It seemed no amount of water would calm this course down here at the Smithfield Mountain Bike Park. After three races and two days of practice, it was a jagged tooth beast just as deadly as the fauna of Australia. It had taken a few racers out of the game before the start gun went off. While the heat of the day got to full burn, the women lined up under umbrellas, wet towels around their necks or ice vests keeping their cores cool.
Yana Belamoina was clearly the one to watch, but after Val di Sole it was clear that Jolanda Neff had come into form. Annie Last had a win in similar conditions in Lenzerheide and was primed to do some damage. The there was Maja, Pendrel, Langvad, Irina, and Pauline who could get the job done on any given day.
After a slow start to the season, Jolanda Neff showed Val di Sole was no fluke, and she was back to her winning ways, and now she has the gold to prove it. Annie last has made a long recovery from back injury and took an impressive second place. Pauline Prevot took third in what seemed a late season peak. Lea Davison had an impressive ride to sixth, and Emily Batty took a sprint finish to seventh after a crash left her with a gaping wound on her knee that went clear to bone. This one was certainly one for the books.