Haley Smith led the Canadian effort as mountain biking at “super worlds” shifted from high-adrenaline downhill racing at Fort William to the high-lactic effort of cross country marathon racing in Glentress Forest.
A technical, 96.5-kilometre course was made more difficult by challenging conditions, with cold rain falling throughout the day.
In the men’s race, Andrew L’Esperance was the top Canadian finisher, placing 34th behind race winner Henrique Avancini. Alexandre Vialle, the only other Canadian in the race, placed 81st.
Avancini inched away from Martin Stosek to win the elite men’s race. Lukas Baum followed in third.
Haley Smith fought through the mud and wet roots to come away with an impressive 15th-place finish in the elite women’s XC marathon world championship race. Maghalie Rochette followed in 22nd, after bikepacking to the start of the race. Rochette continues with eMTB world championships next.
The women’s race was won by Mona Mitterwallner. The young Austrian finished just 54 seconds ahead of Candice Lill of South Africa after 5:07:54 of racing. Germany’s Adelheid Morath took the final podium spot and bronze medal.
The world championships cross country marathon course was inspired by, and designed in part by the late Scottish mountain bike icon, Rab Wardell before his passing.