Mountain Bike

Switzerland sweeps the podium in women's cross-country mountain bike race

Switzerland had three women in the cross-country mountain bike race and they were the three to beat.

Canada's Catharine Pendrel finishes 18th after winning bronze in Rio

Jolanda Neff of Switzerland celebrates winning gold in the women's cross-country mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympics. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)

Switzerland only had three women in the cross-country mountain bike race but they were the three to beat.

Jolanda Neff took over first place just two kilometres into the 20.55-km race and never looked back as she finished with a time of one hour 15 minutes and 46 seconds to claim gold at the Tokyo Olympics. She finished 1:11 ahead of Sina Frei who rode to second, while Linda Indergrand won bronze for a Swiss sweep.

B.C.'s Catharine Pendrel, the bronze medallist in Rio who at age 40 is competing in her fourth Olympics, finished 18th in 1:23:47, while Markham, Ont.'s Haley Smith did not finish.

Neff took the lead when world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot crashed on a slippery section of rocks on the first loop in the mountains southwest of Tokyo. She soon built her advantage to more than a minute over a field that included France's Loana Lecomte, the winner of every World Cup race this season, and reigning Olympic champ Jenny Rissveds.
 

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