08 July 2019

Schurter and Terpstra race to Victory in Andorra

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 charge off of the line amid the Andorran backdrop. 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.

Nino Shurter climbs up a hill looking strong. Schurter leaning on the gas pedal. 📸@maddogboris

Nino Schurter stands on top of the Men's Elite podium. The Men's Elite Podium. 📸@maddogboris

Nino sends a shower of champagne over the podium. 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's Elite field sprints onto the course. The women sprint away onto the course. 📸@maddogboris

Anne Terpstra stays light on the bike over some slab rocks. Terpstra looking planted over the rough stuff. 📸@maddogboris

Sina Frei cranks her way up an incline. Frei, head down, legs pumping. 📸@maddogboris

Catharine Pendrel enters a narrow and rocky off-camber section.  Pendrel entering a tricky bit. 📸@maddogboris

Kate Courtney weaves through a technical chute. Courtney negotiates some razor sharp teeth in Andorra. 📸@maddogboris

Anne Terpstra rides across the finish line, with fists in the air. Victory for Terpstra and the Dutch. 📸@maddogboris

Kate stares blankly ahead while regaining her breath. Courtney left it all out on course. 📸@maddogboris

Anne Terpstra stands atop the podium. Elite Women's Podium. 📸@maddogboris

Kate Courtney stands with hands on hips, after a tough day.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.


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