Evie Richards celebrates as she wins the XCC at the season-opening 2024 World Cup round in Mairiporã, Brazil.

Evie Richards and Sam Gaze impress at Brazil World Cup XCC opener 

The UCI MTB World Cup gets underway this weekend as the field begins to build towards the Olympic Games this summer.

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 13.04.2024 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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When the green start lights illuminated in Mairiporã, Brazil, today, the 2024 mountain bike World Cup officially got underway, and resumed the fight to make the Paris Olympic Games this summer. 

Martina Berta (Santa Cruz-RockShox) was the first off the line in the elite women’s short track race, pedaling the green, red, and white stripes of her Italian national champion’s jersey into the lush Brazilian jungle. Joining at the front was Evie Richards and Trek Factory Racing teammate Jolanda Neff, Scott-SRAM’s Kate Courtney, and Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon). 

Notably missing from the first race of the season was World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, meaning the Ineos Grenadiers had no presence in Brazil as Tom Pidcock sat out the elite men’s race as well. That left Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV) as the primary French contender in South America to kick off the season ahead of a home Olympics. 

Keller, Neff, and Rebecca Henderson (Primaflor Mondraker) all found their way to the front in the early laps, but it was former Word Cup and world champion Courtney who put in the first race-defining move. The rider from Northern California attacked and didn’t let up. Richards and Henderson struggled initially to match the pace, but Courtney was slowly brought back over the course of a few laps. 

Richards then made her move and Courtney and Neff appeared to sit up. Keller and Henderson kept the chase pace high, but Richards charged down the final singletrack descent into the finish arena with a seven-second buffer on the Aussie. Richards’ victory continued a good debut weekend for Trek after Riley Amos’s under-23 win yesterday. 

Riders navigate a pump track at the Mairiporã World Cup. The dirt is red clay and looks like a golf sand trap.
The XCC course featured a proper pump track section, raced here by the U23 men’s field.

The elite men’s race was a more pack-filled affair. Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV) continued his habit of leading out the first lap, with Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC), Mathias Flückiger (Thömus maxon), Martin Vidaurre (Specialized Factory Racing), teammate Victor Koretzky, Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Sam Gaze, and KMC’s Mārtiņš Blūms. 

XCC world champion Gaze and Vidaurre (2021 U23 world champion) each took turns at the front, with the lead group not giving any rider an inch amid the grassy turns, double track climbs, pump track interlude, and jungle descents.  

With about three laps to go, Schwarzbauer opened it up on the main climb in an effort to soften the group’s legs. Gaze attacked in the same spot during the final lap, ensuring that he made it to the pump track pinch point in the lead. He went again on the final pitch, weaving through the wooded descent to cross the line ahead of Schwarzbauer and Vidaurre, a fitting start for the reigning world champ. 

Elite Women’s XCC Results 

  1. Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing)
  2. Rebecca Henderson (Primaflor Mondraker) 
  3. Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon) 
  4. Jenny Rissveds (Team 31) 
  5. Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM) 
  6. Sina Frei (Specialized Factory Racing)
  7. Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing)
  8. Anne Tauber (Orbea Factory Team)
  9. Jennifer Jackson (Liv Factory Racing)
  10.  Greta Seiwald (Decathlon Ford Racing Team)

Elite Men’s XCC Results 

  1. Samuel Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  2. Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV XCO)
  3. Martin Vidaurre (Specialized Factory Racing)
  4. Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing)
  5. Thomas Liotscher (Lapierre Mavic Unity)
  6. Joshua Dubau (Decathlon Ford Racing Team)
  7. Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC)
  8. Nino Schurter (Scott-Sram Mtb Racing Team)
  9. Simon Andreassen (Cannondale Factory Racing)
  10. Jens Schuermans (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)

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