UCI World Championship: Pauline Ferrand-Prévot makes it a rainbow double-double with cross-country win

French superstar makes it back-to-back world titles, beating Loana Lecomte and Puck Pieterse in Glentress

Clock14:00, Saturday 12th August 2023
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot crossed the line solo to take her second world title in three days

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot crossed the line solo to take her second world title in three days

Big-time players make big-time plays in big games. It is a quote that gets recycled over and over in American football and basketball parlance. But really they could be talking about Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (France) and her ability to have her best rides in the biggest races.

Although her two companions on the podium, Loana Lecomte (France) and Puck Pieterse (Netherlands), have been the only two winners on the women's World Cup circuit this year, they were demolished by Ferrand-Prévot on the race day that outweighs the others.

"I'm feeling really happy because it was a super-hard race,” Ferrand-Prévot said after the race. “I didn't have a good start but I wanted to keep my own pace during the race, and that's what I did. Full gas on the uphill and trying to recover on the downhill so it worked perfectly.

"I'm really proud of myself because I kept to my plan like this because I didn't have a good start and sometimes you start to think but I just said 'OK, I have one mission today and I have to reach it’.”

The race got underway under misty morning skies in Glentress with a deep list of possible contenders. After an exciting short track on Thursday that saw Ferrand-Prévot take the win in a close contest ahead of Pieterse and Evie Richards (Great Britain), the Frenchwoman was certainly the favourite. Nevertheless, the women’s short track this season has not been a great indicator of cross-country success on the weekend, with no one yet able to do the double of winning the short track and the XCO at the same World Cup.

Right off the bat, it seemed like that trend might continue, with Lecomte and Pieterse pulling out an advantage on the first full lap of the race. Lecomte soon left Pieterse behind and she was solo at the front of the race, as she has been many times before.

Her time solo out front was short-lived, however, as Ferrand-Prévot was charging hard after a relatively slow start. While the two riders were ostensibly teammates, the cream had risen to the top and the battle for the rainbow jersey was on between the two French women. Nevertheless, the battle was short-lived with Ferrand-Prévot pulling away on one of the longer climbs of the course on lap number four. When the bell rang, her gap to Lecomte was over a minute and she was cruising.

In the end, the battle for the bronze medal was the crux of the action. Mona Mittenwaller (Austria) rode her way through the field and challenged Pieterse in the final. On the last lap, Pieters was able to accelerate away from the Austrian and take the third spot on the podium after the first two French women, celebrating over the line as she took a medal in her first elite world championship.

For Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the title is her fifth in the mountain bike XCO and her twelfth across all disciplines. And, at only 31 years of age, it seems like the French woman still has a way to go before she hits her final tally.

Race Results

1

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FERRAND-PREVOT Pauline

1H 24' 14"

2

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LECOMTE Loana

+ 1' 14"

3

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PIETERSE Puck

+ 1' 27"

4

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MITTERWALLNER Mona

+ 1' 31"

5

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KELLER Alessandra

+ 2' 23"

6

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RICHARDS Evie

+ 2' 39"

7

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BERTA Martina

+ 4' 10"

8

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GIBSON Gwendalyn

+ 4' 17"

9

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NEFF Jolanda

+ 4' 22"

10

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BLUNK Savilia

+ 5' 00"

Provided by FirstCycling

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