Photo Epic: Lenzerheide XC World Cup 2022

Jul 11, 2022 at 1:26
by Ross Bell  





The 2022 Lenzerheide Cross-Country World Cup will be remembered for a very dramatic and controversial incident between two of the sport's heavy hitters but that'll have to wait, for now. The U23 women kicked off the action with the usual suspects at the front although it wasn't Line Burquier or Puck Pieterse who added to their win tally, instead it was Denmark's Sofie Pedersen who had the most power left in the legs on the dash to the line to take her first World Cup win. The U23 men actually took place at the end of the day for one reason or another but for consistency's sake I'll talk about them now. Martin Vidaurre Kossmann has been the driving force in the U23 men for a while now and it proved no different in Lenzerheide as he took another comfortable win. In behind him was Carter Woods who is showing a return to form, then came Charlie Aldridge to take his first U23 podium.

Jenny Rissveds started where she left off from Friday's night short track and lead early on but Loana Lecomte was looming ominously behind her. Lecomte managed to get around Rissveds and built up a small gap that carried her to her second win of the season and more crucially helped catapult her to the top of the World Cup standings, she will now race in the leader's jersey in Andorra. Rissveds held onto second in front of Alessandra Keller who took a great third place on home soil, Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anne Terpstra squabbled over fourth and fifth all the way to the line with Prevot - just - taking it. The narrative of the men's race was set early on with Nino Schurter driving the suffering, creating a small break away group. Alan Hatherly, Luca Braidot, Filippo Colombo were in on it but it just had a sense of being a Swiss showdown between Mathias Fluckiger and Nino Schurter and so it turned out to be, until it wasn't... Schurter and Fluckiger traded blows on the last lap and separated themselves from Hatherly and Braidot but just as the home support were readying themselves for a sprint finish there was a clash between the two, conveniently out of sight of any cameras. That opened the door for Braidot and Hatherly to scrap it out, with the Italian just edging it out. Whilst Braidot was celebrating there was a heated exchange between the two compatriots, Schurter absolutely livid and let his feelings known whilst Fluckiger quietly processed what had just happened. It's still not clear what unfolded in that final section through the woods and unfortunately it may stay like that.

Thankfully we don't have to wait long for the next dose of World Cup action as the teams and riders pack up and head back to Andorra for the first time in a few years.


Moody mornings in Lenzerheide Switzerland.
Moody mornings in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Line Burquier has been the one to beat so far this season in the U23 women.
Line Burquier has been the one to beat so far this season in the U23 women.

The U23 women kick off the racing action.
The U23 women kick off the racing action.

Third place for Puck Pieterse.
Third place for Puck Pieterse.

Sofie Pedersen tracking Line Burquier s every movement.
Sofie Pedersen tracking Line Burquier's every movement.

What a ride from Sofie Pedersen to take her first World Cup win.
What a ride from Sofie Pedersen to take her first World Cup win.

The sprint would come down to a photo finish with Sofie Pedersen just sneaking ahead.
The sprint would come down to a photo finish with Sofie Pedersen just sneaking ahead.

What a feeling.
What a feeling.

Sofie Pedersen takes the top spot in U23 women followed by Line Burquier and Puck Pieterse.
Sofie Pedersen takes the top spot in U23 women followed by Line Burquier and Puck Pieterse.

All eyes were on this man Martin Vidaurre Kossmann.
All eyes were on this man, Martin Vidaurre Kossmann.

Martin Vidaurre Kossmann lead them off the line and didn t look back.
Martin Vidaurre Kossmann lead them off the line and didn't look back.

We hadn t seen too much from Charlie Aldridge since winning junior Worlds so it was great to see the Scotsman on the podium in U23. I m not biased at all
We hadn't seen too much from Charlie Aldridge since winning junior Worlds so it was great to see the Scotsman on the podium in U23. (I'm not biased at all)

Martin Vidaurre Kossmann doing what he s done all season long.
Martin Vidaurre Kossmann doing what he's done all season long.

Carter Woods is showing a return to from after a tougher spell of races. He ll take confidence from this ride and will be able to chase after Vidaurre Kossmann in the coming races.
Carter Woods is showing a return to form after a tougher spell of races. He'll take confidence from this ride and will be able to chase after Vidaurre Kossmann in the coming races.

Another one added to the tally for Martin Vidaurre Kossmann.
Another one added to the tally for Martin Vidaurre Kossmann.

Martin Vidaurre Kossmann takes the win in U23 men infront of Carter Woods and Charlie Aldridge.
Martin Vidaurre Kossmann takes the win in U23 men in front of Carter Woods and Charlie Aldridge.

What a backdrop for some cross country racing.
What a backdrop for some cross-country racing.

Jenny Rissveds had the final call up thanks to her win in short track on Friday.
Jenny Rissveds had the final call up thanks to her win in short track on Friday.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot is back after a few races away.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot is back after a few races away.

Loana Lecomte took her first win off the season last time out in Leogang and went back to back here in Lenzerheide.
Loana Lecomte took her first win off the season last time out in Leogang and went back to back here in Lenzerheide.

Jenny Rissveds and Jolanda Neff lead the pack away from the line.
Jenny Rissveds and Jolanda Neff lead the pack away from the line.

Jenny Rissveds turning on the heat early on.
Jenny Rissveds turning on the heat early on.

Another great ride for Anne Terpstra in 5th although she just missed out to Pauline Ferrand Prevot in the sprint to the line.
Another great ride for Anne Terpstra in 5th although she just missed out to Pauline Ferrand Prevot in the sprint to the line.

Alessandra Keller is killing it at the moment third place on home soil.
Alessandra Keller is killing it at the moment, third place on home soil.

Linda Indergand was the third of the Swiss contingent inside the top 10.
Linda Indergand was the third of the Swiss contingent inside the top 10.

Loana Lecomte charging into the opening descent.
Loana Lecomte charging into the opening descent.

It s good to see Kate Courtney getting some reward for her efforts after a tough few seasons. 7th place for the American.
It's good to see Kate Courtney getting some reward for her efforts after a tough few seasons. 7th place for the American.

Just off the podium in 6th for Jolanda Neff. Check out that inside line too.
Just off the podium in 6th for Jolanda Neff. Check out that inside line too.

These two would stay locked together until the end Pauline Ferrand Prevot eventually coming out on top.
These two would stay locked together until the end, Pauline Ferrand Prevot eventually coming out on top.

8th place for Martina Berta.
8th place for Martina Berta.

Loana Lecomte digging deep to drop the pack.
Loana Lecomte digging deep to drop the pack.

Back to back wins for Loana Lecomte.
Back-to-back wins for Loana Lecomte.

What a brutal way to finish off the race. Legs and lungs would have been burning for Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anne Terpstra.
What a brutal way to finish off the race. Legs and lungs would have been burning for Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anne Terpstra.

Anne Terpstra pipped to 4th. Just.
Anne Terpstra pipped to 4th. Just.

Kate Courtney with a strong ride.
Kate Courtney with a strong ride.

Loana Lecomte takes back to back wins and with it the lead of the overall.
Loana Lecomte takes back-to-back wins and with it the lead of the overall.

Loana Lecomte takes the win followed by Jenny Rissveds Alessandra Keller Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anne Terpstra.
Loana Lecomte takes the win followed by Jenny Rissveds, Alessandra Keller, Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anne Terpstra.

Nino Schurter composes himself ahead of what would turn out to be an eventful afternoon...
Nino Schurter composes himself ahead of what would turn out to be an eventful afternoon...

Filippo Colombo took Friday night s short track and was one of many Swiss in the mix.
Filippo Colombo took Friday night's short track and was one of many Swiss in the mix.

Matthias Fluckiger lining up for battle.
Matthias Fluckiger lining up for battle.

Luca Schwarzbauer leads the pack at the start.
Luca Schwarzbauer leads the pack at the start.

Nino Schurter showed exactly how he wanted to play it early on.
Nino Schurter showed exactly how he wanted to play it early on.

It would ve been the perfect setting for Nino Schurter to take that record breaking win but it wasn t to be today.
It would've been the perfect setting for Nino Schurter to take that record-breaking win but it wasn't to be today.

A strong showing for Thomas Litscher in 7th.
A strong showing for Thomas Litscher in 7th.

Alan Hatherly found himself in a sprint for the win but just missed out on the final lunge to the line.
Alan Hatherly found himself in a sprint for the win but just missed out on the final lunge to the line.

8th place for Chris Blevins.
8th place for Chris Blevins.

Luca Braidot rode amazingly all race and was there to pick up the pieces when Schurter and Fluckiger started squabbling.
Luca Braidot rode amazingly all race and was there to pick up the pieces when Schurter and Fluckiger started squabbling.

He couldn t quite match his short track heroics but 5th place is still a great result for Filippo Colombo on home soil.
He couldn't quite match his short track heroics but 5th place is still a great result for Filippo Colombo on home soil.

David Valero Serrano takes a turn at the front he d end up 6th.
David Valero Serrano takes a turn at the front, he'd end up 6th.

The Swiss fans were excited by their two men fighting it out at the front but unfortunately there would be some friendly fire.
The Swiss fans were excited by their two men fighting it out at the front but unfortunately there would be some "friendly" fire.

Jofre Cullell Estape takes the final spot in the top 10.
Jofre Cullell Estape takes the final spot in the top 10.

It came down to a somewhat unexpected sprint finish between Luca Bradoit and Alan Hatherly.
It came down to a somewhat unexpected sprint finish between Luca Bradoit and Alan Hatherly.

Luca Bradoit takes the win in Lenzerheide.
Luca Braidot takes the win in Lenzerheide.

What a day for Luca Bradoit.
What a day for Luca Braidot.

You don t need to understand Swiss German to have an idea of what Nino Schurter was saying to his compatriot Mathias Fluckiger.
You don't need to understand Swiss German to have an idea of what Nino Schurter was saying to his compatriot Mathias Fluckiger.

Mathias Fluckiger was gutted and seemed a little taken aback by the incident.
Mathias Fluckiger was gutted and seemed a little taken aback by the incident.

A strong shift by Filippo Colombo.
A strong shift by Filippo Colombo.

The Italian national anthem ringing out over Lenzerheide.
The Italian national anthem ringing out over Lenzerheide.

Congratulations to Luca Braidot.
Congratulations to Luca Braidot.



27 Comments

  • 23 0
 The women’s champagne podium shoot Big Grin
  • 12 0
 Loana obviously just murdered someone with her cork and is horrified. Jenny thinks its kinda funny, and Alessandra is just derping offbto the side. Hahaah. Amazing picture!
  • 2 0
 @exodus1500: Jenny is just so funny in her interviews, unlike anyone else so I can totally see her giggling about something like that hahahaha.
  • 15 0
 Incredible photos Ross!
  • 1 0
 The Indergand one is a pearler.
  • 10 0
 I think most casual observers don't understand what Nino had on the line here. It was the opportunity for him to take the all time record for most wins ever by a person in World Cup racing on home soil in front of friends and family. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that will not present itself again either due to him likely taking the record this year or not having the fitness/focus to do it next year.

Whether you like him or hate him, you have to feel for someone in that situation and the emotions involved. IMO I have seen nothing from Fluckiger that says it wasn't his fault. He just refers to it as a racing incident, but looking at his body language along with the statements it all points to him screwing up. I have also read first hand accounts from individuals on the side of the track at that point and all have said he made an ill advised move on a section where the trail narrows from doubletrack to singletrack.

Still shocking in this day and age that someone didn't have a cell phone camera pointed at that section of trail at least. Stoked for Braidot though, both he and Hatherly were strong in to the end and who knows what would have really happened in a sprint to the finish line.
  • 1 0
 Yes absolutely it was THE chance to smash this record. Immense pressure for N1no and he totally soaked it up as that's what he can do. So experienced. I really hope he can get another shot at the 34 record, but this venue would have been just so so sweet. The ending was truly mental. Tit for tat taking the front, N1no was absolutely on form. We saw MF coming into those singletrack bottlenecks at other locations taking all the risks and i bet he's still sore from their last meeting on this track where N1no shouldered him right at the end. Hankering to know what went down though! I bet AH or LB saw what happened but obviously want to stay neutral. Overall - it's the best we've seen from N1no in a long time. Loved every minute of it!
  • 6 0
 Sad that both GBR Charlie and Annie last don't have sponsorship and they are up there competing with the best...
  • 2 0
 One is a Junior World Champ, and the other is an Elite World Cup race winner......(and Worlds medallist).
  • 2 0
 @Starch-Anton: exactly my point, how have they not got pro contacts Frown

The results don’t show any team listen which be means they are semi-privateers.
  • 6 1
 The chillest italian guy put out the performance of the year, and it's only the beginning! goosebumps!!
  • 6 2
 Is it possible that the most exciting incident or the entire weekend was not captured by anyone. Shame on you media squids and TV people...
  • 3 0
 Crazy how many Fox34 and SID 120's you see these days... But Jolanda and Loana are still rocking them 100's
  • 1 0
 All those trek's running 80mm rear too!
  • 4 1
 Nino is gonna punch a mofo in the top pix.
  • 10 11
 Hah, this photo of Fluckiger and other guy (a coach?) like: don't be a pussy, remember, you did nothing wrong, this was just a standard overtaking, just don't f*ng admit it's your fault!
  • 2 0
 I think it‘s his brother
  • 2 0
 First photo “I still love you, me too, let’s never fight again!’
  • 1 0
 In the next episode of "Yeah, right" LOL This picture had the "you F@#'d me" all over it
  • 2 0
 damn, Charlie Aldridge did good on the old gen scott spark
  • 3 2
 Did Nino take a single drink? I believe him when he said he was going to win. He was on a mission.
  • 1 0
 I thought this also. Just saw him pour water over his lags and neck. Didnt see him have any gels either. He was definitely riding a different race today. Was awesome.
  • 1 0
 i noticed that too, he wasn't going to risk any slowdown on those attackable sections. What a beast!
  • 1 1
 Apart from the start pack photo, there were 7 photos of the U23 women but those 7 photos cover only the top 3 riders. What about the other 56 riders?
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