Last battles valiantly on Mont-Sainte-Anne as Neff takes victory

Last battles valiantly on Mont-Sainte-Anne as Neff takes victory

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Annie Last followed on from her European disappointment in Glasgow with a gutsy effort in gruelling conditions in the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Up against a storming field in the cross-country competition, the KMC-EKOI-SRSUNTOUR rider, Commonwealth gold medal winner on the Gold Coast earlier this year, battled to 21st in searing heat in the Canadian hills.

Big effort in hot weather

The result leaves the Derbyshire rider, also the 2017 world championship silver medallist, 16th in the overall rankings with 561 points and just one round of racing left – in La Bresse in France.

It was a tough day for the competitors on the famous hills outside Quebec, with Swiss Jolanda Neff streaking clear from early on to power to her second world cup triumph of 2018.

Neff, newly crowned European champion from her Glasgow exploits earlier this week, surged home in 1:29.27, nearly two minutes ahead of nearest challenger, Annika Langvad. Home favourite Emily Batty rolled home in third, 14 seconds later.

It leaves Neff top of the shop on 1,600 points, with Langvad her closest challenger on 1,458 and Maja Wloszczowska, ninth on the day, third in the rankings.

Richards still in the mix

Earlier in the day, Evie Richards finished runner-up to the all-conquering Swiss Sina Frei, closing the gap on second place in the overall standings.

The young British rider clocked 1:17:29, 73 seconds behind Frei, who stormed round the five-lap course to claim the maximum 90 points for the fifth World Cup race on the spin.

Richards’ 70 points is ten more than Malene Degn received in third, narrowing the gap on the Dane to 60 points overall as she looks to hunt down her counterpart – the only other rider apart from Frei to win a World Cup round this year.

With only one round of World Cup racing to go in La Bresse, Richards has 340 points to Degn’s 400. Frei, meanwhile, is well clear atop the table on 520.


Overall standings

Under-23 results

Under-23 overall standings