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Team USA scores several Top-20 XCO performances on Day 4 of Mountain Bike World Championships

August 28, 2021

Gwendalyn Gibson was the best American finisher on the day racing to a Top-10 in her last U23 race.

VAL DI SOLE – TRENTINO, Italy – Today was all about the cross-country racers as they took to the technical and dusty course in Italy. The day started off with the Under-23 racers and ended with crowning new Elite World Champions.

U23 Women Cross-Country

Gwendalyn Gibson (Ramona, Calif.; Norco Bicycles) had a breakout ride in her last year racing U23. She stayed in the top-10 all day, charging on every climb. She finished ninth, making it her best World Championship performance to date. Gibson said, “It feels really good. I’ve had a bit of an up and down season, so I am so happy things finally came together on the right day. Of course, I’m always wanting a bit more, but It was a great day for me and definitely a step closer to where I want to be!”

The U23 Cross-country National Champion Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Orange Seal Racing) had a great start lap coming around in the lead group and sitting in seventh. On Lap 1, she had a mechanical that kept her in the tech zone for a few minutes, dropping her down to 52nd place. However, she put up a big fight, stayed calm, and passed 23 riders, finishing in 29th. Madigan Munro (Boulder, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing) started in the back of the group and had a hectic first couple of laps. The Junior Cyclocross Worlds medalist finished 18th in her first year in the U23 category.

Results:

  1. Mitterwallner (AUT) 1:06:57
  2. Stigger (AUT) +2:04
  3. Bohe (DEN) +3:26
  4. Gibson (USA) +5:57
  5. Munro (USA) +8:37
  6. Blunk (USA) +11:22

U23 Men Cross-Country

In the U23 Men’s race, there were high hopes for Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) after his incredible in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season. After a podium in every World Cup he entered, one of them being a win, the pressure was on for the World Championships. After several hard laps pushing the pace in the lead group, Amos was not able to keep up with race winner Martin Vidaurre Kossmann from Chile. Unfortunately, Amos was cracked and lost several positions finishing in 15th. Bjorn Riley (Boulder, Colo.; Bear National Team) and Robbie Day (Evergreen, Colo.; Bear National Team) didn’t have great starting positions on the line, giving them a lot of work once the gun went off. One by one, the riders made their way up, with Riley finishing in 33rd and Day in 37th. That meant Day had passed 48 people in 5 laps which is quite the feat.

Results:

  1. Vidaurre Kossmann (CHL) 1:10:31
  2. Zanotti (ITA) +1:03
  3. Roth (SUI) +1.38
  4. Amos (USA) +4:06
  5. Riley (USA) +6:25
  6. Day (USA) +7:28

Elite Women Cross-Country

The Elite Women’s XC race was all Evie Richards (GBR), who moved into the lead by lap two and kept it until the finish line winning the World Championships. For Team USA, it was a tough day in the office. Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif.; SCOTT-SRAM Factory Racing) had a great first lap pushing with the lead group, and Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Trinity Racing) was not too far behind. Unfortunately, the Olympians seemed to have both crashed early in the race and found themselves just outside the Top-20. Kelsey Urban (Kentfield, Calif.; Team 31: Outride) and Hannah Finchamp (Salt Lake City; Orange Seal Off-Road Team) also competed, riding close together most of the race. After a crash last weekend at the Swiss Cup, Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt.; Team TWENTY24) admitted that she was still suffering from concussions symptoms and made the wise decision to remove herself from racing this week.

Results:

  1. Richards (GBR) 1:23:52
  2. Terpstra (NED) +1:03
  3. Frei (SUI) +1:08
  4. Courtney (USA) +6:50
  5. Batten (USA) +7:21
  6. Urban (USA) +8:49
  7. Finchamp (USA) +9:31

DNS. Davison (USA)

Elite Men Cross-Country

Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Trinity Racing) had quite the week so far, winning three medals in the Team Relay, Short Track, and E-MTB events. Blevins sat in the Top-20 early on in the XCO race and worked with a group to maintain their positions. Toward the front of the race, Victor Koretsky (FRA) took an early lead but was then caught by the Swiss train of Mathias Flueckiger and Nino Schurter. The two took off and remained in the front of the race from lap two. It came down to a sprint on the last lap where Schurter made a move on the last half of the course and sprinted to the line, winning his ninth World Championship. Flueckiger finished two seconds back. Luke Vrouwenvelder (Chapel Hill, N.C; Giant Factory Off-Road Team) and Stephan Davoust (Durango, Colo.; Giant Factory Off-Road Team) also battled on course today.

Results:

  1. Schurter (SUI) 1:22:31
  2. Flueckiger (SUI) +0:02
  3. Koretzky (FRA) +1:08
  4. Blevins (USA) +3:53
  5. Vrouwenvelder (USA) +9:13
  6. Davoust (USA) -1 Lap

Up Next

Tomorrow the downhill team will be ready to roll after their qualifications yesterday.  Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C.; Santa Cruz Syndicate), Anna Newkirk (Riehen, Switzerland; Canyon), Dylan Maples (Orangevale, Calif.; Commencal), and Ella Erickson (Hayden, Idaho; Commencal USA) were the highest ranked Americans in their categories after qualifying. Starting order can be found here for an exciting day of racing tomorrow.

How To Watch

Full Results

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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).