After staying out front along two other riders over much of a dusty, demanding course and nearly losing it all at one point, Nino Schurter took the Men’s Elite World Cup XCO win at Vallnord, and with it, the lead for the series. In the Women’s Elite race, Anne Terpstra of Ghost Factory Racing was the first Dutch woman ever to take a World Cup XCO victory. The race was held July 7 in Andorra.
The Elite Men get to it among the Andorran backdrop. 📸@maddogboris
With arduous climbs and equally difficult descents, the course taxed every rider. "It was a super tough one," Schurter told cyclingnews.com. "I had a stupid mistake on the first descent; I crashed, and then it took me a while to get into my rhythm again. I think this is the hardest race; at the high altitude, as you are always suffering. I attacked as hard as I could [at the start of the last lap], but I could see that he [Fluckiger] was still with me, so I knew it was going to be a hard one to win. I tried again, and it worked out, but it was very hard." The SCOTT-SRAM rider has racked up 835 points so far this year and holds an 80-point lead. Schurter was joined on the podium by Torpado Ursus’ Gerhard Kerschbaumer, who took fourth place.
Schurter leaning on the gas pedal. 📸@maddogboris
The Men's Elite Podium. 📸@maddogboris
Well deserved celebrations. 📸@maddogboris
Terpstra’s win was decisive; she finished 38 seconds ahead of the next rider. "I didn't expect this, but I wanted to take a risk, so I'm very, very happy,” she said in comments to cyclingnews.com. “My team had said, 'Don't go too early,' but I thought that if I let Jolanda go down the downhill first, I would have to catch up, so I tried to be first into the downhill, and then I saw I had a little gap, so I gave everything I had, but without overdoing it."
Schurter’s teammate Kate Courtney took a Women’s Elite top-10 spot with an eighth-place finish. Terpstra’s teammate Sina Frei was ninth, and Clif Pro Team’s Catharine Pendrel took 17th place. Courtney continues to hold the Women’s Elite World Cup XCO lead.
The women sprint away onto the course. 📸@maddogboris
Terpstra looking planted over the rough stuff. 📸@maddogboris
Frei, head down, legs pumping. 📸@maddogboris
Pendrel entering a tricky bit. 📸@maddogboris
Courtney negotiates some razor sharp teeth in Andorra. 📸@maddogboris
Victory for Terpstra and the Dutch. 📸@maddogboris
Courtney left it all out on course. 📸@maddogboris
Elite Women's Podium. 📸@maddogboris
Despite a tough Day, Courtney still leads the Women's Elite standings. 📸@maddogboris
Both Schurter and Courtney will have a chance to add to their lead in less than a week when the XCO World Cup continues July 13-14 in Les Gets, France.