Brayden Johnson finishes fifth in Cross-Country World Championship

August 26, 2021

An action-packed second day of the Mountain Bike World Championships led to a rainbow jersey for Blevins and several top 20 finishes for the rest of Team USA.

VAL DI SOLE – TRENTINO, Italy – It was another beautiful day in the Dolomites as racers battled for gold. The juniors kicked off the day with their cross-country races, followed by the first-ever World Championship Short Track racing.

Junior Women’s XC

Junior US National Champion Ruth Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) started strong from the front row, slotting into the top 10 early. However, she suffered a heavy crash on lap one and fought to regain her rhythm, eventually finishing 34th.  Bailey Cioppa (Durango, Colo.; Bear Development Team) rode a consistent race after a chaotic start and was the top finisher in the Junior Women’s race, finishing 31st.

Tai-Lee Smith (Breckenridge, Colo.; Bear National Team), Lauren Aggeler (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team), Sofia Forney (Lakewood, Colo.; WE Development), Makena Kellerman (Escondido, Colo.; Bear National Team), and Mia Aseltine (Littleton, Colo.; WE Development) rounded out the rest of the American contingent in the junior women’s field.


  1. Burquier (FRA) 55:29
  2. Onesti (FRA) +0.05
  3. Cortinovis (ITA) +0.06
  4. Cioppa (USA) +8.15
  5. Holcomb(USA) +8.58
  6. Smith(USA) +10.32
  7. Aggeler (USA) +11.01
  8. Forney (USA) +11.36
  9. Kellerman(USA) +11.55
  10. Aseltine (USA) +16:57

Junior Men’s XC

In the Junior Men’s race, riders started on a shortened start loop and then did four laps on the main course. After putting down the fastest junior lap yesterday in the Team Relay, Brayden Johnson (Jordan, Utah; Bear National Team) capitalized on a second-row start and slotted into the top 15 in the start lap. After crossing the line in 11th place after the start loop, he settled into a strong cadence and made a charge toward the front.  He quickly picked off riders, coming within 15-seconds of a podium position on the third lap. By the last lap, he had established a fifth-place position and held that position to the end. His result was another strong performance in the Junior Men’s category for Team USA after Riley Amos rode to a hard-fought fourth place in 2020.

Carson Beard (Middlesex, Vt.; Bicycle Express Racing) finished just a few minutes back in 18th place. Austin Beard (Middlesex, Vt.; Bicycle Express Racing) went from 65th on the start loop up to 27th. Ivan Sippy (Durango, Colo.; Durango Segment 28), Carson Hampton (Boise, Idaho; Bear Development Team), and Cayden Parker (Hot Springs, Ark.; Bear National Team) rounded out the US Junior Men.


  1. Boichis (FRA) 59:59
  2. Gomez (COL) +1:13
  3. Aebersold (SUI) +1:21
  4. Johnson(USA) +2:14
  5. C. Beard (USA) +4.32
  6. A. Beard (USA) +5.42
  7. Sippy(USA) +6.25
  8. Hampton(USA) +9.40
  9. Parker(USA) +11.28

Elite Women’s Short Track

Representing Team USA in the Elite Women’s Short Track race were Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Trinity Racing), Hannah Finchamp (Salt Lake City; Orange Seal Off-Road Team), and Kelsey Urban (Kentfield, Calif.; Team 31: Outride). With an incredibly stacked field, the women went into lap one sitting in very solid positions. Batten consistently stayed towards the front of the pack and managed to keep up with several moves throughout the race. A prominent group of six riders headed into the lead on lap six, including Olympic gold medalist Jolanda Neff (SUI). Neff dabbled in a corner on the last lap, and the leaders put in a strong attack heading up towards the climb. Swiss rider Sina Frei took it as an opportunity and put in a big effort at the front. Frei managed to hold her position and sprinted with Evie Richards (GBR) for the win. Batten was the top American, finishing in 15th place. Urban followed suit finishing in 17th with Finchamp rounding out the team in 23rd.


  1. Frei (SUI) 20:11
  2. Richards (GBR) +0:00
  3. Ferrand Prevot (FRA) +0:01
  4. Batten (USA) +1:01
  5. Urban (USA) +1:11
  6. Finchamp (USA) +1:25

Elite Men’s Short Track

Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Trinity Racing) was in the lead group for most of the race. In the final lap, Maximilian Brandl (GER) took the lead, opening a small gap over the group, but he was pulled back on the last lap. Blevins launched his winning move in the final turn, where he passed Brandl to take the lead. He sprinted from the corner, taking the win by just 0:02 over Avancini and Brandl. Luke Vrouwenvelder (Chapel Hill, N.C; Giant Factory Off-Road Team) and Stephan Davoust (Durango, Colo.; Giant Factory Off-Road Team) stayed together most of the race and finished 24th and 25th, respectively.


  1. Blevins (USA) 19:30
  2. Avancini (BRA) +0:02
  3. Brandl (GER) +0:02
  4. Vrouwenvelder (USA) +1:14
  5. Davoust (USA) +1:14

Up Next

The Elite XC racers will hit the course again on Saturday, but first, there are Downhill qualifications, E-MTB, and 4X tomorrow! Newly crowned World Champion Christopher Blevins will be also be racing in the E-MTB race.

How To Watch

Full Results

Visit USACycling.org for more information on the athletes, events, and membership programs, and follow @USACycling across all channels for the latest on Team USA.

For more information, contact Angelina Palermo at apalermo@usacycling.org.

ABOUT USA CYCLING (usacycling.org)

USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX. USA Cycling’s mission is to champion accessibility, participation, and excellence in the sport of cycling to make more Americans healthier, happier, and better on two wheels while achieving sustained international racing success. USA Cycling supports cyclists at all levels, from those just beginning in the sport and participating in fun rides to international caliber racers. The organization identifies, develops, and selects cyclists to represent the United States in international competition through the support of kids’ and interscholastic programs, amateur bike racing and grassroots development programs, and the provision of critical infrastructure to run organized racing. USA Cycling has a membership of 100,000, annually sanctions over 2,500 events, and is a proud member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).