The penultimate stop on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour in Lenzerheide (SUI) provided plenty of drama that will play out well into the future.
Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel won his third race – out of six held – and closed the gap with seasonal leader Nino Schurter to just 21 points with one race left … which he will not contest.
Sweden’s 2016 Olympic champ Jenny Rissveds left the sport entirely in 2018, then came back with a bronze medal in Val di Sole last week and won in Lenzerheide for her first World Cup win since 2016 … in Lenzerheide!
After winning her first World Cup medal in two years last week, Rissveds moved up to the front of the starting grid and crashed on the first lap, but got back into contention quickly. She had the lead by the second lap and was part of a front group that included Anne Terpstra (NED), Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA) and Swiss Jolanda Neff, the seasonal leader.
Neff was dropped with three laps to go and Rissveds rode away with the fastest final lap in the field to win by 1:21:09-1:21:34 over Terpstra. Neff faded to eighth and was passed by American Kate Courtney, vying with Neff for the seasonal title. When the dust cleared, the seasonal winner will be decided in two weeks in Snowshoe, West Virginia; the standings:
1. 1,625 Jolanda Neff (SUI)
2. 1,552 Kate Courtney (USA)
3. 1,225 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA)
4. 1,210 Anne Terpstra (NED)
5. 992 Rebecca McConnell (AUS)
The men’s race was a slugfest between Van der Poel and Schurter. They rode together until van der Poel moved ahead smartly on the sixth lap and was never headed, winning by 1:17:50-1:18:15. That moved van der Poel into position to win the seasonal title in the finale:
1. 1,670 Nino Schurter (SUI)
2. 1,649 Mathieu van der Poel (NED)
3. 1,360 Henrique Avancini (BRA)
4. 1,348 Mathias Flueckiger (SUI)
5. 970 Gerhard Kirschbaumer (ITA)
However, van der Poel already decided to skip the finale in the U.S. in order to prepare for the UCI World Road Race Championships in Yorkshire (GBR) later in September. So the title will essentially be handed to Schurter, which will be his seventh World Cup win and third in a row.
In the Downhill events, France’s Amaury Pierron won his third race of the season, but teammate Loic Bruni will win the season’s title, his first, to go along with his three World Championships golds. Marine Cabirou (FRA) won the women’s race over Tracey Hannah (AUS) to close to within 150 points of the seasonal lead and they will fight it out in the final race of the season. Standings:
1. 1,312 Loic Bruni (FRA)
2. 1,222 Amaury Pierron (FRA)
3. 1,094 Troy Brosnan (AUS)
1. 1,460 Tracey Hannah (AUS)
2. 1,310 Marine Cabirou (FRA)
3. 819 Nina Hoffmann (GER)
The season finale in Snowshoe will be on 7-8 September. Summaries from Lenzerheide:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
Lenzerheide (SUI) ~ 9-11 August 2019
(Full results here)
Cross Country Short (10.4 km): 1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED), 20:07; 2. Henrique Avancini (BRA), 20:08; 3. Nino Schurter (SUI), 20:12: 4. Maxime Marotte (FRA), 20:15; 5. Luca Braidot (ITA), 20:16.
Cross Country Olympic (29.0 km): 1. Van der Poel (NED), 1:17:50; 2. Schurter (NED), 1:18:15; 3. Mathias Flueckiger (SUI), 1:19:03; 4. Victor Koretzky (FRA), 1:1:34; 5. Gerhard Kerschbaumer (ITA), 1:19:34.
Downhill (1.847 km): 1. Amaury Pierron (FRA), 2:49.422; 2. Greg Minaar (RSA), 2:50.373; 3. Loic Bruni (FRA), 2:50.822; 4. Troy Brosnan (AUS), 2:51.582; 5. Danny Hart (GBR), 2:52.644.
Cross Country Short (9.4 km): 1. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA), 21:38; 2. Jolanda Neff (SUI), 21:38; 3. Jenny Rissveds (SWE), 21:39; 4. Anne Tauber (NED), 21:40; 5. Chloe Woodruff (USA), 21:47. Also in the top 10: 9. Kate Courtney (USA), 22:04; 10. Lea Davison (USA), 22:06.
Cross Country Olympic (24.8 km): 1. Rissveds (SWE), 1:21:09; 2. Anne Terpstra (NED), 1:21:34; 3. Ferrand Prevot (FRA), 1:22:28; 4. Sina Frei (SUI), 1:23:12; 5. Catharine Prendel (CAN), 1:23:21. Also in the top 10: 7. Courtney (USA), 1:23:43; … 9. Woodruff (USA), 1:24:08.
Downhill (1.847 km): 1. Marine Cabirou (FRA), 3:34.304; 2. Tracey Hannah (AUS), 3:34.568; 3. Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI), 3:41.389; 4. Kate Weatherly (NZL), 3:41.782; 5. Camille Balanche (SUI), 3:41.953.