For the first time this season, World Cup leader Rebecca McConnell (Primaflora Mondraker Genuins) was beaten in a World Cup XCO, with Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV) repeating as winner in the fourth round at Leogang, Austria.
Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis) was unable to stay with Lecomte, but did hold on for second ahead of Laura Stigger (Specialized Factory). McConnell continues to hold onto the leader's jersey despite finishing seventh.
After rain and mud all week, race day was sunny and hot, with the track drying out almost completely. The Leogang circuit is all about climbing, with two major ascents per lap, and Lecomte is acknowledged as one of the best climbers on the World Cup circuit.
She showed this to the rest of the field on Friday when she rode away on a shorter version of the first climb in the Short Track to win. Even more climbing for the XCO was definitely in her favour.
The women raced a start loop plus five laps, and by the end of the start loop four riders were clear: Lecomte, Rissveds, McConnell and Olympic Champion Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory).
However, once they started the first big climb, Lecomte went to the front and that was it. Neff was distanced almost immediately, with McConnell gone not too much later. Rissveds - who finished second to Lecomte last year - managed to follow the French champion for the first lap, but was dropped early in the second.
From that point on, it was just a matter of determining how much Lecomte would win by.
In the end, Lecomte's gap to Rissveds was 1:13, with local favourite Stigger taking third just ahead of Specialized Factory team mate Sina Frei. Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory) rounded out the podium in fifth place.
"I'm just very happy for this weekend," commented Lecomte. "I wanted to win one World Cup this season, and I can't imagine a better weekend than this one.
"The overall World Cup title is not my goal this year, it is the European and world championships in France, so I will skip some of the upcoming World Cups. So I am happy to reach my goal of a World Cup win."
One other ride of note was by another Austrian favourite, Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory). The 2021 Under-23 World Cup champion - riding up a category - is a very strong climber and was expected to challenge Lecomte. But she was taken down in a crash in the first 200 metres of the race.
Mitterwallner had to run to the tech zone and get her bike fixed, entering the first lap in last place by a two minute margin from the leaders. She roared up through the field to eventually finish 15th, leading to 'what might have been' speculation.
Despite finishing seventh, McConnell continues to hold a healthy lead in the overall standings with 1093 points, 177 ahead of Lecomte, who moved into second after winning the Short Track. Terpstra remains in third, a further 203 points back.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Loana Lecomte (Fra)||1:15:42|
|2||Jenny Rissveds (Swe)||0:01:13|
|3||Laura Stigger (Aut)||0:01:28|
|4||Sina Frei (Swi)||0:01:41|
|5||Anne Terpstra (Ned)||0:02:10|
|6||Caroline Bohé (Den)||0:02:29|
|7||Rebecca Mcconnell (Aus)||0:03:12|
|8||Jolanda Neff (Swi)||0:03:52|
|9||Léna Gerault (Fra)||0:03:58|
|10||Alessandra Keller (Swi)||0:04:19|
|11||Linda Indergand (Swi)||0:04:31|
|12||Haley Batten (USA)||0:04:36|
|13||Leonie Daubermann (Ger)||0:04:52|
|14||Kate Courtney (USA)||0:05:26|
|15||Mona Mitterwallner (Aut)||0:05:28|
|16||Steffi Häberlin (Swi)||0:06:01|
|17||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:06:11|
|18||Lotte Koopmans (Ned)||0:06:27|
|19||Tanja Žakelj (Slo)||0:06:37|
|20||Greta Seiwald (Ita)||0:06:43|
|21||Giorgia Marchet (Ita)||0:06:50|
|22||Lia Schrievers (Ger)||0:07:18|
|23||Malene Degn (Den)|
|24||Nicole Koller (Swi)||0:07:42|
|25||Emily Batty (Can)||0:08:03|
|26||Seraina Leugger (Swi)||0:08:32|
|27||Candice Lill (RSA)||0:08:46|
|28||Lucie Urruty (Fra)||0:09:11|
|29||Sandra Walter (Can)||0:09:48|
|30||Nadine Rieder (Ger)||0:10:12|
|31||Emeline Detilleux (Bel)||0:10:25|
|32||Rocio Del Alba Garcia Martinez (Spa)||0:10:47|
|33||Chiara Teocchi (Ita)||0:11:12|
|34||Ramona Forchini (Swi)||0:11:21|
|35||Gabriela Wojtyla (Pol)||0:11:31|
|36||Hélène Clauzel (Fra)||0:11:48|
|37||Annie Last (GBr)||0:11:49|
|38||Jana Czeczinkarová (Cze)||0:12:29|
|39||Theresia Schwenk (Ger)||0:12:43|
|40||Paula Gorycka (Pol)|
|41||Linn Gustafzzon (Swe)|
|42||Kim Ames (Ger)|
|43||Corina Druml (Aut)|
|44||Aleksandra Podgorska (Pol)|
|45||Josie Wilcox (NZl)|
|46||Naama Noyman (Isr)|
|47||Chrystelle Baumann (Swi)|
|48||Faranak Partoazar (IRI)|
|49||Aline Simões De Almeida (Bra)|
|50||Klaudia Czabok (Pol)|
|51||Natalia Fischer Egusquiza (Spa)|
|52||Jessica Manchester (NZl)|
|DNF||Anne Tauber (Ned)|
|DNF||Jitka Čábelická (Cze)|
|DNF||Yana Belomoina (Ukr)|
|DNS||Jennifer Jackson (Can)|
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