French and Swiss riders continue impressive form on tough French course and Hatherly grabs another podium.
France’s Loana Lecomte maintained her perfect start to the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO season with a dominant win in the Elite Women’s race in Les Gets on Sunday, while the Elite Men’s race was won in equally commanding fashion by Swiss rider Mathias Flückiger. With new features adding an extra dimension to the Les Gets track and the rain falling heavily, the riders faced a tough challenge to tame the demanding course.
In the women’s race, Rocio Del Alba Garcia Martinez set the pace up the starting climb, quickly establishing a gap on the opening lap. Jenny Rissveds was leading the chase and soon overtook the Spanish rider, only to see Lecomte storm in front, just as she did in Albstadt, Nové Město and Leogang. The young French rider went on to dominate the race, securing a 21-second lead over the chasing duo of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Bec McConnell by the end of lap three. Ferrand-Prevot had shown brilliant power to win the Short Track on Friday but was struggling a little in the conditions and began to slip back down the field, with Rissveds climbing into second and Evie Richards moving into third. Lecomte was managing the pressure and the conditions with confidence and maturity, posting the fastest time every lap. However, further back there was some late drama when Ferrand-Prevot and McConnell came together near the finish. Ferrand-Prevot managed to get out of the tangle ahead to take fourth place and McConnell took fifth. For Lecomte, it was four wins from four races this season, while Rissveds high-fived the crowd as she came in second and Richards recorded her best ever XCO result with third. South African Marikse Strauss came home in an impressive 27th place.
Results: Elite Women
Women’s XCO standings
1. Loana Lecomte FRA 1330 points
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot FRA 955
3. Jenny Rissveds SWE 780
4. Haley Batten USA 755
5. Rebecca McConnell AUS 710
In the Men’s Elite, Flückiger came into the race full of confidence having excelled in Leogang and claimed victory in the Short Track on Friday. The Swiss rider didn’t get off to the best start as Ondrej Cink, Luca Braidot, Alan Hatherly, Vlad Descalu and Nino Schurter all looked to make their move on the opening lap. But when Flückiger attacked on the treacherous off-camber grass towards the end of the lap it was like he had found an extra gear and extra grip that no other rider had. World Champion Jordan Sarrou was riding on home soil and, buoyed by the French crowds, rode up into a podium position on lap two. Sarrou and Hatherly were separated by just a few seconds for most of the race, while Cink crept clear ahead and Schurter slipped a little way back, battling with Daniele Braidot for fifth. As the riders battled to stay upright and the conditions worsened, Flückiger secured his second consecutive perfect weekend of World Cup racing with a mix of fun whips and safe dismounts on the final lap. Cink was once again second, crossing the line 25-seconds back with the smile and clenched fist of a job well done, while a final lap attack from Sarrou secured third place and a huge cheer from the French supporters.
Results: Elite Men
Men’s XCO standings
1. Mathias Flueckiger SUI 1169 points
2. Ondrej Cink CZE 934
3. Jordan Sarrou FRA 790
4. Victor Koretzky FRA 745
5. Nino Schurter SUI 734
Next stop: Tokyo Olympics!
| Credits: Red Bull & Facebook & UCI & Cannondale Factory Racing |