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►Watch the full replay of the UCI MTB World Cup 2018 Cross-Country race here: https://win.gs/UCIXCOFrance
The rain that had so affected the downhill racing in La Bresse had all but disappeared as the Elite Women and Elite Men took to the track for Round 7 of the UCI Mercedes-Benz XCO World Cup. The deluge of the previous few days had taken its toll on the course, though. Ruts were forming out in the open, while in the covered forest sections the rocks and roots were extremely slippery, making climbing very hard and descending technically demanding.
The Elite Women’s XCO grand finale didn’t disappoint and the title showdown played out with one of the most exciting and intense races we’ve seen on the cross-country circuit for a long time. Littered with mechanicals, and with the pressure of the World Cup overall title riding on this race, it was drama-filled and action-packed from the get go.
When it came to overall standings, the battle for the top spot was between Danish rider Annika Langvad and Switzerland Jolanda Neff.
After the chaos of the women’s race, all eyes were on the elite Men’s race to see if it could produce as much drama. The World Cup overall title was already Nino Schurter’s and the Swiss racer cut a relaxed figure before the start. Nino Schurter was crowned World Cup champion in Mont-Sainte-Anne in the Men’s class, leaving the Elite Women’s overall title the only issue to be decided in this final race of the season.
Second and third place in the overall standings was still up for grabs however, with four riders in contention: Mathieu Van der Poel, Henrique Avancini, Maxime Marotte and Gerhard Kerschbaumer.
It was perfect end of the season for Schurter, who claimed his 30th World Cup win, and he goes into the 2018 World Championships at home in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in top form. With the results, Van der Poel was confirmed as second in the World Cup overall standings, with Marotte moving up to third due to Avancini finishing down in 16th place in the race.
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