First year Cross-Country Elite riders take wins in UCI World Cup

Loana Lecomte and Simon Andreassen excelled on Thursday in Nove Mesto.

After months of change and uncertainty, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is finally back. 

Evie Richards performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020
First-year Elite Evie Richards stormed through Tuesday night’s Short Track to take the sprint and win on debut.

Tuesday delivered a wet and wild Short Track race to open the season which will start and end in Nove Mesto na Morave in the Czech Republic, with four Elite races over six days. Here is a recap of the action from Thursday.


ELITE WOMEN

After taking the win in her first-ever Short Track race on Tuesday, Evie Richards was running the number one plate and quick off the line. Along with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Anne Terpstra, she formed the first lead group of the race. They were joined by Sina Frei, Laura Stigger and Kate Courtney.

Competitors perform at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020
Terpstra, Courtney, PFP and Frei lead the field off the start line.

Soon it was the World Champion, Ferrand-Prevot, who started driving the race at the front. Behind her it was the young French rider, Loana Lecomte, who took up the chase. This was Lecomte’s first Elite World Cup, but after her third place in the XCC she was full of confidence and in contention from the very beginning.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020
Pauline Ferrand Prevot was at the front for most of the race.

By the mid-race point, the U23 French Champion had caught her compatriot and overhauled the World Champion, looking in control. Behind her, Ferrand-Prevot looked safe in second right up to the last lap when Terpstra managed to find an extra gear and quickly close in on the World Champion.

Evie Richards performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020 //
Evie Richards rode at the front in the early laps before fading.

Eventually, the chase group split. Lena Gerault and Stigger rode clear to secure fourth and fifth respectively, Terpstra’s strong finish translated to second place and the early race leader, Ferrand-Prevot had to settle for third.

Loana Lecomte performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010010789 // Usage for editorial use only //
Race winner Loana Lecomte was clearly the strongest rider today.

Lecomte was clearly the strongest rider today, and with more than 30 seconds to second place she had time enough to soak in her achievement as she rolled down the finish straight.

Terpstra, Lecomte and Ferrand-Prevot celebrate.
From L to R: Terpstra, Lecomte and Ferrand-Prevot celebrate.

Results:
1 – Loana Lecomte
2 – Anne Terpstra
3 – Pauline Ferrand-Prevot
4 – Lena Gerault
5 – Laura Stigger


ELITE MEN

After lighting up the Short Track race two days ago with a surprise win, Mexican National Champion Jose Gerado Alluo Alevaro was once again at the front in the cross-country race in the opening laps, but unfortunately fell foul of the wet roots and crashed out. 

Competitors performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010010807 // Usage for editorial use only //
Avancini seemed very comfortable at the front of the race for the opening laps.

Henrique Avancini was at the head of affairs from the start and looked to be in charge of the race. Milan Vader’s Dutch National Champion’s jersey was never far from the front, whereas Simon Andreassen, who didn’t race Short Track, had his work cut out to make it to the front of the race.

Simon Andreassen performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020
Simon Andreassen rode from the back of the grid to the front of the race by lap 3.

Mathias Flückiger was the first rider to challenge the authority of Avancini at the front but problems later in the race sidelined him. Avancini himself ended up dropping back whilst Nino Schurter, who struggled to find his rhythm in the early stages of the race, gradually clawed his way back into contention.

Competitors performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010010807 // Usage for editorial use only //
An unfamiliar position for Schurter who struggled in the middle of the race only to fight his way back to 4th.

As the lead group whittled down, the young guns Vader and Andreassen began to look set for the victory. However, Maxime Marotte was able to put the pressure on and drop Vader on the final lap. With half a lap to go, Andreassen eked out an advantage over Marotte until finally he had time to celebrate his victory ahead of Marotte in second and Vader in third.

Maxime Marotte performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010010815 // Usage for editorial use only //
In the end Maxime Marotte didn’t have the strength to go with the attack up the last climb by Andreassen.

The fight for fourth came right down to the line with a sprint finish between Schurter and Avancini, with the World Champion just taking it ahead of the Brazilian Champion.

Simon Andreassen seen at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on October 1st, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010010819 // Usage for editorial use only //
L to R: Marotte, Andreassen, Vader

Results:
1 – Simon Andreassen
2 – Maxime Marotte
3 – Milan Vader
4 – Nino Schurter
5 – Henrique Avancini

6 – Alan Hatherly


Credits: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool


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