Victor Koretzky and Specialized teammate Chris Blevins celebrate Koretzky's win in the Nove Mesto short-track. Koretzky has both arms raise as he crosses the line while slightly behind Blevins punches the air, with a big smile.

Alessandra Keller and Victor Koretzky kick off Nové Město World Cup with XCC wins

Racing kicks off in the last chance for riders to score Olympic qualifying points.

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 25.05.2024 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
More from Ryan +

The mountain bike World Cup continues for its third round this weekend in Nové Město na Moravě. The Czech venue has been a regular stop on the World Cup since 2011, and this year it marks the final chance for riders to qualify for the Olympic Games. 

After cagey and tactical racing, it was Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon) and Victor Koretzky (Specialized) who opened up the weekend with victories in the short track races. 

Chiara Teocchi led out the first lap in the elite women’s race, with the likes of Loana Lecomte (Canyon-CLLCTV), Haley Batten (Specialized), Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis), Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon), and Santa Cruz-RockShox’s Martina Berta not far behind. 

Early in the race, Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) touched wheels and crashed in what was the Dutch woman’s first World Cup race of the season. 

As the race reached its mid-point, Batten led with Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Ineos Grenadiers) and Trek’s Jolanda Neff also positioning themselves in the group. But it was Keller who put in the first attack to get the party started.  

Rissveds clipped a tree stump and crashed hard. Pieterse found her way back to the front, marked by Ferrand-Prévot. 

Keller surged again but Pieterse could not follow. Laura Stigger (Specialized) gave chase but also did not back headway on the Swiss attacker. Series leader Batten came to the front as well, but there was hesitation from the group to do the work to bring Keller back. 

Batten launched on the final climb, followed by Ferrand-Prévot and Stigger. Ferrand-Prévot pulled through into second but could not catch Keller by the line. 

Alessandra Keller slumps slightly in exhaustion as she crosses the finish line to win the Nove Mesto short track.

For the men’s race, Charlie Aldridge led the way into the first lap with Cannondale teammate Simon Andreassen coming to the front as well. Czech rider Ondrej Cink (Primaflor-Mondraker) also mixed it up at the front at his home venue, while Ineos’ Tom Pidcock rode at the back of the group in his first World Cup appearance of the year. 

Last round’s winner Victor Koretzky threw the first warning shot heading into the penultimate lap, with Sam Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM), and Pidcock also positioning themselves. 

Pidcock led into the final lap but faded as Thomas Litscher (Lapierre-Mavic-Unity) came past him followed by Canyon-CLLCTV’s Luca Schawarzbauer, Koretzky and teammate Christopher Blevins. Koretzky led out the sprint, taking victory in another 1-2 result for the duo from Specialized Factory Racing. 

Elite Women XCC Results 

  1. Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon) 
  2. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Ineos Grenadiers) 
  3. Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) 
  4. Laura Stigger (Specialized Factory Racing) 
  5. Puck Pieterse (Alpecin–Deceuninck)
  6. Linda Indergand (Liv Factory Racing) 
  7. Candice Lill (privateer) 
  8. Nicole Koller (Ghost Factory Racing) 
  9. Anne Tauber (Orbea Factory Racing) 
  10. Lia Schrievers (privateer) 

Elite Men XCC Results 

  1. Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing) 
  2. Christopher Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) 
  3. Thomas Litscher (Lapierre Mavic Unity) 
  4. Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV) 
  5. Filippo Colombo (Scott-SRAM) 
  6. Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing) 
  7. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) 
  8. Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) 
  9. Sam Gaze (Alpecin–Deceuninck)
  10. Jens Schuermans (Giant Factory Off-Road) 

What did you think of this story?