In cycling, there’s often discussion about “the sprint before the sprint.” Put another way, you have to be in position if you want to win. That’s exactly how the XCC race in Lenzerheide played out this evening during the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Both eventual winners—Jenny Rissveds and Luca Schwarzbauer—reached the top of the final climb first before crossing the line first in victory.
In the women’s race, Laura Stigger took the holeshot looking to continue her momentum after winning the XCC a few weeks ago in Nové Město. Rising Dutch star Puck Pieterse followed along with Rissveds, Evie Richards, Alessandra Keller, and Anne Terpstra, among others.
The course – featuring a pavement start chute, a sharp double track climb, and a downhill with a slippery off-camber root section – caused a large group of riders to stay together until late in the race.
On the penultimate lap, Rissveds opened a gap on the downhill section in the woods. Though Keller, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, and Pieterse gave chase, Rissveds managed to stay away to win solo.
The men’s race played out with similar pack dynamics. The revelation of Nové Město, Rockrider’s Joshua Dubau, took the holeshot at the top of the first sharp climb and was followed by Nino Schurter along with Sam Gaze, Mathias Fluckinger, Jordan Sarrou, and Schwarzbauer.
The race was made more dramatic when XCC World Champ Sam Gaze lost front-wheel traction and went down in a corner, taking Schurter with him. It was deja vu for Schurter, who was also taken out of contention by a crash during the XCO race in Lenzerheide last year.
Sarrou hit the front in a bid to win solo, but Schwarzbauer just edged him out at the top of the final climb. The German opened a small gap and launched his sprint to stay away from Sarrou for the victory.
Elite Women XCC Results:
- Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis Cycles Continental)
- Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon)
- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Ineos Grenadiers)
- Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
- Anne Tauber (Orbea Factory Team)
- Laura Stigger (Specialized Factory Racing)
- Gwendalyn Gibson (Trek Factory Racing)
- Sina Frei (Specialized Factory Racing)
- Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing)
- Rebecca Henderson (Primaflor Mondraker Geniuns Racing Team)
Elite Men XCC Results:
- Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV)
- Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC)
- Sebastian Fini (Lapierre Maciv Unity)
- Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz RockShox Pro Team)
- Joshua Dubau (Rockrider Ford Racing Team)
- Mathias Flückiger (Thömus maxon)
- Lars Forster (Thömus maxon)
- David Valero Serrano (BH Coloma Team)
- Vital Albin (Thömus maxon)
- Marcel Guerrini (Bixs Performance Race Team)
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