There was an air of inevitability to the racing at Lenzerheide – the rooty, technical and high-altitude Swiss course that hosted the weekend’s round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. For reigning world champ Nino Schurter, regarded as the cross-country mountain biker of all time, it was another milestone in a career full of them. Showing his technical mastery, Schurter powered away with three laps to go, borne to the finish on a cacophony of cow bells from his home crowd. When he crossed the line, he passed Julien Absalon’s record for the most XCO wins. 15 seconds behind him, Alan Hatherly (South Africa) outsprinted Jordan Sarrou (France) for the minor placings, with Thomas Griot and David Valero Serrano fourth and fifth.
In the women’s race, European champion Loana Lecomte put uncertainty and “bad emotion[s]” behind her for a stunning win. Lecomte and her compatriot Pauline Ferrand-Prévot looked powerful from the start, jostling with the likes of Puck Pieterse and Anne Terpstra (Netherlands), Jenny Rissveds (Sweden), and Alessandra Keller (Switzerland). Keller and Terpstra spent time at the front through the middle of the race before the two French riders pulled away, Lecomte’s second attack snapping the elastic for Ferrand-Prévot.
Through the lenses of Piper Albrecht and the Red Bull photography team, this is how the weekend’s racing shook out for the elite XCO fields.