RAIN AND FOG CHALLENGE WORLD CUP XCO RACERS IN WEST VIRGINIA

New faces top the podium as riders are pushed to the limit in the United States

Press release from Red Bull:

Alessandra Keller scored the  first XCO World Cup win of her career in West Virginia. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool

Switzerland’s Alessandra Keller and Spanish veteran David Valero Serrano proved to be the mud masters and both claimed their first-ever UCI Cross-Country Mountain Bike World Cup wins in horrendous conditions at the Snowshoe resort in West Virginia, USA. Here is all you need to know:

– After finishing a season’s best second place in the scorching heat and dust of the previous round in Andorra, Valero went one better in conditions that couldn’t have been more different in Snowshoe.

David Valero Serrano won his first-ever World Cup XCO race in the muddy conditions of West Virginia. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool

– Torrential rain turned the course into one of the most demanding seen on the World Cup circuit for some time, pushing riders and bikes to the limit.

– Early pace-setter Alan Hatherly had the opportunity to take over the overall World Cup lead after Nino Schurter was forced to sit the race out following a heavy fall in Friday’s XCC race. However, South Africa’s Hatherly also crashed hard on Lap 3 whilst fighting American Christopher Blevins for the lead, which put Hatherly out of contention for a podium place.

– Blevins, winner of Friday’s XCC race in Snowshoe, assumed the lead until a rear puncture on Lap 4 forced him to make a pit stop for a wheel change.

Christopher Blevins battled back from a flat tire on lap four to rejoin the leaders by the early stages of lap six. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool

– This handed the lead to Lenzerheide and Andorra race winner Luca Braidot and Tituoan Carod, but Blevins charged right back to the leading group by the early stages of Lap 6.

– The man on the move however was Valero, who timed his race to perfection. Starting slowly, he set increasingly fast lap times as he rode through the field from outside the top 10, and as his rivals began to pay for their earlier efforts during the final two laps, the Spanish rider looked fresh.

– The final lap started with Blevins, Valero, Carod, Braidot, Felipe Colombo and Luca Schwarzbauer bunched together in the fight for the win.

– A long-range attack by Blevins momentarily opened up a gap, and a home win looked possible, but the American couldn’t sustain it, and when Valero then attacked on the final third of the lap, no one could match him.

David Valero Serrano took the win at the end. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool.    

– Serrano crossed the line victorious by five seconds over Carod, while Braidot out-sprinted Belvins for third.

– “It’s incredible to finally win a World Cup,” said Valero. “The track was extremely difficult. The downhills especially were very complicated with the mud on all the rocks and roots, incredible conditions really.”

– The women’s race saw a brilliant back and forth battle in ever-worsening conditions between Alessandra Keller and Jenny Rissveds, with a last lap fall from Rissveds and a formidable turn of pace from Keller securing the Swiss former U23 champion her first Elite XCO win in impressive style.

– A number of top contenders were again missing from the race, including Loana Lecomte, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Laura Stigger, but Kate Courtney returned to action for her home race.

– At the front from the very start, Rissveds and Keller were joined in the early laps by Andorra winner Anne Terpstra, Jolanda Neff and a trio of US riders – Courtney, Hayley Batten and Savilia Blunk.

Kate Courtney finished tenth in Sunday’s XCO race at Snowshoe. Four American women finished in the top ten at the race. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool

– Rissveds, Keller and Terpstra quickly dropped the rest, and as the rain began to fall on Lap 4 an attack by Rissveds broke Terpstra.

– The final three laps saw Rissveds open a gap on every downhill or technical section and Keller fight back with incredible power on the uphills.

– As the final lap began in torrential rain, leader Rissveds fell on the first off-camber grassy turn and that was all the invitation Keller needed. Attacking all out, she found new reserves of speed to race home and win by an incredible 37 seconds over Rissveds.

– “The muddier it got, the better I got and somehow I won the World Cup,” said an elated Keller. “This season has already been great with a short-track win and now this first XCO win is crazy. I’m really happy.”

Anne Terpstra took over the lead in the overall World Cup XCO points standings. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool

– Terpstra came home third and took over the lead in the overall World Cup points chase from Australian Rebecca McConnell, while Mona Mitterwallner and Yolanda Neff completed the top five.

Mona Mitterwallner fights for traction in the rain and mud. Photo by Red Bull Content Pool

Women’s XCO result

1. Alessandra Keller SUI 1:24:35

2. Jenny Rissveds SWE +0.37

3. Anne Terpstra NED +0.50

4. Mona Mitterwallner AUT +1.07

5. Jolanda Neff SUI +2.24

Men’s XCO result

1. David Valero Serrano ESP 1:25:11

2. Titouan Carod FRA +0.05

3. Luca Braidot ITA +0.11

4. Christopher Blevins USA +0.11

5. Filippo Colombo SUI +0.20

2022 UCI MTB World Cup women’s cross-country standings

1. Anne Terpstra NED 1430 points

2. Rebecca Ellen McConnell AUS 1422

3. Alessandra Keller SUI 1312

4. Jenny Rissveds SWE 1260

5. Loana Lecomte FRA 1204

2022 UCI MTB World Cup men’s cross-country standings

1. Nino Schurter SUI 1342 points

2. Vlad Dascălu ROU 1227

3. Alan Hatherly RSA 1210

4. David Valero Serrano ESP 1166

5. Luca Braidot ITA 1160

Here are the top ten finishers in the Elite Men’s XCO race in West Virginia:

Here are the current top ten riders in the Elite Men’s XCO point standing for the 2022 World Cup series:

Here are top ten finishers in the Elite Women’s XCO race:

Here are top ten riders in the Elite Women’s XCO points standing for the 2022 World Cup series:

https://www.redbullcontentpool.com/international/CP-S-15708

 

 

 

 

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