May 23, 2015 (Nove Mesto, CZE) – Team Canada’s Haley Smith and Frederique Trudel (Equipe du Quebec) made the top 10 in the U23 women’s 18.9km XCO race today at round #1 of the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano, in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic.
Smith, who recently took home bronze the Pan Am MTB Championships in Colombia, was 9th matching her best WCup result to date for her top Euro effort. Smith had a strong final lap moving up from 14th to almost claimed 8th in final sprint with Andrea Waldis (Sui) Luna Pro Team. Trudel, the reigning Canadian U23 champ, also battled on the last lap to follow in 10th.
Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team claimed the win, riding away from last year’s winner, Margot Moschetti (Fra) Betch.nl Superior Brentjens, who finished second with Kate Courtney (USA) Specialized in third.
Rain was forecast and threatened throughout but did not materialize. Rissveds, Moschetti, Courtney and Alessandra Keller (Sui) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field on the long climbs. Rissveds and Moschetti then dropped the other two riders to fight for the win, while Courtney and Keller battled for the final podium spot.
Rissveds dropped Moschetti more than once in the technical sections during the first half of the race, but the French rider would always come back on the climbs, until the third lap, when Rissveds finally opened a lead that would stick to the end of the race. She finished 42 seconds in front of Moschetti.
Keller held onto the two leaders longer than Courtney, but the American surged on the third lap and the Swiss rider could not respond. Courtney extended her lead through the last lap as Keller faded, to finish one minute and 9 seconds behind Rissveds.
“I was excited to get this win in the first World Cup of the season,” said Rissveds. “We knew that Margot would be stronger on the climbs, so my goal was just to control the race there, and it worked perfectly.”
“My race went really good,” said Trudel, “I didn’t have the best start but I was able to move up during the race. I am really happy with my top 10 – it’s my best result at a world cup as a U23 rider! The course was awesome and we had perfect conditions during the race. I really liked the course, it was technical, physical and very challenging.”
“That was a really tough race. Haley and Fredi both battled to gain position the entire time. They were closing big time gaps and steadily moving through the field,” added Canadian MTB coach Dan Proulx. “Haley invested heavily in the new National High Performance Centre at Bear Mountain in Victoria. The work she did throughout the winter has definitely paid off. I hope we’ll see more Canadians take advantage of Bear Mountain next year.”
1. Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team 1:17:18
2. Margot Moschetti (Fra) Betch.nl Superior Brentjens 0:42
3. Kate Courtney (USA) Specialized 1:09
4. Alessandra Keller (Sui) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team 2:44
5. Perrine Clauzel (Fra) Bh-Sr Suntour-KMC 3:02
6. Malene Degn (Den) 3:27
7. Ramona Forchini (Sui) Strueby-Bixs Team 4:11
8. Andrea Waldis (Sui) Luna Pro Team 4:39
9. Haley Smith (Can) Team Canada 4:39
10. Frederique Trudel (Can) Equipe du Quebec 4:44
16. Maghalie Rochette (Can) Luna Pro 5:52
22. Catherine Fleury (Can) Team Canada 7:23
40. Marine Lewis (Can) Cyclone d’Alma 11:55
41. Rachel Pageau (Can) Cyclone d’Alma 12:54
Full results here.