Photo Epic: Rumble in the Alps - Leogang XC World Champs 2020

Oct 11, 2020
by Andy Vathis  


It was a spectacular end to an unconventional and short season here in Leogang. The freshly built track threw some punches of its own today. Nearly every rider made mistakes. Some of greater magnitude than others. Kate Courtney had a high-speed crash and pulled out of the race after she felt the beginning signs of a concussion. Stephane Tempier also had a big crash and pulled out of the race. The rain held off for all but the last lap of the men's race and even then it was just a sprinkle. The track was drying up and becoming more manageable as the day wore on. Several others were on the DNF list at race end. In the U23 races, Thomas Pidcock followed up his e-MTB Gold medal with another win. Loana Lecomte took the win for the U23 women in commanding style. Pauline Ferrand Prevot came to Leogang with a title to defend and took the win for the women. In the ride of the day, Jordan Sarrou took the rainbow jersey for the men. Rebecca McConnell and Eva Lechner had an incredible sprint finish for second and third.

The theme of the day seemed to be massive gaps between first and second place. Pauline Ferrand Prevot had a 3:01 gap over Eva Lechner. Loana Lecomte had a gap of over a minute on second place Kata Vas. Jordan Sarrou had the smallest gap of 45 seconds. Still impressive. Thomas Pidcock had a gap of 1:52 on Chris Blevins. It seemed whoever got out in front just ran away with the day. And with that our strange little season concludes on the realm of XC. Stay tuned for what could be a snowy DH finals today.

The clouds threatened foulness but it never materialized.
The clouds threatened foulness, but it never materialized.

Haley Batten has been in touch every race so far this season.
Haley Batten has been in touch every race so far this season.

Already such a successful season for Loana Lecomte. Will she be able to tame this monster of a track
Already such a successful season for Loana Lecomte. Will she be able to tame this monster of a track?

Lecomte leads the charge off the start.
Lecomte leads the charge off the start.

Loana Lecomte got out front on the first climb and never looked back.
Loana Lecomte got out front on the first climb and never looked back.

Second place today for Kata Blanka Vas. She managed to shake off both Batten and Alvarado and pull away.
Second place today for Kata Blanka Vas. She managed to shake off both Batten and Alvarado and pull away.

Haley Batten finally finished her day in fourth but not before flirting with podium positions earlier in the race.
Haley Batten finished her day in fourth but not before flirting with podium positions earlier in the race.

Loana Lecomte came out swinging and never looked back. The gap was just over a minute when she crossed the line.
Loana Lecomte came out swinging and never looked back. The gap was just over a minute when she crossed the line.

Ceylin Alvarado had a hell of a ride to third place.
Ceylin Alvarado had a hell of a ride to third place.

Noelle Buri took firth for the U23 women.
Noelle Buri took fifth for the U23 women.

Locomte takes the stripes for 2020.
Lecomte takes the stripes for 2020.

Ceylin Alvarado got in out of the scrum and into a place where she could ride her race and took third.
Ceylin Alvarado got out of the scrum and into a place where she could ride her race and took third.

Lecomte Vas and Alvarado you u23 women s podium.
Your U23 Women's podium - Loana Lecomte, Kata Blanka Vas, and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado.

Thomas Pidcock fresh out of winning eBike Champs is about to attempt the same feat without a motor.
Thomas Pidcock, fresh out of winning eBike Champs, is about to attempt the same feat without a motor.

U23 Men s start.
U23 Men's start.

Sean Fincham had a strong start but unfortunately couldn t hold on to a podium position. He d finish fifth.
Sean Fincham had a strong start but unfortunately couldn't hold onto a podium position. He'd finish fifth.

Simone Avondetto slotting into fourth.
Simone Avondetto slotting into fourth.

Joel Roth caught Avondetto to secure third but Blevins remained out of sight.
Joel Roth caught Avondetto to secure third but Blevins remained out of sight.

Thomas Pidcock looked right at home in the sloppy conditions.
Thomas Pidcock looked right at home in the sloppy conditions.

Chris Blevins just didn t have what it took to take the win today.
Chris Blevins just didn't have what it took to take the win today.

Those drive trains are taking a beating. A little on the go cleaning does wonders.
Those drivetrains are taking a beating. A little on the go cleaning does wonders.

Pidcock bringing home the win for u23 men.
Pidcock bringing home the win for U23 men.

Thomas Pidcock is bringing home two well deserved gold medals.
Thomas Pidcock is bringing home two well deserved gold medals.

Your U23 Men s podium - Thomas Pidcock Christopher Blevins and Joel Roth.
Your U23 Men's podium - Thomas Pidcock, Christopher Blevins, and Joel Roth.

Last minute tire pressure checks as the course conditions changed throughout the day.
Last minute tire pressure checks as the course conditions changed throughout the day.

Kate Courtney is still on the hunt for a good result and getting back into her old winning self. She s focused as ever lining up for this one.
Kate Courtney is still on the hunt for a good result and getting back into her old winning self. She's focused as ever lining up for this one.

Pauline must have known something on the line.
Pauline must have known something on the line.

Number one last year at Worlds. Two for two would be mental.
Number one last year at Worlds. Two for two would be mental.

Elite Women are a go.
Elite Women are a go.

Sina Frei was the fastest from Switzerland. fourth place for the first year elite.
Sina Frei was the fastest from Switzerland. fourth place for the first year elite.

Pauline showed just how much of a force she is.
Pauline showed just how much of a force she is.

Evie Richards was on fire early on but slowly slid backward as the race wore on.
Evie Richards was on fire early on but slowly slid backward as the race wore on.

Yana Belomoina had a few issues with the slicker sections. She muscled her way into seventh.
Yana Belomoina had a few issues with the slicker sections. She muscled her way into seventh.

Bec McConnel Spent a good amount of the race alone in second but Eva caught her up at the line.
Rebecca McConnell Spent a good amount of the race alone in second, but Eva caught her up at the line.

Eva Lechner fought the entire race and earned her second place with a late last lap sprint.
Eva Lechner fought the entire race and earned her second place with a late last lap sprint.

Isla Short speeding her way to fifth place.
Isla Short speeding her way to fifth place.

Pauline way out front and in control. Three minutes in front to be exact.
Pauline way out front and in control. Three minutes in front, to be exact.

Jolanda Neff pushed through the tech zone.
Jolanda Neff pushed through the tech zone.

Kate Courtney was looking forward to this race. As luck would have it she d hit the deck pretty hard and leave the race early.
Kate Courtney was looking forward to this race. As luck would have it, she'd hit the deck pretty hard and leave the race early.

McConnell got caught and lost to Lechner on the final straight.
McConnell got caught and lost to Lechner on the final straight.

Gold helmet gold medal. Another commanding performance from Pauline.
Gold helmet, gold medal. Another commanding performance from Pauline.

Be McConnel left nothing on the track today and had to settle for third after spending most of the race in second by herself.
Rebecca McConnell left nothing on the track today and had to settle for third after spending most of the race in second by herself.

Eva Lechner gasped for air at the end of her sprint with Bec McConnel.
Eva Lechner gasped for air at the end of her sprint with Rebecca McConnell.

Isla Short had quite a bit to smile about at the end of her race.
Isla Short had quite a bit to smile about at the end of her race.

White may not be the right decision in these conditions.
White may not be the right decision in these conditions.

Elite Women s podium - Pauline Ferrand-Prevot Eva Lechner Rebecca McConnell.
Elite Women's podium - Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Eva Lechner, Rebecca McConnell.

Incredible day for Pauline.
Incredible day for Pauline.

Jordan Sarrou dialed right in.
Jordan Sarrou dialed right in.

Henrique Avancini made history in Nove Mesto last week. Today it wasn t meant to be however. He found himself finishing tenth on the day.
Henrique Avancini made history in Nove Mesto last week. Today it wasn't meant to be, however. He found himself finishing tenth on the day.

Mathias Flueckigger is back in better form here in Austria ready to tackle the course.
Mathias Flueckiger is back in better form here in Austria ready to tackle the course.

Nino eyeballed the incoming weather in the call-up box. It didn t start until the last lap and the race was all but decided.
Nino eyeballed the incoming weather in the call-up box. It didn't start until the last lap and the race was all but decided.

Men's elite start. Sarrou with the holeshot.

A strong start and legs to carry him through to the end. Jordan Sarrou had what it took today in Leogang.
A strong start and legs to carry him through to the end. Jordan Sarrou had what it took today in Leogang.

Big crash today for Stephan Tempier that would have him sidelined for the afternoon.
Big crash today for Stephane Tempier that would have him sidelined for the afternoon.

Ondrej Cink showed good form today. earning him fifth place.
Ondrej Cink showed good form today. Earning him fifth place.

Mathias Flueckigger railing the inside rut. Second place for him today.
Mathias Flueckiger railing the inside rut. Second place for him today.

Titouan Carod sliding over the roots and into third.
Titouan Carod sliding over the roots and into third.

Over the big roots and boulders is Luca Braidot who went fourth today.
Over the big roots and boulders is Luca Braidot who went fourth today.

Sixth place for Maxime Marotte.
Sixth place for Maxime Marotte.

Jordan Sarrou dives into the rooty madness of the fresh-cut woods descent.
Jordan Sarrou dives into the rooty madness of the fresh-cut woods descent.

Sarrou in disbelief of what he just achieved.
Sarrou in disbelief of what he just achieved.

Jordan Sarrou your 2020 world champion.
Jordan Sarrou your 2020 world champion.

Flueckigger had a great race. He bounced back from illness holding him back in Nove Mesto in a big way.
Flueckiger had a great race. He bounced back from illness holding him back in Nove Mesto in a big way.

Julien Absalon ran over to Sarrou immediatley congratulating him.
Julien Absalon ran over to Sarrou, immediately congratulating him.

A very emotional Jordan Sarrou greets his fellow team members in elation.
A very emotional Jordan Sarrou greets his fellow team members in elation.

It was cold but not too cold for the champagne shower.
It was cold but not too cold for the champagne shower.

Sarrou Flueckiger and Carod your mens elite podium.
Sarrou, Flueckiger, and Carod, your mens' elite podium.



22 Comments

  • 10 0
 Pretty amazing to see Pidcock pick up two medals at the Worlds. Say what you want about e-bike racing. If you win you're doing better than the others.

Cool for Ceylin to pick up two Worlds medals too this year, though the other one was a gold on in elite CX. Again, no mtb but if you win (or even pick up a medal), you're amazing.
  • 4 0
 Sarrou"s very near OTB & fork bottom out on the last drop off was scary but he held tight impressive also impressive was his beefy SRSuntour fork I'd like to see a bike check also his rear shock?
  • 4 0
 That photo of Sarrou leading the pack is just UNREAL!!!!
  • 5 1
 What the heck happened to Nino, not even podium!?
  • 2 20
flag EastCoastDHer (Oct 11, 2020 at 17:52) (Below Threshold)
 He's washed up, obviously. Didn't put in the same amount of training as the competition. In short, he didn't want it bad enough. Namesake is just that, a name, not a guarantee of success. Success comes from the individual, not the name.
  • 1 0
 That track looks super techy.
Not too often you see some of the XC & DH bikes running the same (Dirty Dan) tyres.

Obviously completely diff sizes, casings, compounds, etc...
  • 2 0
 Looks like the Dirty Dan picked up at least a women's DH gold and women's XC gold. Can't really make it out on the photos, but from far it looks like Reece was also running a blacked out version.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what the tyre choices were for the riders? Interested as these are the conditions I have to ride in most of the winter!

Looks like Dirty Dan's on the front (can't see rears) for the Schwalbe riders, would expect Forekasters for the Maxxis gang, but it looks like Nino has a Beaver(?) (that doesn't even appear on the Maxxis website, but looks like you can buy them). Amazingly it looks like Sarrou (had to?!) do it on Barzos!
  • 3 2
 So many hardtails :O Expected full-sus to provide a bit better traction in the mud, but still haven't watched the race myself to see how it really went Smile
  • 1 0
 What is under all of the men's rider saddles? You can see it on sarrou's bike when he's holding it. I cou)see it on other riders on the race broadcast.
  • 2 0
 What happened to Anne Terpstra & Jenny Rissveds both DNF
  • 2 0
 On the swedish broadcast they said that Jenny didn't have the legs and decided that the risks were to big on a track this difficult. She crashed earlier this season and got a concussion so she haven't been able to train enough to reach peak form.
  • 1 1
 From what I understand, Anne quit after the second race. She'd been suffering with the Coronavirus for two months so she might have not been super fit during the race (but the fitness bit after the virus is my assumption).
  • 1 0
 Not much of a WC racing season, but enough to fuel speculation until next year. It will be interesting for sure.
  • 3 0
 Great photos! Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Cyclocross scene better be ready for Pauline! That woman is an absolute BEAST!
  • 1 0
 Yes- include Eva, and Evie, and Ceylin, and Kata Blanca, and (maybe?) Jolanda... should make for fantastic CX racing this 'season'
  • 1 4
 erster
  • 3 0
 Wahnsinn! Die Amis pennen noch.
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