One day after Canada Day celebrations, Catharine Pendrel (Luna) gave Canadian cycling fans another reason to celebrate with her victory at the only Canadian stop of the World Cup. Series leader Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry) finished third behind Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon), after crashing while at the front of the race with Pendrel.
After her crash, Bresset was slow to get going again, and Kalentieva was able to bridge up to her on the fourth lap. The Russian then dropped the World Cup leader to move into second, and Bresset briefly lost control of third to Katerina Nash (Luna) when she had to stop into the pit for a rear wheel change. Marie-Hélène Prémont (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) was also close to catching her. However, Bresset was able to reel in Nash on the final half lap to hold onto to third, with Nash taking fourth and Premont fifth.
Elite Women: Bresset holds on to series lead
Pendrel remains in second in the overall standings after four rounds, 140 points behind Bresset. Premont jumped from ninth to third in the standings, at 480 points, tied on points with Lene Byberg (Specialized).
"This was one of my main goals for the season," explained Pendrel. "I had a poor start, but was able to make my way up to the leaders on the first lap. Julie [Bresset] and I got a gap on the others, and then when she crashed, I had a clear lead to the finish. Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of the hardest races in the series, so to win here is very special."
Elite Men: Kulhavy dominates
The men's cross-country race was dominated by Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized), who rode away from the rest of the field to win by nearly two minutes. In the absence of World Cup leader Julien Absalon (Orbea), Kulhavy easily resumed the lead in the standings.
While Kulhavy rode away from the rest of the field on the first lap, behind him it was carnage on the infamous 'Beatrice' rock garden descent. Almost every rider in the top-20 crashed at least once, many suffering mechanical problems, or cuts and bruises as they went tumbling down the rocks.
Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) took control of second place immediately, with four riders fighting for the remaining podium spots - World Champion Jose Hermida (Multivan-Merida), Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing), Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower) and Burry Stander
(Specialized). The four rode consistently together until Stander crashed heavily on Beatrice on lap three, and dropped off the back of the chase group to limp home in sixth.
Hermida, who won the world title here last year, was conserving energy, and attacked very hard with a lap and a half to go, moving into third for the final lap, and almost catching Schurter in second at the line. Flückiger and Vogel rounded out the top-five.
"I knew that it would be better to be front," explained Kulhavy, "so that I could avoid the traffic that would be a problem at the Beatrice. So I went hard on the first climb to get in front, and then I could go my own pace. This is a very hard course, but I like it, and I knew that I could take back the [World Cup] lead here."
Kulhavy now leads the men's standings with 860 points, followed by Schurter at 670 and Absalon falls to third with 650 points.
Under-23: Victories for Prevot and Kerschbaumer
Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Lapierre International) won the Women’s Under-23 race, riding away from the field on the first lap, and catching half of the Elite field which had started two minutes ahead of her. She took over the World Cup lead with her win.
Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX Active Bianchi) won the Men’s Under-23 race establishing a gap on Fabien Canal (GT Skoda Chamonix) on the third lap. He moves into first place in the World Cup standings.