Not watched the XCO race yet? Then maybe don’t read on. Or, keep reading, and then kick yourself for not tuning in to the Vallnord XCO World Cup racing as it happened. You can’t say we didn’t warn you…
Some big names missing from the start line.
Some big names were missing from today’s race including Loana Lecomte, Jenny Rissveds, Jolanda Neff, Evie Richards and Kate Courtney. Jenny Rissveds’ instagram story suggested that she hadn’t fully recovered from the XCC race where she had an incident right at the start and had to really struggle her way through the race. Neff is still feeling unwell. Lecomte, as mentioned in the previous post, is focusing on recovery as per her training plan. She well and truly has her eyes on the World Champs win.
Women’s race was exciting as ever!
Aside from physical and mental strength, so much of bike racing is down to luck. Series leader Rebecca McConnell found herself in a tough spot today, after two punctures at the same spot, two laps in a row. She was right at the front with Terpstra when she found out about the rear flat and signalled to her team to be ready at the tech feed zone. She still had a very long way to go until she got there. That meant she had to walk/run up the big wall climb- one of the toughest climbs on the World Cup circuit- and ride down the rocky descent on the other side of it with that punctured rear tyre. This even resulted in a crash at one point. She finished 21st, nearly seven minutes behind the winner. Seriously though, there’s bad luck and then there’s McConnell’s race at Vallnord! That said, she keeps hold of that leader’s jersey in XCO World Cup overall rankings.
Anne Terpstra took the win today, showing an incredibly strong performance and a big gap from the rest of the field. Mitterwallner finished second, followed by Ramona Forchini, both of them getting their best ever World Cup finish in the race today. Stigger, who was leading the chasing group for a while finished 4th, with Caroline Bohé in 5th.
Mitterwallner proved that she’s, in fact, a very strong climber. She had a slow start to the race and was nowhere close to the front. She made up over a minute mid-race and found herself in the front of the chasing group. It wasn’t long after that she broke away from the group. Amazing performance from his young Austrian rider!
Emily Batty found herself finishing in 10th place, her best finish in a while! British riders Annie Last and Isla Short showed brilliant performances finishing in 12th and 19th places.
Here’s what went down in the men’s race….
The temperature at the beginning of the race was 35 degrees. The combination of that, along with the relatively higher altitude resulting in thin air, it’s safe to say that the riders did not have it easy!
In the Men’s race, shortly before the start, Mathias Flückiger’s team announced that he would be absent at the start line. That meant that if certain riders performed well, they could threaten his overall position. Hatherly, in particular, was a threat. He had a really tough day in the office, though, struggling with a chest infection. Series leader Nino Schurter also had a significantly challenging day out, but pulled through to finish third. Filippo Colombo suffered throughout the race as well.
Braidot takes a back to back win at Vallnord XCO World Cup after some strong racing. Come think of it, if he had better luck at Friday’s XCC race, he’d have had the perfect weekend. Valero-Serrano finished second, leading for most of the last few laps. Schurter, after an incredibly tough day out there, went from nearly mid-pack, to a third place finish. Dascalu, who looked like he was onto a winner until the very last lap, finished fourth after a mechanical in the last lap. Sarrou finished fifth.
Dascalu jumps from fourth to second place in the overall standings. Nino Schurter keeps hold of the XCO World Cup overall leader’s jersey. Hatherly stays in third place, pushing Flückiger into fourth. Braidot sits in fifth place.
Line Burquier took the Women’s U-23 World Cup win with Ronja Blöchlinger in second and Puck Pieterse in third. In the men’s field, Carter Woods took the win followed by Luca Martin in second and Riley Amos in third.
It was weird that loads of folks were going into this race ill or sitting it out altogether – we hope all the riders who’ve been poorly feel better soon! This was a race that you literally couldn’t take your eyes off of the screen for even a moment whilst it was underway. We can’t wait to do this all over again in a couple of weeks!
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