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3. North American Women

On any given day at an elite World Cup cross-country event in 2010, a woman from Canada or the U.S. had a legit shot at the podium.

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Georgia Gould takes a swig of bubbly at the Offenburg, Germay World Cup in 2010 while race winner Catharine Pendrel looks on. Photo by Frank Bodenmueller
Georgia Gould takes a swig of bubbly at the Offenburg, Germay World Cup in 2010 while race winner Catharine Pendrel looks on. Photo by Frank Bodenmueller

The 2010 World Cup cross-country season proved that North American women will surely be vying for hardware in London come 2012 and the Olympics.

On any given day at an elite World Cup cross-country event in 2010, a woman from Canada or the U.S. had a legit shot at the podium. Be it Canadians Catharine Pendrel and Marie-Helen Premont or Americans Willow Koerber, Georgia Gould, Katie Compton, Heather Irmiger or Mary McConneloug the prospects of a win or a strong showing in the top 10 were great.

Need proof? Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) was the 2010 overall World Cup winner, with Koerber (Subaru-Trek) a close second. Koerber, meanwhile, snagged her second bronze medal in two years at the mountain bike world championships at Mont Saint Anne.

And don’t forget Katerina Nash. While technically a Czech, the Luna Pro Team rider has long lived in Truckee, California not far from Lake Tahoe.