Cycling News

Jenn Jackson inches closer to top-10 in Crans-Montana World Cup

Jenn Jackson inches closer to top-10 in Crans-Montana World Cup

Jenn Jackson took another big step forward towards the elite women’s top 10 on Sunday, landing her best XCO result at a World Cup in Europe. Her 15th place was earned on the notoriously technical new Crans-Montana track, and in muddy conditions no less.

The result, though, only tells part of the story. Jackon (Liv Factory Racing) spent much of the first half of the race riding within striking distance of the podium. As Loana Lecomte (Canyon Cllctv) and Alessandra Keller (Thomus Maxon) rode away from the front of the race, Jackson remained in the top 10. The Canadian national champion was fighting for position with a resurgent Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM) and Italy’s Martina Berta (Santa Cruz RockShox).

That lasted until, approaching penultimate lap, Jackson crashed on the steep waterfall section of course when her front wheel washed out on a very steep wooden ramp into a muddy corner. The Liv Factory racer re-mounted and rejoined the race but Courtney and Berta were already past. In the end, 2023 under-23 world champion Samara Maxwell (Decathlon Ford) would pass all three riders to claim the final top 10 position, pushing Courtney to 11th, Berta to 12th and Jackson to 15th.

Sandra Walter was the only other Canadian finishing on the lead lap in Crans-Montana, placing 37th. Roxanne Vermette was 48th, Léa Bouchard 53rd, both racing for Delta Marriott Mont-Sainte-Anne Racing Team. Emma Olson followed in 58th.

Lecomte floats over trying course conditions. Photo: WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series

Loana Lecomte shines bright in brutal conditions

At the front of the race, though, Loana Lecomte looked to be having fun with the truly trying course conditions. That could be because the French woman was back on the front of a World Cup race for the first time in a little while. The Canyon Cllctv rider excels at technical courses and in muddy conditions, though, so Crans Montana was a perfect stage for the French rider to mount a comeback before her home Olympic Games in just a few weeks.

Lecomte didn’t go unchallenged in Crans-Montana. First Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Decuninck) then Alessandra Keller (Thomus Maxon) attempted to disrupt the French woman’s steady slog towards victory. Pieterse, winner of the 2023 overall, was close to Lecomte’s pace for the opening laps. The Dutch racer’s cyclocross skills were coming in handy, too, as several sections forced racers off their bikes all day. Pieterse challenge stopped when mud clogged a pedal and she…

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