The experienced athlete, winner of two World Cups and Olympic bronze medal in Rio, found her best feelings in South Tyrol, just four months after giving birth to little Dara
In the Open Women’s race, Valle di Casies – Südtirol Trophy hosted one of the toughest tests of the entire season to date: five-plus-launch laps on the 4 km track with 175 mt elevation gain resulted in nearly one hour and forty minutes of an exciting challenge.
Canadian Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team) won the first edition of the Südtirol Trophy. The North American is certainly not new to success, having two World Cups and an Olympic bronze medal from Rio 2016 in her palmares.
Anyway, this victory came just four months after Pendrel gave birth to her first daughter, Dara, whom she embraced just after the finish. The one in Valle di Casies was Pendrel’s first victory after becoming a mother.
After the launch lap led by another Canadian, Jennifer Jackson (Norco Factory Team XC), Pendrel took command for good from the second lap, with only GC leader Chiara Teocchi (Trinity Racing) remaining within striking distance.
The situation only changed in the last lap, when Teocchi paid the efforts of the early laps, while another Canadian, Sandra Walter, managed a remarkable comeback, finishing in second place just 7 seconds behind the winner. Third place at 1.21 for Teocchi, who further strengthened her hold on the Internazionali d’Italia Series Open Women leader’s jersey. Eva Lechner (Trinx Factory Racing) was fourth at 2.38, ahead of Martina Berta and home-athlete Greta Seiwald (both Santa Cruz-FSA).
“It was a very tough race, longer than what we are used to – said Pendrel – but on a really beautiful course. In my career I have raced in Italy very few times; if that’s always like this, I should do it a lot more. I’m fresh off the biggest training block of this season and didn’t know what to expect today: I’m happy to have shown myself that I could come back so strong after motherhood. Now I will continue to build up towards the World Cup and the Tokyo Olympic Games, hoping to live there another day to remember.”
Among Junior Women, Sara Cortinovis (Four Es Racing Team) continued her perfect season by winning her fourth race out of four at Internazionali d’Italia Series, with a wide margin on her closest rivals. Noemi Planckesteiner (Trinx Factory Racing) was second at 3.07, with Sophie Auer (A.s.d. St. Lorenzen Rad) in third at 4.30.