World champion Catharine Pendrel is already looking ahead after what she called the worst performance of her year.
Pendrel, from Kamloops, B.C., finished fourth Sunday in the fourth round of the mountain bike World Cup.
Pendrel was one minute 12 seconds behind winner Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa of Norway.
The result means Pendrel is now second in the overall standings, 60 points behind France’s Julie Bresset.
“I certainly wasn’t riding at best on the technical parts,” said Pendrel. “This is probably my worst riding of the year. It was a very hard course, a real mountain bike course, and you had to be on top of things for the whole race.
“I’m ... looking forward to a bit of a break at home before we start preparing for London.”
Pendrel and Bresset took the lead halfway through the 25.5-kilometre race. Pendrel then attacked, but both riders crashed on one of the muddy, technical descents.
That allowed Dahle Flesjaa and Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic to take the lead.
Dahle Flesjaa took the lead for the victory on the final descent when Nash also crashed. Bresset took third, 17 seconds in front of Pendrel.
The race also served as the final Olympic qualifying event.
Emily Batty of Brooklin, Ont., finished ninth in the women’s race. Max Plaxton of Victoria was a career-high ninth in the men’s race, two minutes 51 seconds behind race winner Julien Absalon of France.
The Canadian Cycling Federation is expected to formally announce in June the two men and two women who will represent Canada in mountain biking at the London Olympics.
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