Posted by Editoress on 09/17/21
For the final round of the Mountain Bike World Cup, the action shifted to Snowshoe, West Virginia, in the United States; the site of the only World Cup this season outside of Europe, and the host of the World Cup Final in 2019. Action got underway on Friday with the Short Track, with Evie Richards (Trek Factory) winning the women's race and Victor Koretzky (KMC-Orbea), the men's.
The top Canadians for the day were Laurie Arseneault (Canyon Collective) in 14th and Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro) in 15th - both will start on the second row for Sunday's cross-country. In the men's race, Marc Andre Fortier (Pivot-OTE) was 19th and will start on the third row (as will Sandra Walter (Liv Canada) after finishing 18th in the women's race).
"This race was really great for me," said Arseneault. "My goal was to have a clean and strong race and I'm happy about my progression on my second Short Track ever!"
The 1.1 kilometre circuit through the ski resort village featured short, steep climbs and descents, and many sharp corners. While it was dusty and dry, fog and rain began to move in during the men's race.
The women's overall World Cup title had been locked up in the previous round two weeks ago, in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, by Loana Lecomte (Massi), who elected to not compete in the Short Track, saying she was "tired, mentally and physically". Indeed, there were only 35 entries (out of a possible 40), with many riders electing not to make the trip to the USA.
2016 Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds (Sweden), second in the overall standings, took the lead at the start with Short Track world champion Sina Frei (Specialized Racing) on her wheel. Over the seven lap race the lead group steadily shrunk, with four at the front by the start of the last lap - Richards, her team mate, the Olympic champion Jolanda Neff, Rissveds and Olympic bronze medalist Linda Indergand (Liv Factory). Richards attacked hard on the final climb, with only Neff able to follow. Neff could not come by her team mate on the final cobbled straightaway, enabling Richards to take the win, with Rissveds holding on for third. Rissveds' third place allows her to hold on to second in the overall standings, but Richards jumped from fifth to third, and could challenge for second overall on Sunday.
"I just didn't want to be behind anyone in case they made mistakes," explained Richards about her last lap attack. "I just thought I'd risk it and I was just going to go as hard as I could. I talked to my coach and asked, 'should I attack on that climb?', and he said, 'yeah, do it'. So that was in my head before the race and it worked out in the end."
Koretzky was one of the most aggressive riders for the entire men's race, leading out on the first of eight laps. While the pace was fierce, by the halfway point there were still 17 riders in contention, including Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory), Short Track world champion Christopher Blevins (Trinity Racing), Ondrej Cink (Kross Orlen), Filippo Colombo (Absolute-Absalon-BMC) and overall World Cup leader Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus RN Swiss Bike). Flueckiger had not yet locked up the men's World Cup title coming into this weekend, and needed a 12th place or better in the Short Track to take the overall title before Sunday's final cross-country.
Avancini and Cink took over from Koretzky in the pacesetting, with Flueckiger always lurking in the top five. However, Koretzky was just biding his time, and attacked on the same last climb of the last lap as Richards in the women's race. Only Avancini could go with him initially, but the Brazilian could not hold the Frenchman's pace on the final straight, as Koretzky took the first Short Track win of his career. Colombo out sprinted Blevins for third, while Flueckiger finished fifth to win his first World Cup title. Koretzky's win moved him into second in the overall standings, bumping Cink down to third.
"I just tried to stay on a good wheel," explained Koretzky, "and not attack too early in the race. I just tried to wait for a good moment and attacked on the last lap, and then go full gas to the end. It was just amazing in the last few metres, to have the win. I'm super happy to win my first XCC race."
Flueckiger was extremely pleased to have the pressure off for the World Cup title, "It's crazy; I couldn't have imagined it one year ago. I've had a really great season ... I'm so tired now! What we have done with the team is really great, and this has been growing all year. Now I've won the World Cup overall, and that's really crazy."
Top Canadian man Marc Andre Fortier
|Women, 7.9km (7 laps)|
|1 Evie Richards (GBr) Trek Factory Racing XC||0:22:12|
|2 Jolanda Neff (Sui) Trek Factory Racing XC||at 0:02|
|3 Jenny Rissveds (Swe)||0:05|
|4 Linda Indergand (Sui) Liv Factory Racing||0:07|
|5 Sina Frei (Sui) Specialized Racing||0:07|
|6 Nicole Koller (Sui) Ghost Factory Racing||0:08|
|7 Rebecca McConnell (Aus) Primaflor Mondraker XSauce||0:15|
|8 Anne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory Racing||0:19|
|9 Laura Stigger (Aut) Specialized Racing||0:20|
|10 Greta Seiwald (Ita) Santa Cruz FSA MTB Pro Team||0:21|
|11 Alessandra Keller (Sui) Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team||0:24|
|12 Martina Berta (Ita) Santa Cruz FSA MTB Pro Team||0:40|
|13 Nadine Rieder (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing||0:46|
|14 Laurie Arseneault (Can) Canyon Collective Factory Team||0:49|
|15 Catharine Pendrel (Can) Clif Pro||0:52|
|16 Lea Davison (USA)||0:57|
|17 Janika Loiv (Est)||0:59|
|18 Sandra Walter (Can) LIV||1:00|
|19 Rocio del Alba Garcia Martinez (Esp) BH Templo Cafés UCC||1:08|
|20 Anne Tauber (Ned) CST Postnl Bafang MTB Racing Team||1:14|
|21 Kelsey Urban (USA)||1:14|
|22 Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg)||1:15|
|23 Haley Batten (USA) Trinity Racing MTB||1:15|
|24 Hannah Finchamp (USA)||1:26|
|25 Nina Benz (Ger) Jb Brunex Superior Factory Racing||1:35|
|26 Kate Courtney (USA) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team||1:41|
|27 Jennifer Jackson (Can) Norco Factory Team XC||1:42|
|28 Haley Smith (Can) Norco Factory Team XC||2:09|
|29 Emily Batty (Can) Canyon Collective Factory Team||2:15|
|30 Mackenzie Myatt (Can)||2:36|
|31 Michela Molina (Ecu)||2:55|
|32 Cindy Montambault (Can)||-2 Laps|
|33 Hayley Bates (USA)||-3 Laps|
|34 Madeline Depman (USA)||-3 Laps|
|DNF Katerina Nash (Cze)|
|Men, 9km (8 laps)|
|1 Victor Koretzky (Fra) KMC - Orbea||0:22:05|
|2 Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing||at 0:03|
|3 Filippo Colombo (Sui) Absolute-Absalon - Bmc||0:03|
|4 Christopher Blevins (USA) Trinity Racing MTB||0:03|
|5 Mathias Flueckiger (Sui) Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team||0:08|
|6 Jordan Sarrou (Fra) Specialized Racing||0:09|
|7 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Kross Orlen Cycling Team||0:09|
|8 Luca Braidot (Ita) Santa Cruz FSA MTB Pro Team||0:09|
|9 Milan Vader (Ned) KMC - Orbea||0:11|
|10 Nadir Colledani (Ita) Mmr Factory Racing Team||0:12|
|11 Vlad Dascalu (Rou) Trek - Pirelli||0:12|
|12 Lars Forster (Sui) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team||0:12|
|13 Antoine Philipp (Fra) Giant Factory Off - Road Team||0:15|
|14 Alan Hatherly (RSA) Cannondale Factory Racing||0:18|
|15 Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team||0:22|
|16 Luca Schwarzbauer (Ger) Lexware Mountainbike Team||0:24|
|17 Reto Indergand (Sui) Giant Factory Off - Road Team||0:24|
|18 David Nordemann (Ned) CST Postnl Bafang MTB Racing Team||0:25|
|19 Marc Andre Fortier (Can) Pivot Cycles - OTE||0:45|
|20 Thomas Griot (Fra) Massi||0:47|
|21 Raphael Auclair (Can) Pivot Cycles - OTE||0:47|
|22 Simon Andreassen (Den) Cannondale Factory Racing||0:47|
|23 Andri Frischknecht (Sui) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team||0:48|
|24 Pierre De Froidmont (Bel) BH - Wallonie MTB Team||0:49|
|25 Stephan Davoust (USA)||0:49|
|26 Luke Vrouwenvelder (USA)||0:50|
|27 Leandre Bouchard (Can) Pivot Cycles - OTE||0:55|
|28 Peter Disera (Can) Norco Factory Team XC||0:59|
|29 Tyler Orschel (Can)||1:00|
|30 Quinton Disera (Can) Norco Factory Team XC||1:17|
|31 Vital Albin (Sui) Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team||1:28|
|32 Alexandre Vialle (Can)||1:49|
|33 Georwill Perez Roman (Pur)||1:54|
|34 Sandy Floren (USA)||2:04|
|35 Andrew L'Esperance (Can) Norco Factory Team XC||2:06|
|36 Ryan Standish (USA)||2:32|
|DNF Stephane Tempier (Fra) Trek Factory Racing XC|
|DNF Anton Cooper (NZl) Trek Factory Racing XC|
|DNF Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) Kross Orlen Cycling Team|
|DNS Maxime Marotte (Fra) Santa Cruz FSA MTB Pro Team|
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