After a series of unlucky results in recent medal events including two 4th places at the 2010 Worlds in QuÃ©bec and at the 2008 Olympics at Beijing, Canadaâ€™s Catharine Pendrel finally achieved her dream to clinch a gold medal in a major event.
The 2010 World Cup champion beat Polandâ€™s Maja Wloszczowska by half a minute Â while Italyâ€™s Eva Lechner came in 3rd
After winning three out of four last World Cup races, Prendel was definitely the rider to beat at ChampÃ©ry.Â Pendrel immediately faced a strong challenge from her two rivals from Poland and from Italy who both fought hard on the demanding â€˜Grand Paradisâ€™ course.
â€œA few days ago one of my friends told me to ride the last lap as if it would be a time-trial in case I would be in the lead, just to give everything I had in me to be assured to remain out of reach of the rest of the field until the end,â€ Pendrel explained afterwards at the Press Conference. â€œI remembered it well and took great risks in that final lap. Knowing Majaâ€™s experience and determination, I knew she would also go for it very hard. So I rode my bike with huge willpower to clinch that title which had eluded me for so long.â€
â€œI managed to remain very focused so I didnâ€™t make any major mistakes in that final part. So many things went through my mind in that last round. I could not believe I was finally going for the gold today. I have had so many unfortunate moments in past medal events that I was not overconfident prior going through that finish line.â€
â€œThis title means so much to me and my group, but I can tell you that it has been quite a mission to get it. You canâ€™t compare the way to prepare a normal World Cup race to the strategy displayed when youâ€™re aiming for victory in a medal event.â€
â€œI was here twice to test that demanding track with my husband and my staff in past months. This was absolutely crucial for my technical and mental preparation. Today I really felt ready to fight for gold â€“ I had done all what was in my power to prepare as much as possible. This is definitely huge for me. Itâ€™s a major accomplishment not only for me but also for our sport in Canada.â€