British athlete wins first World Cup for twenty years!12 July 2017 | By Noxy
On Sunday, Annie Last made history as she became the first Brit in twenty years to win a cross-country mountain bike World Cup.
The 26 year-old from Sheffield, riding on the British professional team, OMX Pro Team, had previously achieved a third place World Cup finish back in 2011 and was eighth at the London 2012 Olympics. However, a tumultuous few years followed as she suffered a serious back injury and the consequent rehabilitation. Last returned to World Cup racing in 2014 and has since showed glimpses of her class with several top twenty results but, until this weekend, not everything had fallen into place at the right time.
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.
Sunday's course in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, suited Last’s technical prowess and power, and she rode a brilliant race to chase down the win from sixteenth 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. It was a small local team from Waltham Abbey in Essex, founded by Beales and his best friend, Will Cooper. 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 and further up the ranks. Compared to the big, factory teams around them, OMX operate on a tight budget, but make up for that with a small team of hugely passionate riders and staff. Last’s win on Sunday was a dream come true for the team, and for Annie herself.