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Mathias Flueckiger wins Leogang World Cup

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Switzerlands Mathias Fluckiger celebrates his first place of the Mens Cross Country competition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang Austria on June 13 2021 Austria OUT Photo by JFK various sources AFP Austria OUT Photo by JFKEXPAAFP via Getty Images

Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus RN Swiss Bike) won the Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Switzerlands Mathias Fluckiger competes in the Mens Cross Country competition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang Austria on June 13 2021 Austria OUT Photo by JFK various sources AFP Austria OUT Photo by JFKEXPAAFP via Getty Images

Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus RN Swiss Bike) won the Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Australias Anton Cooper competes in the Mens Cross Country competition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang Austria on June 13 2021 Austria OUT Photo by JFK various sources AFP Austria OUT Photo by JFKEXPAAFP via Getty Images

Anton Cooper third place at the Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Czech Republics Ondrej Cink reacts after arriving second in the Mens Cross Country competition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang Austria on June 13 2021 Austria OUT Photo by JFK various sources AFP Austria OUT Photo by JFKEXPAAFP via Getty Images

Ondrej Cink (Kross Orlen) in Leogang (Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus RN Swiss Bike) won a battle of climbers over Ondrej Cink (Kross Orlen) to take the third round of the XCO World Cup in Leogang, Austria, on Sunday. With his win, Flueckiger moves into the overall World Cup lead, taking the leader's jersey from the absent Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix). Anton Cooper (Trek Factory) finished third on the day.

Leogang has been a stop on the Downhill circuit for many years, but this is the first time the XCO World Cup has come place here. Last Fall, it hosted the World Championships, so riders weren't completely unprepared, but the long, steep climbs in the Austrian Alps quickly tore apart the fields.

The six lap (plus start loop) race was wide open, given the absence of the top two riders in the World Cup standings - van der Poel, who is focussing on the road, and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), who is recovering from injury. The race quickly came down to three contenders - Flueckiger, Cink and Anton Cooper (Trek Factory). 

Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM), looking to tie Julien Absalon's World Cup record of 33 wins, was never a factor after a poor showing in the Short Track relegated him to a fourth row start position; he would eventually manage to work his way up to tenth by the finish.

By the end of the start loop, Cink, Flueckiger and Cooper had a gap, with Cink powering the move on the long climbs. On Lap 2, Cooper had to back off, unable to match the pace Cink was setting, but Flueckiger was sitting comfortably on his rival's wheel. Cooper rode alone for the rest of the race to finish third.

Cink continue to set the tempo until the fifth lap, when Flueckiger, the winner of the Short Track on Friday, finally surged. After opening a small gap on the climb, the Swiss champion extended it on the descent, setting the fastest lap of the day and starting the final lap with a 14 second lead. He held the lead to the finish line for the fourth World Cup win of his career. His wins in both the XCC and XCO puts him 140 points ahead of Cink in the overall standings, with Round 1 winner Victor Koretzky (KMC-Orbea) holding onto third and former leader van der Poel dropping to fourth.

"I was still a bit tired [from the Short Track] in the early laps," admitted Flueckiger, "but more and more as the race went on my legs got better, and in the second last lap I was able to make a gap. On the long climbs he was maybe a bit stronger and I knew that I had to make an attack; in the early laps I was struggling to just stay on the wheel of Ondrej. But when I had the gap I was pretty confident I could go to the finish in the lead. I'm really happy with this win."

Cink agreed, saying, "It was a very hard race. I knew that this was a good course for me and I could do a good result here. I did my best, but in the end Mathias was a little bit stronger. He is faster in the downhill than me, so when he made a gap and pushed [on the descent] I couldn't catch him. He was better today and congrats to him."

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathias Flueckiger (Swi) 1:15:50
2Ondřej Cink (Cze) 0:00:14
3Anton Cooper (NZl) 0:00:45
4Thomas Griot (Fra) 0:01:26
5Vlad Dascalu (Rom) 0:01:27
6Thomas Litscher (Swi) 0:01:28
7Maxime Marotte (Fra) 0:01:44
8Simon Andreassen (Den) 0:01:49
9Victor Koretzky (Fra) 0:01:54
10Nino Schurter (Swi) 0:01:59
11Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Den) 0:02:11
12Nadir Colledani (Ita) 0:02:24
13Jordan Sarrou (Fra) 0:02:38
14Milan Vader (Ned) 0:02:47
15Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) 0:03:03
16Lars Forster (Swi) 0:03:11
17David Valero Serrano (Spa) 0:03:17
18Daniele Braidot (Ita) 0:03:24
19Anton Sintsov (Rus) 0:03:30
20Reto Indergand (Swi) 0:03:44
21Christopher Blevins (USA) 0:04:14
22Antoine Philipp (Fra) 0:04:18
23Titouan Carod (Fra) 0:04:26
24Alan Hatherly (RSA) 0:04:33
25Jens Schuermans (Bel) 0:04:40
26Erik Hægstad (Nor)
27Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spa) 0:04:44
28Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) 0:04:45
29Marcel Guerrini (Swi) 0:04:46
30Maximilian Brandl (Ger) 0:04:48
31Peter Disera (Can)
32Andri Frischknecht (Swi) 0:04:53
33Vital Albin (Swi) 0:05:07
34Karl Markt (Aut) 0:05:16
35Luca Schwarzbauer (Ger) 0:05:25
36Georg Egger (Ger) 0:05:48
37Pierre De Froidmont (Bel) 0:05:57
38Maximilian Foidl (Aut) 0:06:09
39Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Mex) 0:06:15
40Manuel Fumic (Ger) 0:06:28
41Maxime Loret (Fra) 0:06:33
42Joshua Dubau (Fra) 0:06:37
43Luca Braidot (Ita) 0:06:41
44Krzysztof Lukasik (Pol) 0:06:43
45Basile Allard (Fra) 0:06:44
46Gregor Raggl (Aut)
47Jofre Cullell Estape (Spa) 0:06:49
48Jan Škarnitzl (Cze) 0:06:54
49Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) 0:06:56
50Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) 0:07:05
51Sean Fincham (Can) 0:07:13
52Ismael Esteban Aguero (Spa) 0:07:15
53Martins Blums (Lat) 0:07:16
54Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) 0:07:43
55Bruno Vitali (Swi)
56Gioele Bertolini (Ita) 0:07:48
57Lukas Flückiger (Swi) 0:07:51
58Niklas Schehl (Ger) 0:08:08
59Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) 0:08:27
60Jan Vastl (Cze) 0:08:30
61Andrew L'Esperance (Can)
62Frazer Clacherty (GBr) 0:08:41
63Leandre Bouchard (Can) 0:08:57
64Nicholas Pettina' (Ita) 0:09:20
65Simon Vitzthum (Swi) 0:09:25
66Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) 0:09:27
67Quinton Disera (Can)
68Filip Helta (Pol) 0:09:37
69Ivan Filatov (Rus) 0:09:42
70Matej Ulik (Svk) 0:09:43
71Lukáš Kobes (Cze)
72Emil Lindgren (Swe) 0:09:55
73Julian Schelb (Ger) 0:10:05
74Moritz Bscherer (Aut) 0:10:10
75Sebastian Miranda Maldonado (Chi) 0:10:29
76Josef Jelínek (Cze) 0:10:39
77Hugo Drechou (Fra) 0:11:55
78Andrin Beeli (Swi)
79Thibault Daniel (Fra)
80Ursin Spescha (Swi)
81András Parti (Hun)
82Sven Strähle (Ger)
83Luis Neff (Ger)
84Tyler Orschel (Can)
85Nick Burki (Swi)
86Alessio Agostinelli (Ita)
87Alexandre Vialle (Can)
88Dario Thoma (Swi)
89Fabian Giger (Swi)
90Amando Martinez Galvan (Mex)
91Tim Feinauer (Ger)
92Clément Auvin (Fra)
93Rob Vanden Haesevelde (Bel)
94Marc Andre Fortier (Can)
95Patricio Farias Diaz (Chi)
96Michal Topor (Pol)
97Armin Embacher (Aut)
98Raphael Auclair (Can)
99Pau Romero Barcelo (Spa)
100Matej Baco (Svk)
101Zdeněk Vobecký (Cze)
102Lucas Thilly (Fra)
103Maël Desrieux (Fra)
104Anthony Bergeron (Can)
105Vincent Jonatan Beckmann (Ger)
106Joris Ryf (Swi)
DNFJakub Zamrozniak (Pol)
DNFRemy Duquesne (Fra)
DNSGioele De Cosmo (Ita)

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