05 August 2019

Corendon-Circus rider Mathieu Van der Poel took a hard-fought victory at the Val di Sole XC World Cup, with SCOTT-SRAM’s Nino Schurter on the podium in third place.

Mathieu Van der Poel leans back and points the bike downhill over some large rocks. Van der Poel was looking quick on the descents. 📸@svenmartinphoto

Van der Poel and Schurter were part of a three-man front group almost from the start of the race, as the trio battled the notoriously steep climbs of the Val di Sole route. Van der Poel took the lead for good with an attack early in the final lap, winning by 18 seconds. His victory pushed him up to second place in World Cup standings, with Schurter maintaining his overall lead.

The lead pack or riders choose different lines through the man-made rock garden. The lead pack stayed together the first few laps. 📸@svenmartinphoto

"I felt really good from the beginning of the race, but I think Flueckiger and Schurter were also feeling good, because the pace was incredibly high,” Van der Poel told cyclingnews.com.

“When one of us wasn't riding full gas, another one was, so the pace never dropped, making it a fast and hard race. I attacked [on the last lap] because I wanted to be first in the descents; I was the only one of us taking the B-line on the second drop, so I wanted to have some gap before that. I felt there was still something left in the tank, so I just tried to go full gas on the first climb, and I got a gap. It has been a good weekend for me as the European champion."

Mathieu glides straight and fast over a small rock feature. Once Van der Poel hit the gas he never lifted. 📸@svenmartinphoto

Three other Maxxis-sponsored riders made the Elite Women’s top ten: Chloe Woodruff rode her Maxxis Ikons to sixth place, Unior Devinci Factory Racing’s Tanja Zakelj took eighth place and Clif Pro Team’s Catharine Pendrel earned ninth place. Ghost Factory Racing’s Sina Frei just missed the top ten with an 11th-place finish.

Chloe Woodruff rides over a strategically placed pile of branches Woodruff over the very technical logs. 📸@svenmartinphoto

Tanja Zakelj negotiates a tricky rock garden. Zakelj makes her way through one of the rock gardens. 📸@svenmartinphoto

Sina Frei puts both wheels in the air off of a rock drop. Frei logging a few sky miles in Val di Sole. 📸@svenmartinphoto

Van der Poel and Schurter on the two top steps of the Men's Elite podium. The Men's Elite XCO podium. 📸@svenmartinphoto

Van der Poel and Schurter spray champagne on the podium. A one-two celebration. 📸@svenmartinphoto

The next World Cup is scheduled for August 10-11 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

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