Pinkbike Primer - Everything You Need to Know Ahead of the 2019 Mont-Sainte-Anne XC World Champs

Aug 27, 2019
by Sarah Moore  

It's not the final race of the year and it may not affect the overall World Cup standings, but in a non-Olympic year, the race for the rainbow stripes is the most prestigious race of the year. Kate Courtney and Nino Schurter have had the privilege of wearing rainbow jerseys for the past year after securing them in Lenzerheide, but those that covet it won't let that happen again if they have their way.

A historic venue, the World Championships are in Mont-Sainte-Anne for the third time in 2019, after having been here in both 1998 and 2010. In 1998, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (six-time UCI World Champion and Olympic XCO gold medalist), and Christoph Sauser (XCO UCI World Champion and double XCM UCI World Champion) took the wins.

The last time the World Championships were in Mont-Sainte-Anne, it was Jose Antonio Hermida and Maja Włoszczowska who became World Champions that year in the Elite races. In the U23 category, it was a young Mathias Flückiger, who has since firmly established himself as a top rider in the Elite ranks, that became World Champion. As for the Juniors, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took the rainbow stripes. Nine years later at the same venue, both she and the woman that finished second to her, Yana Belomoina, are among the favorites to win the Elite version of that jersey.

Let's take a look at who has won this prestigious event in the past, what venues have played host, the course the rainbow stripes will be won on this year, what the weather conditions look like, and who we think the favourites are to take the rainbow stripes in 2019.

The track

The Mont-Sainte-Anne XC course is a technical one, with several features that can catch riders out such as La Beatrice and La Perdrix. There's also the infamous zig-zag "La Marmotte" climb in the wide open under the blazing sun.

What Happened Here Last Year

Nino Schurter was leading the race until he broke his chain, which made it a three-way race between Mathias Flueckiger, Gerhard Kerschbaumer and Titouan Carod. In the women's race, it was Jolanda Neff who took the win ahead of Annika Langvad with Emily Batty in third.

Previous World Champions

1990 Ned Overend + Juli Furtado // United States (Durango)
1991 John Tomac _ Ruthie Matthes // Italy (Barga)
1992 Henrik Djernis + Silvia Furst // Canada (Bromont)
1993 Henrik Djernis + Paola Pezzo // France (Métabief)
1994 Henrik Djernis + Alison Sydor // United States (Vail)
1995 Bart Brentjens + Alison Sydor // Germany (Kirchzarten)
1996 Thomas Frischknecht + Alison Sydor // Australia (Cairns)
1997 Hubert Pallhuber + Paola Pezzo // Switzerland (Château-d'Œx)
1998 Christophe Dupouey + Laurence Leboucher // Canada (Mont-Sainte-Anne)
1999 Michael Rasmussen + Margarita Fullana // Sweden (Åre)
2000 Migue Martinez + Margarita Fullana // Spain (Sierra Nevada)
2001 Roland Green + Alison Dunlap // United States (Vail)
2002 Roland Green + Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja // Austria (Kaprun)
2003 Filip Meirhaeghe + Sabine Spitz // Switzerland (Lugano)
2004 Julien Absalon + Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja // France (Les Gets)
2005 Julien Absalon + Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja // Italy (Livigno)
2006 Julien Absalon + Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja // New Zealand (Rotorua)
2007 Julien Absalon + Irina Kalentieva // United Kingdom (Fort William)
2008 Christoph Sauser + Margarita Fullana // Italy (Val di Sole)
2009 Nino Schurter + Irina Kalentieva // Australia (Canberra)
2010 Jose Antonio Hermida + Maja Włoszczowska // Canada (Mont-Sainte-Anne)
2011 Jaroslav Kulhavy + Catharine Pendrel // Switzerland (Champery)
2012 Nino Schurter + Julie Bresset // Austria (Leogang-Saalfelden)
2013 Nino Schurter + Julie Bresset // South Africa (Pietermaritzburg)
2014 Julien Absalon + Catharine Pendrel // Norway (Lillehammer)
2015 Nino Schurter + Pauline Ferrand-Prevot // Andorra (Vallnord)
2016 Nino Schurter + Annika Langvad // Czech Republic (Nové Město)
2017 Nino Schurter + Jolanda Neff // Australia (Cairns)
2018 Nino Schurter + Kate Courtney // Switzerland (Lenzerheide)

Last round recap

When Jenny Rissveds returned to World Cup racing after a two-year absence, it was anyone's guess what kind of form she would be in. After missing Albstadt due to illness, Jenny made her way from the back of the field to the front, in what has been an astonishing comeback. Each step closer, Jenny seemed shocked by the result. After a podium in Andorra, and again in Val di Sole, it all came together in Switzerland. Jenny Rissveds, U23 World Champion and Olympic Champion, rode her way back to the top step of the podium in dramatic fashion, as only a champion does. Anne Terpstra took second, and Pauline Ferrand Prevot took third in the Elite Women.

While Nino Schurter has had a bit of a roller coaster of a season, frequently foiled by the Dutch Destroyer, Mathieu van der Poel, it was widely thought he could take the win in Lenzerheide. Nino should have had the advantage at altitude on home soil but in the end, MVDP would once again walk away with a win. This time in Nino's house. Mathias Flueckiger would take third in what has been an incredible season for the young Swiss.

Elite Men

1st. Mathieu Van Der Poel: 1:17.50
2nd. Nino Schurter: +25
3rd. Mathias Flueckiger: +1:13
4th. Victor Koretzky: +1:44
5th. Gerhard Kerschbaumer: +1:44
6th. Stephane Tempier: +2:10
7th. Titouan Carod: +2:29
8th. Manuel Fumic: +2:38
9th. Luca Braidot: +2:47
10th. Henrique Avancini: +3:11

Elite Women

1st. Jenny Rissveds: 1:21.09
2nd. Anne Terpstra: +25
3rd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +1:19
4th. Sina Frei: +2:03
5th. Catharine Pendrel: +2:12
6th. Rebecca Mcconnell: +2:16
7th. Kate Courtney: +2:34
8th. Jolanda Neff: +2:48
9th. Chloe Woodruff: +2:59
10th. Rocio Del Alba Garcia Martinez: +4:00

Overall Standings

1. Nino Schurter - 1670
2. Mathieu Van Der Poel - 1649
3. Henrique Avancini - 1360
4. Mathias Flueckiger - 1348
5. Gerhard Kerschbaumer - 970
6. Jordan Sarrou - 907
7. Maxime Marotte - 791
8. Titouan Carod - 753
9. Stephane Tempier - 728
10. Victor Koretzsky - 712
1. Jolanda Neff - 1625
2. Kate Courtney - 1552
3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot - 1225
4. Anne Terpstra - 1210
5. Rebecca McConnell - 992
6. Sina Frei - 984
7. Anne Tauber - 970
8. Elisabeth Brandau - 795
9. Jenny Rissveds - 770
10. Catharine Pendrel - 755

Weather forecast

The forecast for this weekend is looking pretty fair, although even just a bit of rain the day before the race could make the course quite treacherous.

Catharine Pendrel back in action. Pendrel rode a solid race finishing in 16th.
Thursday, August 29 - Men & Women Junior World Championships
A mix of sun and clouds // 25°C // 40% precipitation // wind 17km/h

Friday, August 30 - Men U23 World Championships
A few showers // 24°C // 60% precipitation // wind 20km/h

Saturday, August 31 - U23 Women, Elite Women & Elite Men World Championships
Mainly sunny // 21°C // 20% precipitation // wind 16km/h

Weather forecast as of Monday, August 26. Live updates from Weather Network.


Kate Courtney rode an impressive race only to see her chances deminished by a flat tyre and some mistakes affterwards as she tried to push back to second. She finished in 6th.

All times EST

Tuesday, August 27
• 09:30 - 12:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for women
• 12:30 - 15:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for men

Wednesday, August 28
• 09:00 - 10:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for women
• 10:30 - 12:00 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for men
• 12:30 Cross-country Team Relay World Championships
• 19:00 Awards Ceremony Cross-country Team Relay and E-MTB World Championships

Thursday, August 29
• 08:30 - 10:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for women
• 10:30 - 12:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for men
• 13:00 Women Juniors Cross-country Olympic World Championships
• Followed by Awards Ceremony
• 15:00 Men Juniors Cross-country Olympic World Championships
• Followed by Awards Ceremony

Friday, August 30
• 08:30 - 10:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for women
• 10:30 - 12:30 Official XCO Training >>> Reserved for men
• 15:30 Men Under 23 Cross-country Olympic World Championships
• Followed by Awards Ceremony

Saturday, August 31
• 08:00 - 09:45 Official Cross-country Training >>> All riders
• 10:00 Women Under 23 Cross-country Olympic World Championships
• Followed by Awards Ceremony
• 12:15 Women Elite Cross-country Olympic World Championships
• Followed by Awards Ceremony
• 13:45 – 14:15 Official Cross-country Training >>> Men Elite
• 14:45 Men Elite Cross-country Olympic World Championships
• Followed by Awards Ceremony

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organiser.

How to watch

Nino Schurter seemed to be riding towards another win but a broken chain threw him back in the field. Schurter still finished in 7th and secured the overall win.

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team of photographers in Mont-Sainte-Anne this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, results, news and tech.

While Red Bull TV is the official broadcaster for the Mercedes-Benz UCI MTB World Cup, they aren't the only official global broadcaster for the World Championships. The UCI packages the DH and XC World Championships alongside all of the other cycling disciplines they own and so it's a separate agreement that needs to be made.

In many instances, the broadcast licensing agreements allow Red Bull to broadcast the World Championship XC and DH races, and in many places, you will be able to watch the World Championships as you would during any World Cup race weekend. Globally, however, it's a bit of patchwork as some countries are not included.

See how to watch the Elite races in your country.

(All times in EST)

- Mont-Sainte-Anne XCO Women: Saturday, August 31 -12:15pm EDT, 9:15am PDT, 8:15pm GMT
- Mont-Sainte-Anne XCO Men: Saturday, August 31 - 14:45pm EDT, 11:45am PDT, 10:45pm GMT

Note: These times are subject to change. Please check with your local provider.

Pinkbike Predictions

"Mathieu Van Der Poel isn't competing in the MTB World Championships, so we're placing our bets on Nino Schurter to take his eighth title. An unlucky mechanical had him off the podium last year, but it seems unlikely that bad luck would strike in the same place two years in a row. Mathias has beat Nino twice this year and has the confidence of a win on this course last year, so it will be a tight battle. A consistent Gerhard Kerschbaumer who was strong on this course last year will take third.

As for the women, the World Cup leader Jolanda Neff seems like the obvious choice here. She's been consistent throughout the season but has yet to take a win in 2019. She won on the Mont-Sainte-Anne course in 2018 and its technical nature suits her. Jolanda Neff will find herself locked in battle with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot on the technical course. With the home-court advantage and a podium finish at the last round in Lenzerheide, we think Catharine Pendrel can manage a podium for the Canadian fans cheering her on."

1 // Nino SCHURTER
2 // Mathias FLUECKIGER
1 // Jolanda NEFF
3 // Catharine PENDREL

Fantasy League

Don't forget to complete your XC Fantasy team before racing kicks off. If you don't know who to pick, our mid-season analysis for some idea as to who's going fast.

The Fantasy XC League is Presented by Trek and SRAM.


Regions in Article

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,197 articles

  • 14 3
 Ah, you tricked me into opening this page thinking it would cover DH as well.
  • 8 1
 Funny, when I clicked on the DH page, I felt tricked into thinking they'd cover XC there too.
  • 1 0
 @RR1: Haha. At the time of my comment there was no DH page, and the XC page didn't have the "XC" in it. It was just "Everything You Need to Know Ahead of the 2019 Mont-Sainte-Anne World Championships".
  • 11 0
 I will be there in person cheering on all the racers.
  • 1 0
 That's the spirit ! Cheer for me too ! Wink
  • 2 0
 “You’re all winners!”
  • 9 3
 If Jenny will take it I am quitting Pinkbike.
  • 37 0
 Come on Jenny, you can do this!
  • 19 0
 GOOOO JENNY. Be the Hero Pinkbike needs you to be.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: What will your new username be? Will WAKIdesigns only be out of service until the next non-Jenny is crowned?
  • 6 0
 Hopefully Emily Batty can re-find her form on home soil.
  • 3 0
 and JENNY for me.
  • 4 0
 Rooting for Jenny!
  • 1 0
 How is she not in the prediction? Third row is better than she's had in all but the last WC XCO. Her confidence will be at an all-time high and she is in perfect form. Catherine Pendral? Yeah, right.
  • 1 0
 PB E-bike filter malfunction: EMTB World Championships snuck into the schedule list for this afternoon at 14:15...
  • 1 0
 Yeaaahhhh Catharine!!!!

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