World Champs Kate Courtney and Nino Schurter reign supreme at Les Gets World Cup | Race Recap presented by SHIMANO

Nino Schurter and Henrique Avancini at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Avancini sets the early pace while Schurter sits slip and chills.

LES GETS COURSE PREVIEW

The dry, dusty Les Gets XC track is more physically challenging than technically demanding. The course suits the strong powerful climbers as opposed to a pure climbing specialist.



ELITE WOMEN’S RACE

Jolanda Neff and Kate Courtney lead the pack off the start line and up the first climb with Pauline Prevot right behind them. Further down the field Jenny Rissveds who started from row nine began moving through the field and by lap two had made it through to the front of the race. With gaps starting to open between the riders Neff who evidently went through a rough patch at the end of lap one began clawing her way forward from 10th position and almost a minute down. By lap five Neff put the hammer down and moved forward of the first bunch to pursuit the charging Kate Courtney. A committed and determined effort from Neff was not enough to close down the gap to Kate who dominated the race and clinched the win. Neff crossed the line 34 seconds down on Courtney with the German Elisabeth Brandau earning a career-best 3rd place.

Jolanda Neff at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
The calm before the [Bastille] storm.
The womens race start at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Neff roosts off of the start line into what was a brilliant first few minutes before dropping more than a minute back as she fell out of rhythm. The Swiss pinner would regather things and charge forward into 2nd place.
Sina Frei at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
German Elisabeth Brandau seen here reeling in Sina Frei, secured her best-ever World Cup finish in third.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot lapped in 5th place almost tor the entire race. Riders were moving ahead and dropping back around her, but the French all-star paced herself well and ended the day in 5th place.
Prevot at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Prevot leads Frei with Brandau in tow.
Jolanda Neff at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
“The first lap cost me a lot. I am super happy I kept it together until the finish. We still have three races to go and I am starting to feel better the longer the season goes on.” – Jolanda Neff
Kate Courtney at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
World champion Courtney was imperious and the American moved clear on lap two to forge a gap to the field that never looked in danger of being closed.
Kate Courtney at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
“Today I rode my own race, focused on my objectives and I am really happy it worked out. Race within myself and not let the pressure get to me. Of course, having a rider like Jolanda – who is so strong on the climbs but also a maniac on the descents – behind you puts some pressure on but I just tried to stay focused and keep on the gas.” – Kate
Womens podium at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Champagne for everyone! From left, Frei, Neff, Courtney, Brandau and Prevot


RACE RESULTS

  1. Kate COURTNEY (USA) 1:26:29
  2. Jolanda NEFF (SUI) +0:33
  3. Elisabeth BRANDAU (GER) +1:05
  4. Sina FREI (SUI) +1:15
  5. Pauline FERRAND PREVOT (FRA) +1:32



OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4

  1. Kate COURTNEY (USA) – 1 265 points
  2. Jolanda NEFF (SUI) – 1 090
  3. Anne TERPSTRA (NED) – 815
  4. Elisabeth BRANDAU (GER) – 625
  5. Sina FREI (SUI) – 615
  6. Anne TAUBER (NED) – 610
  7. Pauline FERRAND PREVOT (FRA) – 610
  8. Rebecca Ellen MCCONNELL (AUS) – 602
  9. Yana BELOMOINA (UKR) – 594
  10. Haley SMITH (CAN) – 553


ELITE MEN’S RACE

After the usual start line elbowing and jostling for position, eight riders quickly moved clear from the pack. Avancini, Schurter, Koretzky, Cink, Tempier, Carod, Sarrou and Litscher rode clear and splintered the chasing field. On lap two Avancini washed out and briefly held up Schurter before the two got moving again. At this stage Van der Poel was starting to fade and slowly move backwards through the field whilst the Canadian Disera and Kerschbaumer were moving forward. On lap five Avancini was leading until Cink put in an attack and Schurter followed – with what appeared to be a confidenceinspiring level of ease. Flueckiger wasn’t able to close any gaps or move forward, but was sitting inside the top ten whilst upfront Kerschbaumer was having a go and taunting the World Champ Schurter. Onto the last lap and with a slow wind up of pace on one of the last climbs Nino rode Kerschbaumer off of his wheel and out of contention for the race. Nino paced the last few minutes out and rode solo to take his second win of the season and a career 32nd World Cup win.

Mens race at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
The early lead group sets the pace up one of the long climbs.
Mathieu van der Poel Kate Courtney at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Mathieu van der Poel could only finish 16th, leaving Schurter over 200 points clear of both the Dutchman and Avancini whose consistency has earned him second in the overall.
Ondrej Cink at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
A more conservative strategy from Ondrej Cink combined with Doctors orders to stay away from ice water put the Czech rider onto the podium with a 5th place.
Tempier at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
One of the few hardtails on track, Stephane Tempier was rolling upfront before the big attacks came and he faded to 4th.
Avancini at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Avancini gaps up into the big berm section with Nino keeping a watchful eye on him.
Gerhard Kerschbaumer at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Gerhard Kerschbaumer was 18 seconds down on the lead group on the first lap and rode himself to the front of by lap 3.
Schurter at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
“Tough course, really physical. Gerhard was super strong. Second to last lap I was surprised that I dropped him. It is hard to get gaps and, for a long time, it was an open race. This victory today was a big step towards overall victory. I really like the Val di Sole track and it would be awesome to catch up Julien’s record.”


RACE RESULTS

  1. Nino SCHURTER (SUI) 1:22:10
  2. Gerhard KERSCHBAUMER (ITA) +0:04
  3. Henrique AVANCINI (BRA) +0:38
  4. Stephane TEMPIER (FRA) +0.48
  5. Ondrej CINK (CZE) +0:48


OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4

  1. Nino SCHURTER (SUI) – 1 160 points
  2. Henrique AVANCINI (BRA) – 915
  3. Mathieu VAN DER POEL (NED) – 899
  4. Mathias FLUECKIGER (SUI) – 883
  5. Jordan SARROU (FRA) – 698
  6. Gerhard KERSCHBAUMER (ITA) – 673
  7. Maxime MAROTTE (FRA) – 650
  8. Ondrej CINK (CZE) – 555
  9. Titouan CAROD (FRA) – 485
  10. Peter DISERA (CAN) – 471


THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

THE GOOD: Kate Courtney bounced back from a tough round in Andorra to dominate the race in Les Gets. Nino Schurter taking his 32nd World Cup win.

THE BAD: Avancini burns one too many matches in the first 70% of the race and just doesn’t have the power in the end. A win for the Brazilian is coming though. The rough patch Jolanda Neff has towards the middle and end of the first lap happened again this weekend. MvdP and Flueckiger will want to swiftly move on from Les Gets, a venue which saw them fall down the points table and perhaps out of touch of the series overall.

THE UGLY: Anne Tauber’s bars clipping a course marker and flicking her over the bars.



Friday’s XCC / Short Track Race Highlights



NEXT ROUND: Val di Sole, Italy – 2, 3, 4 August

Jolanda Neff at the Les Gets World Cup cross country mountain bike race in France on 14th July 2019.
Elbows up, heels down and boosting step-ups all day long. What’s not to love about the Swiss pinner Jolanda.


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



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