World Cup mountain bikers returned to their regular rhythms this week in Andorra as the World Cup series enters the second half of the season. The short track (XCC) races kicked off the weekend of cross-country racing with Alessandra Keller and Luca Schwarzbauer taking hard-fought victories.
The elite cross country races lie ahead, beginning with the elite women at 1 pm local time on Sunday.
How it happened
In the women’s race, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot got to pull on her rainbow jersey once again after a successful campaign in Scotland, but it was her compatriot Loana Lecomte who led out the early stages of the race.
As the group headed into the short downhill section in the woods, Lecomte was followed by Martina Berta, Evie Richards, Linda Indergand, and Keller. As the laps wore on, Lecomte was eager to keep the pace high, with Ferrand-Prévot and Puck Pieterse moving up in the group.
The Swiss Keller launched her attack with two agonizing laps to go, with Richards responding. Keller had a couple of seconds on Richards, who was certainly hungry for a victory after coming up short in Scotland. Behind, Berta and Pieterse kept up the chase for third.
Keller kept on the power to take the victory, followed by Richards and Pieterse to round out the podium.
The men’s race was led out by Schwarzbauer, with Jordan Sarrou, Joshua Dubau, Nino Schurter, Alan Hatherly, Anton Cooper, and Mathias Flückiger all in the mix. One man who was not there was recently crowned XCC World Champion Sam Gaze, who has elected to race the Vuelta a España with Alpecin-Deceuninck’s road squad.
In the later half of the race, Schurter was riding in fourth wheel when he stalled on the main climb, holding up those behind him and giving an advantage to Flückiger, Schwarzbauer, and Sarrou.
Schwarzbauer remained aggressive, slotting into the final woods section in first place. Schurter attempted a counterattack, but the powerful German stayed ahead at the next pinch point at the pump track section, staying ahead until the line.
Elite Women XCC Results
- Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon)
- Evie Richards (Trek Facotry Racing)
- Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
- Martina Berta (Santa Cruz RockShox Pro Team)
- Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing)
- Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Ineos Grenadiers)
- Rebecca Henderson (Primaflor Mondraker Genuins)
- Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV)
- Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory Racing)
- Gwendalyn Gibson (Trek Factory Racing)
Elite Men XCC Results
- Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV)
- Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM)
- Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC)
- Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing)
- Mathias Flückiger (Thömus maxon)
- Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz RockShox Pro Team)
- Joshua Dubau (Rockrider Ford Racing Team)
- Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Massi)
- Vlad Dascalu (Trek Factory Racing)
- Martins Blums (KMC MTB Racing Team
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