Round 4 of the XCC short track series at the Mountain Bike World Cup saw a new winner in the women's race for the first time in Vallnord, Andorra, with Alessandra Keller (Thomus-RN Racing) defeating Annika Langvad (Specialized), winner of the first three rounds.
The 930-metre circuit featured one climb, but lots of narrow twisting turns that hindered passing. Of equal concern was the 2,000 metres of altitude that would tax riders in this 20 minute event.
Langvad was the favourite after winning all previous events. However, a crash and wrist injury at the Val di Sole World Cup a week earlier made her a bit of a question mark.
World Cup leader and world champion Jolanda Neff (Kross Racing) took the lead in the early laps, closely followed by Keller and Langvad. Neff faltered on the climb on the penultimate sixth lap, and both Keller and Langvad went by and dropped her, with Keller then gapping Langvad on the twisting descent, holding on through the last lap to win solo.
"It's incredible to win," said Keller. "I'm still under 23, and I'm already having an incredible season. The other girls are so strong and Annika has already won three times, so it's amazing to win. I felt good from the beginning on the steep uphill, but short track is so tough that you never know if you can hold on for the whole lap."
Neff continues to lead the overall XCO World Cup standings after finishing third, but her lead over Langvad has dropped to 27 points.
|#||Rider Name (Country)||Result|
|1||Alessandra Keller (Swi)||0:20:12|
|2||Annika Langvad (Den)||0:00:09|
|3||Barbara Benkó (Hun)|
|4||Jolanda Neff (Swi)||0:00:17|
|5||Emily Batty (Can)||0:00:21|
|6||Kate Courtney (USA)||0:00:29|
|7||Chloe Woodruff (USA)||0:00:33|
|8||Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)||0:00:34|
|9||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)||0:00:42|
|10||Anne Tauber (Ned)||0:00:45|
|11||Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)||0:00:46|
|12||Githa Michiels (Bel)||0:00:47|
|13||Linda Indergand (Swi)||0:00:49|
|14||Sandra Walter (Can)||0:00:53|
|15||Jitka Škarnitzlová (Cze)||0:01:03|
|16||Sabrina Enaux (Fra)||0:01:09|
|17||Tanja Žakelj (Slo)||0:01:14|
|18||Lea Davison (USA)||0:01:18|
|19||Eva Lechner (Ita)|
|20||Mariske Strauss (RSA)||0:01:22|
|21||Annie Last (GBr)||0:01:31|
|22||Adelheid Morath (Ger)||0:01:35|
|23||Perrine Clauzel (Fra)||0:01:36|
|24||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:01:42|
|25||Jovana Crnogorac (Srb)||0:01:48|
|26||Haley Smith (Can)||0:01:52|
|27||Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg)||0:01:56|
|28||Karla Štepánová (Cze)||0:02:08|
|29||Claudia Galicia Cortina (Spa)||0:02:11|
|30||Elisabeth Osl (Aut)||0:02:13|
|31||Luciana Roland (Arg)|
|32||Elisabeth Sveum (Nor)|
|33||Ramona Forchini (Swi)|
|DNF||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)|
|DNF||Julie Bresset (Fra)|
|DNF||Raiza Goulao Henrique (Bra)|
|DNS||Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor)|
|DNS||Irina Kalentyeva (Rus)|
|DNS||Katarzyna Solus-Miskowicz (Pol)|
|DNS||Joana Monteiro (Por)|