The victory went to Swedish Champion Jenny Rissveds (Scott-Odlo). She rode away from second-placed Margot Moschetti (Betch.nl Superior Brentjens), who won on this course last year. American Champion Kate Courtney (Specialized) finished third.
Rain was forecast and threatened throughout but did not materialise. Rissveds, Moschetti, Courtney and Alessandra Keller (Strueby-Bixs) quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field on the long climbs. Rissveds and Moschetti then dropped the other two riders to fight for the win, while Courtney and Keller battled for the final podium spot.
Rissveds dropped Moschetti more than once in the technical sections in the first half of the race, but the French rider would always come back on the climbs, until the third lap, when Rissveds finally opened a lead that would stick to the end of the race. She finished 42 seconds in front of Moschetti.
"I was excited to get this win in the first World Cup of the season," said Rissveds. "We knew that Margot would be stronger on the climbs, so my goal was just to control the race there, and it worked perfectly."
Australian Under-23 cross-country champion, Emily Parkes (Torq Merida), finished 11min 31sec behind Rissveds in 39th position. Team-mate, Holly Harris, finsihed in 47th, a further 5min 40sec behind.
The racing continues tonight with the Under-23 men's race and the Elite Women and Men. Peta Mullens (Yeti SRAM Racing) and Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing), are showing strong form ahead of the women's event. Daniel McConnell starts the season with the number four plate in the Elite Men's race.
@bechenderson27: Final course practice done today. Who knows what the conditions will be like for tomorrow's race, but muddy or dusty I am ready!
@petamullens: The signature dish in #novemesto. Plenty of this waiting for me tomorrow in the first #mtbworldcup of the season! Last year it was my debut #worldcup and I finished 40th but was DSQ for wearing the wrong kit (controversial) so tomorrow I'm aiming for a result on paper.
@danmcconnellmtb: All the practice, training and preparation is done, it's now time to get out there, have fun and hopefully get the result I'm after. Let's start the @mbike_ 2015 season!