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Lecomte charges out of leading trio to win Lenzerheide World Cup

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2022, Worldcup Bike Kingdom Lenzerheide, Cross Country, Women, Loana Lecomte
Loana Lecomte wins XCO World Cup in Lenzerheide (Image credit: Sven Martin)

Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV) won her second consecutive XCO event on the UCI MTB World Cup circuit on Sunday in Lenzerheide. Jenny Rissveds (Team 31) made a late pass of home-crowd favourite Alessandra Keller (Thömas Maxon) on the final lap to grab the runner-up spot and leave Keller in third.

The victory gave the French rider a slim one-point lead in the XCO standings over Rebecca McConnell (Primaflor Mondraker Genuins), who came 14th at Lenzerheide, after five events. Rissveds was 229 points behind the series lead in third.

"I am very happy. To be honest I didn't think I would win today. It's the first time I've won here - a great weekend. I was a bit tired, didn't feel very well and just tried to have a good race. Taking the lead in the overall standings is great, but it won't change my plans for the season,” said Lecomte.

The cross-country course used the same start/finish as Friday’s short track races at the Bike Arena, where Rissveds took the short track win. She was the early leader on the opening lap, hitting stride in a narrow section of the trail after the first hill, followed closely by Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing XC) and Lecomte.

By the second lap, Lecomte had shifted to the front of the race with Rissveds and Keller as the trio pulled away. The closest chaser, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (BMC MTB Racing), was 35 seconds back. The front pack set a fierce pace on the dry course, Prévot and Neff behind, joined by Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing), but gaining no ground on the leading trio.

It was on the final lap that Lecomte accelerated at the front. Keller and Rissveds battled for the remaining spots on the podium, the Swiss crowd cheering loudly for Keller. Rissveds made her final pass with a little more than half a lap remaining to hunt down the leader, but would run out of real estate. Prévot needed to sprint to hold off Terpstra for fourth.

"Well, the atmosphere and the people gave everything for us! There were so many cheering me on as Swiss Champion and I tried to take that and use it as extra motivation," said Keller, who is now positioned fifth in the overall standings. 

"I'm very happy with my performances this weekend, especially my third place today. I mean it's my best World Cup finish so far and I'm really excited to be back next year."

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