XC World Cup Mairipora: results, reports & highlights video

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The first World Cup of the year took place in Brazil. Here are the results, race reports and a highlights video from Mairipora.

XC World Cup Mairipora: results

Race reports and photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports:

UCI CROSS-COUNTRY OLYMPIC WORLD CUP : RISSVEDS AND BLEVINS TAKE CROSS-COUNTRY HONOURS IN MAIRIPORÃ

Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis Cycles Continental) and Christopher Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) put in assured performances in the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series in Mairiporã, Brazil on Sunday, taking wins in the elite UCI Cross-country Olympic World Cup events.

Rissveds played the long game, allowing the American duo of Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) and Savilia Blunk (Decathlon Ford Racing Team) to battle for supremacy while she saved her watts for the final lap.

In the men’s race, fans were treated to one of the closest and most unpredictable battles in recent memory, as thirteen riders headed into the final lap with nothing to separate them. Specialized delivered a supreme team performance with three on the podium, as Blevins rode his way through the field to claim just the second UCI World Cup victory of his career.

RISSVEDS EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF IN THREE-UP BATTLE

After a win in the UCI Cross-country Short Track World Cup on Saturday, it was Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli) who was able to use her front row gridding to full effect at the beginning of the women’s elite cross-country Olympic World Cup. The Brit applied pressure from the start, and her brisk early pacesetting had an impact on the start loop, with just a small selection of riders able to stay with her, including Batten, Rissveds, and Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team), as many more were caught up on the early climb and forced to dismount.

Moving into the first full lap though, a selection of riders closed the gap to the leaders and a sizeable bunch led the race until Chiara Teocchi, riding her first season for the Orbea Factory Team, took matters into her own hands. The multiple former Italian national champion moved through decisively and under her sustained pressure, Richards, Courtney and more were distanced, as Teocchi drew out a lead group of five. It didn’t last long though, as the American duo of Batten and Blunk attacked Teocchi on lap two, and moved clear of the rest to form a leading duo.

It was the Swedish rider Rissveds – gold medallist at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro – who was eventually able to bridge the gap to the leading pair on lap three, with Teocchi and Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon), chasing in fourth and fifth place respectively.

The front trio remained locked together into the fourth lap, as further back, reigning Olympic champion Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli) picked riders off one by one as she worked her way through the pack towards the front of the race.

Batten attacked on the climb towards the end of the fourth lap, and though Rissveds was able to make her way back to the American, her compatriot Blunk dropped back. She finally clawed her way back on the final lap only to see her countrywoman Batten accelerate again as she tried to drop Rissveds.

But Rissveds counter-attacked and surged clear of the chasers. Behind her, Batten suffered a late crash on a berm, allowing Blunk to move back into second. Rissveds raised her arms over the line 27 seconds ahead of Blunk who sealed second place. Batten rolled over the line in third. Teocchi was overjoyed as she finished fourth and Neff capped a fantastic comeback to finish in fifth and round out the podium.

After the race, Rissveds said:

It felt really good, I raced last weekend on the exact same course, and I was a little bit too excited. My goal was to feel the flow on the trails and to stay patient, so I had that in mind the whole race. Then Haley tried to attack me a few times on the last lap, but I still felt really strong and knew I still had some power left in my legs.

What I’m most happy about is that Kelsey [Urban], my teammate and best friend, did really well. She’s been struggling a lot with her health, she skipped half a season last year, and she’s been working so hard to come back. She’s killing it and I’m so happy for her.

Savilia Blunk (Decathlon Ford Racing Team)

It was an incredible race, super hard, but I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a busy spring, I’ve been trying to race with high competition to get ready for these early UCI World Cups and qualify myself for the Olympics, so it’s been a huge amount of work over the last three months. I feel like I’ve never been so committed to the process, and to have it pay off today, I can’t really explain it.

Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing):

Honestly, I think I was one of the strongest today, and I didn’t race like I should have. I think I got a little too eager and excited. You can’t just ride away from the best riders in the world. I learned a lot today, it’s good to know I’m strong and it’s just making sure I actually execute the way I need to.

SPECIALIZED DELIVER MASTERCLASS IN THRILLING ENCOUNTER

Dry, dusty conditions and moody skies did not diminish the heat and humidity for the men’s elite race, which nonetheless began at a frenetic pace. Heavy traffic and a few errors on the early climbs caused major issues on the start loop, with knock-on effects reverberating throughout the pack as many riders were forced to dismount. The impact was a huge spread of riders across the course.

Teammates Martín Vidaurre and Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing) took advantage of the chaos to forge clear, and heading into the first full lap, seven riders had a small gap on the rest of the field. More riders tried to close in on the leaders but the Frenchman Koretzky, winner of both the UCI Cross-country Olympic and Short Track World Cups in Les Gets in 2023, maintained a strong pace and, as the second lap began, the lead group had been whittled down to six. Swiss Filippo Colombo (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team) took control with Koretzky and Vidaurre close behind, and France’s Joshua Dubau (Decathlon Ford Racing Team) worked his way steadily up to join them.

The quartet had almost 20 seconds on the rest of the field moving into lap three, and they worked together well into lap four, with a chasing group of three striving to make contact, including New Zealand’s Sam Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck), winner of yesterday’s UCI Cross-country Short Track World Cup event; Frenchman Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC) and Christopher Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing). Blevins stormed past Gaze and Sarrou to close the gap to the leaders, to make three Specialized riders at the front, and Gaze and Sarrou were able to make the bridge to swell the leading group to seven heading into lap five.

The group only grew as the race reached the business end though, with seven more chasers briefly making contact, but the original four still maintained their presence at the front of the race with a narrow gap over Gaze, Blevins and Sarrou heading into lap six.

After a long period of relative stalemate, Colombo put in an acceleration but it was not enough to move clear of the chasers who closed the gap once more and with even more riders joining the pursuit, the leading group numbered thirteen riders heading into the final lap.

The decisive attacks had to come, and it was a two-pronged drive from teammates Vidaurre and Koretzky that kicked off the action, but it wasn’t enough to drop the challengers. Specialized had a third option though, and as soon as he had the space, Blevins sprung away and quickly opened a gap, with Colombo in pursuit.

The chase was not enough however, and in exactly one hour and thirty minutes, Blevins wrapped up an incredible victory, his second in the UCI World Cup circuit, with Koretzky sprinting to second ahead of Colombo in third. The Specialized riders celebrated as Vidaurre made it three on the podium for them, coming in fifth, with Jordan Sarrou pipping him into fourth position.

It was a bad day for Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team), however. The Swiss rider, who won last year’s overall title and leads the all-time standings for most UCI Cross-country World Cup victories, crashed early in the race and was only able to finish in 35th position, 2:47 off the pace of Blevins.

Blevins said:

It’s so surreal, I’m just kind of in a daze right now. This sport’s just so beautiful and when you’re on days like this, there’s no place I’d rather be in the world. I had a really bad day yesterday, and I think it’s a lesson. In this sport you’ve just got to listen to your body, you can always get more out of it than you think.

We’ve dreamt about a day like this as we are all on the same team. I don’t know if this has happened in mountain bike history, three in the same team on the podium? I love these boys; I love this team around me. I didn’t think today could be my day but you’ve just got to always believe in yourself and anything is possible. Brazil, you’re awesome, hope we come back every year.

Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing):

It was super tactical race today, we managed it really well. We won the team overall, it’s amazing, and we can wait now for the next weekend. I’m so proud of Chris as he’s had two super tough years and now he’s back on the front and on the podium.

Third-placed Filippo Colombo (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team) said:

I really worked super hard this winter throughout my injury, and I’m super stoked to be back on the podium fighting for the victory until the last lap. It’s a shame, but Blevins was super strong. I tried everything that I could.

AMOS AND BÖHM DOUBLE DELIGHT IN U23 UCI CROSS-COUNTRY OLYMPIC WORLD CUP

Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli) and Kira Böhm (Cube Factory Racing) both scored a double victory in the U23 UCI Cross-country World Cup events. After Amos’ commanding victory in the men’s event on Saturday, the women’s event began with a strong start for the Swiss Ginia Caluori (Wilier-Victoria Factory Team XCO), pursued by Böhm and the Emily Johnston (Trek Future Racing). They formed a leading group of three, on the start lap, with the field already scattered along the track in small groups.

The trio stayed together for the first two laps, taking turns on the front and adding distance between themselves and the chasers, Valentina Corvi (Santa Cruz Rockshox Pro Team) and Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli), the latter recovering from an early crash.

On the third lap, Johnston lost touch with the other two leaders and shortly after, Böhm used the short climb to her advantage to open a gap to Caluori in second. From there she continued to inject pace and put the hurt on her pursuer, but Caluori was unfazed and came back for a final lap head-to-head. In the end though it was Böhm who proved her strength, moving clear of Caluori and taking victory by 11 seconds, with Johnston finishing in third.

Böhm said:

Thank you so much. I’m so, so happy. I never thought I would be so strong today. I know that I have a good shape right now. In the short track race it wasn’t a surprise to me but today I’ve surprised myself a little bit.

OPENING WEEKEND IN MAIRIPORÃ DEEMED A ROARING SUCCESS

Global promoter of the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series, WBD Sports, would like to thank the race organisation at Mairiporã for a hugely successful event, and for kicking off the series in style.

Chris Ball, Vice President of Cycling Events at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said:

The event was extremely well attended, with an incredible 25,000 spectators throughout the weekend. The locals proudly represented the passion that the Brazilian fans have for the sport of mountain biking. The course was challenging and varied and produced some spectacular, unpredictable, and thrilling racing throughout the weekend, showcasing the beauty of the Brazilian racing scene

Fabio Caldeo, CEO of the Arena iMTB & iMTB Festival, said:

We’re proud of the outcome. We’re happy to be opening our home to the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series. This is the result of months of hard work and commitment from a dedicated team and I just want to thank them all.

The second round of the 2024 WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series takes place next weekend, 19-21 April, in Araxá, in Western Minas Gerais state, Brazil.

UCI CROSS-COUNTRY SHORT TRACK WORLD CUP RICHARDS AND GAZE POWER TO VICTORY IN MAIRIPORÃ

The 2024 WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series began in scintillating style with two explosive races in Mairiporã, Brazil on Saturday. Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli) and Sam Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck) got off the mark with commanding performances, but while Richards was able to stamp her authority on the women’s elite race with a decisive solo strike for the line, Gaze was forced to work all the way the finish in a nail-biting finale in the men’s race.

Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli) threw down the gauntlet with an aggressive and fearless performance in the women’s elite UCI Cross-country Short Track (XCC) World Cup in Mairiporã, Brazil.

The 2024 WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series kicked off amid warm and sticky conditions in Mairiporã, with 29-degree temperatures and 80% humidity. The bunch were clustered together in the early part of the race, led by Martina Berta (Santa Cruz Rockshox Pro Team), who used her front row gridding to her advantage to make a strong start.

Berta was pursued by Evie Richards and Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis Cycles Continental). The bunch remained compressed for the first two laps, with the pump track and the sharp descent drawing out the best bike handlers and stretching out the race before they gathered once again as they headed into the climb.

Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli) used the descent to gain a small gap, then led a big bunch as Alessandra Keller (Thömus maxon), moved into the lead on the second time around the pump track. Keller maintained her lead through the lap, but as the bunch compressed again, Rebecca Henderson (Primaflor Mondraker Racing Team) took control.

It was on lap 3 that the field finally started to stretch out and gaps opened up, with the primary aggressor the 2018 UCI World Champion Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team). Courtney moved clear, chased by Richards, with Rissveds and Neff next on the track.

The winning move came on lap 5 however, as Richards attacked Courtney and moved through on the pump track to take the lead, and immediately opened up a gap to Courtney and Neff, which continued to grow as she attacked the descent and powered on over the flat sections of the course. With Keller trying to make up the deficit, and Courtney tiring, there was not enough momentum in the chase and Richards won with seven seconds over Henderson in second and Keller in third.

Richards said: “It started off in quite a big group and then a couple of different girls went on the front and pushed and Kate [Courtney] made an attack, and I happened to be on her second wheel, and I just pushed with the attack. I think she faded a bit at the top of one of the climbs and I came out of the descent with a lead and I just kept going at that speed really, just maintained the gap. I’m really pleased to start the season like that.

“I think you always have to improvise. We talked a lot about strategies and what would happen if different people attacked so I was well prepared going into it and was happy with that.”

Speaking about the conditions, Richards said: “It’s really hot. Especially when the UK has literally been grey for six months straight it’s definitely a step up from the UK but it’s nice as well. It’s good to get some sunshine and some vitamin D on the body.”

UCI WORLD CHAMPION MAKES A STATEMENT IN MEN’S SHORT-TRACK

It was a battle of the short-track powerhouses in the men’s race as UCI World Champion Sam Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck) won a last-gasp victory after a thrilling battle with Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV XCO).

As the lights turned green, Schwarzbauer immediately launched into pole position and was already able to open a small gap between himself and the rest, looking calm and in control. In the early part of the race Mathias Flückiger (Thömus Maxon), Jordan Sarrou (Team BMC), and Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing) were the closest to the German, but with Sam Gaze moving through quickly in the rainbow stripes, Schwarzbauer was relentless, powering into the turns and trying to ensure the pace stayed high.

Schwarzbauer continued to hold the front of the race with around nine riders chasing a few seconds behind, and the rest already spread out along the track. Koretzky attacked and took the lead for a short while, but in an aggressive run up the climb towards the pump track Schwarzbauer used his physicality to break through to the front again, followed by Martin Vidaurre (Specialized Factory Racing). The pair took a small gap heading off the descent, and Vidaurre moved into the lead, with Schwarzbauer and Gaze bearing down from behind.

Gaze exerted his authority for the first time on lap 5, but Schwarzbauer counter-attacked in the same place heading into the pump track and a stalemate followed heading into lap 7 as the riders collectively caught their breath. It was all business on the final lap though, as the frontrunners came back together again, and though Sarrou cut in to take second position briefly, when Gaze attacked the climb, he took an unassailable lead.

In a breathless last few moments of action, Koretzky tried to attack at the expense of his teammate Vidaurre but it was too little too late – Gaze powered over the line to make a clear statement about his form heading into an Olympic season. Schwarzbauer hailed Gaze as he crossed the line in second, with Vidaurre third after a courageous performance.

Gaze spoke after the race: “It’s been a really difficult couple of weeks, it was really hard to focus on my job at some points, but I’ve come out here and put together a good performance. The start was super critical for me and a lot of the time I don’t get lucky, but I have to say I got lucky in the start loop, and then from there it was just trying to recover

best I could before moving forward. The heat is such a factor here, it feels like I’ve swallowed a glass full of glass. I’m super happy, good signs for the next two weeks, happy to have a good start.

“Luca [Schwarzbauer] is a great guy, we found a bit of partnership, just trying to keep the speed how we wanted it. There’s a big advantage racing from the front and as soon as I got there, I realised the advantage they had, so we tried to keep it and then to be honest, I really didn’t think it was possible to do the sprint. I was completely on the limit, but obviously everyone else was too. That’s short track racing.”

Runner-up Luca Schwarzbauer said: “It was surprisingly nice track. Honestly, during the recon I thought it’s not super nice with the pump track, I thought it’s gonna hurt a lot. But in the end it was very nice and controlled, and I had Sam on my side; we are not teammates but at least Canyon teammates and we could help each other a little bit in the end, I also did not attack him 100%. I don’t know who was the strongest but in the end, I’m super happy to provide that finish picture for Canyon together with Sam and super happy because I was not 100% sure about my form. I was motivated but I didn’t feel the big weight on my shoulders yet. Last year I realised, when the weight is huge, I can perform but it’s also a lot of stress, so I’m happy that I could also perform with a little bit less stress but it’s only the first race of the season.”

Third placed finisher Martin Vidaurre: “Finishing third here in Brazil is just amazing. A lot of Chilean fans are here, so it’s different to be here. It took me a while to be on the podium, like a year. So it’s good to trust in the process and good to be back on the podium. I’m just so happy.

“I’m not in a hurry. I still enjoy my training, I enjoy being a racer, I don’t like to rush it too much so I just trust my work and keep going because I just love the sport.”

WINS FOR BÖHM AND AMOS IN U23 CROSS-COUNTRY SHORT TRACK

The UCI Cross-country Short Track (XCC) U23 World Cup events took place on Friday, with wins for Germany’s Kira Böhm (Cube Factory Racing) and Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli).

Böhm broke free from the field to power to a decisive solo victory, with Americans Madigan Munro and Sofia Waite battling it out for second position, with Munro victorious in the sprint for the line.

The men’s race was a much tighter affair, but Riley Amos was able to carve out a small gap between himself and the chasers heading for the line. Swiss Dario Lillo and Norwegian Sondre Rokke finished second and third, two seconds behind the American.

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Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • XC World Cup Mairipora: results, reports & highlights video
  • nickc
    Full Member

    What happened to Pauline Ferrand Prevot? did she sit out this round?

    Kuco
    Full Member

    Yes, she decided not to do this round same as Mona Mitterwallner.

    wipperman95
    Free Member

    Ineos tweeted last week she wouldn’t be going to the Brazilian rounds…..Onto Chur in May, before Nove Mesto.

    I also guess, it’s a bit of a trek down to Brazil for just one rider……better to stay in Europe preparing/ training.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    she’s known for being able to peak for an event very well.

    only in the very brief covid affected 2020 season (which she won the overall) has she done all the WC races in a season.

    only one knobbly tyred prize has eluded her

    I’m guessing at 32 years old and an Olympic year, there is exactly one race she is interested in in 2024.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Yeah, good point. I think its clear where most folks attention is right now. Puck Petersen not racing the early rounds either,  some of the experienced racers coming into obvious form – Yolanda Neff and Kate Courtney for example who were nowhere last year and are both top 10 in the first race and showed form in the XCC as well.

    Going to be an interesting year.

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    I think Mitterwallner was sick at the Cape Epic and is still recovering, which sounds rough.

    You can see why Puck Pieteres wasn’t there – she’s doing really well in the classics in her first road season and I think she’s nailed on for the Netherland’s female mountain biker slot at the Olympics.

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