Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz FSA MTB Pro Team) didn’t have to wait long for his second XCO Mountain Bike World Cup victory, taking the win at Vallnord after again being poised and in position to make the most of any of his rivals mishaps or missteps.
Last week Bradiot took the win at Lenzerheide after Mathias Flückiger (Thömas Maxon) and Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team) crashed in a close passing manoeuvre while in the lead and this time it was a mechanical for Vlad Dascălu (Trek Factory Racing) on the final lap of the hot and dusty high altitude race that opened the door for the Italian.
“I can’t believe it. This week is pretty amazing for me.” said Braidot, with the bad luck of a snapped chain in the short track at Vallnord quickly turning around.
“Today Vlad was in front. He was the strongest today but he had a flat, or something like this, and he dropped down in the last lap and I had the way free and I go all out to the finish.”
David Valero (BH Temple Cafes UCC) came second just ten seconds back, with Schurter putting in a late surge to also overtake Dascălu and secure third ahead of the unfortunate Romanian. That extended the World Champion’s lead in the overall XCO World Cup series where his tally rose to 1154 points, with Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing) in second with 943 and Mathias Flückiger (Thömas Maxon) third on 936.
Flückiger, the winner of the short track, didn’t take to the start of Sunday’s race after feeling unwell overnight, so the much anticipated rematch between the two closely matched Swiss riders who together crashed at Lenzerheide will have to wait for another round.
The next Mountain Bike World Cup will be in Snowshoe in the United States from July 29 to July 31.
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Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.
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