June 24, 2012 (Mont-Ste-Anne, QC) – Held at the legendary Mont-Ste-Anne venue east of Quebec City, the site has been a fixture on the World Cup since it began in 1991 and has never missed a year of hosting the world’s best mountain bike racers with a World Cup or the MTB Worlds.
Coming off the 2012 Canadian National Championships last weekend in St. Felicien, Quebec, the Canadian women were ready to rip the World Cup on home soil.
Leading the charge from the gun was Marie Helene Premont (Can) Rocky Mountain, as she had an amazing start and led the race in the opening laps. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team took over the pace making and gained a commanding lead early in the race with Premont giving chase.
Gould’s teammate, reigning MTB World Champ, Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) had a slow start and crawled her way to the front of the race. Employing a different strategy for today Pendrel planned to start slow and gradually get faster with each lap. Mid-race, it was the Luna Pro Team show with Gould leading, Pendrel taking over 2nd position, while Katerina Nash (Cze), overtook Premont for third on Lap 3.
Nash, who had technical difficulties with her crankset here at MSA last year, once again was bitten by bad luck, as a problem with her cleat forced a repair in the Tech Zone. Precious seconds ticked by as Nash waited for her mechanics to repair the problem, while Premont caught back and passed Nash taking back 3rd spot.
On the penultimate 4th of five laps, Pendrel continued to gain time on her teammate bit by bit especially on the climbs as Gould was taking things more carefully on the final lap. Pendrel strong pedalling on the course paid off, as she claimed the lead with half a lap to go.
Unstoppable, Pendrel a New Brunswick native, claimed a WCup victory for the second time in 2012 while teammate Gould finished a season-high 2nd. Premont capitalized on the mechanical by Nash and the crowd went wild for the hometown girl as she finished on the podium in third.
Taking her second World Cup win of the season, Pendrel commented, “A world cup win is always amazing! These races are a chance for me to see what I need to work on.”
Not all the European women who regularly compete on the world cup circuit made the trip; Pendrel believes this did not affect the speed and competitiveness of the race. “It was disappointing that not many European women made the trip over to support the series, but honestly I think the fastest women in the world right now are my teammates!”
“MSA is always tough, but I like courses you can’t hide on,” says Pendrel. “As tough as some sections are, there are other really fun sections and my new full suspension bike felt amazing on the rough terrain.” Pendrel was riding a top secret, prototype 2013 Orbea.
World Cup racing resumes next weekend with the 2nd stop in North America in Windham, NY.