4 Things We Learned from the Leogang World Cup XC 2021

Jun 14, 2021
by Ed Spratt  
Pauline Ferrand Prevot leads them off the line and up the first climb.

Leogang once again provided a tough challenge for the fastest XC racers with plenty of climbing and some tricky technical sections to catch riders out as they tried to recover. Here are four things we learned from the sidelines.



Loana Lecomte is the First Elite Woman to Win Three World Cup XC Races in a Row in 15 Years

After a dominating performance in Leogang, Loana Lecomte has become the first Woman to take three World Cup victories in a row since Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå in 2006. It was another solo victory from the young Frenchwoman who broke clear early in the race and then settled into her customary rhythm, gradually extending her lead as the race progressed.

Since Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå's triple opening wins in 2006, there have been seven seasons where an Elite Woman has taken three wins, including Kate Courtney and Jolanda Neff in recent years. Catharine Pendrel is the only woman to score more than three victories in a season in the past 15 years with four wins in 2012. However, with three more World Cup rounds this year and no signs of slowing down, Loana could well match or beat that by the end of the year.
Another commanding win for Lecomte.



Another Week, Another XCO Racer Finishing with a Broken Bone

It was great to see a return to form for Jolanda Neff in Leogang with a third-place finish in the XCC and a fourth-place finish in the XCO race. Even more impressive though is that Jolanda finished Sunday's race with a broken hand. Jolanda picked up the injury on the fourth lap after she had managed to break away from the chasing group. Despite the crash and injury, she rallied to finish on the podium in a truly impressive show of fortitude

This is the second race in a row an Elite woman has crossed the line with a serious injury after Kate Courtney finished her race in Nove Mesto with a broken arm in May. We wish both Kate and Jolanda the best of luck with their recoveries and hope to see them back racing again soon. While we think it's an admirable show of resolve to battle through the pain of a broken bone, this is a trend we hope we don't have to report on in the next race.
Strong race from Jolanda. Unfortunately she took a crash in the later laps and ended up breaking a bone in her hand. In true warrior fashion she managed to deal with the pain until the race was done.




Both Elite Winners won the XCO and XCC Races in Leogang for the First Time

The winners of both the men's and women's short track on Friday went on to win the XCO race on Sunday for the first time in Leogang.

Looking back at past results, four riders have won the XCC and XCO racing during a single World Cup round - Annika Langvad and Henrique Avancini have one double victory to their names, Kate Courtney has two in 2019 but topping the list in MVDP who has won both races three times in the 2019 season.

Loana Lecomte and Mathias Flueckiger now join this exclusive club of racers who have managed to win the double and it is even more impressive that they both did it during the same race weekend.
Mathias Flueckiger powering away from the competition and with the first choice on grid slot for Sunday.



Another Tough Weekend for Nino Schurter

Despite being one of the favourites for gold in Tokyo, Nino Schurter hasn't had the start to the 2021 World Cup season he would have hoped for. In Albstadt, he lost the sprint for the line and had to settle for second and in Nove Mesto he finished three minutes back on the rampaging Pidcock in 7th.

Heading into Leogang Nino Schurter was onboard the new Scott Spark and will have been hoping to give it a strong racing debut. However, coming off the start line in the XCC Nino slipped a pedal and ended up stalled as most of the field rode away. Not wanting to waste any energy, Nino coasted round the course leading to a fourth row start for the big race on Sunday.

The XCO also didn't go Nino's way as he started the race back in the pack and spent most of the race trying to find his way through the ranks only to come across the line in 10th position. Schurter still has more than a month to build his form ahead of the Olympics but Les Gets will be crucial to see where he truly stacks up against the competition.
Screenshot: Red Bull TV

bigquotesWent with a great feeling into this World Cup weekend but my bad start/mistake at the short race destroyed somehow all this. A 10p is under my expectations and I need to be patient at the moment and trust my capabilities. At least my last two lap times were good, shape should be there though. But where is my mojo? Nino Schurter - Instagram





56 Comments

  • 94 0
 Nino lost his Spark?
  • 24 1
 Got outta Scale..
  • 18 0
 Great Scott!
  • 20 0
 That’s genius!!!
  • 6 0
 And he is looking for his Mojo
  • 13 0
 He better turns up some Voltage.
  • 13 0
 He's not much of a gambler.
  • 7 0
 You don't have to be a Genius to know Nino will be back near the top soon!
  • 6 0
 Someone/something holding his mojo for Ransom?
  • 13 0
 I've hidden my shock about how good that pun was!
  • 2 0
 They enclosed the shock of the Spark. Good by electrifying results.
  • 1 0
 This looks like a Scott jokes session.
  • 30 1
 "The Rampaging Pidcock" was the highlight of the article really.
  • 15 2
 When Lecomte crossed the finish line, it looked like she'd been out on a friendly training ride.
Men's XCO is weird: if Pidcock or MVDP line up, the race is theirs. If they're absent, it's anyone's to win, it seems.
  • 7 0
 MvDP is very dominant in the short track but has been beaten in XCO. He has ''only'' won 3 WC in 2019 (it's good but not dominant I would say). Depending on the course, I wouldn't necessarily bet the house on him. With Pidcock, we will have to see, but his performance in Nove Mestro was really impressive. If these guys focus exclusively on XCO, they would be monsters.
  • 5 0
 @cblanc: not sure about the last sentence. Training for road bike must be another level of professionalism (even if you do not consider their doctors)
  • 3 0
 @cblanc: Didnt MvDP only race 3 WCs in 2019?
  • 5 0
 Olympic year and consistently superlative performances would have road fans talking about alien performances, especially coming off the pandemic year.

Any eyebrows raising out there?
  • 3 0
 @paulskibum: Well, he won 5 XCCs in 2019...
  • 2 0
 @fautquecaswing: Even though road cycling training is very hard, fitness requirement for road and XCO is really different. In my opinion, XCO is much more similar to CX than road racing. That's why MvDP and Pidcock perform well in XCO because they are also world class in CX. It's really impressive how these guys are able to perform so well in different cycling disciplines.
  • 3 0
 @paulskibum: He did 5 WC in 2019 and won three XCO but won every XCC.
  • 3 0
 @aaronjb: mainly regarding the women’s results.
  • 3 0
 @ReformedRoadie: sadly the same for men. An untouchable, young rider that should ride in U21. Maybe the food for that generation was more organic.
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I have whispered to myself in the back room.

I skimmed the article and saw no mention of Jenny being fvcking rad. Hopefully we will Learn some more about her as the season progresses.....
  • 3 0
 @fautquecaswing: I think the manner in which Lecompt is winning...
Absolutely crushing the top women, looking like she is out for a leisurely ride.
Reminds me of the 90s on the road where guys were climbing cols breathing through their noses.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Are you suggesting she is riding with chemical assistance?
  • 1 0
 @TheJD: Lost track of which years he did a partial season - you are correct.
  • 10 3
 I'd argue that having a super-long climb in the XCC race was a mistake. If the same people win twice in the same weekend - I'd really prefer they have to win those events (XCC & XCO) in two different ways. By having the XCC decided almost entirely by climbing, it becomes a spoiler events, as it let us see how few actually have any chance to contest the XCO events on Sunday.
  • 4 1
 XCC is really good when there are as few places to spread out the field as possible. Keep the packs together and make it a tactical battle of saving as much energy as possible for Sunday while matching all out attacks at the same time. Nova Mesto is a good example. It was great in prior years but adding more tech and climbs spread it out too much this year. An XCC course should be boring compared to the XCO, like in Albstadt where XCC is in the woods for like 30 seconds.
  • 5 0
 Maybe Nino should go back to Ritchey Pedals??
  • 2 0
 So he can start unclipping when sprinting for the win again? Ref. sprint against Samuel Gaze in Stellenbosch 2018.
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: I'm pretty sure that was the first year on HT's. I could be wrong.
  • 2 0
 @magnusc: Nope, You're right. Switched in 2020
  • 1 0
 @ceolmhar: When it happened in 2018 I remember thinking this is the last piece of Ritchey component we will see on a Scott bike: At the time they where already a long away into replacing everything with Syncros.
  • 4 0
 Hum... Where are we with pain killers in the pro athlete field?
  • 13 0
 The UCI states:

"Painkillers of any kind may be taken provided they are from another racers water bottle."
  • 2 1
 @L0rdTom: +1 for sly richie/jared reference!
  • 3 1
 I believe someone’s holding Nino for ransom to lose with that performance.
  • 4 0
 Only a real gambler would pay his ransom!!!
  • 1 0
 "even more impressive that they both did it during the same race weekend"

How could someone win both in a single round but not during the same "race weekend" ?
  • 2 0
 Looks like all of the men within Scott/Sram are struggling.
  • 2 0
 Yolanda punch on a tree?
  • 1 0
 Even there
  • 1 0
 *been there
  • 5 0
 If she did, I'd be sorry for that tree.
  • 1 0
 She head first belly flopped on a big rock. What she hit her hand on she doesn't know or say. Rock or Root most likely.
She found out today that she broke two bones in her hand.
www.instagram.com/p/CQG6nhBgHX7
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