Andorra XCO World Cup Recap | Presented by SHIMANO

Nino Schurter and Anne Terpstra battle the field and the elements to take the wins.

Jolanda Neff leads eventual race winner Anne Terpstra through one of the high-speed descents on the Andorran World Cup race track.
Jolanda Neff leads eventual race winner Anne Terpstra through one of the high-speed descents on the hot and dusty Andorran World Cup race track.


Course Preview with Bec McConnell



ELITE WOMEN’S RACE

In the women’s race, Jolanda Neff grabbed the lead off of the line but was soon passed by Eva Lechner as they headed out onto the first lap. A mid-pack bunch crash early on in the first lap split the field up as riders were delayed. Kate Courtney took the lead about two minutes into the race as Jolanda Neff dropped back through the field to recover from her big effort off of the start line. The Candian, Pendrel then moved to the front of the race and opened a small gap on lap two. A stunning start by South African Mariske Straus saw her holding onto the top ten group in lap two – and looking fresh. Meanwhile, upfront a group of six riders Pendrel, Prevot, Frei, Tauber, Terpstra, and a toiling Courtney were clear of the rest. Neff, outside of the top ten riders on lap three but recovered from her early efforts began to charge again. By lap four Terpstra had moved to the front of the race, Prevot had a crash and lost time as did Michiels. Over the last two laps Rissveds and Belomoina leaped up a few positions whilst Courtney and Prevot soldiered on. At the front of the race Neff and Terpstra took turns at attacking but it was the strength of Terpstra which powered her clear for the victory as she became the first ever Dutch women’s XCO winner on the World Cup circuit. Swiss star Neff followed in second and the Ukranian Belomoina clawed her way up to 3rd place. South African riders Strauss and Lill placed a credible 12th and 22nd respectively.

Neff leads the field off of the start line.
Courtney grinds her way up ‘The Wall’ on lap 1.
A resurgent Pauline Ferrand Prevot was in the mix for the first few laps but ran out of reserve fuel from the halfway mark and toiled to a 12th place. Still, not a bad result at all considering what Pauline has been through this year.
Anne Terpstra dominated the race today. She moved to the front on lap 3 and set a pace that only Neff could match. In the end, Terpstra had a little more gas for the counter-attack on the last lap which put daylight between her and Neff.
Not the best day for the World Champ today, nevertheless Kate Courtney kept on grinding away for an 8th place which sees her hang onto the series lead.
On a track which is wide yet difficult to pass on, Swede Jenny Rissveds moved forward all day, carving her way through the field and up into a 5th place finish.
Mexican rider Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon rode into a brilliant 4th place finish only 58 seconds down on the winner, Terpstra.
As always Jolanda Neff was charging hard and making up time on the descents.
Yana Belomoina charged from deep in the pack all the way to a 3rd place finish. A brilliant performance from a rider who understands the art of pacing when racing at high altitude.
Terpstra, 28, said: “I knew I prepared very good for the altitude because normally it is a weakness for me. I also wanted to take a risk. I did my own race, my own pace.”
Jolanda Neff and Jenny Rissveds share a moment after crossing the finish line.
“I can’t stop crying. I did not believe that I could come back and be up here. From Nové Město until now, I really started to work on my mind-game again. It is incredible what your head can do if you believe in yourself. It is just amazing.” – Jenny

RACE RESULTS

  1. Anne TERPSTRA (NED) 1:22:59
  2. Jolanda NEFF (SUI) +0.38
  3. Yana BELOMOINA (UKR) +0.51
  4. Daniela CAMPUZANO CHAVEZ PEON (MEX) +0.58
  5. Jenny RISSVEDS (SWE) +1.03

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 3

  1. Kate COURTNEY (USA) 890 points
  2. Jolanda NEFF (SUI) 815
  3. Anne TERPSTRA (NED) 645
  4. Anne TAUBER (NED) 499
  5. Yana BELOMOINA (UKR) 486
  6. Rebecca Ellen MCCONNELL (AUS) 466
  7. Sina FREI (SUI) 445
  8. Linda INDERGAND (SUI) 441
  9. Haley SMITH (CAN) 410
  10. Chloe WOODRUFF (USA) 385

ELITE MEN’S RACE

In the men’s race, Titouan Carod bulleted off the line and lead into the first corner of the race. Not long after that Avancini dropped the hammer on everyone and opened a big lead. The Brazilian was riding hard and seemed a little amazed at the size of the gap to second place. On the second lap, the Czech rider Ondrej Cink worked hard and reeled in Avancini. Behind them, Schurter had recovered from an early fall and was leading the chase group of four. On lap four while Cink was out front alone and pushing very hard Kerschbaumer was closing in on the leaders ever so slightly. It was the last three laps where the complexion of the race changed – Flueckiger pulled Schurter and Avancini back up to leader Cink, who overcooked things and stopped to regather himself. Avancini, Nino and Flueckiger continued to attack and keep the pace high. Nino’s final attack in the tech zone was just too much for Flueckiger and an ailing Avancini and the World Champ held a small advantage through to the finish line. Alan Hatherly placed 27th.

An uphill start onto a wide track with thin air, a baking sun, and lots of dust is all it takes to quickly spread the field out.
“I am stepping up and a positive outcome for the weekend. I was not far from the win. I just missed the move towards the end.” – Henrique Avancini
Matthias Flueckiger looked to be on track for another victory, however
Nino summoned a great last-gasp sprint to seal the win.
Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo rode a brilliant race – even out sprinting Cooper at the line to secure a careerbest 6th place.
Ondrej Cink fell back with a chest/heart problem, leaving reigning champion Schurter, Flueckiger, and Avancini to contest the win.
By the end of the race, Avancini was only 12 seconds behind.
“It was super tough. It is the hardest to race at high altitude. You are always suffering. The sprint worked out pretty well.” – Nino Schurter
Men’s podium from left to right: Matthias Flueckiger, Nino Schurter, Henrique Avancini.

RACE RESULTS

  1. Nino SCHURTER (SUI) 1:19:34
  2. Mathias FLUECKIGER (SUI) +0:02
  3. Henrique AVANCINI (BRA) +0:12
  4. Gerhard KERSCHBAUMER (ITA) +0:27
  5. Jordan SARROU (FRA) +0:45
  6. Jose Gerardo ULLOA AREVALO (MEX) +0:53
  7. Anton COOPER (NZL) +0:53
  8. Anton SINTSOV (RUS) +1:19
  9. Victor KORETZKY (FRA) +1:23
  10. Ondrej CINK (CZE) +1:31

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 3

  1. Nino SCHURTER (SUI) 835 points
  2. Mathias FLUECKIGER (SUI) 755
  3. Mathieu VAN DER POEL (NED) 700
  4. Henrique AVANCINI (BRA) 655
  5. Jordan SARROU (FRA) 553
  6. Maxime MAROTTE (FRA) 531
  7. Gerhard KERSCHBAUMER (ITA) 451
  8. Titouan CAROD (FRA) 426
  9. Anton COOPER (NZL) 393
  10. Ondrej CINK (CZE) 360

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

THE GOOD: This is mountain biking at it’s best. Rider’s have to deal with the challenges of altitude, heat, dust and a technically demanding race track whilst fighting competitors for every inch along the way. The riders are pushing themselves to the limit and it’s an exciting show, the outcome of which is only determined in the last hundred meters. XCO is alive and well. Special shout out to Mariske Strauss for her careerbest 13th position!

THE BAD: Absolutely nothing.

THE UGLY: When riders get their altitude race strategy wrong and completely blow up in the middle of the race. You can’t win the race on lap one but (at altitude) you certainly can lose it.


Friday’s XCC / Short Track Race Highlights



NEXT ROUND: Les Gets, France – 12 to 14 July

Kate Courtney – focusing forward.

Images: Courtesy Red Bull & UCI. With thanks: Coolheat SA & Shimano



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