Short Track Photo Epic: Austrian Autobahn - Leogang XC World Cup 2021

Jun 11, 2021
by Andy Vathis  



With the downhill qualifying wrapped up, attention quickly turned to the matter of XC short track here in Leogang, Austria. The weather gods kept us guessing with rain showers throughout the day, but by the time the racing kicked off we were blessed with dry and sunny conditions.

Loana Lecomte really is staking her claim in this 2021 season. She looked composed and seemingly rode quite comfortably to the win tonight. Rebecca McConnell and Jolanda Neff fought over the final two podium spots with the Aussie eventually coming out on top. They were followed in by Jenny Rissveds and Haley Batten.

In the men's race, it was Mathias Flueckiger who continued his strong form with a 5-second victory over Ondrej Cink. The Czech racer also seems to be in good standing heading into the rest of the year. Milan Vader came home in third with Jordan Sarrou just pipping Anton Cooper to 4th in a photo finish. Nino Schurter slipped a pedal, or possibly two, out of the gate and after chasing hard for three laps, sat up and looked to be saving his legs for Sunday.

Downhill takes precedence tomorrow with the XC action returning on Sunday with the full Olympic distance event. Stay tuned.

After rain showers all day we were treated to dry and sunny conditions.
After rain showers all day, we were treated to dry and sunny conditions.

Haley Batten has become one to watch after showing her teeth during the first two rounds.
Haley Batten has become one to watch after showing her teeth during the first two rounds.

You can guarantee that Pauline Ferrand Prevot will be at the front of the action come Sunday.
You can guarantee that Pauline Ferrand Prevot will be at the front of the action come Sunday.

Loana Lecomte looked content to hang back in the opening encounters but it didn t take long for her to make her mark.
Loana Lecomte looked content to hang back in the opening encounters, but it didn't take long for her to make her mark.

Laura Stigger leads the field up the first climb the young Austrian keen to make an impression on home soil.
Laura Stigger leads the field up the first climb, the young Austrian keen to make an impression on home soil.

Lecomte comfortably out front before midway through the race.
Lecomte comfortably out front before the midway point ofthe race.

With Lecomte way ahead in the lead the battle for spots immediately behind her raged on.
With Lecomte way ahead in the lead, the battle for spots immediately behind her raged on.

Jenny Rissveds with a solid ride into 4th and a front-row grid slot for Sunday.
Jenny Rissveds with a solid ride into 4th and a front-row grid slot for Sunday.

Rebecca McConnell chasing down Jolanda Neff she d get the better of the Swiss rider by the end.
Rebecca McConnell chasing down Jolanda Neff. She'd get the better of the Swiss rider by the end.

Jolanda Neff looks to be finding her feet once again and it s good to see.
Jolanda Neff looks to be finding her feet once again and it's good to see.

Another solid result for Batten taking fifth.
Another solid result for Batten taking fifth.

Loana Lecomte crossed the line 4 seconds ahead of Rebecca McConnell.
Loana Lecomte crossed the line 4 seconds ahead of Rebecca McConnell.

All smiles for Loana Lecomte. She s on one hell of a run at the moment.
All smiles for Loana Lecomte. She's on one hell of a run at the moment.

Your top 3 women 1st Loana Lecomte 2nd Rebecca McConnell 3rd Jolanda Neff
Your top 3 women: 1st Loana Lecomte 2nd Rebecca McConnell 3rd Jolanda Neff

Vlad Dascalu deep in the hurt locker but it was worth all the pain 9th place was his reward.
Vlad Dascalu deep in the hurt locker but it was worth all the pain. 9th place was his reward.

Jordan Sarrou won Worlds here not too many months ago and to win here again on Sunday would be the perfect statement.
Jordan Sarrou won Worlds here not too many months ago and to win here again on Sunday would be the perfect statement.

Ondrej Cink s fitness was about to get tested tonight in more ways than one.
Ondrej Cink's fitness was about to get tested tonight in more ways than one.

The men head up the grassy slopes of the Leogang course for the first time. It was Anton Cooper that laid down the most watts to take the holeshot.
The men head up the grassy slopes of the Leogang course for the first time. It was Anton Cooper that laid down the most watts to take the holeshot.

Anton Cooper has found his form in 2021 and will be hungry to get back on that podium.
Anton Cooper has found his form in 2021 and will be hungry to get back on that podium.

Milan Vader makes his break away from Jordan Sarrou and Anton Cooper chasing behind.
Milan Vader makes his break with Jordan Sarrou and Anton Cooper chasing behind.

Anton Cooper trying to pressure Flueckiger to cough up first place.
Anton Cooper trying to pressure Flueckiger to cough up first place.

Flueckiger and Cink pushed each other almost every lap.
Flueckiger and Cink pushed each other almost every lap.

Sarrou chased hard for his fifth place spot.
Sarrou chased hard for his fifth place spot.

Mathias Flueckiger powering away from the competition and with the first choice on grid slot for Sunday.
Mathias Flueckiger powering away from the competition and with the first choice on grid slot for Sunday.

Ondrej Cink is enjoying a strong run of form at the moment. Don t discount him on Sunday.
Ondrej Cink is enjoying a strong run of form at the moment. Don't discount him on Sunday.

Mathias Flueckiger is riding both strong physically and smart mentally which is paying off big time so far this season.
Mathias Flueckiger is riding both strong physically and smart mentally which is paying off big time so far this season.

Your top 3 men 1st Mathias Flueckiger 2nd Ondrej Cink 3rd Milan Vader
Your top 3 men: 1st Mathias Flueckiger 2nd Ondrej Cink 3rd Milan Vader


Author Info:
andy9 avatar

Member since Jul 12, 2006
82 articles

20 Comments
  • 12 0
 Loana Lecomte made it look like a Sunday morning ride.
  • 3 0
 And an afternoon of Star Trek.
  • 3 0
 @likeittacky: She sure kling on that podium lately.
  • 5 0
 @pinkbike - can you add XC fantasy to the “fantasy” tab on the homepage? It’s impossible to find otherwise!
  • 2 0
 @tommy2bliss, it's been like this since 2019, that's one of the reasons only a few people play (compared to DH and EWS) www.pinkbike.com/contest/fantasy/xc

***If you are on a mobile device, go to the bottom and tap where it says 'Desktop Version of Website' then you will be able to access the best version of the website.
  • 2 0
 @dolores: Huh, it's there for me...
  • 2 0
 @Bob-Agg: if you are in the 'Mobile Version of Website', it is not 'there'
  • 2 0
 @dolores: That would explain it. I'm on desktop.
  • 7 0
 @Bob-Agg: don't worry, I'm just trying to help, so that more people can 'get involved' in XC Racing tup
  • 1 0
 They haven't revised riders list for years, why bother? Only few top names are there, half of list haven't even started once this season, while lot of TOP10 places are simply not there. Whoever is responsible about XC fantasy, is just wasting sponsors money.
  • 1 0
 So Tom Pidcock could ride on the road again but was not ready for the trails? bummer
  • 4 1
 Makes for a better race though. He’d win on this course with one leg.
  • 2 0
 but not with one clavicle. Training on the road is one thing but racing off road is another. I hope he's not pushing too hard too soon.
  • 2 0
 He was never riding here injury or not. He was doing Tour de Suisse but then got hit by a car........He'll be back in Les Gets......
  • 1 1
 Is it just me… Or do a large number of riders running the Rockshox SID forks not have a cable running for lockout???? AXS Lockout?!?!? Gosh I hope so
  • 6 0
 If they're on a Specialized/S-Works bike they're the SID Ultimate SL Brain version. No lockout required.
The picture of Jordan Sarrou and Anton Cooper at the front shows the two versions very well.
  • 1 0
 @Augustus-G: Ah good catch. Slightly disappointing. Maybe olympics.
  • 1 0
 No MvdP, then Vader for the win !
  • 1 0
 What tires is Flueckiger using?
  • 3 0
 Look like a new Thunder Burt prototype maybe? "First Ride" logos are there.







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