Photo Epic: Hardpack Soundtrack - Albstadt XC World Cup 2021

May 9, 2021 at 18:39
by Andy Vathis  



It wasn't just the temperatures that heated up today in Albstadt with the on-track action equally as hot. The women kicked off proceedings and we didn't have to wait long for the attacks to come as Loana Lecomte continued her impressive start to her elite career, taking to the front and carving out a commanding victory by nearly a minute over her compatriot Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Fresh out of U23 Haley Batten had a mighty ride into third with Kate Courtney and Yana Belomoina completing the podium positions.

The elite men's race was a little closer, with plenty of swapping and switching going on at the front. Short track winner Mathieu van der Poel couldn't keep at the sharp end of proceedings today and it turned into a sprint finish between Victor Koretzky and Nino Schurter. Koretzky got the better of Schurter on Friday night, laying down the watts to the line, and once again it was the Frenchman that proved the stronger of the two, in doing so taking his first elite World Cup win. Mathias Flückiger and Ondrej Cink took third and fourth whilst Tom Pidcock rode from the back of the grid and onto the podium.

The U23 races took place yesterday, with Mona Mitterwallner taking a huge victory by over two and a half minutes. Her nearest challengers were Caroline Bohe and Kata Blanka Vas. In the U23 men, it was Canadian Carter Woods' time to shine as he put the power down on the last lap to open up a seven second gap to David List, who was a further eleven seconds ahead of Simone Avondetto.

We don't have long to wait for more World Cup XC action with the classic stop of Nove Mesto up next weekend.

U23 Women s start.
U23 Women's start.

Giada Specia took 5th place in U23 women.
Giada Specia took 5th place in U23 women.

Kata Blanka Vas took the final spot on the U23 podium.
Kata Blanka Vas took the final spot on the U23 podium.

Caroline Bohe took her turn at the front of the race but couldn t hold onto eventual winner Mona Mitterwallner.
Caroline Bohe took her turn at the front of the race but couldn't hold onto eventual winner Mona Mitterwallner.

Leonie Daubermann was around 15 seconds away from the podium spots.
Leonie Daubermann was around 15 seconds away from the podium spots.

Mona Mitterwallner was in a different league to her competition this week taking the win by over 2 and a half minutes.
Mona Mitterwallner was in a different league to her competition this week, taking the win by over 2 and a half minutes.

Your top 3 U23 women 1st Mona Mitterwallner 2nd Caroline Bohe 3rd Kata Blanka Vas
Your top 3 U23 women: 1st Mona Mitterwallner 2nd Caroline Bohe 3rd Kata Blanka Vas

Men s U23 Start.
Men's U23 Start.

Riley Amos made his way up the pack for great ride into fifth.
Riley Amos made his way up the pack for a great ride into fifth.

Joel Roth was thought to have secured the win early on but couldn t hold the pace needed.
Joel Roth was thought to have secured the win early on but couldn't hold the pace needed.

Simone Avondetto traded places a number of times ending the battle in third.
Simone Avondetto traded places a number of times, ending the battle in third.

David List was clearly a threat on home soil and finished second.
David List was clearly a threat on home soil and finished second.

Carter Woods rode patiently with the lead group waiting for the right moment to unleash fury on the last lap.
Carter Woods rode patiently with the lead group, waiting for the right moment to unleash fury on the last lap.

Carter Woods becomes the first Canadian to win a UCI event since Miranda Miller back in 2017 albeit that was World Champs . Huge day for the Rig.
Carter Woods becomes the first Canadian to win a UCI event since Miranda Miller back in 2017 (albeit that was World Champs). Huge day for the Rig.

Your top U23 Men - 1st Carter Woods 2nd David List and 3rd Simone Avondetto
Your top U23 Men - 1st Carter Woods, 2nd David List, and 3rd Simone Avondetto

Laura Stigger will be eyeing the podium in Nove Mesto after riding into 8th place today.
Laura Stigger will be eyeing the podium in Nove Mesto after riding into 8th place today.

Kate Courtney getting stuck into her pre-race warm-up.
Kate Courtney getting stuck into her pre-race warm-up.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot is coming of a win on Friday night and as focused as ever.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot is coming off a win on Friday night and as focused as ever.

Loana Lecomte is dialed in for the task at hand here. This course favours sustained power and she showed us exactly that.
Loana Lecomte is dialed in for the task at hand here. This course favours sustained power and she showed us exactly that.

Haley Batten is about to have a big afternoon at the races.
Haley Batten is about to have a big afternoon at the races.

It s a long drag to the first turn in Albstadt meaning the start wasn t quite as fierce as it can be.
It's a long drag to the first turn in Albstadt meaning the start wasn't quite as fierce as it can be.

Kate Courtney will be content with her strong start to the season.
Kate Courtney will be content with her strong start to the season.

Linda Indergand has had a strong opening weekend to the 2021 season with a 2nd in the short track followed by a 7th place finish in the main race.
Linda Indergand has had a strong opening weekend to the 2021 season with a 2nd in the short track followed by a 7th place finish in the main race.

Missing the podium by one spot Anne Terpstra would like that one back in Nove Mesto.
Missing the podium by one spot, Anne Terpstra would like that one back in Nove Mesto.

Laura Stigger rode into eighth today.
Laura Stigger rode into eighth today.

Sina Frei rounded out the top 10 with a strong ride.
Sina Frei rounded out the top 10 with a strong ride.

Jenny Rissveds going one better than her number board and into 9th position.
Jenny Rissveds going one better than her number board and into 9th position.

Yana Belomoina catching air and closes out the podium after a strong ride.
Yana Belomoina catching air and closes out the podium.

Loana Lecomte had a lonely afternoon although I m sure she didn t mind that one bit.
Loana Lecomte had a lonely afternoon although I'm sure she didn't mind that one bit.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot chased Loana as hard as she could but would settle for second after creating her own little lead on the women behind her.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot chased Loana as hard as she could but would settle for second after creating her own little lead on the women behind her.

Jolanda Neff is always one of the most exciting riders to watch when wheels are pointing down the hill.
Jolanda Neff is always one of the most exciting riders to watch when wheels are pointing down the hill.

Haley Batten hasn t needed anytime to get up to speed after her move up to elites over the winter.
Haley Batten hasn't needed anytime to get up to speed after her move up to elites over the winter.

Lecomte pulled away soon after the start loop and pedalled away with the win. We haven t seen that much power here since Kate Courtney in 2019.
Lecomte pulled away soon after the start loop and pedalled away with the win.

Loana Lecomte had a while to wait for her closet rival to cross the line 53 seconds to be exact.
Loana Lecomte had a while to wait for her closet rival to cross the line, 53 seconds to be exact.

Kate Courtney was one of the first to congratulate Haley Batten on her ride to the podium.
Kate Courtney was one of the first to congratulate Haley Batten on her ride to the podium.

Jolanda Neff had a strong opening half to the race before starting to struggle with her breathing thanks to the pollen that was drifting around in the warm spring air.
Jolanda Neff had a strong opening half to the race before starting to struggle with her breathing thanks to the pollen that was drifting around in the warm spring air.

Loana Lecomte is getting used to this feeling
Loana Lecomte is getting used to this feeling!

Your top 5 women 1st Loana Lecomte 2nd Pauline Ferrand Prevot 3rd Haley Batten 4th Kate Courtney 5th Yana Belomoina
Your top 5 women: 1st Loana Lecomte 2nd Pauline Ferrand Prevot 3rd Haley Batten 4th Kate Courtney 5th Yana Belomoina

Pre race jitters were felt throughout the start boxes.
Pre-race jitters were felt throughout the start boxes.

Alan Hatherly was top dog in the Cannondale tent in his first World Cup outing for the team.
Alan Hatherly was top dog in the Cannondale tent in his first World Cup outing for the team.

Mathieu Van Der Poel s return to World Cups will be a challenge after two years away.
Mathieu Van Der Poel's return to World Cups will be a challenge after two years away.

Jordan Sarrou looking to tap into that World Champs pace once again.
Jordan Sarrou looking to tap into that World Champs pace once again.

In a little over an hour from this photo Victor Koretzky would be a World Cup winner.
In a little over an hour from this photo Victor Koretzky would be a World Cup winner.

Dibs on lane choice.
Dibs on lane choice.

Nino Schurter is looking for win no.33 as he takes the start.
Nino Schurter is looking for win no.33 as he takes the start.

Thomas Pidcock rocked number plate 100 and gave exactly that much effort.
Thomas Pidcock rocked number plate 100 and gave exactly that much effort.

The first XCO of the year is go
The first XCO of the year is go!

Henrique Avancini took to the front on the first lap but couldn t sustain it eventually falling back to 10th.
Henrique Avancini took to the front on the first lap but couldn't sustain it, eventually falling back to 10th.

Strong ride from Thomas Griot earning him a spot in the top 10.
Strong ride from Thomas Griot earning him a spot in the top 10.

Alan Hatherly fought hard finishing eighth.
Alan Hatherly fought hard, finishing eighth.

Mathieu Van Der Poel tried to bring the same intensity as Friday night s short track into today s main even but may have bitten off more than he can chew. He d manage a seventh place when it was all said and done.
Mathieu Van Der Poel tried to bring the same intensity as Friday night's short track into today's main event but may have bitten off more than he can chew. He'd manage a seventh place when it was all said and done.

Anton Cooper left it all out on the race track today but couldn t quite hold onto that podium position.
Anton Cooper left it all out on the race track today but couldn't quite hold onto that podium position.

Onto the podium in fourth for Ondrej Cink. Expect more from him in Nove Mesto.
Onto the podium in fourth for Ondrej Cink. Expect more from him in Nove Mesto.

Mathias Fl ckiger takes his turn at the front of the pack.
Mathias Flückiger takes his turn at the front of the pack.

Tom Pidcock clawed back 90-something positions and by the second lap was sitting in sixth. He d finish the day one better and on the podium.
Tom Pidcock clawed back 90-something positions and by the second lap was sitting in sixth. He'd finish the day one better and on the podium.

It s not often that Nino Schurter leads into the final lap and doesn t convert that into a victory.
It's not often that Nino Schurter leads into the final lap and doesn't convert that into a victory.

Mathias Flueckiger was showing teeth today and pulled through good enough for third.
Mathias Flueckiger was showing teeth today and pulled through good enough for third.

Victor Koretzky bided his time today and picked his moment to attack with pinpoint perfection.
Victor Koretzky bided his time today and picked his moment to attack with pinpoint perfection.

Victor Koretzky chased Nino down in the last lap and passed him meters before the final straight. His patience earned his his first World Cup win and in spectacular fashion.
Victor Koretzky chased Nino down in the last lap and passed him meters before the final straight. His patience earned his first World Cup win and in spectacular fashion.

The moment Victor Koretzky has been dreaming about for a while.
The moment Victor Koretzky has been dreaming about for a while.

Don t count Nino out for next round. He wants more and wont be backing down next week.
Don't count Nino out for next round. He wants more and won't be backing down next week.

Flueckiger drained from his performance.
Flueckiger drained from his performance.

Pidcock put on a clinic and today after starting 11 rows back.
Pidcock put on a clinic and today after starting 11 rows back.

Victor Koretzky is over the moon with how today played out.
Victor Koretzky is over the moon with how today played out.

That podium was painfully close for Anton Cooper.
That podium was painfully close for Anton Cooper.

First of hopefully many for Victor Koretzky.
First of hopefully many for Victor Koretzky.

Your top 5 men 1st Victor Koretzky 2nd Nino Schurter 3rd Mathias Flueckiger 4th Ondrej Cink 5th Thomas Pidcock
Your top 5 men: 1st Victor Koretzky 2nd Nino Schurter 3rd Mathias Flueckiger 4th Ondrej Cink 5th Thomas Pidcock



56 Comments

  • 41 0
 Pidcock, 11th row start (100th start position) to 5tth place, wow. Will be interesting to see how he does next week. Bummed Nino didn’t get number 33. Haley Batten 3rd place in her first elite XCO, awesome. Great racing this weekend by everyone. So nice to see normal racing this year.
  • 5 1
 How about a prize for most-position-gained? Just a thought.

Great games today! I had my mouth opened a couple of times.
  • 2 2
 Ya I was disappointed that Nino was beaten but it was a good race to watch. I was rooting for MF but he did amazingly for 3rd. What I cannot understand is how a brand new dropper post can fail if properly installed and maintained.. anyone know what brand it was?
  • 5 3
 @headshot: The dropper didn’t fail, he broke the cable.
  • 2 1
 @magnusc: Semantic point scoring? - It's the same thing - as I said, if properly installed and maintained it should not have failed.
  • 1 3
 @headshot: you asked for the brand of the post, so....
  • 1 0
 @headshot: Depends on how he broke it. In his post it sounded to me like it was his own fault, but I’m not sure how that would happened unless he had a crash or hit a tree with his handlebar.

I cannot see anything happening in the race right before the problem started …
  • 2 1
 Pidcock had the plate 100 but started on the 76th position,passing 71 riders to the 5th place. That place on the start has to do with the 24 places that are decided on the Shirt Track. On other note,even with this great result and a probably better in the next race,Tom Pidcock won't get a place in the Olympic XCO event,because GB hasn't secured a place for any rider.
  • 1 0
 *Short Track
  • 1 0
 @nozes: not 100% correct. There are a couple of long shots for GB to qualify including Romania taking up a ranking slot, allowing GB to have one place.
  • 1 0
 @othello: Yes, sorry that I left that out.
  • 2 0
 @nozes: They are hoping to get an Olympic wildcard slot for Pidcock, like Sagan received for XCO in Rio. Behind the scenes, they're bound to have sounded out the UCI on the odds of getting this, before deciding to commit half his season to chasing MTB at the Olympics rather than the road.
  • 2 0
 76th start position for Pidcock, not 100th (according to the UCI start list). But that's still an impressive comeback.
  • 1 0
 @alpowell: Sagan didn´t get any wildcard for Rio...the other Slovak riders earned the points in UCI races and then he was nominated for the single spot... Smile
  • 31 1
 DH is so fun to do, but XC is so fun to watch. Well, the XC pro riders probably can do gnarlier descents than I do on my big rig, all while wearing spandex on a hardtail.
  • 2 0
 And after sprinting up the hill full gas to get to the descent first!
  • 22 0
 Koretzky was smart and rode a tactical race, conserved energy and stayed near the front all day but never took the front. Marked Nino all day figuring Nino would be there at the end and let Nino chase down MvdP and Avancini first, then followed as Nino and Flueckiger traded haymakers on the last couple laps. When he made his move at the the end he had more power than Nino because he'd kept his powder dry and saved his matches...Well played!
  • 3 1
 I thought it was lost as Nino took few meters then he shredded that wooden berm and went straight in touch with Nino. Winning move!
  • 10 0
 The way Nino 'doubled' into that final descent was insane and gave him such a turbo boost into the final. I thought Rob Warner had gone supersonic. So for Koretzky to still work his way back, it showed incredible strength. Great photos from the race - especially the action ones from low angles.
  • 13 0
 Flückiger's final one and a half lap were incredible. How can he hang on for that long and even defend his third place against Cink and Pidock with his saddle that low?
  • 2 4
 He should have left the dropper post off. The winner was on a hardtail with no dropper.
  • 2 0
 @PapaStone: I am glad to see dropper posts in XC racing. Makes the sport more relatable to people like myself.
  • 13 0
 Thank you for the awesome XC coverage. So stoked for the season. Fantastic opening weekend.
  • 2 0
 Awesome photos! It's nice to see how hard the racers in the men's race had to battle for the win. Kudos to the winner for riding the smartest race. He didn't waste any energy and waited until the end to spend it all in the sprint for the win.
  • 3 0
 Congrats Carter Woods and Emilly Johnson, well done!!
cyclingmagazine.ca/mtb/carter-woods-wins-u23-world-cup-in-germany
  • 5 0
 Awesome photos and story Andy and Ross. Thank you for the coverage.
  • 1 0
 I thought the Oakley Kato looked a little ridiculous when I first saw them on Cavendish, but I really dig the color Kate Courtney is wearing. Can't find them anywhere so I assume they're not available to the public yet. I remember thinking the Jawbreaker looked ridiculous when it first came out too, but it grew on me. I suspect this will be the same.
  • 3 0
 It's going to be a great season of XC racing this year!... I hope we see different winners every round.
  • 1 1
 Do we know what happened to Flueckigers dropper post? Or why was he standing the last half lap? Was it broken? Which brand should I avoid bying Wink ?

Wasn't it one of the women that had dropper issues in the short track also?
  • 3 0
 The brake hose routing on Pidcock's bike makes my eyes bleed.
  • 2 0
 Things we learned from last weekend- I’m really bad at picking fantasy XC team.
  • 3 0
 Pidcock’s bike??
  • 2 0
 Looks like a BMC Two-Stroke
  • 3 0
 Unbranded BMC's for him as Pinarello does not make MTB's.
  • 1 0
 BMC
  • 5 0
 With Syncros silverton SL wheels by the looks
  • 2 0
 Great XC coverage, ace photos - thanks guys.
  • 1 0
 I feel like I'm getting spoiled by Pinkbike's awesome XC coverage. Well done!
  • 1 0
 No photos of the logjams!
  • 1 1
 I would think Jolanda wasn't thankful towards the pollen
  • 1 0
 Hardtail for the win!
  • 1 0
 Superb photos
  • 1 2
 Carreron
  • 7 10
 Pidcock seems like a great rider but seeing Ineos jerseys in MTB is a bit annoying. Team Ineos methods are suspect at best.
  • 2 2
 I would have loved to see guys like Egan Bernal and Jakob Fuglsang (or even Van Aert) in XCO races.
Imagine those guys with VDP and Pidcock on the first line of the start.
It would be an exceptionnal exposure for the MTB. It needs it, even if its image is improving.
  • 2 1
 I think we can just say "Ineos is suspect at best." Screw them and the oil pipeline they flowed in on.
  • 1 0
 @RoadRunner13: Egan Bernal has a past on XCO, If i[m not worong he got u23 bronze medal in a mtb world champ a few years ago.
  • 1 0
 @vaqui: I know. That's why I mentionned him and Fuglsang.
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