In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chris Froome wins the Vuelta, Trentin claims final stage; Sagan, Ulissi victorious at Canadian Grand Prix; Lars Boom wins the Tour of Britain; Jolien d’Hoore wins the Madrid Challenge; Lucy Kennedy wins the Tour de l’Ardeche; Swiss dominate XCO at Mountain Bike Worlds in Cairns; Cannondale-Drapac announces EF Education First as 2018 title sponsor; Michael Woods signs for another two years with Slipstream Sports; Former Olympic medallist Leontien van Moorsel accused of EPO use; Storybook ending – Contador goes out on top, wins final summit finish of his career; Neilson Powless signs with LottoNL-Jumbo; US men’s Road Worlds line-up announced; Bike thief foiled at Gold Coast cycling event; The best of the Vuelta.
Froome’s Vuelta, Boom’s Britain, d’Hoore in Madrid: Your CT Daily News Digest
It was a day for the Swiss riders at the 2017 Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns on Saturday. Nino Schurter took out his sixth XCO (Olympic cross-country) World Championships to finish off the perfect season, while talented young rider Jolanda Neff finally captured her first senior world title in the discipline.
Neff is only 24 but it feels like this win has been a long time coming. She used her phenomenal technical skills and power to sweep up three under 23 World Championships from 2012 to 2014 and took out the World Cup overall in 2014 and 2015. However, the senior Worlds XCO title has eluded her the past two years, so this time she was leaving nothing to chance.
The Swiss rider charged out the front at the start, working hard to stay hydrated in the warm conditions that have caused her difficulties in the past, and didn’t let up the pace even when she had carved out a handy lead. Neff came over the line with a comfortable gap to Great Britain’s Annie Last in second. French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prevot came in third, fighting back to grab the podium position after getting a flat tyre just as she had launched a serious charge to try and pull Neff in.
In the men’s Schurter went out and continued to deliver the dominant form that has seen him take an unprecedented six World Cup victories this year. However, it was far from an easy win with Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic pushing hard right from the start. As it came to the final laps Kulhavy, an Olympic gold medallist, was in a tight group of three with Schurter and his Swiss team mate Thomas Litscher.
It wasn’t until the final lap that Schurter could shake Kulhavy, putting so much into a fierce attack that he even stopped his signature whip over the jumps. Kulhavy held on to take second and Litscher came third.