After two second places and a third, it was finally a win for Pauline Ferrand-Prevot during Sunday’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup cross-country race in Nové Město na Moravě. In the men’s race Brazilian Henrique Avancini clinched an emotional win – his first at the Olympic distance.
Sunday’s XCO races were the fourth in six days for those exhausted riders competing in both the Short Track races as well as the longer Olympic discipline.
The Women’s Race
After leading the early laps on Thursday but ultimately settling for third, Ferrand-Prevot made no mistake in the second half of the grueling race this time. The French rider split the leading group to build a commanding lead, however, Dutch rival Anne Terpstra reeled her in towards the end of the race. Ferrand-Prevot won her final race as world champion with Terpstra second and Thursday’s winner Loana Lecomte third.
Ferrand-Prevot, 28, explained: “I felt much better than Thursday. I knew when I had to attack. I started full gas and tried to open the gap. In the end it was a small gap, but I could make it and I am super happy. It is quite technical on the climb but also on the downhill, so it is better to be at the front. I wanted to trust my lines.”
Results: Elite Women
1. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot FRA 1hr14m07s
2. Anne Terpstra NED +0.21
3. Loana Lecomte FRA +1.10
4. Rebecca McConnell AUS +1.33
5. Laura Stigger AUT +1.39
The Men’s Race
The men’s race was a completely different affair as the battle was fierce throughout with a lead group emerging comprising Avancini, Nino Schurter, Simon Andreassen, Milan Vader, Alan Hatherly and Victor Koretzky with Jordan Sarrou and Stephane Tempier in the mix too.
It thinned to Koretzky, Vader, Avancini and Schurter with Swiss legend Schurter putting down his marker with a charge that initially left Avancini adrift of them. Avancini, the 2018 marathon MTB world champion who was riding strong all day, quickly closed the gap. At crunch time, he sprinted clear of Dutchman Vader and Schurter for his first World Cup win in the longer Olympic format. South African Hatherly rode in the front group for most of the race and charged into the finish arena to end a long week of racing with a podium.
An emotional Avancini, 31, said: “This is a dream that has been inside me for around 10 years. I know how much work I put in to get here, and it is such a special moment for me and my country. I am more than happy. Anything is possible when you truly believe and work deeply for something. I don’t have the same talent as those guys. I was really motivated and wanted to beat Nino as he is the most pure talent in this sport.”
Results: Elite Men
1. Henrique Avancini BRA 1hr25m03s
2. Milan Vader NED +0.01
3. Nino Schurter SUI +0.01
4. Victor Koretzky FRA +0.02
5. Alan Hatherly RSA +0.03
Credits: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool