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

Jul 26, 2022 at 14:16
by Alicia Leggett  
The Ghost girls in flying formation.

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

Rebecca McConnell aiming for another podium finish today. She s strong on courses like this.

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.

Early mornings in Snowshoe.

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

Evie Richards leads them into the technical descent beneath the chair lift.

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

Christopher Blevins executed his race strategy to absolute perfection and took some big scalps in the process.

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

It was hot out there for the elite races. Vlad Dascalu does his best to cool off.

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





51 Comments

  • 39 1
 "All the elite races can be streamed live on redbull.tv."

so watch them for free while you still can...
  • 5 1
 I think Redbull paid Discovery to buy the rights just to teach the commenters a lesson.
  • 17 1
 Blevins Blevins Blevins
  • 15 3
 Let’s go Nino!!!
  • 3 1
 So many l want to win. Bec, its her time and shea Anne, shes a worker bee and deserves more and more wins. Laurie, shes a new favorite of mine. Emily it's good seeing her again. Kate, the golden girl of usa xc. Its always good to see her do good. But Sevilia is becoming the new beast of usa xc! Of course Jolanda. Its impossible not to love jolanda. The Haley's, Gwen all top notch athletes and in character and perfect for podiums. LL is an an amazing athlete and all-around nice woman but generally not a fan. Same with PvP. Her bike is awesome one of the raddest, second only to McConnells.
  • 2 0
 Excited for our home to be delivering on some more quintessential WV trails and weather.
The past few years here have been good racing due to weather and being end of the year races; but this race will be more about the drama of the weather and trail conditions.
  • 5 1
 Is it just me or did the camera coverage of this course in the past sucked compared to European courses?
  • 5 1
 Man it was absolutely incredible watching Blevins win here last year.
  • 1 0
 ee
  • 2 1
 So, why is Fluckiger sitting out the North American stops?

Loana has given some explanation, but I haven't heard anything about MF.
  • 3 2
 Nevermind me, I see PB wrote a second article on why. Excellent!
  • 3 4
 Caught feelings.
  • 6 32
flag PauRexs (Jul 26, 2022 at 16:20) (Below Threshold)
 MF gave positive for that stupid nonsense test...
  • 1 0
 @MDW83: mo clicks, mo money.
  • 2 0
 That course is rowdy! Heck of a rock garden toward the end, that's nuts. Super cool!
  • 1 0
 If only National Championship course was half as good. At least looking good for the world
  • 3 0
 Hyped for another weekend of XC!
  • 1 0
 The course previews are good this year. Love some east coast tech and hope the weather holds out for the racers!
  • 1 0
 How cool is that photo of the Ghost riders in a line? The pattern is full.
  • 1 0
 weather forecast for Snowshoe WV...yep...sounds about right.
  • 6 9
 Lots of downhill bros about to shit on this.
  • 5 2
 Nah, they won't do that. They just won't bother to open the article to read it. The Fanbase of Pinkbike is heavily Enduro and DH concentrated.
  • 9 0
 Have some confidence my man / woman. I'm a "downhill bro" but love watching enduro, xc - whatever. In fact I'll easily say I think xc takes waaaaaay more stamina / training and (fill in the blank) vs. DH or perhaps enduro - I can't hang. I'll never race xc (and don't ride it) but to me its a fest - like DH but nonstop exciting / edge of the seat stuff.

And @HendersonMike - I opened & read the article. No one's out to get you. Its just bikes. And if anyone does open this up & bust on it - so what. Ignore it.
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: Sitting on the sofa complaining that the Winter Park DH course wasn't sketchy enough to turn 13 year olds into gladiators for their enjoyment on YouTube crash compilations.

(referencing the downvoted sofa comment: US cycling had class for you to race in. No matter how old, or how beginner. If you didn't show up to race, then you were on the sofa)
  • 3 0
 @hellanorcal: ,
I too just came back from a long weekend at the Nationals in Winter Park this past weekend. For some strange reason, I was more into the XC and XCC races than the Enduro and DH races. What a great weekend!
  • 2 0
 I don’t follow the XC much but the short track at snowshoe Friday night before the World Cup is awesome and people get into it really fun to watch. Usually hungover and have to drive home before the XC race Sunday though
  • 5 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: XC is far more interesting then ews and downhill or well relatable, sorta, im a weekend warrior hack who lives in the great plains usa. XC needs way better coverage on the course. Especially on the rowdy parts which there is plenty of. Plus big, non cycling sponsors that can put the athletes in the everyday mindset would boost popularity. For the majority mountain biking in the United States isn't and probably never will be big which is too bad because more people could mountain bike fairly well than play football fairly well.
  • 4 0
 @Thirty3: Being a mtn boy I'll go w/ DH and enduro anyday but ya know - different strokes and I like that. When its flat I deflate. I also don't get the watermelon helmets, so weird. Still - xc is pure stamina & power, and I can't / couldn't ever hang with that - hence my desire for lazy uphills and bombing down...its just whats on the menu here (western NC). Glad that mtb isn't for the majority - it would be too busy (and Pisgah's busy enough) so I'll take it where it is!
  • 4 0
 @Thirty3: XC is the all round test of a bike racer; you have to be good at everything. The fitness of a road racer, but the technical skills of the Enduro/DH racers.....uphill, down, with your heart rate near the redline....
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Is it considered XC in Pisgah when you loop one fun DH with a lazy gravel climb and then pedal to another fun DH with a lazy road gravel?
That’s what I do so I can say I ride DH, XC, and Enduro. Obviously it mainly depends on what attire and helmet you have on. Multi discipline
  • 1 0
 @slayersxc17: Good point / questions. I don't call it xc myself just trail / enduro but w/o labels & artifice - it still is xc in the true sense of big rides all around. “Enduro”and even trail is really just steeper xc riding… Its all just bikes!

We do kinda make these boxes & artifice in our heads, but I lack the drive to constantly roll xc style and I admire xc for sure (minus the spandex & watermelon helmets). Theres also the culture of xc bike vs trail or enduro bikes / kit / gear and mindset - i guess it all comes down to mindsets (?)

My bike is 34 lbs for trail and 37 for heavy duty / wild (or park) rides (swapping out wheels & shocks) so even if Im riding mellower “xc” terrain and while Ive adapted to that & still gain speed, it'll never be xc speed or distance or concept in my head.

What I am seeing more of tho is lesser travel trail / “downcountry” and even xc bikes pillaging the fastest DH times on Strava on super stee segments me & others have assumed for years are “enduro only” rides - we are wrong! Steep & chunky doesn't only mean rough & deep travel so its been cool watching some dudes shred the eff outta some stuff at hi speed lately that was not expected - the limitations & confinement is really our (or my) mind(s).
  • 2 0
 @Starch-Anton: Agreed. This is why I cant hang. Will pedal all day for big long drops but Im chilking, checking out the veg & wildlife, water & mountains where I live. But that hummingbird energy that seems to be true xc is something else… too frenetic for me, constant shifting, constantly on - but thrilling to watch. Seems like it takes a completely different type (but not level) of awareness thats just too intense for my little brain - maybe if I had a xc crew to follow it would be different…
  • 1 0
 @slayersxc17: Btw what kinda bike are you on and what are some of yr gotos? Maybe a better discussion via message….
  • 1 1
 @Mtn-Goat-13:
What are you talking about? why would people be out to get me? Are you trying to hard to be overly cool? Please discuss...
  • 1 0
 @HendersonMike: Huh? You said " Nah, they won't do that. They just won't bother to open the article to read it. The Fanbase of Pinkbike is heavily Enduro and DH concentrated."

You made a sweeping generalization so I simply replied that some of the enduro / dh crowd DOES like XC and did open / read / have interest in the article. That's trying to be "overly cool"? - I'm just typing & jabbering - didn't mean to upset you. Its just bikes.
  • 2 4
 @Mtn-Goat-13:
What makes you think I am into XC? If you want to see what kind of bikes I am into, you can always open my profile to see the bikes I own. I was just making a simple comment basically saying no one will really care about XC to read the article to bash on XC Racing. How did you get the impression that I care what people think of me or my bike? Why are you trying to play the role of some "great peacemaker kool kid" HAHAHAHAHA.
  • 2 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: looks like HendersonMike woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Where all just chatting about bikes.
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: I feel bad for you Homie. I’m probably old enough to be your dad and I’m just on team bike - just chattin & blabbing. Its not about you.

Sorry yr in such a toss. I was only trying to let you know it’s all cool, this is all about bikes, and you seem to have problems with that and communicating with people so - best of luck to ya. Maybe take a How to Not Be a Troll class?
  • 1 0
 @Thirty3: Yeah: dunno - I’m just chatting and blabbing, not trying to insult anyone, but some people take everything personally, especially online. Thanks for the props. I’m still sending good vibes to our sad friend anyway
  • 1 1
 @Thirty3 are you and @Mtn-Goat-13 boyfriends? I think it is hella cute!
  • 1 1
 @hellanorcal: ,
what is wrong with sitting on the SOFA? do I need to be a Lion to comment about Lions? Please discuss... HAHAHAHA
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