Mathieu van der Poel and Kate Courtney win Round 2 in the Czech Republic
Elite Women’s Race
In the women’s race, Rebecca McConnell, Kate Courtney, Jolanda Neff, Sina Frei
Courtney, back up to speed with a new wheel, began charging hard and was closing in on the leaders as Neff started to drop off the pace a little. By lap 5 Tauber had an 18 second lead over Courtney with McConnell and Neff 34 seconds down. In the last 15 minutes of the race Neff flatted and dropped down the leaderboard, Tauber had a bobble on the technical climb, stepped off the bike and bent the derailleur in the process. Another slip further around the lap by Tauber saw her lose more time and positions and gifted the win to a determined Courtney.
Australian Rebecca McConnell and Canada’s Haley Smith both had
Courtney, 23, said: “I am so gutted to see her Anne have an incident in the last lap. I was just trying to stay focused on riding clean lines. When I had my flat it was a little bit of a tough mental day, but I was able to reset and focus on my own pace.” Tauber added: “I am not really sad, but really angry at myself because I am in good shape. I have improved a lot technically, but I don’t know how to win yet.”
Video: Best Moments from the Women’s race
XCO Overall Standings after Rd2
- Kate Courtney (USA) – 700 points
- Jolanda Neff (SUI) – 490 points
- Chloe Woodruff (USA) – 385 points
- Rebecca Ellen Mcconnell (AUS) – 378 points
- Anne Tauber (NED) – 350 points
Elite Men’s Race
In the men’s race was Avancini lead the first lap and a half until Van der Poel and Schurter turned up the heat and opened a gap over the field. The pack continued to spread out and local Ondrej Cink found himself in 3rd place with nobody to work with. A chase group of Avancini, Flueckiger
The race would be defined by the Van der Poel – Schurter duel which ensued up front. On the final lap, on the final climb, Van der Poel attacked from the front and almost instantaneously pulled a gap on Schurter. Van der Poel kept the momentum into the final descent, through the pump track
“It is extra sweet against one of the greatest mountain bikers. I went all in and I am really happy” – Van der Poel.
“I tried to break him over the last three laps, but he was just too strong today. It was the best possible result for me.” – Schurter.
Flueckiger, Avancini and Cink rounded out the podium. Riding in his second ever Elite race, South African Alan Hatherly finished a credible 28th.
Video: Best Moments from the Men’s race
XCO Overall Standings after Round 2
- Mathieu van der Poel (NED) – 700 points
- Mathias Flueckiger (SUI) – 500 points
- Nino Schurter (SUI) – 485 points
- Maxime Marotte (FRA) – 425 points
- Henrique Avancini (BRA) – 370 points
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Good: Kate Courtney is a force –overcoming adversity (a flat wheel this week and a crash last week) to deliver back to back wins on different courses with different conditions shows us that Kate is the rider to beat this year.
The depth of talent coming through in the Women’s field also shows us that predicting the top 10 from one race to the next is near impossible. It will be an exciting year!
The Bad: The news that MvdP will not be doing all of the rounds this year is a pity. Yes he has had a busy year racing bikes and a rest period is crucial to prevent burn out, it’s just a pity for the fans that we won’t get to see him in title contention.
The Ugly: Small crashes which result in small mechanicals which in turn cost a win. Seeing Anne Tauber within a half a lap of her debut win and then dropping back to 10th place is gut
Video: Friday’s Short Track Highlights & Sunday’s Race Highlights
Images: Courtesy Red Bull & UCI
With thanks: Coolheat SA & Shimano