A Sheffield woman has made history, becoming the first Brit in 20 years to win a cross-country mountain bike World Cup.
Annie Last, aged 26, had previously achieved a third place World Cup finish back in 2011, riding on the British professional team, OMX Pro Team, and was eighth at the London 2012 Olympics. However, a tumultuous few years followed as she suffered a serious back injury and had to endure a lot of rehabilitation.
A spokesman for OMX Pro Team said: “Last returned to World Cup racing in 2014 and has since showed glimpses of her potential with several top twenty results. Finally, this month, everything fell into place.
“Last joined OMX Pro Team in 2015 and has found a happy environment in which to build her success. Along with team manager Paul Beales, and her coach Phil Dixon, Last has worked with unwavering dedication and belief to bring herself back to the front of World Cup racing.
“This month, the course in Lenzerheide, Switzerland suited Last’s technical prowess and power, and she rode a brilliant race to chase down the win from 16th place on the starting grid. Wet roots, gap jumps and steep climbs made for an exciting race, and the crowds cheered in their thousands as Last showcased her fitness and skill to take her maiden World Cup victory, and the first ever World Cup podium for OMX Pro Team.
“OMX Pro Team started out as ‘Orange Monkey’, back in 2004. The young men simply wanted to race their bikes, but in the back of their minds was always the dream of one day winning a World Cup. As the team grew and turned professional, that dream drove them to push harder. OMX operate on a tight budget, but make up for that with a small team of hugely passionate riders. Last’s win on Sunday was a dream come true.”