The fifth Elite XC World Cup of the year is now underway in Andorra.
Mona Mitterwallner finally takes her first Elite World Cup victory after being a constant race-winning threat. Mona Mittwerwallner powered her way to her first Elite win as she bested Alessandra Keller in the later laps to cross the line 34 seconds in the lead. Pauline Ferrand Prevot was given a big advantage in the initial lap as a crash slowed most of the field but the newly crowned World Champ didn't have the legs to match Mona and Alessandra as she dropped back to third, nearly a minute and a half back.
Mathias Flückiger once again proved he is tough to beat in tricky conditions as he stormed across the line after a dominant performance. The early stages of the race saw a battle between Luca Schwarzbauer and Mathias Flückiger but it was the Swiss rider who continued to push hard as he built a lead on lap two and never looked back. The closing stages of the race saw Thomas Griot ride into the race as the gap got down to 10 seconds. A final push from Mathias carried him across the line 23 seconds ahead. Following 2nd-placed Thomas Griot was the newly crowned World Champ Tom Pidcock who are came good in the second half of the race besting Jordan Sarrou in a final lap fight.
Check out the results below.
1st. Mona Mitterwallner: 1:14:09
2nd. Alessandra Keller: +34
3rd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +1:28
4th. Loana Lecomte: +1:34
5th. Evie Richards: +1:40
1st. Mathias Flückiger: 1:28:03
2nd. Thomas Griot: +23
3rd. Tom Pidcock: +44
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +54
5th. Luca Schwarzbauer: +1:17
The Elite Women's Race as it Happened
4:00 am PDT: The Elite Women are Off
The Elites are off the line with Martina Berta leading into the first lap.
4:05 am PDT: A Crash for Puck Pieterse
Puck Pieterse has slid out on the wet rocks as she just started the first downhill of lap one. The course is looking greasy today.
4:08 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot has Pulled Away
Pauline Ferrand Prevot has already built a nine-second lead as the crash from Puck Pieterse caused havoc for everyone except Martina Berta and the race leader.
4:11 am PDT: The Chasing Group is Closing In
While the commentators seem to be already calling the race for Pauline looking at riders who aren't at the front the chasing group led by Evie Richards is beginning to close the gap. It is still very early in the race and as the gap was created by a crash we could see this close.
4:14 am PDT: After Lap 1 the Top 6 Are:
1st.Pauline Ferrand Prevot: 14:17
2nd. Martina Berta: +20
3rd. Evie Richards: +23
4th. Alessandra Keller: +23
5th. Puck Pieterse: +27
6th. Savilla Blunk: +27
4:15 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Attacks to Lead the Chasing Group
Alessandra Keller has moved into 2nd place as she is trying to close down the gap to Pauline Ferrand Prevot.
4:20 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Takes 5 Seconds Out of Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Pauline Ferrand Prevot's steady pace on the downhills is costing her as a charging Alessandra Keller is gaining on the race leader.
4:22 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot is Dropping Back
The advantage of the first lap carnage is over for the World Champion as Alessandra Keller is almost right on her wheel. The big chasing group have also pulled back a decent chunk of time. Pauline is strong on the climbs but she needs to take more risks on the downhills as she is losing a lot of time here.
4:28 am PDT: Alessandra Keller has Caught Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Alessandra Keller has made up 23 seconds in one lap as she closes the gap to the World Champion. The pair will want to keep the speed high as they have Mona Mitterwallner closing in fast in 3rd place.
4:29 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Now Leads
Alessandra Keller has moved into first place. If the Swiss rider can stay leading into the first technical downhill of lap three then she could do some real damage and build a strong lead.
4:30 am PDT: After Lap 2 the Top 7 Are:
1st. Alessandra Keller: 29:19
2nd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +0
3rd. Mona Mitterwallner: +11
4th:. Evie Richards: +34
5th. Martina Berta: +35
6th. Puck Pieterse: +35
7th. Loana Lecomte: +35
4:32 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Builds a 4-Second Lead
Alessandra Keller pulls ahead of Pauline Ferrand Prevot by four seconds. Mona Mitterwallner is now just five seconds off the rear wheel of Pauline Ferrand Prevot.
4:33 am PDT: Puck Pieterse Moves into 4th
After a lap one crash Puck Pieterse has moved into 4th and has gapped Evie Richards by seven seconds.
4:35 am PDT: Mona Mitterwallner Catches Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Heading into the greasy and rocky downhill at the start of the lap Mona was on the rear wheel of Pauline. Alessandra Keller is putting the hurt on the chasing rider in the descents. While time can be made on the climbs it seems the race will be won in the descents today.
4:36 am PDT: Evie Richards & Loana Lecomte Pass Puck Pieterse
Despite looking strong at the start of the lap Evie Richards and Loana Lecomte have made a big move to pass the series leader up the lap's big climb.
4:38 am PDT: Mona Mitterwallner Speeds Pass Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Pauline Ferrand Prevot has caught Mona Mitterwallner after a big attack but she looks to be struggling to keep the pace of the young Austrian rider.
4:41 am PDT: Mona Mitterwallner Gaps Pauline Ferrand Prevot * Starts Closing in on the Race Leader
Mona Mitterwallner is now only seven seconds off Alessandra Keller as she pulls ahead of the 2023 World Champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot by seven seconds. Evie Richards is 49 seconds back in 4th but she is starting to close the gap to Pauline.
4:42 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Stalls in the Rocks
Alessandra Keller makes a small mistake on the greasy rocks allowing Mona Mitterwallner to fully close the gap.
4:45 am PDT: After Lap 3 the Top 5 Are:
1st. Alessandra Keller: 44:19
2nd. Mona Mitterwallner: +0
3rd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +13
4th:. Loana Lecomte: +58
5th. Evie Richards: +58
4:47 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Pushing Hard on the Descents
Alessandra Keller is really pushing hard on the descents but Mona Mitterwallner is a powerful climber and can easily close the gap. The leading pair are having a great battle at the front of the race.
4:49 am PDT: Puck Pieterse Dropping Back from Evie Richards & Loana Lecomte
In the battle for the remaining podium spots Evie Richards and Loana Lecomte seem to be riding away from the overall series leader as begin to build a gap. Loana Lecomte looks to be the strongest of these three riders as she sits in fourth.
4:52 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot is Struggling
Pauline Ferrand Prevot looks to be really struggling as she loses around 30 seconds in the first part of lap four. The chasing riders of Loana Lecomte and Evie Richards are really not that far off her rear wheel anymore.
4:55 am PDT: Mona Mitterwallner Attacks to Take the Race Lead
Mona Mitterwallner has moved into the race lead as it looks like she wants to create some space to Alessandra Keller ahead of the final lap.
4:57 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Loses 13 Seconds to Mona Mitterwallner
Thanks to some less than helpful camera work we are not quite sure how the time was lost but Alessandra Keller was either caught out by a lapped rider blocking part of a descent or she made a mistake creating the large gap. From what we saw of Mona Mitterwallner's pass on the lapped rider she had to take a different line to avoid them, this could have thrown Alessandra off if she had done the same.
5:01 am PDT: Going into the Final Lap the Top 5 Are:
1st. Mona Mitterwallner: 59:08
2nd. Alessandra Keller: +15
3rd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +1:13
4th:. Loana Lecomte: +1:30
5th. Evie Richards: +1:36
5:01 am PDT: Alessandra Keller Starts to Close the Gap
Mona Mitterwallner will need to keep the pace up as Alessandra Keller is closing in on the leader as she is pushing hard to catch up.
5:03 am PDT: Loana Lecomte Just 10 Seconds Off Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Loana Lecomte may just catch Pauline Ferrand Prevot as she finds seven seconds on the World Champion in the initial part of the final lap.
5:05 am PDT: A Mistake for Mona Mitterwallner
Mona Mitterwallner makes a small mistake on the greasy rocky descent, Alessandra Keller will still have to find some extra speed if she is going to catch up.
5:07 am PDT: Loana Lecomte Just 5 Seconds Off Pauline Ferrand Prevot.
Loana Lecomte is riding her way into third place as she is closing down on Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Evie Richards is also not far off the World Champ.
5:09 am PDT: Alessandra Keller is Now 20 Seconds Back
Alessandra Keller is looking less likely to catch the leader as she is dropping off the leading race pace.
5:13 am PDT: Mona Mitterwallner Wins in Andorra
Mona Mitterwallner has won her first Elite World Cup as she dominates the later stages of the race.
The Elite Men's Race as it Happened
6:30 am PDT: The Elite Men's Race is Off
The final race of the weekend in Andorra is now underway with Luca Schwarzbauer in the lead as riders start the first lap.
6:33 am PDT: Mathias Fluckiger is Making Moves to the Front
Mathias Flückiger has made his way through to 2nd place as he looks to be wanting to get quickly to the front of the race. Tom Pidcock has also made his way through the ranks to 7th.
6:37 am PDT: Luca Schwarzbauer is Pushing Hard
Luca Schwarzbauer hasn't slowed down since his XCC win on Friday as he is keeping the pace high on the first lap and is creating some big gaps at the front. So far only Mathias Flückiger can stay with him.
6:41 am PDT: Nino Schurter Takes Control of the Chasing Group
As the leading pair begin to pull away Nino Schurter heads to the front of the big chasing group to hopefully try and catch the leader. With a 19-second gap he will need to do some work.
6:42 am PDT: After Lap 1 the Top 5 Are:
1st.Luca Schwarzbauer: 12:09
2nd. Mathias Flückiger: +0
3rd. Nino Schurter: +20
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +20
5th. Luca Braidot: +21
6:46 am PDT: Martins Blums Leads the Chasing Group of 7
At the start of the second lap a big group of seven riders are chasing down the leaders. The gap is still around 20 seconds but they will not want this to grow as with more wet weather on the way the whole race could change very quickly.
6:47 am PDT: Mathias Flückiger Takes the Lead
Mathias Flückiger has moved to the front of the race as he wants to lead on the first descent. Mathias is strong downhill and this is the perfect place for him to pick up time on the powerhouse that is Luca Schwarzbauer.
6:48 am PDT: Mathias Flückiger Builds a 7-Second Lead After 1 Descent
Mathias Flückiger is very strong in the greasy conditions today as he manages to build a seven-second gap after just the first downhill of lap two.
6:51 am PDT: Rear Flat for Nino Schurter
It's a bad start to today's racing for Nino Schurter as he suffers from a rear flat. Luckily he was fairly close to the tech zone but he is now back in 17th. If any rider has proven they can come back from a puncture before it is Nino.
6:54 am PDT: Mathias Flückiger Increases his Lead to 11 Seconds
Mathias Flückiger continues to show his prowess in wet conditions as he builds his lead to 11 seconds. A mistake causes a stall in the chasing group dropping them further off the pace.
6:56 am PDT: After Lap 2 the Top 5 Are:
1st. Mathias Flückiger: 24:37
2nd. Luca Schwarzbauer: +14
3rd. Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo: +35
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +36
5th. Martins Blums: +39
6:59 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Falls Back to 11th
The World Champ is having a tough day so far as he sits almost at the back of the chasing group. Interestingly Nino Schurter only needs to make up around 25 seconds to make his way back into this collection of riders.
7:01 am PDT: Luca Schwarzbauer Falls Further Back
Luca Schwarzbauer is struggling to find grip on the downhills as he drops 25 seconds back. Luca is now at risk of being swallowed up by the riders leading the chasing pack.
7:08 am PDT: After Lap 3 the Top 5 Are:
1st. Mathias Flückiger: 37:17
2nd. Luca Schwarzbauer: +23
3rd. Jordan Sarrou: +33
4th. Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo: +41
5th. Thomas Griot: +42
7:11 am PDT: Jordan Sarrou is Catching Luca Schwarzbauer
Jordan Sarrou has broken off the chasing group and is almost right on the rear wheel of the second-placed rider. If these two can work together it is still possible to catch the race leader.
7:14 am PDT: The Heavy Rain has Returned
As Jordan Sarrou makes his way into 2nd place the rain is really coming down in Andorra. The course is already pretty wet and greasy so the rain most likely won't change the conditions.
7:15 am PDT: Tom Pidcock is back inside the Top 10
The 2023 World Champ is still over a minute off the pace but he has passed a few riders to reach 7th place. After his puncture, Nino Schurter is in 14th.
7:18 am PDT: A Small Mistake for Luca Schwarzbauer
Luca Schwarzbauer makes a small mistake through a technical descent but he still remains the leader of the chasing group with Jordan Sarrou and Thomas Griot.
7:21 am PDT: After Lap 4 the Top 5 Are:
1st. Mathias Flückiger: 49:51
2nd. Luca Schwarzbauer: +43
3rd. Jordan Sarrou: +44
4th. Thomas Griot: +44
5th. Tom Pidcock: +56
7:23 am PDT: The Chasing Group Need to Pick Up the Pace
If the chasing group wants to avoid being caught by World Champ Tom Pidcock they need to up the pace as the British rider is quickly hunting them down.
7:26 am PDT: Thomas Griot Takes 10 Seconds Out of the Lead
Thomas Griot is charging at the front of the chase group as in the first part of lap five he has taken 10 seconds back from Mathias Flückiger. The lead is now 33 seconds.
7:29 am PDT: Thomas Griot Cuts Another 10 Seconds Off the Gap to Flückiger
Thomas Griot looking unstoppable at the moment as the gap has shrunk again to 23 seconds. This is a very impressive ride from Griot.
7:34 am PDT: After Lap 5 the Top 5 Are:
1st. Mathias Flückiger: 1:02:42
2nd. Thomas Griot: +29
3rd. Jordan Sarrou: +35
4th. Tom Pidcock: +50
5th. Luca Schwarzbauer: +50
7:38 am PDT: Thomas Griot is Strong in the First Part of the Course
Thomas Griot is once again making back time on the first half of the lap. Griot has taken seven seconds off the gap bringing it down to 22 seconds.
7:40 am PDT: The Gap is Now 15 Seconds
Thomas Griot is absolutely flying now as he takes another seven seconds away from Mathias Flückiger. If he can close the gap it remains to be seen if he will have anything left to take the lead and win.
7:43 am PDT: Thomas Griot is Only 8 Seconds Back
With just over a lap remaining the race is getting tight as Thomas Griot has ridden his way to the front and is within touching distance of catching the race leader.
7:46 am PDT: Going into the Last Lap the Top 5 Are:
1st. Mathias Flückiger: 1:15:38
2nd. Thomas Griot: +10
3rd. Jordan Sarrou: +33
4th. Tom Pidcock: +47
5th. Luca Schwarzbauer: +57
7:51 am PDT: Thomas Griot is Dropping Back
After a huge effort to catch the leader Thomas Griot is falling off the pace as the gap extends to 18 seconds.
7:55 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Puts in a Big Effort Trying to Catch Jordan Sarrou
Tom Pidcock looks hungry for a third-place finish as he is sprinting to try and close the seven-second gap to Jordan Sarrou.
7:59 am PDT: Mathias Flückiger Wins the Andorra World Cup
Mathias Flückiger has fought hard through the mud and rocks to come out on top by 23 seconds.
Elite Men's overall standings have not yet been updated.