The 2020 race season finally burst into life in spectacular fashion here in Nove Mesto. It was a day that saw two youngsters get one over on their more experienced competitors to seize their very first elite World Cup victory. After a strong showing in short track it was Loana Lecomte that reigned supreme after a battle with Anne Terpstra and compatriot Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Not only was it Lecomte's first elite World Cup win but her very first race in the top tier. The men's race followed a similar narrative with Danish youngster Simon Andreassen winning after battling at the front the whole race. Many tried and failed to depose of him but in the end he rolled over the line 9 seconds up on Maxime Marotte. Milan Vader took a strong third place ahead of Nino Schurter who carved his way back through the field and pipped Henrique Avancini in a sprint finish.
Earlier in the day the U23 races took place with Specialized's Haley Batten looking dominant early in the race before fading to third behind Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado and eventual winner Giorgia Marchet. In the men's it was the UK's Tom Pidcock who rode from the back of the grid to the top spot with a big margin in his very first mountain bike World Cup, in behind him came Alexandre Balmer and Vital Albin.
The racing action is now coming in thick and fast with the second short track event scheduled in tomorrow afternoon before the second race on Sunday. Will it be Lecomte and Andreassen out front again or will someone else be able to avenge their result today? Stay tuned.