Keller and Flückiger take out short track in Vallnord MTB World Cup

It was a day of duel victories for the Thömus maxon team, in the Short Track (XCC)  at the Vallnord MTB World Cup, with Swiss riders Alessandra Keller and Mathias Flückiger overcoming the heat, dust and altitude to take the top spots at the sixth round of the series in Andorra. 

In the women’s event, Keller worked her way into the leading group and then pushed on alone in the final laps of the six circuit short track event, however the gap reduced after a mishap in the dusty conditions. Still she had enough of a gap to fend off her rivals with Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing) in second and series leader Rebecca McConnell taking third.

"I slipped on the final lap and hit my knee. But the other riders also had to invest in order to catch up with me,” said Keller. “That's why it was still enough for me to win."

It was also enough to put her equal on series points in the short track to McConnell but the Australian maintained the top spot based on results. 

Flückiger, on the other hand, extended his series lead with the victory taking his total to 988, 116 points ahead of Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing) who also came second on the day. 

Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz FSA MTB Pro Team), the XCO World Cup winner in Lenzerheide, had looked on the way to another victory, charging off on the rest of the field, but a mechanical for the Italian meant that ultimately it came down to Flückiger, Hatherly and Vlad Dascalu (Trek Factory Racing).

At the end of the seven lap men's race in Andorra, Hatherly was close to Flückiger's wheel, but no close enough as the rider from Switzerland outsprinted the South African with Dascalu coming in just four seconds back. 

"This is one of my most important victories, I wanted it so badly and it worked out today," said Flückiger. "It makes me speechless!"

Results powered by FirstCycling

Men's short track results:

Women's short track results:

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Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.

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