Pinkbike Primer: World Cup XC Goes Stateside at Snowshoe, USA - Pinkbike

Pinkbike Primer: World Cup XC Goes Stateside at Snowshoe, USA – Pinkbike

With six rounds of the 2022 World Cup already in the books, it’s time for the riders to cross the Atlantic to Snowshoe, USA, for another battle.

Unlike in previous years, this trip to Snowshoe won’t be the end of the season, so the atmosphere will be quite different from in 2019 and 2021, but the intensity will be similarly high. The tough track, American crowds, and potentially volatile weather could all bring out as much drama as we’ve seen at Snowshoe in the past, especially in the context of this especially wild season.

Last round, several of the top female riders sat out of the race, giving us the chance to see a shakeup of the podium spots with Anne Terpstra taking her second ever World Cup win. The men’s race was similarly eventful, with Mathias Flueckiger sitting out, Luca Braidot matching his win from two weeks prior, and David Valero Serrano taking a career-best second place.

It seems that the competition keeps heightening, year after year, with more podium contenders than ever at each round. The overall points are tight right now, with Bec McConnell and Nino Schurter leading the standings but the rest of each field right behind and ready to close the gap if either leader so much as pauses for air.

We’ll be missing a few big names again this race – Loana Lecomte appears to be sitting out and Mathias Flueckiger has confirmed that he’s staying in Europe – but the rest of the field looks as ready as ever to throw down.

The track

Above, Emily Batty and Laurie Arsenault preview the 2021 track. This year, it remains mostly the same, with a few minor tweaks to add even more technical challenge.

The twisty trail is quite varied, with woods sections, potentially slick roots, lots of shale that will likely cause flat tires (as Nino experienced in 2019), and some punchy climbs that will make for a relentless, fast lap. New technical sections were added for 2021, but the course designers have even one-upped themselves this year with the addition of a “freeride flow” section, which is fast with a smattering of playful trail features that will test the riders’ bike handling ability between steep climbs. Like last year, the lap finishes with a manmade rock garden that could be a decisive point in the course, giving the strong descenders a slight advantage near the end of each lap.


Snowshoe 2021

It’s a very different race this time around, with Snowshoe halfway through the season rather than capping the end, but we’ll no doubt see some familiar names on the podium. The last time the World Cup visited the USA, both Evie Richards and Christopher Blevins rode standout races, with Richards continuing her impressive winning streak and Blevins making history as the first US man to win an elite XC World Cup since 1994.

Elite Women (6 Laps)

1st. Evie Richards: 1:14:53
2nd. Rebecca McConnell: +1:31
3rd. Anne Tauber: +1:54
4th. Sina Frei: +2:10
5th. Anne Terpstra: +2:31

Elite Men (7 Laps)

1st. Christopher Blevins: 1:15:14
2nd. Vlad Dascalu: +9
3rd. Ondrej Cink: +20
4th. Nino Schurter: +34
5th. Luca Braidot: +39


Previous winners


2019:


Elite Men: Lars Forster

Elite Women: Pauline Ferrand-Prevot


2021:


Elite Men: Christopher Blevins

Elite Women: Evie Richards



Last round recap

Last round saw second-time winners in both the men’s and women’s elite categories. In the women’s, Anne Terpstra repeated her previous Vallnord performance, pushing ahead of the rest of the women’s field on the first lap and holding that position for the entire race. Bec McConnell stayed with her for the first lap, but an unfortunate flat rear tire, then another flat the following lap, then a crash from trying to ride a technical section on a flat derailed her podium hopes. Mona Mitterwallner put in her best elite ride to date, taking the second podium spot, and Ramona Forchini similarly outrode all her past results to third place.

Just two weeks after Luca Braidot took his first World Cup victory in Lenzerheide, he showed that it was no fluke by backing it up with another win in Vallnord. In both races, circumstances meant that those around him succumbed to crashes or mechanicals, but Braidot was the rider who managed to keep things consistent enough to keep pedaling over the line. David Valero Serrano finished 10 seconds back from Braidot with his best result to date, with Nino Schurter earning a hard-fought third place despite a slow start.

Elite Women (5 Laps)

1st. Anne Terpstra: 1:15:21
2nd. Mona Mitterwallner: 1:16:18
3rd. Ramona Forchini: 1:16:55
4th. Laura Stigger: 1:17:04
5th. Caroline Bohé: 1:17:10

Elite Men (6 Laps)

1st. Luca Braidot: 1:15:31
2nd. David Valero Serrano: 1:15:41
3rd. Nino Schurter: 1:15:58
4th. Vlad Dascalu: 1:16:09
5th. Jordan Sarrou: 1:16:21

Overall Standings

WOMEN
1. Bec McConnell – 1317
2. Anne Terpstra – 1205
3. Loana Lecomte – 1204
4. Alessandra Keller – 1022
5. Jenny Rissveds – 1010
6. Laura Stigger – 984
7. Mona Mitterwallner – 955
8. Caroline Bohe – 909
9. Linda Indergand – 753
10. Jolanda Neff – 716

MEN
1. Nino Schurter – 1342
2. Vlad Dascalu – 1082
3. Alan Hatherly – 1063
4. Mathias Fluckiger – 1016
5. Luca Braidot – 950
6. David Valero Serrano – 883
7. Titouan Carod – 766
8. Maxime Marotte – 755
9. Filippo Colombo – 719
10. Pierre de Froidmont – 655

Weather forecast

The 2019 World Cup race at Snowshoe turned quickly to survival riding with some precipitation, and this year might not be so different with some thunderstorms in the forecast for Thursday and Sunday. With wet roots on the ground, the results could shift in favor of the strongest technical riders.
Thursday, July 28 – Training
Cloudy, then sunny intervals with showers and a heavier thunderstorm; persistent downpours may lead to significant flooding // 23°C (73°F) // 87% precipitation // wind 13km/h (8 mph)

Friday, July 29 – Short Track
Considerable cloudiness with a thunderstorm // 21°C (70°F) // 87% precipitation // wind 15km/h (9 mph)

Saturday, July 30 – Training
Sun and areas of high clouds // 22°C (72°F) // 17% precipitation // wind 9km/h (6 mph)

Sunday, July 31 – Race
Periods of rain and a thunderstorm // 21°C (70°F) // 94% precipitation // wind 9km/h (6 mph)

Weather forecast as of Wednesday, July 26. Live updates from Accuweather.


Schedule

All times EDT

Thursday, July 28
• 12:00-14:00 // Official XCO Training – Women Under 23 and Elite
• 14:00-16:00 // Official XCO Training – Men Under 23 and Elite

Friday, July 29
• 09:30-11:00 // Official XCO Training – Women Under 23 and Elite
• 11:00-12:30 // Official XCO Training – Men Under 23 and Elite
• 12:30-14:30 // Official XCO Training – All riders
• 15:45-16:30 // Official XCC Training – Women
• 16:30-17:15 // Official XCC Training – Men
• 17:30 // World Cup Cross-Country Short Track – Women
• 18:15 // World Cup Cross-Country Short Track – Men

Saturday, July 30
• 09:30-11:30 // Official XCO Training – Women
• 11:30-13:30 // Official XCO Training – Men
• 13:30-14:30 // Official XCO Training – All riders

Sunday, July 31
• 08:30 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic – Women Under 23
• 10:15 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic – Men Under 23
• 12:20 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic – Women Elite – Followed by U23 awards
• 14:50 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic – Men Elite – Followed by elite awards

Note: All times are subject to change by the UCI or event organizer.


How to watch

Pinkbike will be providing you with daily coverage from our team of photographers in Snowshoe this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, results, news, and tech.

All the elite races can be streamed live on redbull.tv.

Schedule:
All times in EDT, replay available immediately following the races

– Snowshoe XCC Women and Men: Friday, August 29 – 5:20pm EDT (2:20pm PDT, 9:20pm GMT, 9:20am +day NZST)
– Snowshoe XCO Women: Sunday, August 31 – 12:00pm EDT (9:00am PDT, 4:00pm GMT, 4:00am +day NZST)
– Snowshoe XCO Men: Sunday, August 31 – 2:30pm EDT (11:30am PDT, 6:30pm GMT, 6:00am NZST)

Note: These times are subject to change. Please check with your local provider.


Pinkbike Predictions

Vlad Dascalu has been close to the top many times now, but has yet to take an elite win despite clearly being able to hang with the lead group. Could Snowshoe be the race where he finally puts together all the puzzle pieces? His consistency has been improving, and perhaps with slightly cooler temperatures at Snowshoe than in Vallnord – where he was close but then faded – the Romanian might take it. I’m choosing Luca Braidot for second because he has the momentum of having just taken his first two World Cup wins, and that form will surely carry over when the riders cross the Atlantic to the USA. Rounding out the podium, I’m picking Alan Hatherly. He’s another rider who has been so close, so many times, and it would be great to see him on his way to another podium.

On the women’s side, I think Jenny Rissveds is due for an XCO win. We saw her take the short track victory in Lenzerheide, so we know she’s on form when it comes to her top-end sprinting ability, plus she’s landed a collection of second and third place results this season – her best in a while. The former Olympic champion is no stranger to playing the steady game, and she knows what it takes to win. I think she still has more winning days ahead of her, and we may well see one of them this weekend. Next, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bec McConnell back on the podium. She started the season with a winning streak, and while she’s been off the podium for the last three race weekends, her ability to stay with Anne Terpstra for the first lap in Vallnord shows that she still has the pace to be on top, just needs to put it together again. Finally, Terpstra took her second ever World Cup win in Vallnord. After her previous win, she did not follow it with another, but she’s been in the mix enough times this year that she could likely put herself in the top three – or even win again.

ELITE MEN
1 // Vlad Dascalu
2 // Luca Braidot
3 // Alan Hatherly

ELITE WOMEN
1 // Jenny Rissveds
2 // Bec McConnell
3 // Anne Terpstra


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