The course included a 0.76km start loop and 6 x 4.2km laps and there were a dozen riders in the lead group as they exited the start loop, but by the end of the first lap there were only two left – Rissveds and Keller. American champion Courtney (Specialized) dangled behind in third at 9s back, but could not close the gap, while the other contenders were even further behind.
Rochette was caught behind with a poor start and a mishap with another rider that set her back in further but the Luna Pro rider persevered and fought her way through the field for her best-ever World Cup result.
“I’m pretty happy with the result. I had a really bad start, my handlebar got tangled with someone else’s and a one point I was dead last. I didn’t panic and slowly made my way through the field. There is not a lot of room to pass in Albstadt so it was a good challenge to move up the field,” said Rochette.
“The result is good, it’s actually my best result in a world cup, but does not show how pumped am I about the race. Really looking forward to a good month of training and the next world cup in Switzerland at the beginning of July,” she added.
Fellow Canuck Frederique Trudel (Specialized Canada) had a decent start and was as high as 15th on the second lap but could not sustain her pace and ended up 21st while Team Canada’s Catherine Fleury was further back in 40th with Marine Lewis (Team Canada/Cyclone d’Alma) in 41st. Rachel Pageau (Cyclone d’Alma) and Haley Smith (Team Canada) did not finish. We believe Smith, who was 9th last weekend in Nove Mesto, suffered a crash and/or mechanical and pulled out during the third lap.
Margot Moschetti (Fra) Betch.NL Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team, second last week and a strong climber, was expected to be Rissveds main challenger, but was clearly struggling and eventually finished fifth, after suffering from illness all week.
Rissveds and Keller rode together for the first half of the race, but then Rissveds began to slowly pull away; 13 seconds after the fourth lap, 28 seconds at the start of the sixth and final lap, and 49 seconds at the finish line.
Keller looked pleased to take second and, combined with her fourth place result in the first round, it moved the Swiss rider up to second overall. Courtney rode her own race to finish third, but was over three minutes down on Rissveds.
“On the first lap, Alessandra and I worked together to stay away from Kate [Courtney]'” explained Rissveds. “My plan was to attack on the second lap, but I could not drop Alessandra right away. So I tried again on the next lap and it worked.”
1. Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team 1:22:57
2. Alessandra Keller (Sui) Strueby-Bixs Team 0:49
3. Kate Courtney (USA) Specialized Racing 3:04
4. Malene Degn (Den) 4:07
5. Margot Moschetti (Fra) Betch.NL Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team 4:33
6. Ramona Forchini (Sui) Strueby-Bixs Team 4:58
7. Ling Yang (Chn) 6:11
8. Lisa Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Italy Team 6:44
9. Olga Terentyeva (Rus) 7:31
10. Alice Barnes (Gbr) Betch.NL Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team 7:43
12. Maghalie Rochette (Can) Luna Pro Team 8:14
21. Frederique Trudel (Can) Specialized Canada 9:51
40. Catherine Fleury (Can) Team Canada -2 laps
41. Marine Lewis (Can) Team Canada/Cyclone d’Alma -2 laps
DNF Rachel Pageau (Can) Cyclone d’Alma
DNF Haley Smith (Can) Team Canada
Full results here.