Carod powers to maiden win in Canada as Neff rolls back the years

Titouan Carod produced an incredible performance at Mont-Sainte-Anne to earn his first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO win on Sunday as former three-time overall champion Jolanda Neff got back on top of the podium for the first time in four years.

Frenchman Carod led out the field from the opening lap with Belgian Pierre de Froidmont and Friday’s XCC winner Filippo Colombo leading the pack behind as Carod extended his lead on lap two.

He was in a class of his own by the end of lap three as Mexican José Gerardo Ulloa Arévalo moved into second place with Swiss legend Nino Schurter moving up to second by the end of lap four.

Carod was untroubled at the front, though, extending his lead to over two minutes as Schurter and Colombo led Italian Luca Braidot and Spaniard David Valero Serrano for a podium place behind.

Carod, who won bronze at the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships as well as the UCI U23 World Cup title in 2015 and 2016, duly held on easily over the final lap for a huge win margin of 1m41s.

The 28-year-old said: “It was awesome. Really good day. I felt really good in uphill, but especially in downhill. The rain during the women’s race maybe helped me a lot and made me more confident and I pushed in downhill. My first World Cup win on my favourite track is unbelievable.”

In the women’s race, Australian Rebecca McConnell started strong with Swiss rider Alessandra Keller, Italian Martina Berta, Switzerland’s Neff and Dutch racer Anne Terpstra seven seconds back after lap one.

Neff put the hammer down on lap two to open up over 30 seconds from Terpstra and American Haley Batten by the end of the lap as the rain began to pour down and then over a minute from the duo after three laps.

With Terpstra sliding back down the order, Neff extended her lead over Batten by the end of lap four and closed out the win in the sun from Austrian Mona Mitterwallner to double up after her Friday XCC win.

Neff, who won before on the technical course in 2014 en route to overall glory, said: “It’s almost four years to the day (since her last World Cup win). It is incredible. Everything is so technical, so I just knew that if I was riding on my own I can take the most advantage. I had so much fun today. It got really slippery at one point, it was insane but I kept going.”

Mont-Sainte-Anne men’s XCO result
1. Titouan Carod FRA 1:24.48
2. Filippo Colombo SUI +1.41
3. David Valero Serrano SPA +1.44
4. Luca Braidot ITA +1.49
5. Pierre de Froidmont BEL +1.49

UCI MTB World Cup men’s cross-country standings
1. Nino Schurter SUI 1483 points
2. David Valero Serrano SPA 1358
3. Luca Braidot ITA 1343
4. Alan Hatherly RSA 1320
5. Titouan Carod FRA 1290

Mont-Sainte-Anne women’s XCO result
1. Jolanda Neff SUI 1:26.53
2. Mona Mitterwallner AUT +0.56
3. Haley Batten USA +0.56
4. Martina Berta ITA +2.04
5. Alessandra Keller SUI +2.09

UCI MTB World Cup women’s cross-country standings
1. Anne Terpstra NED 1590 points
2. Rebecca McConnell AUS 1526
3. Alessandra Keller SUI 1502
4. Mona Mitterwallner AUT 1372
5. Jenny Rissveds SWE 126

Header image: Titouan Carod produced an incredible performance at Mont-Sainte-Anne to earn his first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO win

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