The French returns to World Cup success in a breathtaking race, ended with a tight sprint won against Jolanda Neff. Third place for Olympic Champion Rissveds
With one of the most beautiful duels in recent cross-country history, Val di Sole enjoyed a memorable piece of racing in the Women Elite World Cup event.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Jolanda Neff were the undisputed stars in Val di Sole. Two amazing Champion of cycling in multiple disciplines – MTB, cyclo-cross and road. The French rider won the sprint and the race, the Swiss proved once again to be the face of a constantly growing movement, and now back to the leading spot of the overall standings with two races to go. Olympic Champion Jessy Rissveds claimed a remarkable third place, back to the positions she belongs after two tough years, and in the name of her new mission of Team 31. Italy also claimed a top-10 spot with Eva Lechner, 10th on the finish line.
Right from the go, Ferrand-Prévot forced the pace, eventually distancing the rivals. It seemed like the French could cruise to victory, but instead it was Jolanda Neff who started cutting down on her gap, and eventually the European champion was back in the wake of Ferrand-Prevot at the beginning of the final lap.
That was the start of a memorable clash: the Swiss tried to attack several times, but the French was wise in preceding her rival on the descents, where the European Champion would have had the opportunity to make a difference. Ferrand-Prevot got onto the final straight in first position, and made the most of her sprint, winning ahead of an ecstatic crowd, in awe of two amazing champions.
“Val di Sole is always a special race of the season – told the Swiss National champion – but today was something more. We gave life to an emotional race: I hoped for a top-3 placement, so I couldn’t be happier. Winning a duel versus Jolanda was really something: she’s such an inspiration for the whole movement, clashing with her is always exciting.”