Photo Epic: XCC Short Track World Champs - Les Gets 2022

Aug 26, 2022 at 16:20
by Andy Vathis  



There was that little bit extra at stake during this week’s short track, with a rainbow jersey and three medals up for grabs. Last year’s inaugural XCC World Championship saw Sina Frei and Christopher Blevins take home the spoils with some rather epic racing, and tonight was no different. There were some heavy hitters missing tonight with several riders opting to save their legs and lungs for Sunday's XCO. As for the weather... The rain arrived right on time and began to fall just before the start of the women's race, progressively getting heavier and heavier making the course increasingly slick which caused havoc through the field with some big crashes.

The French crowd turned out in force to cheer on their home hopefuls and much to their delight their wishes came true with a dominant performance from Pauline Ferrand Prevot. It was a commanding performance, Prevot winning by a monstrous 18 seconds, which is somewhat uncommon in XCC. Alessandra Keller and Gwendalyn Gibson took home the silver and bronze respectively with strong rides. In the men's race it was hard to pick a winner with plenty of potential victors in the mix. In the end it came down to a final lap battle between Sam Gaze and Christopher Blevins. The latter made his move in the final rock garden but would unfortunately go down hard in the process, ultimately making Sam Gaze's path to the rainbow stripes that little bit clearer. A great ride from the Kiwi who crossed the line in front of Filippo Colombo and Thomas Litscher.

Tonight’s highs and lows will quickly be put to one side for both the winners and losers as attention turns to Sunday with another rainbow jersey and a variety of medals up for grabs.

Evie Richards back in the game.
Evie Richards back in the game.

Eventual winner Pauline Ferrand Prevot gets ready to lay it all out there in front of the home crowd.
Eventual winner Pauline Ferrand Prevot gets ready to lay it all out there in front of the home crowd.

Hell of a season so far for Gwendalyn Gibson and the good times continue this evening.
Hell of a season so far for Gwendalyn Gibson and the good times continue this evening.

The women roaring off the line.
The women roaring off the line.

Annie Last had the front all to her self for what seemed like forever until the mob caught up to her.
Annie Last had the front all to her self for what seemed like forever until the mob caught up to her.

Sixth place after a strong race from Greta Seiwald.
Sixth place after a strong race from Greta Seiwald.

Alessandra Keller would fight back onto the podium after a huge crash.
Alessandra Keller would fight back onto the podium after a huge crash.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot lurking.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot lurking.

A solid come back for Evie Richards in 5th.
A solid comeback for Evie Richards in 5th.

Jolanda Neff just missed out in the medals in 4th.
Jolanda Neff just missed out in the medals in 4th.

Gibson fought her way to the lead group holding Neff off just enough to secure Bronze
Gibson fought her way to the lead group, holding Neff off just enough to secure bronze

A late tactical move had Pauline jet to the front and pull far away from the rest.
A late tactical move had Pauline jet to the front and pull far away from the rest.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot wins the short track World Championship in front of the home crowd.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot wins the short track World Championship in front of the home crowd.

Smart moves and patience were in the winning formula today.
Smart moves and patience were in the winning formula today.

Jolanda Neff will have her eyes on Sunday now.
Jolanda Neff will have her eyes on Sunday now.

More showers in the forecast for Sunday. Champagne showers that is.
More showers in the forecast for Sunday. Champagne showers, that is.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot takes gold in front of Alessandra Keller and Gwendalyn Gibson.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot takes gold in front of Alessandra Keller and Gwendalyn Gibson.

Close but no cigar for Filippo Colombo today.
Close but no cigar for Filippo Colombo today.

The defending champ lines up for battle.
The defending champ lines up for battle.

Henrique Avancini leads them off the line.
Henrique Avancini leads them off the line.

A big crowd came out to enjoy some epic rcing.
A big crowd came out to enjoy some epic rcing.

Fifth for Martin Blums after an incredible effort.
Fifth for Martin Blums after an incredible effort.

Sebastian Fini Cartensen was another to crash hard but he charged back to 6th.
Sebastian Fini Cartensen was another to crash hard, but he charged back to 6th.

The rain made these turns treacherous.
The rain made these turns treacherous.

Christopher Blevins is always a threat on course and this was no different. He raced smart and positioned himself to force Gaze into a sprint. He unfortunately ran out of real estate in the final boulder field and crashed out.
Christopher Blevins is always a threat on course and this was no different. He raced smart and positioned himself to force Gaze into a sprint. He unfortunately ran out of real estate in the final boulder field and crashed out.

Samuel Gaze having a go at the front mid stanza before revisiting that position when it counted most.
Samuel Gaze having a go at the front mid stanza before revisiting that position when it counted most.

There were plenty of contenders in the men s field until the final moments when Sam Gaze blew them apart.
There were plenty of contenders in the men's field until the final moments when Sam Gaze blew them apart.

Thomas Litscher remained consistent throughout and charged for third.
Thomas Litscher remained consistent throughout and charged for third.

Colombo being chased down with two to go.
Colombo being chased down with two to go.

Filippo Colombo aggonisgly close to that rainbow jersey.
Filippo Colombo agonizingly close to that rainbow jersey.

A massive win for Gaze as he takes the Stripes.
A massive win for Gaze as he takes the Stripes.

Unreal day for Gaze.
Unreal day for Gaze.

A brave ride by Chris Blevens to defend his jersey. A crash in the final moments took him out the running.
A brave ride by Chris Blevens to defend his jersey. A crash in the final moments took him out the running.

Sam Gaze will now get to race in those infamous World Champs stripes in each short track.
Sam Gaze will now get to race in those infamous World Champs stripes in each short track.

Samuel Gaze Thomas Filippo Colombo and Thomas Litscher showing off their new neck pieces.
Samuel Gaze, Thomas Filippo Colombo, and Thomas Litscher showing off their new neck pieces.

There s more medals and another rainbow jersey up for grabs on Sunday.
There's more medals and another rainbow jersey up for grabs on Sunday.

Goodnight from Les Gets.
Goodnight from Les Gets.



35 Comments

  • 14 0
 Anne-Caroline Chausson did it 4 times.
In 2000 & 2001 She won the DH and the Dual Slalom.
In 2002 & 2003 She won the DH & 4-Cross.
  • 4 0
 Anne-Caro is a legend.
  • 1 0
 Man that would’ve been an insane weekend!
  • 12 1
 Epic Sam! Best in the commonwealth and now a world champ.
  • 9 1
 I spy with my little eye - Colombo on a new BMC Fourstroke. Top tube mounted shock rather than the BB mounted shock of the current bike. Looks like it still has the integrated seatpost.
  • 1 0
 And now it's official. Kinda. www.instagram.com/p/ChxJ483s4Nv
  • 10 1
 I can't believe I'm saying this, but I was REALLY missing Bart and Rob as commentators during these XC races.
  • 3 0
 Just watched the women's replay. For the first six laps all the front riders are just spinning except Keller. From the start she is just grinding! I don't know how she keeps it up for that long. Then to come back after a crash. Remarkable.
  • 6 0
 First elite xc world champs medal for NZ?
  • 2 1
 No. Vanessa Quinn won Women's Elite DH.
  • 7 0
 But for XC efforts, that's an affirmative.

(If you're discounting a few U23 champs wins)
  • 6 0
 Nice work Sam. Tokoroa represent!
  • 1 0
 Tokoroa High!
  • 2 0
 Jolanda has the new SRAM goodies, but it looks like Evie maybe doesn't?

Check out the VMO's on Thomas Litscher... almost looks photoshopped Wink

Pauline should bring back the diamond tooth (www.velonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/PrevotWCPod.jpg)
  • 4 0
 New SID on Prevot’s bike? Looks like there is more material removed around the crown / stantion interface
  • 4 0
 I don't get the "infamous" reference to the rainbow jersey. What gives?
  • 1 0
 That caught my eye too. Pretty sure they just mean to use famous there...
  • 4 1
 John Tomac won world champs for xc and dh in 1991?
  • 2 1
 @Augustus-G: Noted. Thanks
  • 1 0
 Anyone got a link for a replay? doesn't seem to be one on redbulltv even with a vpn...?
  • 2 0
 Its on sky sports if you don't mind paying.
  • 1 0
 @mbl77: I cant find it on skysport now, either.
  • 2 0
 @dhache: its easiest going via their website, and then you can scroll back on the tv guide. It was around 3am this morning on channel 2.
  • 2 0
 It's on GCN+, though I had to use VPN as wasn't available in Australia.
  • 4 0
 @gsbxcmtb9: YEEEESS! Was fully expecting a Rick Roll, but no, you delivered! Thanks a lot!
  • 2 0
 The U23 Women's race is scheduled to be shown live by the official UCI youtube channel at :8:40 CEST (that's under 90 minutes from when I'm posting) Wink
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaCR3n29CO8

..and U23 Men's live
www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Uu5wmT63M

I had to VPN to Costa Rica for them to both show up. Didn't show when I went in as Brazil or Mexico.

I'm pretty sure Nord, Surfshark and Express VPN all have free trials... and windows, mac or mobile apps too.
  • 2 0
 Any gooder shots of that trek helmet that doesn't exist?
  • 1 0
 Loads of shots of that helmet from the TdF - Trek Factory wore it for both the mens and womens races. I'm assuming it's a replacement to the Velocis, which has been a pretty nice helmet.
  • 2 1
 Anyone ever win world champs for two MTB disciplines in one weekend?
  • 2 1
 They've only just added short track last year, so not yet.
  • 5 2
 Yeah, Josh bender.
  • 1 0
 The French will fry the competition!
  • 1 1
 Jake Watson





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