Nové Město XCO World Cup Recap | Presented by SHIMANO

Mathieu van der Poel and Kate Courtney win Round 2 in the Czech Republic

Mathieu Van der Poel and Nino Schurter perform at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Thousands of spectators were treated to a VdP vs. Nino showdown. Nino, one of the greatest riders of all time matched Mathieu all day and attacked him a couple of times but in the end never had the legs to go with VdP on the final climb.

Elite Women’s Race

In the women’s race, Rebecca McConnell, Kate Courtney, Jolanda Neff, Sina Frei and Anne Tauber were out front from midway through the start lap. A couple laps into the race Courtney had a flat which saw her drop back and trail the leaders by more than 30 seconds. By lap 3 the battle at the front of the race was between Neff and Tauber with Neff letting the gaps open on the climb then using her technical skills to close in on the descents.

Competitors perform at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019//
The wide start straight at Nové Město meant a front row start was not as crucial as at some of the other rounds.

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 career best finishes in second and third with Tauber 10th and Sweden’s Jenny Rissveds 30th on her return to racing. South African Candice Lill rode inside the top 20 all day and finished a very respectable 16th.

Rebecca McConnell performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Rebecca McConnell floats it down one of the rocky descents.

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.”

Haley Smith performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019 /
Canadian Haley Smith was elated with her careerbest 3rd place finish.
Kate Courtney performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Kate Courtney slipped down the field after an early flat and wheel replacement. Here she has eventual 4th place finisher Sina Frei sitting wheel.
Rebecca McConnell performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019 /
Australian Rebecca McConnell looked very comfortable through the entire race and held on for a career best 2nd place.
From left: Sina Frei, Rebecca McConnell, Kate Courtney, Haley Smith and Malene Degn stand on the podium at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
The podium, from left: Sina Frei, Rebecca McConnell, Kate Courtney, Haley Smith, and Malene Degn.

Video: Best Moments from the Women’s race

Women’s XCO Overall Standings after Rd2

  1. Kate Courtney (USA) – 700 points
  2. Jolanda Neff (SUI) – 490 points
  3. Chloe Woodruff (USA) – 385 points
  4. Rebecca Ellen Mcconnell (AUS) – 378 points
  5. 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 and Marotte were about a minute off of the leaders with a lap and a bit to go.

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 and into the finish straight to take his first XCO World Cup win.

“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.

Competitors perform at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
The men’s race start with Hatherly in the mix.
Henrique Avancini performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
The 24-year-old ‘Flying Dutchmen’ Mathieu Van der Poel never put a wheel wrong all day.
Competitors perform at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Avancini leads the field up the main climb.
Mathieu Van der Poel and Nino Schurter perform at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Mathieu Van der Poel and Nino Schurter kept the crowd on their feet with an exciting duel.
Ondrej Cink performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Ondrej Cink rocking and rolling through his home course.
Henrique Avancini performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Henrique Avancini improved on his result from last week and moved up into 5th position in the points.
Mathias Flueckiger performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019 /
The winner of the opening round, Mathias Flueckiger had a reasonable start and charged on to 3rd position which puts him in 2nd place in the points.
Mathieu Van der Poel performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
Celebratory yet humble in victory, Mathieu Van der Poel is a class act.
Henrique Avancini, Nino Schurter, Mathieu van der Poel, Mathias Flueckiger, Ondrej Cink stand on the podium at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on May 26th, 2019
On the podium, from left: Henrique Avancini, Nino Schurter, Mathieu van der Poel, Mathias Flueckiger, and Ondrej Cink.

Video: Best Moments from the Men’s race

Men’s XCO Overall Standings after Round 2

  1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) – 700 points
  2. Mathias Flueckiger (SUI) – 500 points
  3. Nino Schurter (SUI) – 485 points
  4. Maxime Marotte (FRA) – 425 points
  5. 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 gutwrenching.


Video: Friday’s Short Track Highlights & Sunday’s Race Highlights

Images: Courtesy Red Bull & UCI

With thanks: Coolheat SA & Shimano


No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *
Name *
Email *
Website