France doubles up as Sarrou claims elite men's XC race at Mountain Bike Worlds

Jordan Sarrou completed a sweep for France at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Saturday in Leogang, Austria, winning the elite men's cross-country (XCO) after his nation also won both the elite and under-23 women's titles earlier in the day. Mathias Flueckiger (Switzerland) took the silver medal after a hard fought battle with Titouan Carod (France).

The men started with looming grey clouds and wind, but the rain held off until the race was almost over and did not impact the course. However, the mud from a week's worth of rain made the descents slick and treacherous, with almost every rider getting into difficulty at one time or another.

Milan Vader (Netherlands) attacked on the start loop, opening small gap, but on the first of six laps, Sarrou bridged across to him. Behind, a chase group formed consisting of Henrique Avancini (Brazil), Flueckiger, Carod, Luca Braidot (Italy) and Victor Koretzky (France). Missing was defending champion Nino Schurter (Switzerland), who was never a factor in the race, eventually finishing ninth.

Sarrou and Vader rode at the front until the third lap, when Vader crashed fairly hard on a descent, chasing Sarrou. The Dutch rider got back up and going, but appeared to be shaken by his fall. He was caught by the chase group and then slid back through the field to eventually finish 23rd. 

Sarrou continued to ride smoothly and powerfully throughout the race, making only small errors on the rooty descents. Staring the last lap he had over a minute lead, but almost did a face plant on a fast section of descending before backing off to ride more conservatively to the finish, 45 seconds ahead of Flueckiger.

Koretzky was the next to be dropped by the chasers, with Avancini doing a lot of the early work in the chase. However, when Flueckiger started to attack on the descents in the final two laps, the Brazilian quickly dropped off the group. Braidot was the next to get dropped, just before the start of the final lap, and then Flueckiger put in a dig on one of the last lap climbs to open a seven second gap over Carod, which he extended to ten seconds by the finish line.

Sarrou, winning his first medal at the Elite level, was emotional after his win, "I was really, really focussed and did my best in my ride. I can't believe ... I'm world champion ... I'm in a dream. I have no words. I just want to thank all my crew, the mechanics, the federation, my team, the support has been huge. I just can't believe it."

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jordan Sarrou (France) 1:25:37
2Mathias Flueckiger (Switzerland) 0:00:45
3Titouan Carod (France) 0:00:55
4Luca Braidot (Italy) 0:01:23
5Ondřej Cink (Czech Republic) 0:01:37
6Maxime Marotte (France)
7Filippo Colombo (Switzerland) 0:02:12
8Nadir Colledani (Italy) 0:02:29
9Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 0:02:33
10Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 0:02:49
11Vlad Dascalu (Romania) 0:02:52
12Maximilian Brandl (Germany) 0:03:14
13David Valero Serrano (Spain) 0:03:20
14Victor Koretzky (France) 0:03:21
15Mirko Tabacchi (Italy) 0:03:36
16Daniel Mcconnell (Australia) 0:03:40
17Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy) 0:03:51
18Daniele Braidot (Italy) 0:03:55
19Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain) 0:04:01
20Lars Forster (Switzerland) 0:04:12
21Jan Vastl (Czech Republic) 0:04:19
22Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Denmark) 0:04:27
23Milan Vader (Netherlands)
24Julian Schelb (Germany) 0:05:04
25Martin Haring (Slovakia) 0:05:07
26Leandre Bouchard (Canada) 0:05:08
27Thomas Griot (France) 0:05:21
28Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland) 0:05:50
29Keegan Swenson (United States Of America) 0:06:00
30Krzysztof Lukasik (Poland) 0:06:25
31Pierre De Froidmont (Belgium) 0:06:26
32Simon Andreassen (Denmark) 0:06:45
33Guilherme Gotardelo Muller (Brazil) 0:07:01
34Maximilian Foidl (Austria) 0:07:12
35Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spain) 0:07:20
36Luiz Henrique Cocuzzi (Brazil) 0:07:30
37Fabio Hernando Castañeda Monsalve (Colombia) 0:07:31
38Andrew L'Esperance (Canada) 0:07:34
39Anton Sintsov (Russian Federation) 0:07:44
40Peter Disera (Canada) 0:07:46
41Anton Cooper (New Zealand) 0:08:03
42Jan Škarnitzl (Czech Republic) 0:08:04
43Gregor Raggl (Austria) 0:08:14
44Frazer Clacherty (Great Britain) 0:08:26
45Lukas Flückiger (Switzerland) 0:08:47
46Andri Frischknecht (Switzerland) 0:08:50
47Alan Hatherly (South Africa)
48Jhonatan Botero Villegas (Colombia) 0:08:51
49Dmytro Titarenko (Ukraine) 0:09:05
50Rok Naglič (Slovenia) 0:09:16
51Marc Andre Fortier (Canada) 0:09:37
52Luca Schwarzbauer (Germany) 0:09:52
53Nicolas Delich Pardo (Chile) 0:10:07
54Matej Ulik (Slovakia) 0:10:29
55Lukáš Kobes (Czech Republic)
56Georg Egger (Germany) 0:11:01
57Raphael Auclair (Canada)
58Filip Helta (Poland)
59Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)
60Fabian Costa (Austria)
61Martin Loo (Estonia)
62Shlomi Haimy (Israel)
63Florian Wimmer (Austria)
64Armin Embacher (Austria)
65Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)
66Jonathan Josue Quesada Castillo (Costa Rica)
67Moritz Bscherer (Austria)
68Ede-Karoly Molnar (Romania)
69Zsombor Palumby (Hungary)
70Ivan Filatov (Russian Federation)
71Andrey Fonseca Ureña (Costa Rica)
72Lucian Logigan (Romania)
73Matija Meštrić (Croatia)
74Edson Gilmar De Rezende Junior (Brazil)
75Jaime Miranda Jaime (Mexico)
76Volodymyr Kozlovskyy (Ukraine)
77Aleksandar Aleksiev (Bulgaria)
78Ingvar Omarsson (Iceland)
79José Aurelio Hernandez De Jesus (Mexico)
80Guy Sessler (Israel)
81Luis Mariano Herrera (Costa Rica)
82Carlos Miranda Jaime (Mexico)
83Tumelo Makae (Lesotho)
84Juliano Cocuzzi (Brazil)
85Lachezar Angelov (Bulgaria)
DNFPablo Rodriguez Guede (Spain)
DNFJose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Mexico)
DNFStephane Tempier (France)
DNFBartlomiej Wawak (Poland)
DNSManuel Fumic (Germany)
DNSKarl Markt (Austria)
DNSMartins Blums (Latvia)

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