Elite Women XCO:
Young French revelation Loana Lecomte (Massi) took her third straight cross-country World Cup (XCO) win on Sunday in Leogang, Austria, to solidify her lead in the overall standings, after also winning the Short Track (XCC) on Friday. Lecomte becomes the first women to win the opening three rounds of the World Cup season since the legendary Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa 15 years earlier.
Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) finished second and Laura Stigger (Specialized) third.
Leogang has been a stop on the Downhill circuit for many years, but this is the first time the XCO World Cup has taken 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 course suited Lecomte perfectly as a climber, and she took the lead before the end of the start loop and the first of five laps, never to relinquish it. Incredibly, she has led every lap of every World Cup race this season. She steadily powered away from the rest of the field to a gap of over two minutes, before slowing slightly on the last lap.
The more interesting race was behind, as five riders battled for the remaining podium spots - world champion Pauline Ferrand Prévot (Absolute-Absalon-BMC), Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds (Sweden), Austrian champion Laura Stigger (Specialized), Swiss champion Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory) and Australian champion Rebecca McConnell (Primaflora Mondraker XSauce).
All five, at various times, led the chase and attacked, before having to back off and recover. Rissveds rode more conservatively and it paid off on the last lap when she rode away to take second with the fastest split of the day, just in front of local favourite Stigger. Neff took fourth, showing a return to form following her serious crash of over a year ago, ahead of Ferrand Prévot.
"I'm very happy to have this shape [fitness]," said Lecomte, "I just prepare the best I can and it is enough. It's a little strange, because I have now won four World Cups as an Elite, but I never won a [UCI] Junior series race or an Under-23 World Cup."
Rissveds, who struggled with depression after her Olympic win and left the sport for two years, has now started to show the form that won her the Olympic title in 2016, a little more than a month before she will defend that title at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
"I've been struggling with my self-confidence the last couple of weeks, so this was a very good race for me," Rissveds said. "I've been practicing a lot lately to commit fully; it's very scary to go all-in because it hurts and there is a chance of making mistakes. So I've been practicing that, and I did that even today in the race, and I'm very happy with how it turned out."
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Loana Lecomte (Fra)||1:17:03|
|2||Jenny Rissveds (Swe)||0:01:48|
|3||Laura Stigger (Aut)||0:01:50|
|4||Jolanda Neff (Swi)||0:02:02|
|5||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)||0:02:30|
|6||Evie Richards (GBr)||0:02:42|
|7||Rebecca Mcconnell (Aus)||0:03:17|
|8||Anne Terpstra (Ned)||0:03:24|
|9||Rocio Del Alba Garcia Martinez (Spa)||0:03:32|
|10||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:04:14|
|11||Sina Frei (Swi)||0:04:21|
|12||Linda Indergand (Swi)||0:04:22|
|13||Lena Gerault (Fra)||0:04:38|
|14||Janika Lõiv (Est)||0:04:46|
|15||Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex)||0:05:10|
|16||Haley Batten (USA)||0:05:12|
|17||Maja Wloszczowska (Pol)||0:05:13|
|18||Ronja Eibl (Ger)||0:05:17|
|19||Yana Belomoina (Ukr)||0:05:25|
|20||Anne Tauber (Ned)||0:05:42|
|21||Alessandra Keller (Swi)||0:06:04|
|22||Nicole Koller (Swi)||0:06:53|
|23||Malene Degn (Den)||0:07:29|
|24||Jitka Čábelická (Cze)||0:07:32|
|25||Lotte Koopmans (Ned)||0:07:37|
|26||Catharine Pendrel (Can)||0:07:41|
|27||Sandra Walter (Can)|
|28||Barbara Benkó (Hun)||0:08:01|
|29||Steffi Häberlin (Swi)||0:08:15|
|30||Katarzyna Solus-miskowicz (Pol)||0:08:20|
|31||Hélène Clauzel (Fra)||0:08:44|
|32||Emily Batty (Can)||0:08:59|
|33||Lucie Urruty (Fra)||0:09:05|
|34||Sophie Von Berswordt (Ned)||0:09:11|
|35||Jennifer Jackson (Can)||0:09:38|
|36||Karla Štěpánová (Cze)||0:09:57|
|37||Haley Smith (Can)||0:10:07|
|38||Kelsey Urban (USA)||0:10:14|
|39||Martina Berta (Ita)||0:10:15|
|40||Tanja Žakelj (Slo)||0:10:46|
|41||Greta Seiwald (Ita)||0:10:58|
|42||Elisabeth Osl (Aut)||0:11:24|
|43||Kim Ames (Ger)||0:11:48|
|44||Nina Benz (Ger)||0:14:41|
|45||Candice Lill (RSA)|
|46||Giorgia Marchet (Ita)|
|47||Paula Gorycka (Pol)|
|48||Tereza Tvarůžková (Cze)|
|49||Theresia Schwenk (Ger)|
|50||Chrystelle Baumann (Swi)|
|51||Cherie Redecker (RSA)|
|52||Janina Wüst (Swi)|
|53||Anna Spielmann (Aut)|
|54||Charline Fragnière (Swi)|
|55||Seraina Leugger (Swi)|
|56||Amelie Laquebe (Fra)|
|57||Gabriela Wojtyla (Pol)|
|58||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)|
|59||Cindy Montambault (Can)|
|60||Katharina Kurz (Ger)|
|DNF||Chiara Teocchi (Ita)|
|DNF||Andrea Waldis (Swi)|
|DNF||Ramona Forchini (Swi)|
|DNF||Michelle Vorster (Nam)|
|DNF||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)|
|DNF||Githa Michiels (Bel)|
|DNF||Mariske Strauss (RSA)|
|DNS||Laurie Arseneault (Can)|
|DNS||Fabienne Schaus (Lux)|
Latest on Cyclingnews
Sarah Gigante: From howls of pain and disappointment to an Olympics dreamAustralian ready to take on the road race and time trial at Tokyo after recovering from three broken bones in April
Tokyo Olympics: 12 riders to watch in the men's road racePogacar, Van Aert, Hirschi, Valverde and Woods among our picks for gold
Michal Schlegel out of Tokyo Olympic Games after positive test for COVID-19Czech Olympic Committee to launch investigation after six positive cases in Tokyo
Moolman Pasio's insider knowledge of Dutch team an advantage at Tokyo Olympics'The reality is the responsibility is on the Dutch as the team-to-beat' says South African climber
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.