was cool to be in touch with the front of the race for the first half, the legs were good, but then when the pace started surging more I found myself dangling rather than locking in to the group. It was still a good fight, think I got the best effort from myself, maybe a bit different timing of efforts to hold position better but I'm happy with the fight. A lot of climbing for a short track lap, not overly steep but long drags so definitely have some heavy legs after that one ... Just take a couple laps on course tomorrow to work on the lines and hopefully another good day out Sunday."

Unlike the muddy and slippery mess riders faced last weekend at Snowshoe, USA, Mont-Ste-Anne (MSA) was dry and mostly on grass. After a short flat start section, riders faced a long grassy climb, followed by an equally long twisty descent. After another short up and down, the riders had a final steep legbreaker climb to the finish line.

The eight lap race started fast and never slowed down. Keller and XCO World Cup leader Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory) led at the start of the first climb, with Lena Gerault (KTM Vittoria) then attacking and getting a small gap. She was brought back by the start of Lap 3 and the lead group was gradually whittled down to eight final riders, including Neff, Keller, Gibson, Terpstra, Gerault, Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM), Rebecca McConnell (Primaflora Mondraker Genuins) and Caroline Bohe (Ghost Factory).

Various riders attempted to get away in the final laps without success, until Keller attacked on the opening climb of the final lap. Only Neff and Gibson were able to stay with her over the top of the climb. Neff then jumped by Keller and was able to hold the lead up the final climb to the finish line; Keller's earlier attack looked to have taken some of the snap out of her legs.

"It was incredibly hard," admitted Neff, "especially the last climb. Ever since the beginning the speed was incredibly high; I thought it was going to be much slower because everything was on grass. But everyone just went for it. It was a really hard race. I knew exactly what I wanted to do before the race, and I had my plan. But it was still very hard and I'm happy that I had the right plan and that I could execute it. I love this place, it's my favourite course in the world. It's so natural and so technical - the last three times I've started here [XCC and XCO] I've won, so I just love being here. I'm so happy that we are back here after three years."

Keller continues to lead the overall XCC standings with one round to go, at 1300 points. However, Terpstra is closing and moves four points ahead of McConnell into second, 116 points back of Keller. Terpstra continues to lead the XCO standings after the race, but is only 12 points ahead of former leader McConnell.

Jackson moves up from 25th to 21st in the XCC standings, while Walter moves up two spots to 26th. In the XCO standings, Walter moves up two spots to 28th, one ahead of Jackson (who moves up from 32nd). Arseneault moves up two spots to 34th, while Batty drops one spot to 35th.

Colombo Takes XCC Win to Keep Overall Title Hopes Alive

Filippo Colombo (BMC) took his second win of the season in the XCC World Cup on Friday, at the legendary venue of Mont-Ste-Anne, Canada, for Round 8 of the Series. Jose Ulloa (Massi-Beaumes de Venise) was second and Sebastian Carstensen (KMC-Orbea) third. Series leader Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory) had a chance to lock up the title with one round remaining if he had won, but could only manage fifth.





Leandre Bouchard (Foresco Holding Proco RL) was the top Canadian finisher in 26th, two spots ahead of Peter Disera (Norco Factory). Quinton Disera (Canyon Devo) was 35th and Tyler Orschel (Canyon Devo) 37th.




Unlike the muddy and slippery mess riders faced last weekend at Snowshoe, USA, Mont-Ste-Anne (MSA) was dry and mostly on grass. After a short flat start section, riders faced a long grassy climb, followed by an equally long twisty descent. After another short up and down, the riders had a final steep legbreaker climb to the finish line.

The men took a much more measured approach to their nine lap race than the women, who raced aggressively from the start. Instead, the men raced a steady tempo for much of the race, with  the entire field all still within 15 seconds of the leader with three laps to go. Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV), winner of Round 3, did much of the pacemaking for the first seven laps, with the rest of the contenders happy to let him set the pace up the climbs and recover on the descents. It wasn't until Lap 8 that Colombo started to shake things up on the climb, stringing the field out. On the last lap, he attacked even harder, opening a gap on a chase group of eight and holding it through the descent and up the final steep climb to the finish line.

"I knew I was in good shape coming here," said Colombo. "I just tried to stay at the front for the whole race, and on the second last lap I knew I still had quite good legs and I just went full gas on the uphill, and luckily I could make a small gap that I could hold to the finish. I wasn't thinking too much about it [keeping the battle for the overall title open], but I knew that it could be super nice to [still have the possibility]."

Colombo moves ahead of absent Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus Maxon) into second in the standings, 62 points behind Hatherly, setting up a showdown for the final round in Val di Sole, Italy, in early September.

The top Canadian in the XCC standings is Bouchard, up one spot to 48th. In the XCO, the leading Canadian remains Gunnar Holmgren (Pivot-OTE) in 45th, while Peter Disera moves up one spot to 47th.

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