American Kate Courtney says she’s a big fan of sharks and watches shows about the marauders of the oceans all the time. She didn’t tell anyone that she would become one herself.
Courtney, 23, attacked from the start and took a big bite out of an outstanding World Cup field in Les Gets (FRA) in Sunday’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup race. She took the lead quickly and led at each lap, finally finishing with an impressive 33-second gap over 2017 World Champion Jolanda Neff (SUI).
Already the reigning World Champion from 2018, she hadn’t won a single medal in a senior-level Mountain Bike World Cup coming into the 2019 season. Now she’s won three of four events this season, fighting off 2016 Olympic Champion Jenny Rissveds (SWE) on the early laps, then establishing a huge lead that only Neff could approach – from afar – on the final four laps.
Courtney also won the Cross Country Short (8.68 km) race on Saturday and now has 1,265 points through four of seven legs of the 2019 circuit. Neff is second with 1,090 and then it’s all the way back to 815 points for third-place Anne Terpstra (NED). When was the last U.S. winner in women’s Mountain Bike? You have to go back to 2002 and Anne Dunlap.
In the men’s division, Swiss superstar Nino Schurter, the six-time World Cup champ, won Sunday’s race to consolidate his lead for 2019. He has 1,160 points after four of seven legs, ahead of Brazil’s Henrique Avancini (915) and Dutch Mathieu van der Poel (899).
In the Downhills, France’s Amaury Pierron edged countryman Loic Bruni in the men’s race for his second win of the season and Australian Tracey Hannah won the women’s race. It was her second win of 2019 and she’s the only racer to have won a medal in all five stops on the Downhill tour this season. Summaries:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
Les Gets (FRA) ~ 12-14 July 2019
(Full results here)
Cross Country Short (11.16 km): 1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED), 21:51; 2. Henrique Avancini (BRA), 21:52; 3. Victor Koretzky (FRA), 21:53; 4. Nino Schurter (SUI), 21:53; 5. Jens Schuermans (BEL), 21:54.
Cross Country (28.8 km): 1. Schurter (SUI), 1:22:10; 2. Gerhard Kerschbaumer (ITA), 1:22:14; 3. Avancini (BRA), 1:22:48: 4. Stephane Tempier (FRA), 1:22:58; 5. Ondrej Cink (CZE), 1:22:58.
Downhill (2.044 km): 1. Amaury Pierron (FRA), 2:57.008; 2. Loic Bruni (FRA), 2:59.360; 3. Laurie Greenland (GBR), 3:00.458; 4. Troy Brosnan (AUS), 3:01.145; 5. Loris Vergier (FRA), 3:01.514.
Cross Country Short (8.68 km): 1. Kate Courtney (USA), 19:30; 2. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA), 19:37; 3. Elisabeth Brandau (GER), 19:37; 4. Jolanda Neff (SUI), 19:37; 5. Ramona Forchini (SUI), 19:42. Also: 7. Lea Davison (USA), 19:48.
Cross Country (25.2 km): 1. Courtney (USA), 1:26:29; 2. Neff (SUI), 1:27:02; 3. Brandau (GER), 1:27:34; 4. Sina Frei (SUI), 1:27:44; 5. Ferrand Prevot (FRA), 1:28:01.
Downhill (2.044 km): 1. Tracey Hannah (AUS), 3:27.600; 2. Marine Cabirou (FRA), 3:28.277; 3. Mariana Salazar (ESA), 3:29.771; 4. Eleonora Farina (ITA), 3:33.680; 5. Nina Hoffmann (GER), 3:34.057.