UCI MTB World Cup Petropolis: McConnell secures first victory and leader's jersey

The 2022 Mountain Bike World Cup XCO series opened on Sunday with a new location, in the rainforests of Petropolis, Brazil, and a new winner. 

Australian champion Rebecca McConnell (Primaflora Mondraker Genuins) took her first-ever elite women's World Cup XCO victory, the first by an Australian woman in more than 20 years. Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory) was second and defending World Cup champion Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV) third. McConnell also dons the World Cup leader's jersey with her win in the opening round.

Heavy rain overnight drenched the technical course and, while much of it dried quickly, there were still sections of the clay track deep in the forest that were wet and slippery.

The race began missing two of the favourites, Trek Factory team mates Jolanda Neff, the Olympic champion, and reigning world champion Evie Richards. Both are suffering from gastrointestinal problems, and World Cup short track leader Pauline Ferrand Prevot (BMC MTB Racing) also pulled out halfway through the race with similar issues.

Loana Lecomte began the race in a similar fashion to last season, when she won the first four rounds by riding the rest of the field off her wheel. The young French rider opened a gap of over 30 seconds on Terpstra and McConnell in the first half of the six lap race, who were the only two riders to stay within a minute of the race leader.

It looked like the battle for first was over, but then Lecomte bobbled on a rock garden on the fourth lap, losing ten seconds, and then the two chasers began reeling her in as the race leader started to struggle, catching her before the end of the lap. Terpstra attacked on the next lap, with Lecomte immediately dropped and eventually finishing 38 seconds down. McConnell was initially gapped by nine seconds, but she continued to chase back up to the Dutch rider.

On the last lap it was the turn of Terpstra to make a mistake, and McConnell rejoined her in the lead, with the Australian attacking on a climb and getting a small gap. Initially only five seconds, McConnell kept pushing, increasing it to ten seconds and then finally 17 seconds at the finish.

Afterwards, McConnell seemed almost dazed, finally achieving the World Cup win she has been chasing for so long.

"I can't believe, I really can't believe this is happening. Everyone has been, like, 'it's coming, it's coming', and I've been super consistent over the last couple of years, on the podium more often then not. But that never means that the win is coming."

"Every season you go away for six months to rebuild, and you just don't know if you are going to come back in the same shape, and if everything will go well. But it doesn't mean it is going to happen on race day, so to get a win is just unbelievable. It's so good to be here, and I'm super grateful for everybody who has been supporting me. I'm really happy to share this with everyone. I'm just going to enjoy this and not even think about the next [race]."

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rebecca Mcconnell (Aus) 1:29:41
2Anne Terpstra (Ned) 0:00:17
3Loana Lecomte (Fra) 0:00:38
4Laura Stigger (Aut) 0:01:44
5Mona Mitterwallner (Aut) 0:01:53
6Caroline Bohé (Den) 0:02:34
7Linda Indergand (Swi) 0:03:39
8Alessandra Keller (Swi) 0:04:16
9Kate Courtney (USA) 0:04:20
10Anne Tauber (Ned) 0:04:25
11Yana Belomoina (Ukr) 0:04:34
12Martina Berta (Ita) 0:05:44
13Gwendalyn Gibson (USA) 0:06:00
14Nadine Rieder (Ger) 0:06:06
15Malene Degn (Den) 0:06:12
16Lotte Koopmans (Ned) 0:06:13
17Sina Frei (Swi) 0:07:02
18Léna Gerault (Fra) 0:07:19
19Eva Lechner (Ita) 0:07:43
20Janika Lõiv (Est) 0:07:55
21Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex) 0:08:09
22Sophie Von Berswordt (Ned) 0:08:15
23Steffi Häberlin (Swi) 0:08:41
24Nicole Koller (Swi) 0:09:18
25Isla Short (GBr) 0:09:47
26Annie Last (GBr) 0:10:24
27Jennifer Jackson (Can) 0:10:30
28Haley Batten (USA) 0:10:41
29Agustina Maria Apaza (Arg) 0:11:02
30Rocio Del Alba Garcia Martinez (Spa) 0:11:14
31Raiza Goulao Henrique (Bra) 0:11:15
32Greta Seiwald (Ita) 0:13:33
33Laurie Arseneault (Can) 0:14:23
34Jana Czeczinkarová (Cze) 0:14:53
35Tereza Tvarůžková (Cze)
36Emeline Detilleux (Bel)
37Natalia Fischer Egusquiza (Spa)
38Cindy Montambault (Can)
39Maghalie Rochette (Can)
40Leticia Jaqueline Soares Candido (Bra)
41Maria Castro Gonzalez (Chi)
42Hercilia Najara Ferreira De Souza (Bra)
43Maria Moreno Camus (Chi)
44Monica Vega Torres (Mex)
45Luma Diniz Guimarães De Carvalho (Bra)
46Aline Simões De Almeida (Bra)
47Josefina Casadey (Arg)
48Paula Regina Novais Gallan (Bra)
49Stefânye Lindolfo Da Silva (Bra)
50Giorgia Marchet (Ita)
51Isabella Moreira Lacerda (Bra)
52Katherine Lindo Pesola (Ven)
DNFPauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)
DNSEvie Richards (GBr)
DNSJolanda Neff (Swi)
DNSLuana Da Silva Patzlaff (Bra)

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1