In the world of women’s mountain biking, there has been no one better this year than Kate Courtney.
The Kentfield, California, native was in the Alps in Les Gets, France, for the fourth stop of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series this weekend and on Sunday capped an overall dominating performance with a win in the cross-country race.
Battling altitude, hot and dry conditions and lots of steep climbs and descents, Courtney took the lead and opened up some space during the second of seven laps. From that point on, the race was hers. No one could catch the reigning world champion who cruised to her third win in four series stops so far this season.
“There’s no such thing as perfection but today I let go of that, rode my own race, focused on my objectives and I’m happy with how it turned out,” she said in a post-race interview on the streaming broadcast.
Courtney finished in 1:26:29 after holding off challenges by Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff, who ultimately finished 33 seconds behind Courtney in second place. Germany’s Elisabeth Brandau was in third place, 1:05 behind.
Courtney also won the short-track race on Saturday, making it a double-gold weekend.
“It was a big weekend for me but I’m new to this and learning to focus on one race at a time, race within myself and not let the pressure get to me,” she said.
Courtney won three world cup gold medals in May, taking the victory in both short-track and cross-country in the series opener in Albstadt, Germany and a gold in cross-country the following week in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
Courtney leads Neff by 24 points in the world cross-country rankings with a total of 1,866 points, and also sits atop the overall world cup standings with 1,265 points to Neff’s 1,090.
The mountain bike world cup continues in Val di Sole and Trentino, Italy, on August 2-4.