Pauline prevails, Sarrou stops Schwarzbauer’s streak

Slippery descents and steep climbs proved decisive at the Leogang XCC.

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot was close in the first two XCC rounds, but in Leogang she had enough of a gap for a victory celebration. Photo © Piper Albrecht

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 16.06.2023 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is in Leogang, Austria this weekend, just a few hours northeast of last weekend’s venue in Switzerland. And while Leogang has a similar alpine resort backdrop, today’s XCC race showcased how dramatically terrain may differ, with a steep climb and slippery descent defining the evening’s short track races and leading to victories for Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Jordan Sarrou. 

In the women’s race, Puck Pieterse was fast off the start line, though Martina Berta overtook the Dutch rider heading into the first descent with Evie Richards closely behind. Jenny Rissveds also made her way into the top three, but slid out in a slick, grassy turn early in the race.

Rissveds’ mistake gave a small gap to Pieterse and Richards who capitalized on the advantage. Ferrand-Prévot was able to bridge from the chase group up to the two leaders and stayed with them for the remaining laps. After an attack on the steep climb, Ferrand-Prévot held a small gap on Pieterse heading into the descent and held on for the win, opening her World Cup win account for the year. Richards held off a late-surging Anne Terpstra for third. 

In the men’s race, Martins Blums showed excellent form to grab the holeshot with a small gap over the fast charging field led by Luca Schwarzbauer. By the third lap, Schwarzbauer had taken over the lead of the strung-out field followed by Mathias Flückiger and Jordan Sarrou. 

The race stayed fast and strung out, but Jens Schuermans decided to show his face with an attack on the penultimate lap and was chased by Sarrou, Schwarzbauer and Joshua Dubau. It was Sarrou who would reach the top of the last climb first and descend down to cross the line first as well. 

Stand-up guy: Sarrou celebrates his first W of the 2023 World Cup season.

Schwarzbauer claimed second place with Schuermans rolling across in third. 

The results were continuation of good luck in Leogang for Ferrand-Prévot and Sarrou, who both earned rainbow jerseys in the XCO discipline at the Austrian venue in 2020. 

Elite Women XCC Results 

  1. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Ineos Grenadiers) 
  2. Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 
  3. Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing XC) 
  4. Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing) 
  5. Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis Cycles Continental) 
  6. Rebecca Henderson ((Primaflor Mondraker Geniuns Racing Team) 
  7. Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory Racing) 
  8. Gwendalyn Gibson (Trek Factory Racing XC) 
  9. Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) 
  10. Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV) 

Elite Men XCC Results 

  1. Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC) 
  2. Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV) 
  3. Martins Blums (KMC MTB Racing Team) 
  4. Jens Schuermans (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) 
  5. Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing) 
  6. Joshua Dubau (Rockrider Ford Racing Team) 
  7. Charlie Aldridge (Cannondale Factory Racing) 
  8. Anton Cooper (Trek Factory Racing XC)
  9. Pierre de Froidmont (Orbea Factory Team) 
  10. Thomas Griot (Canyon CLLCTV) 

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