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Alessandra Keeler (Thömus Maxon) won the first cross-country Olympic (XCO) mountain bike World Cup of her run on Sunday, in Snowshoe, West Virginia, adding to her victory on the short track in Vallnord.
Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing), with a third place behind Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis), managed to overtake Rebecca McConnell (Primaflora Mondraker Genuins) for the leader jersey in round seven; It’s the first time McConnell has been out of the show’s lead since the start of the season.
Rain that caused flooding in nearby Kentucky shortened the race by a lap to six, as well as removing some sections that had become unroamable. The race started in thick fog, which deepened through the first two laps before starting to fade.
McConnell, who had struggled with flats and other problems in the later rounds, lost the pedal initially, and was last before coming back up again. She eventually finished thirteenth after a solid trek across the field, but her mishap at the start cost her the captain’s jersey.
Up front, Resveds took the lead, Trapstra and Keeler followed, opening a gap before chasing her seven riders at the end of the first lap. This group was gradually reduced to Keeler, Terpstra, Rissveds and Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing), with the Rissveds doing a lot of pacemaker and eventually dropping Neff.
Mud gaps, rocks and slippery roots started to grow, with the Rissveds riding better for tough conditions and opening an eight-second gap to Keller on lap 4, with the Terpstra on 11 seconds. Keeler managed to get the Rissveds back in the lead on lap 5 and the pair rode together until early on the last lap, when the Rissveds slipped the front wheel into a corner, landing. I got up quickly, but Keeler attacked immediately, opening a gap that quickly grew, eventually reaching 37secs at the finish line, with Terpstra staying third at 50secs.
“The conditions were crazy,” Keeler said. “When it started raining, it got more and more muddy, and I really liked it; the more mud, the better. It was a really crazy day, and somehow I won the World Cup! It’s unbelievable.
“I knew that to get the best race you had to stay on your bike and do your best, which I did. I managed not to crash and ride smoothly, obviously the fastest. Jenny crashed twice, and when I saw her crash on the last lap, I took the chance and was gone. all”.
In the overall standings, Terpstra moves into the lead with 1,430 points, eight points ahead of McConnell with two rounds remaining. Keeler rises one point to third, 118 points off the lead.
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