Catharine Pendrel has competed for the last time in the elite Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
Pendrel, a 40-year-old Kamloops resident and two-time world champion, placed 22nd in the 2021 women's world championship on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy.
"Both warming up and in my race I was smiling knowing how much I still love the thrill and fight involved in racing and how a good battle makes you want to get right back to working hard for improvement," Pendrel said in Facebook and Instagram posts that featured pictures of her smiling and posing with flowers at the finish line.
"This is a pretty cool sport and I’m so happy I found it and all the amazing people in it and happy to still have a couple races left this season!"
Evie Richards of Great Britain finished the race in one hour, 23 minutes and 52 seconds to claim her first world title. Pendrel, from Frederiction, finished six minutes and 48 seconds behind Richards and two seconds ahead of U.S. rider Kate Courtney (world champion in 2018 and overall World Cup series champion in 2019) and Eva Lechner of Italy.
Pendrel has competed in 17 world championship races.
There are two XCO World Cup races remaining in the 2021 campaign — No. 5, which runs on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and No. 6, which runs on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19 in Snowshoe, West Virginia.
Pendrel is planning to spend time with family in New Brunswick and will miss the race in Switzerland. She will cap her World Cup career in West Virginia.
Pendrel, a three-time World Cup series champion, has placed 52nd, 23rd, 26th and 21st in four 2021 World Cup races and sits 26th overall in the circuit's standings.
She placed 18th last month at the Olympic Summer Games in Izu, Japan, the result coming about six months after Pendrel gave birth to daughter Dara.
Pendrel, a four-time Olympian, won bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.
The Canadian XCO Championships are slated to run from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26 in Baie-Saint-Paul, Que. Pendrel will be aiming to win her seventh national XCO title.
Pendrel will finish her season with an Epic Ride event in October.
"I haven't solidified plans for next year, but I hope some sort of racing will always be in my future, whether it is just local or some neat stage races," Pendrel told KTW in an email.