Women’s mountain bike preview: powerhouses Langvad and Neff square off

Women's mountain bike preview: powerhouses Langvad and Neff square off

Annika Langvad

Saturday, August 20 – 11:30am EDT

Annika Langvad (DEN) – 5/2
Jolanda Neff (SUI)- 53/20
Catharine Pendrel (SUI) – 11/2
Irina Kalentyeva (RUS)- 6/1
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (FRA) – 7/1
Maja Wloszczowska (POL) – 19/2
Emily Batty (CAN) – 10/1
Yana Belomoyna (UKR)- 14/1
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (NOR) – 16/1
Lea Davison (USA) – 33/1
Sabine Spitz (GER)- 40/1
Tanja Zakelj (SLO)- 40/1
Eva Lechner (ITA) – 50/1
Rebecca Henderson (AUS) – 50/1
Githa Michels (BEL) – 80/1

Odds as of Aug. 15 courtesy betting website Bovada.lv.

According to the oddsmakers, it’s basically a toss-up between Annika Langvad  and Jolanda Neff.  Denmark’s Langvad won the 2016 world championships in the Czech Republic and has won rounds of the World Cup in Cairns and Albstadt.

Switzerland’s Neff has been splitting duties between road racing and mountain biking in 2016. Even with that time-split, she comes to the Olympics with a win this year at World Cup La Bresse. Neff also has World Cup titles in 2014 and 2015 under her belt.

Canada’s Emily Batty is a rider to be reckoned with as well. She took gold at the Pan Am Games and a bronze at the world championships in Nové Město na Moravě. She’s aiming for a spot on the podium and could knock off either Langvad or Neff.

Catharine Pendrel is another rider to watch on Saturday. The Swiss cyclist sits second in the World Cup overall standings and will likely find herself near the top of the standings.

Pauline Ferrand- Prévot was aiming for double gold as she made her way to the Rio. Her Olympic journey has not gone as planned. She was a pre-race favorite in the road contest, but struggled on the grueling course and finished 26th. On Saturday, she will try to dominate the mountain biking course. Ferrand-Prévot the first racer ever to be world champion in road, cyclocross, and mountain biking simultaneously. She arguably the best all-around cyclist in the world and cannot be counted out.

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