Nino Schurter and Yana Belomoina both continued their dominant seasons in Canada to wrap up the UCI World Cup overall titles with one round to spare.
Schurter has been in a league of his own all year and a fifth race win in a row comfortably sealed his fifth overall title. For Belomoina, the victory secured her first, and the Ukraine’s first ever in mountain biking.
Most of the early talk in the men’s event at Mont-Sainte-Anne surrounded the return to action of one of the sport’s very best; Julien Absalon. A shoulder injury had seen him miss out on most of 2017 but after a tricky start from deep in the pack he was left well down the order.
Schurter pushed clear with a couple of laps to go and turned on the afterburners to see off Stephane Tempier and Gerhard Kerschbaumer.
He heads to the next and final round of the year in Val di Sole looking at the possibility of becoming the first XCO rider to sweep the series.
The Swiss maestro said: “It’s amazing. I am really happy, so far it is the perfect season. The fifth World Cup win in a row, and already the overall title. I am super happy and super proud as well.
“I love these kind of courses. I really enjoyed the race from the start onwards. It would be really awesome to win every race in the season, I feel a bit more pressure!”
For Belomoina the pressure was on from the off when Canadian Catharine Pendrel came out of the blocks charging.
Eventually though she brought her back and passed the Olympic bronze medalist.
A rejuvenated Pauline Ferrand-Prevot went with the Ukrainian for what would be her strongest showing since an injury-riddled 2016. Prevot would finish the day second whilst Pendrel rolled home to the roars of the partisan crowd to take third.
Belomoina said: “It is an amazing feeling and it has been an amazing season for me. It is also great for Ukraine and now I have a lot of motivation for the World Championships as I want the rainbow jersey.”