Val di Sole delivers two XCO thrillers at UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
The Swiss star held off local hero Gerhard Kerschbaumer at Val di Sole in Italy, while Poland’s Włoszczowska kept Canadian Emily Batty at bay in a riveting women’s race. Here is all you need to know:
– The women’s race got off to a dramatic start as Danish title leader Annika Langvad, who won the XCC short track race earlier in the weekend, was out early injured.
– Ferrand-Prévot faded first then Switzerland’s Neff lost momentum on one of the final climbs with Batty leaving her charge too late to catch Włoszczowska at the line.
– Neff ended third and Ferrand-Prévot fourth with Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjåthe oldest rider to finish on a WC podium aged 45 – her 70th in total.
– Włoszczowska was left to celebrate her first XCO World Cup win since 2012 after a series of podiums including XCO silver at the Rio Summer Games in 2016.
– The 34-year-old said: "It means that I am still young and powerful! I was feeling better and better the more the race went on. Focus and don’t make any mistakes. Push hard until the end and don’t think about the result."
– Batty, 30, revealed: "I was just chasing and turning myself inside out trying to bring Maja back. Few seconds short this week. I was so damn close to that win."
– Reigning men’s champion Schurter was beaten by Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in the short track race and broke away to leave his main rivals eating dust.
– Italian Kerschbaumer, though, wanted to put a smile on his fans’ faces and kept pace with the Swiss until the final downhill section when Schurter pulled away for his third win in a row.
– Schurter, 32, revealed: "I knew from the previous year that the finish is really short and super bumpy, so my goal was to try and get a little gap in the downhill and go all out. I would say I am in awesome shape and I am super happy about my form."
– Kerschbaumer, 26, said: "Today I am really happy with second place. All the fans stayed with me today. Last year I had a crash here, so this year was really good."
Val di Sole women’s cross-country result:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup women’s XCO standings after four out of seven races:
Val di Sole men’s cross-country result:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup men’s XCO standings after four out of seven races:
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Watch all the UCI MTB World Cup on Red Bull TV HERE.