Elite Women Short Track:
The second round of the Mountain Bike World Cup opened on Friday evening in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, with a muddy Short Track (XCC). Under-23 rider Haley Batten (Trinity Racing) won the women's race in only her second start for this event while the overall leader's jerseys remains with Loana Lecomte (Massi).
The roughly 20-minute short track offered half the points of a cross-country (XCO) win, and the top 24 finishers occupy the first three rows on the start line for Sunday's XCO so, for the top 40 ranked riders who are allowed to enter, it is a serious battle.
After rain all week, the 1.5-kilometre circuit was extremely slick and muddy, with an extended climb added over previous years, making the circuit 50 per cent longer than in the past. It made the women's race almost four minutes longer than the usual 20 minutes, and the men's race was shortened to the same six laps as the women for this reason.
Batten, who is one of four American women battling for two Olympic spots, showed that last week's third place in the XCO was no fluke; grabbing the holeshot at the start and consistently sitting in the top-3 through the first half of the race. By the end of the third lap, the lead group was down to six, with last week's XCC winner, world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Absolute-Absalon-BMC), and 2016 Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) also in the group. Ferrand-Prévot then crashed hard in a muddy section, dropping out of the race and lying on the side of the course, clutching her abdomen. She went to the hospital, but it appears she will be okay to start Sunday's XCO.
Batten and Lecomte rode away from remaining chasers - Rissveds, Linda Indergand (Liv Factory) and Annie Last (Great Britain) - on the fourth lap, and it looked like it might come down to a sprint until Lecomte had a small crash on the penultimate lap. It allowed Batten to open a seven-second lead going into the final lap, which she extended to 16 seconds by the finish. Rissveds dropped the other two chasers for third.
"I have no words," said Batten, "I knew I was going pretty strong after last weekend, but I wasn't sure, with that slippery rock garden. But I got to the front and I felt really good; it was an exciting race in the mud, it's crazy. I couldn't think about it being the last lap [when Lecomte was chasing her].
"There are so many sections where you have to be in control and technically skilled, so my eyes were just on the course; crossing the line was the first time I really realized I was in the front. I'm bummed [about the crash]; I was hoping we could work together and finish strong, but racing happens. I'm glad she still finished second."
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Haley Batten (USA) Trinity Racing Mtb||0:23:35|
|2||Loana Lecomte (Fra) Massi||0:00:16|
|3||Jenny Rissveds (Swe)||0:00:21|
|4||Annie Last (GBr)|
|5||Linda Indergand (Swi) Liv Factory Racing||0:00:23|
|6||Laura Stigger (Aut) Specialized Racing||0:00:28|
|7||Evie Richards (GBr) Trek Factory Racing Xc||0:00:36|
|8||Sina Frei (Swi) Specialized Racing||0:00:48|
|9||Kate Courtney (USA) Scott-sram mtb Racing Team||0:00:49|
|10||Anne Tauber (Ned) Cst Postnl Bafang mtb Racing Team||0:00:51|
|11||Anne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory Racing||0:01:04|
|12||Rebecca Mcconnell (Aus) Primaflor Mondraker Xsauce||0:01:10|
|13||Martina Berta (Ita) Santa Cruz fsa mtb pro Team||0:01:11|
|14||Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Kross Orlen Cycling Team||0:01:14|
|15||Emily Batty (Can) Canyon Collective Factory Team||0:01:20|
|16||Mariske Strauss (RSA) Cst Postnl Bafang mtb Racing Team||0:01:24|
|17||Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex)||0:01:40|
|18||Chloe Woodruff (USA)||0:01:42|
|19||Alessandra Keller (Swi) Thömus rn Swiss Bike Team|
|20||Erin Huck (USA)||0:01:43|
|21||Sophie von Berswordt (Ned) Jb Brunex Superior Factory Racing|
|22||Janika Loiv (Est)||0:01:45|
|23||Nicole Koller (Swi) Ghost Factory Racing||0:01:46|
|24||Ronja Eibl (Ger) Alpecin - Fenix|
|25||Eva Lechner (Ita) Trinx Factory Team|
|26||Lena Gerault (Fra) Vca Anjos Asterion||0:01:49|
|27||Barbara Benko (Hun) Maloja Pushbikers Mtb||0:01:51|
|28||Jitka Cabelicka (Cze) Gapp System - Kolofix mtb Racing Team||0:01:58|
|29||Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg)||0:02:06|
|30||Rocio del Alba Garcia Martinez (Spa) Bh Templo Cafés Ucc||0:02:08|
|31||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)||0:02:11|
|32||Lea Davison (USA)||0:02:15|
|33||Candice Lill (RSA)||0:02:17|
|34||Ramona Forchini (Swi) Jb Brunex Superior Factory Racing|
|35||Jolanda Neff (Swi) Trek Factory Racing Xc||0:02:34|
|36||Isla Short (GBr)||0:02:55|
|37||Haley Smith (Can) Norco Factory Team Xc||0:03:09|
|38||Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior - Sinter|
|DNF||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Absolute-absalon - Bmc|
|DNS||Janka Keseg Stevkova (Svk)|
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