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Van der Poel and Courtney take Short Track openers at Les Gets World Cup

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Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing)

Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing)
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) takes the win ahead of Henrique Avancini

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) takes the win ahead of Henrique Avancini
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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The men's race starts

The men's race starts
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing) wins

Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing) wins
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Lea Davison (Team USA) and Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro)

Lea Davison (Team USA) and Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro)
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing)

Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing)
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Elisabeth Brandau (Radon EBE- Racing Team) and Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing)

Elisabeth Brandau (Radon EBE- Racing Team) and Kate Courtney (Scott- SRAM MTB Racing)
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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The start of the women's race

The start of the women's race
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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David Valero Serrano (MMR Factory Racing Team) at the front

David Valero Serrano (MMR Factory Racing Team) at the front
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing)

Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing)
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) goes to the front late in the final 300 metres

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) goes to the front late in the final 300 metres
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory Racing) in the lead

Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory Racing) in the lead
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Podium (l to r): Henrique Avancini, Mathieu van der Poel, Victor Koretzky

Podium (l to r): Henrique Avancini, Mathieu van der Poel, Victor Koretzky
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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Mathias Flueckiger (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) and Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Torpado Ursus)

Mathias Flueckiger (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) and Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Torpado Ursus)
(Image credit: Rob Jones)
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 Podium (l to r): Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Kate Courtney, Elisabeth Brandau

Podium (l to r): Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Kate Courtney, Elisabeth Brandau
(Image credit: Rob Jones)

The Mountain Bike World Cup moved to the French Alps in Les Gets for round four on Friday. While not as high as last week's races in Andorra, riders still had to contend with an altitude of 1,200 metres and dry, dusty conditions on a rough grass track with steep climbing.

Racing began with the XCC (Short Track), and the women's race was whittled down to a lead group of 10 riders with two laps to go in the seven-lap race, when world champion and World Cup leader Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM) attacked on the first climb of the second-to-last lap.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Canyon Factory), Germany's Elizabeth Brandau and Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory) formed the chase group, but could not make any headway on the seven-second gap Courtney opened on her way to winning her second XCC of the season, extending her lead in the overall standings.

Ferrand Prevot took second in front of a delighted French crowd, with Brandau pipping Neff on the line for third.

Courtney didn't have a set plan for when she would attack: "In these races, you have to respond to what's happening, and we have had so many strong girls at the front that it's unpredictable.

"Today, my plan was to embrace the moment; you have to be willing to 'risk big to win big', and I'm really happy it worked out today," she said.

In the overall standings, Courtney now leads with 1,015 points – 125 ahead of Neff. Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory), winner of last week's XCO, remains in third, 320 points back.

Van der Poel returns

The men's race saw the return of Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), who skipped the previous round, losing his overall World Cup leader's jersey in the process to world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM).

Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory), winner of the XCC last weekend, was aggressive throughout the nine-lap race, spending more time at the front than anyone else.

Van der Poel was content to ride in the top five, keeping a close eye on Avancini and Schurter. On the first climb of the final lap, Avancini launched a powerful attack, but Van der Poel, Schurter and Victor Koretzky (KMC-Ekoi-Orbea) stayed right with him, setting the stage for a sprint finish.

Avancini led up until the final 300 metres, when a small mistake allowed Van der Poel to get by him, and the Dutch rider launched a massive attack out of the last corner with 100 metres to go, which no one could respond to. Avancini took second, with Koretzky beating Schurter for third.

Van der Poel hasn't raced on his mountain bike since winning the second round in Nove Mesto, six weeks ago.

"I haven't had any competition for a long time, so I tried to save as much energy as possible," he said. "I knew it would come down to a sprint here, and I felt pretty good.

"I wanted to take the lead in the last corner because I knew it would be impossible for someone to come over me. I was searching for the point to start my sprint two laps before the end, and I saw the 100-metre sign in the corner," said Van der Poel.

In the overall standings, Schurter continues to lead. However, Van der Poel moves into second from third, only 85 points behind. Mathias Fluckiger (Thomus RN) drops to third from second after finishing 15th in the XCC.

Women's results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Courtney (USA)0:19:30
2Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)0:00:07
3Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)
4Jolanda Neff (Swi)
5Ramona Forchini (Swi)0:00:12
6Annie Last (GBr)0:00:18
7Lea Davison (USA)
8Anne Tauber (Ned)0:00:20
9Anne Terpstra (Ned)0:00:28
10Catharine Pendrel (Can)0:00:32
11Linda Indergand (Swi)0:00:33
12Alessandra Keller (Swi)
13Emily Batty (Can)
14Julie Bresset (Fra)0:00:34
15Eva Lechner (Ita)0:00:35
16Jitka Čábelická (Cze)0:00:36
17Rebecca Ellen Mcconnell (Aus)0:00:37
18Barbara Benkó (Hun)0:00:43
19Tanja Žakelj (Slo)
20Chiara Teocchi (Ita)0:00:45
21Mariske Strauss (RSA)0:00:46
22Githa Michiels (Bel)
23Sina Frei (Swi)0:00:47
24Candice Lill (RSA)0:00:56
25Yana Belomoina (Ukr)0:00:57
26Sophie Von Berswordt (Ned)0:00:58
27Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)0:01:01
28Sandra Walter (Can)0:01:03
29Paula Gorycka (Pol)0:01:11
30Haley Smith (Can)0:01:15
31Aleksandra Podgorska (Pol)0:01:18
32Jovana Crnogorac (Srb)0:01:21
33Rocio Del Alba Garcia Martinez (Spa)0:01:38
34Malene Degn (Den)0:01:44
35Elisabeth Osl (Aut)0:02:09
36Cherie Redecker (RSA)0:02:38
37Isla Short (GBr)
38Raiza Goulao Henrique (Bra)
DNFIrina Kalentyeva (Rus)
DNSAnnika Langvad (Den)

Men's results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned)0:21:51
2Henrique Avancini (Bra)0:00:01
3Victor Koretzky (Fra)0:00:02
4Nino Schurter (Swi)
5Jens Schuermans (Bel)0:00:03
6Maxime Marotte (Fra)0:00:04
7David Valero Serrano (Spa)
8Ondřej Cink (Cze)0:00:06
9Peter Disera (Can)0:00:08
10Lars Forster (Swi)
11Titouan Carod (Fra)0:00:09
12Jordan Sarrou (Fra)0:00:11
13Manuel Fumic (Ger)0:00:12
14Daniele Braidot (Ita)0:00:13
15Mathias Flueckiger (Swi)
16Luca Braidot (Ita)0:00:14
17Stephane Tempier (Fra)0:00:16
18Leandre Bouchard (Can)0:00:18
19Keegan Swenson (USA)0:00:20
20Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa)0:00:21
21Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita)0:00:22
22Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Den)
23Joshua Dubau (Fra)0:00:23
24Georg Egger (Ger)0:00:24
25Jan Škarnitzl (Cze)0:00:26
26Reto Indergand (Swi)
27Alan Hatherly (RSA)0:00:42
28Karl Markt (Aut)0:00:44
29Nadir Colledani (Ita)0:00:48
30Anton Cooper (NZl)0:01:02
31Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol)0:01:08
32Anton Sintsov (Rus)0:01:17
33Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa)0:01:18
34Ben Oliver (NZl)0:01:27
35Kevin Panhuyzen (Bel)0:02:00
36Andri Frischknecht (Swi)
DNFThomas Litscher (Swi)
DNFMatthias Stirnemann (Swi)
DNFFlorian Vogel (Swi)
DNSHugo Drechou (Fra)

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