Haley Batten celebrates winning a World Cup cross-country mountain bike title in Araxá, Brazil.

Araxá World Cup: Haley Batten is unbeatable

Americans book-ended the podium with national champion Savilia Blunk finishing third behind last week's winner Jenny Rissveds.

Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) wins MTB World Cup XCO Araxá, Brazil. Photo: © Piper Albrecht

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 21.04.2024 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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Round two of the mountain bike World Cup brought a rematch between Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) and Jenny Rissveds (Team 31). The two women found themselves battling at the front last weekend, and they were at it once again this afternoon in Araxá, Brazil, in a tough, tactical, and technical XCO contest. 

Jenn Jackson (KMC-Ridley) kicked things off from the start along with Liv’s Linda Indergand, Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon), Laura Stigger (Specialized), Batten, and Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing). After the fast start, Jackson struggled in a technical section while Keller pushed the pace at the front. Keller, Indergand, and Batten quickly formed a trio at the front with the likes of Rissveds and Stigger chasing, but the group would swell into eight riders heading into the next lap. 

The same dynamic played out a few times. Small gaps formed and then the group would come back together until someone put in a dig or set tempo. 

Jackson and Indergand looked like they might have staying power towards the front, but neither rider could match the pace of their rivals. 

Each lap, a handful of technical sections challenged the riders and reshuffled the pace and dynamic. The course consisted of steep climbs followed by bone-jarring technical sections. Then there were the jumps, rollers, and berms, offering the racers a chance to show some style to the cheering fans. 

Midway through the race, Canyon’s Loana Lecomte was pictured sitting off the track. The French rider was visibly upset and walked back to the pits, her race over, though there was no visible injury or mechanical. 

Rissveds took it upon herself to throw in a leg-testing attack during lap four of eight, and it looked like it could be the race-winning move, riding composed and opening up nine seconds on her rivals The gap came down on the flat section towards the finish though, and the 2016 Olympic Champion bobbled a technical climb. Forced to get off her bike and push, the mistake allowed Batten to make contact again. 

Back in the midfield, the technical and tenacious Jolanda Neff of Trek kept making up places to eventually finish in sixth place after being off-pace at the start of the race. 

After riding aggressively throughout the race as she likes to do, Keller began to blow up as Rissveds and Batten were locked into a duel at the front. But Blunk lit a match and set off to close a few-second gap to the two women ahead. 

On the penultimate lap, all three leaders stalled on a climb, eyeing each other up and daring the others to go. This allowed Keller to catch back on setting up a four-woman battle heading into the last lap. 

Batten was eager to shed her rivals, attacking early on in the lap on the rollers ahead of the main climb. Rissveds came back to her and put in a dig of her own shortly after. Rissveds churned a big gear, stomping out of the saddle, as Batten spun with increased torque. 

Both riders took the crucial root section flawlessly, and it appeared that it might come down to a drag race. But mountain bikers don’t like to sprint. 

Batten took the faster line to take over the front for the final time, keeping the pressure on to leave Rissveds in her dust.

Batten climbed up the steeper inside line on a sweeping left hand corner, climbing ahead of Rissveds. The American kept the pace on, using each up and down to bolster her lead and beat the woman who bested her last week to double up on wins in Araxá. 

Brief analysis:


  1. Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing)
  2. Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis Cycles Continental)
  3. Savilia Blunk (Decathlon Ford Racing)
  4. Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon)
  5. Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing)
  6. Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing – Pirelli)
  7. Nicole Koller (Ghost Factory Racing)
  8. Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing – Pirelli)
  9. Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM)
  10. Linda Indergand (Liv Factory Racing)

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