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Van der Poel bests Pidcock in Nove Mesto short track

Mathieu van der Poel wins his 3rd World Cup of 2019
Mathieu van der Poel wins his 3rd World Cup of 2019 (Image credit: Rob Jones)

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) confirmed, once again, that he dominates the men's field, with his eighth consecutive win in the UCI MTB World Cup short track race (XCC) he has entered since 2019.

The men's race had multiple contenders for the win besides Van der Poel - last week's XCO winner Victor Koretzky (KMC-Orbea), world number one Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM), Van der Poel's road and cyclo-cross rival Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory), who won here last year.

While the pace was high in the opening laps, there was still a group of nearly 20 riders at the front by the halfway mark. Pidcock, Avancini and van der Poel tooks turns at the front, but no one seemed willing to make an all out effort to splinter the field. By fifth lap, it was down to seven after a surge by Koretzky, and then van der Poel went to the front on the climb, with Pidcock and Avacini both trying to sprint by him on the climb before the singletrack. They were joined by Koretzky, world champion Jordan Sarrou (Specialized) and Max Brandl (Lexware) before the start of the last lap, but when van der Poel surged again on the climb, only Pidcock could go with him.

The British rider then moved into the lead for the descent to the asphalt finishing straight and began the sprint with 150 metres to go, but van der Poel used his well-known explosive kick to come by in the final ten metres and win by a bike length.

Van der Poel admitted that Pidcock was a concern, "I've known him for a while now, and I know what he is capable of. He was very strong, as expected."

Van der Poel had stated earlier in the week that he wasn't at 100 per cent, saying "I didn't have the best legs today, but I hope to have them for Sunday [XCO]. Last weekend I had better legs [in the XCC] then I had [in the XCO], so I hope to change that around this week. This course suits me pretty well, so I'm just hoping for a really good day."

Pidcock revealed that he was hampered in the sprint by not being able to get into his biggest gear; part of a ongoing litany of mechanical issues: "It was a little bit annoying, because I couldn't get into my biggest gear; that's why I was spinning so fast. I had to change bikes at the last minute because my suspension wasn't working, so the mechanic didn't have time to check it. I was feeling really good, so I'm happy with how I felt. I was thinking I wouldn't feel so good in this race compared to the Olympic distance, because it's more explosive, but I think this track suits me well with the longer climbs."

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix 0:20:48
2Thomas Pidcock (GBr)
3Jordan Sarrou (Fra) Specialized Racing
4Victor Koretzky (Fra) Kmc - Orbea 0:00:01
5Maximilian Brandl (Ger) Lexware Mountainbike Team 0:00:03
6Maxime Marotte (Fra) Santa Cruz fsa mtb pro Team 0:00:06
7Anton Cooper (NZl) Trek Factory Racing Xc 0:00:08
8Lars Forster (Swi) Scott-sram mtb Racing Team 0:00:11
9Luca Braidot (Ita) Santa Cruz fsa mtb pro Team 0:00:12
10Vlad Dascalu (Rom) Trek - Pirelli 0:00:13
11Alan Hatherly (RSA) Cannondale Factory Racing
12Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-sram mtb Racing Team 0:00:14
13Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing
14Mathias Flueckiger (Swi) Thömus rn Swiss Bike Team 0:00:15
15Ondrej Cink (Cze) Kross Orlen Cycling Team 0:00:16
16Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:00:19
17Leandre Bouchard (Can) Pivot Cycles - Ote
18Jens Schuermans (Bel) Scott Creuse Oxygene Gueret 0:00:26
19Milan Vader (Ned) Kmc - Orbea
20Simon Andreassen (Den) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:00:38
21Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Den) Cst Postnl Bafang mtb Racing Team 0:00:39
22Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Primaflor Mondraker Xsauce
23David Valero Serrano (Spa) Bh Templo Cafés Ucc 0:00:40
24Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) Kross Orlen Cycling Team 0:00:42
25Thomas Griot (Fra) Massi 0:00:57
26Peter Disera (Can) Norco Factory Team Xc 0:01:01
27Keegan Swenson (USA) 0:01:06
28Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) Specialized Racing 0:01:14
29Thomas Litscher (Swi) Kmc - Orbea 0:01:19
30Nadir Colledani (Ita) Mmr Factory Racing Team 0:01:20
31Jofre Cullell Estape (Spa) Primaflor Mondraker Xsauce 0:01:22
32Georg Egger (Ger) Lexware Mountainbike Team 0:01:23
33Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo (Mex) 0:01:59
34Christopher Blevins (USA) Trinity Racing Mtb 0:02:18
35Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) 0:02:55
36Andri Frischknecht (Swi) Scott-sram mtb Racing Team
37Karl Markt (Aut) Trek | Vaude
38Reto Indergand (Swi) Giant Factory off - Road Team
DNFTitouan Carod (Fra) Absolute-absalon - Bmc
DNSMartin Haring (Svk)
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