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MTB Worlds: Ferrand-Prévot, Gaze win short track titles in Les Gets

Day 3 of competition at the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships concluded on Friday evening in Les Gets, France, with the crowd-pleasing XCC. French fans had even more reason to be pleased, with their own Pauline Ferrand-Prévot winning the women's world title, while Sam Gaze of New Zealand took the men's world title.

Only in its second year as a rainbow jersey event, the Short Track runs for 20 minutes of extreme effort on a cross country circuit. The Les Gets circuit featured off-camber switchback climbs and multiple rock gardens to test the riders. 

The women's race quickly came down to a core group of nine riders, with no one willing to attack too early. Rain began falling halfway through the race, making the grass corners and the rocks slippery. 

Ferrand Prévot sat consistently in the top-4 but out of the lead, until the seventh lap (of nine), when she attacked aggressively, opening a gap of 15 seconds on the chasers. Greta Seiwald (Italy) and Annie Last (Great Britain) led the early chase but faded, and no one else could close the gap, as Ferrand-Prévot cruised into victory. Alessandra Keller (Switzerland) took silver, 18 seconds back, with Gwendalyn Gibson (USA) finishing third at 21 second back.

"It's crazy, you know, I can't believe it," said Ferrand-Prévot about winning before a home crowd. "I saw that [the course] was not super fast, so I just wanted to stay on wheels. I had to wait, wait, but with three laps to go I made an attack and went full gas. I was able to make a gap and I tried to keep a good pace but be smooth on the rock gardens. I was feeling good in the last few days, so now it is one more gold medal in the pocket. I'm really happy."

'A dream come true' says Gaze

Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) is XCC World Champion

Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) is XCC World Champion (Image credit: Rob Jones)

The rain had stopped by the time the men started, however, it left the rock surfaces extremely slippery, with multiple crashes happening through the race. 

A large group of 15 formed at the front, with surges fracturing it before the leaders backed off and the group came back together. 

This held until Lap 6, when Henrique Avancini (Brazil) crashed in the second last rock garden of the lap while in the lead. Multiple riders crashed into him or were forced to stop and run, splitting the lead group and forcing them to chase. 

On the final lap, Gaze attacked with defending champion Chris Blevins (USA) the only one to stay with him. 

Coming into that same rock garden that Avancini crashed in, Blevins went down, leaving Gaze free to cruise to the line. Swiss riders Filippo Colombo and Thomas Litscher took the remaining podium spots, finishing 3 seconds and 7 seconds behind Gaze respectively.

"The rain that came down before the race made it very slippery," commented Gaze, "and made it hard to keep position. Guys were crashing in front of me so I pulled it back for the first half. I knew it would come down to the last climb. Chris [Blevins] was super strong today, but he had a bit of a mishap on that last corner. Super happy, super proud ... this is a dream come true."

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) France 0:21:56
2Alessandra Keller (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:18
3Gwendalyn Gibson (USA) United States Of America 0:00:21
4Jolanda Neff (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:26
5Evie Richards (GBr) Great Britain 0:00:29
6Greta Seiwald (Ita) Italy 0:00:36
7Annie Last (GBr) Great Britain 0:00:44
8Kate Courtney (USA) United States Of America 0:00:50
9Steffi Häberlin (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:52
10Savilia Blunk (USA) United States Of America 0:00:54
11Linda Indergand (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:55
12Kelsey Urban (USA) United States Of America 0:01:24
13Paula Gorycka (Pol) Poland 0:01:29
14Laurie Arseneault (Can) Canada 0:01:31
15Sina Frei (Swi) Switzerland 0:01:36
16Linn Gustafzzon (Swe) Sweden 0:01:37
17Ingrid Sofie Bøe Jacobsen (Nor) Norway 0:01:38
18Sophie Von Berswordt (Ned) Netherlands Lap
19Jitka Čábelická (Cze) Czech Republic Lap
20Candice Lill (RSA) South AfricaLap
21Naama Noyman (Isr) Israel Lap
22Sandra Walter (Can) Canada Lap
23Lotte Koopmans (Ned) Netherlands Lap
24Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg) Argentina Lap
25Emily Batty (Can) Canada Lap
26Emeline Detilleux (Bel) Belgium Lap
27Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg) Argentina Lap
28Hannah Otto (USA) United States Of AmericaLap
29Janika Lõiv (Est) Estonia Lap
30Lia Schrievers (Ger) Germany Lap
31Faranak Partoazar (IRI) Islamic Republic Of IranLap
32Aleksandra Podgorska (Pol) Poland Lap
33Hercilia Najara Ferreira De Souza (Bra) Brazil Lap
34Aline Simões De Almeida (Bra) Brazil Lap
35Nuria Bosch Pico (Spa) Spain Lap
36Josefina Casadey (Arg) Argentina Lap
37Ariana Evangelista (Phi) Philippines Lap
DNFGabriela Wojtyla (Pol) Poland
DNSJenny Rissveds (Swe) Sweden
DNSHaley Batten (USA) United States Of America
DNSJennifer Jackson (Can) Canada
DNSNatalia Fischer Egusquiza (Spa) Spain

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuel Gaze (NZl) New Zealand 0:22:21
2Filippo Colombo (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:03
3Thomas Litscher (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:07
4Alan Hatherly (RSA) South Africa 0:00:13
5Martins Blums (Lat) Latvia 0:00:16
6Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Den) Denmark 0:00:19
7Henrique Avancini (Bra) Brazil 0:00:21
8Jonas Lindberg (Den) Denmark 0:00:23
9Daniele Braidot (Ita) Italy 0:00:24
10Maximilian Brandl (Ger) Germany
11Jofre Cullell Estape (Spa) Spain
12Jens Schuermans (Bel) Belgium 0:00:25
13Cameron Orr (GBr) Great Britain 0:00:26
14Vital Albin (Swi) Switzerland 0:00:28
15Julian Schelb (Ger) Germany 0:00:30
16Christopher Blevins (USA) United States Of America
17Sean Fincham (Can) Canada 0:00:33
18Daan Soete (Bel) Belgium 0:00:34
19Simon Andreassen (Den) Denmark 0:00:35
20Leandre Bouchard (Can) Canada 0:00:36
21Erik Hægstad (Nor) Norway 0:00:37
22Jan Škarnitzl (Cze) Czech Republic 0:00:39
23David List (Ger) Germany 0:00:42
24Juri Zanotti (Ita) Italy 0:00:44
25Catriel Soto (Arg) Argentina 0:00:45
26Jose Gabriel Marques De Almeida (Bra) Brazil 0:00:47
27Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) Poland 0:00:53
28Filip Helta (Pol) Poland 0:00:55
29Emil Hasund Eid (Nor) Norway 0:00:56
30Quinton Disera (Can) Canada 0:01:00
31Peter Disera (Can) Canada
32Zsombor Palumby (Hun) Hungary 0:01:11
33Lukáš Kobes (Cze) Czech Republic 0:01:20
34Philip Buys (RSA) South Africa 0:01:23
35Ulan Bastos Galinski (Bra) Brazil 0:01:38
36Georg Egger (Ger) Germany Lap
37Tyler Orschel (Can) Canada Lap
38Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) Czech RepublicLap
39Mats Tubaas Glende (Nor) NorwayLap
40Georwill Pérez Román (PuR) Puerto RicoLap
41Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Mex) Mexico Lap
42Luiz Henrique Cocuzzi (Bra) Brazil Lap
43Cameron Ivory (Aus) Australia Lap
44Patrick Pescaru (Rom) Romania Lap
45Rok Naglič (Slo) Slovenia Lap
46Gunnar Holmgren (Can) Canada Lap
DNFKnut Røhme (Nor) Norway
DNSJacob Morales Ortega (PuR) Puerto Rico

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