Schurter continues streak while Włoszczowska ends six-year wait

Nino Schurter and Maja Włoszczowska fended off late charges from their rivals to wrap up wins in the fourth round of the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup cross-country season.


The Swiss star held off local hero Gerhard Kerschbaumer at Val di Sole in Italy, while Poland's Włoszczowska kept Canadian Emily Batty at bay in a riveting women's race. Here is all you need to know:

 

The women's race got off to a dramatic start as Danish title leader Annika Langvad, who won the XCC short track race earlier in the weekend, was out early injured.

 

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Maja Włoszczowska. Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Current world champion Jolanda Neff, France's Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Włoszczowska broke free with Batty joining the trio later in search of her first World Cup win.

 

Ferrand-Prévot faded first then Switzerland's Neff lost momentum on one of the final climbs with Batty leaving her charge too late to catch Włoszczowska at the line.

 

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Emily Batty. Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Neff ended third and Ferrand-Prévot fourth with Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå the oldest rider to finish on a WC podium aged 45 - her 70th in total.

 

Włoszczowska was left to celebrate her first XCO World Cup win since 2012 after a series of podiums including XCO silver at the Rio Summer Games in 2016.

 

The 34-year-old said: "It means that I am still young and powerful! I was feeling better and better the more the race went on. Focus and don't make any mistakes. Push hard until the end and don't think about the result."

 

Batty, 30, revealed: "I was just chasing and turning myself inside out trying to bring Maja back. Few seconds short this week. I was so damn close to that win."

 

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Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Emily Batty, Maja Wloszczowska, Jolanda Neff, Gunn-Ritta Dahle Flesjaa stand on the podium at UCI XCO World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy. Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Reigning men's champion Schurter was beaten by Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in the short track race and broke away to leave his main rivals eating dust.

 

Italian Kerschbaumer, though, wanted to put a smile on his fans' faces and kept pace with the Swiss until the final downhill section when Schurter pulled away.

 

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Mathieu Van Der Poel and Nino Schurter. Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Van der Poel held off Henrique Avancini, who became the first Brazilian to record a World Cup XCO podium, with Switzerland's Florian Vogel trailing in fifth.

 

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Nino Schurter and Gerhard Kerschbaumer. Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Schurter, 32, revealed: "I knew from the previous year that the finish is really short and super bumpy, so my goal was to try and get a little gap in the downhill and go all out. I would say I am in awesome shape and I am super happy about my form."

 

Kerschbaumer, 26, said: "Today I am really happy with second place. All the fans stayed with me today. Last year I had a crash here, so this year was really good."

 

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Nino Schurter. Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 




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