With the UCI Cross-Country Marathon (XCM) World Championships falling just one week ahead of the Cross-Country World Championships, you could expect the start lists in the XCM Worlds to be somewhat diminished with the premier cross-country discipline taking place in Nove Mesto in early July.
However, not only have Annika Langvad and Jaroslav Kulhavy announced their participation head of Nove Mesto, but Jolanda Neff has also announced she will race in Laissac, France.
Neff has stated that she raced a marathon in Sweden the weekend before the European XCO Championships, and that it worked well for her there, so she will do it again before the XCO World Championships in Nove Mesto.
The course in Laissac is unlike the alpine style course of the Sellaronda Hero from 2015, instead having more frequent climbs, and nothing over 900m above sea level. There is a large amount of forest trails and singletrack, steep climbs and descents, and thanks to the rain last week – quite a lot of mud. The course is drying, but it is difficult to say how much it will dry before race day on Sunday 26th June.
Of course, although Jolanda Neff is an extraordinary talent, she will still face stiff opposition in Laissac from the likes of Sally Bigham, Ariane Kleinhans, Annika Langvad and more. We’ll publish the start lists when they are published.