Pendrel takes world XC title; Davison finishes third

It was the second world title for the Canadian; American Lea Davison finished third, her best-ever performance at the world championships

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Canadian Catharine Pendrel won the world cross-country championship in Hafjell, Norway, Saturday, finishing 21 seconds ahead of Russian Irina Kalentieva (RusVelo).

It was the second world title for Pendrel; the Luna rider also won the rainbow jersey in 2011, in Champéry, Switzerland.

American Lea Davison (Specialized) finished third, 43 seconds down. It was Davison’s best-ever performance at the world championships.

Davison had hip surgery in January and didn’t race until July when she won the cross-country national championship.

Davison spent the first part of the race moving up from a less-than-ideal start position. By the end of lap two, she was in fourth, and with three laps to go, took over third. The Vermont native had to fight off a hard-charging Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia) who ultimately settled for fourth after almost catching Davison in the final lap.

Another Slovenian, Blaza Clemencic, finished fifth, behind Zakelj.

Pendrel climbed on the podium three times this season on the World Cup tour, including one victory in Windham, New York, and a second place on home soil at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Pendrel also won the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, in a dominating fashion.