Nove Mesto UCI Mountain Bike XCC Short Track Men: Pidcock and MvdP Sprint for Glory
The battle everyone was waiting to see finally arrived. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix) vs Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) in the Nove Mesto World Cup, with Pidcock on a level playing field starting at the front.
On Friday Van der Poel beat Pidcock on the line in the short track event, adding to his impressive list of wins in that discipline.
Watch the thrilling XCC Short Track highlight video below, thanks to Red Bull.
Pidcock led out the sprint but later revealed he couldn’t get into his hardest gear. As he spun, Van der Poel came alongside the Brit and threw his bike for a half-bike win.
Nove Mesto UCI Mountain Bike XCO Cross Country Men: Top Cyclocrossers Again
On Sunday it was the usual suspects off the front with Mathieu van der Poel leading the charge. Also in the front, it was World Cup leader Victor Koretzky (KMC-Orbea) with Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM), Pidcock, Ondrej Cink (Kross Orlen) and Mathias Flueckiger (Thömus rn Swiss Bike Team) chasing.
Eventually, Pidcock bridged up to Van der Poel and the two cyclocrossers did their best to stay on their bikes in the rocks and roots, leaving the rest behind.
On the third lap, Pidcock himself surged and dropped van der Poel going on to beat his cyclocross rival by a full minute. Former U23 Cyclocross national champion Christopher Blevins had another strong race getting as high as 11th, eventually finishing 20th.
Has the three-discipline star found his strength? Although he has been supreme in cyclocross, road and mountain, he revealed his love for the fat tires.
“Honestly, I think I was born to do mountain biking,” he said after the finish.
That winning feeling 🥇🥇 my first elite World Cup win 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/fEWKn127NS
— Tom Pidcock (@Tompid) May 16, 2021
No UK man has won an MTB World Cup win since Gary Foord at Mammoth Lake, California in 1994.
Nove Mesto UCI Mountain Bike XCC Short Track Women: An American Win
On Friday, former Cyclocross World Champ Pauline Ferrand Prevot had a crash in the short track that initially didn’t look that serious, however, she had to pull out of that event.
Seizing her opportunity was American Hayley Batten (Trinity), who stormed to her first Elite XCC win. The performance was the first half of her Olympic berth-sealing weekend.
Former U23 Cyclocross World Champ Evie Richards (Trek) finished seventh, while American Kate Courtney (Scott – SRAM) finished in ninth.
Nove Mesto UCI Mountain Bike XCO Cross Country Women: Lecomte and Batten Swap Steps
The big question going into Sunday was whether Prevot could recover and race the XCO event on Sunday.
Thankfully the cyclocrossers was good enough to line up for Sunday’s race, and had an impressive ride for fourth.
Speaking of impressive, Loana Lecomte and Haley Batten had impressive weekends.
The two young riders kept their hold on the top two spots each day, and like Pidcock and Van der Poel after them, swapped Friday’s places on Sunday.