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