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Last by name, not by nature
Really? We're actually going with that as a headline? -  ed
By Dave Land, posted 18 July 2017

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Annie Last makes a power play at the Cross country World Cup in Switzerland. 

Watching Annie Last put in a stellar performance at the UCI XC World Championships in Switzerland was a fantastic experience. We first heard about Annie through some sponsorship work Boardman bikes were undertaking, and she sounded promisingly good. Rio came and went away quietly, at least as far as British cross country was concerned

We find XC sometimes less accessible than other events. The course is naturally a big factor in this. But the sparse funding means there is no equivalent of say, the Tour De France, or the Women’s Tour, which tends to mean it’s for aficionados only, which naturally limits income streams. It is also dominated, in both Men’s and Women’s by the same names year in year out. Or, at least, it was.

Promo Video for La Vuelta 2017. Find it on youtube.  

This is the exciting thing about Annie Last’s win. Whether it turns out to be her only one, or she follows up with a long run, it’s great to see some new blood come to the very top. The fact she didn’t win through a stroke of luck- good for her, or bad for a rival – (hands up, Nairo Quintana) or by other means of winning (We’re looking at you Fabio Aru), is simply encouraging.

We all want our personal favourite to win, be that due to shared nationality, or a nicely coloured jersey. If they continue to win we don’t find this boring in the slightest. However, it is much better for the experience of watching a race when unpredictable results turn up. All things being equal, if a newbie starts developing and delivering, then that’s good for everyone. The old hands need to up their game to stay on top, the new people don’t know what the limits are yet, so they keep trying and trying. This is great for spectators in all cycle racing.

So, best of luck Annie, long may it continue, and if it doesn’t, then no worries, just keep racing the bike.

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