Hot, humid, historical: Those words describe the first round of the XC World Cup in Brazil last weekend. While we knew there would be excitement involved in this race, nothing could have prepared us for what happened.
Friday’s XCC (short track) races kicked off the season with fast, high-intensity racing to determine the starting order for Sunday’s XCO race. In the Women’s race, Rebecca McConnell (PMG Racing Team) grabbed fourth place, just seven seconds off the pace. Shortly after, Nino Schurter (SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing Team) picked up a fifth place in Men’s XCC. Heading into Sunday’s main event, two of Maxxis’ top riders were in excellent positions to make a push for the podium.
When Sunday came, the weather was hot and humid. If a racer pushes too hard in conditions like these during a long race, they will likely “blow up” and lose positions quickly. Knowing this, Rebecca McConnell rode strategically throughout the Women’s race, eventually gaining a seventeen-second advantage over her nearest competitor and winning her first-ever World Cup XCO. Second place finisher Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing) was also on Maxxis, kicking off her season in amazing fashion.
Current World Champion Nino Schurter has had an undeniably impressive career to this point – most would say the greatest of all time. This weekend further cemented his status as the GOAT of XC racing, as he won his 33rd World Cup race, tying Julien Absalon’s record. Emotions were high for Nino as he crossed the finish line and realized what just happened. After chasing Absalon’s record for nearly three years, he had finally done it.
Our XC racers trust the Maxxis Aspen to propel them to victory – learn more about our signature World Cup race tire right here! Don’t miss the action from the next XC World Cup race in Albstadt, May 6-8.
Photos by: @michalcervenyphoto and @frabanphoto