Track Cycling

Reigning Mountain Bike World Champ Kate Courtney Wins First Cross-Country World Cup –

By Karen Price | May 19, 2019, 12:03 p.m. (ET)

Kate Courtney celebrates winning the women’s elite cross-country race at the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Sept. 8, 2018 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Reigning world mountain bike cross-country champion Kate Courtney added another big chunk of hardware to the collection on Sunday, winning her first UCI elite cross-country world cup gold medal. 

The 23-year-old from Kentfield, California, opened the world cup season with a winning time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, 3 seconds at the race in Albstadt, Germany, crossing the line nearly 50 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jolanda Neff of Switzerland and a minute and a half ahead of third-place finisher Yana Belomoina of Ukraine. 

Courtney was on a mission to win from the very beginning. She and Neff, the reigning European champion, were battling it out during the first lap when before Courtney shook her off on the last climb and Neff crashed on the descent. 

The Netherlands’ Anne Tauber then became the one to give Courtney chase.

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Courtney crashed on the second lap, but she maintained her position and by the last climb of the third lap her lead was nearly 30 seconds over Tauber. Tauber also fell victim to a crash, allowing Neff to jump back up into the second spot, but the day ultimately belonged to Courtney. 

Courtney also won the short-track event on Saturday, the day before dominating the Olympic distance race while wearing the world cup leader’s jersey. A rising star in the sport, Courtney’s 2018 world title was the first in 17 years for a U.S. woman in the sport.

The UCI mountain bike world cup circuit continues next weekend in the Czech Republic.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.