British and French riders fight hard for third-place finishes in Andorra.

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Tom Pidcock dug deep in Sunday’s cross-country races to secure third-place finishes at the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, with victories going to Mona Mitterwallner and Mathias Flückiger.

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In the women’s elite race, Ferrand-Prévot was handed the perfect start when a crash on the opening lap caused havoc and allowed the French rider to build up a nine-second lead by the end of the first lap.

However, the reigning cross-country World Champion was unable to build on her advantage and soon found herself in third as she struggled to match the pace of both Alessandra Keller and then Mona Mitterwallner.

Austrian youngster Mitterwallner held on to claim her first elite World Cup victory as she finished well clear of Keller, while Ferrand-Prevot came under huge pressure from ​​Loana Lecomte but was able to hold on for third.

Despite missing out on the victory it was an impressive weekend for Keller who claimed victory in Friday’s XCO event, finishing six seconds clear of Evie Richards and 17 seconds clear of Puck Pieterse.

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The final race of the weekend in Andorra saw Swiss ace Flückiger dominate as he took the lead during the second lap and power to victory, finishing an impressive 23 seconds clear of Frenchman Thomas Griot.

While it was a comfortable race for Flückiger, reigning World Champion Pidcock was forced to battle hard in order to secure his third-place finish.

The British rider fell back to 11th by the end of lap two but refused to give in and two laps later was back inside the top five, less than a minute off the pace. He continued to push as hard as possible and eventually moved past Jordan Sarrou to claim third place.

Victory for Flückiger came two days after the Swiss rider finished fifth in the XCO event where Germany’s Luca Schwarzbauer claimed victory, finishing ahead of Nino Schurter, Sarrou and Alan Hatherly.

Women’s XCO result
1. Mona Mitterwallner AUT 1:14:09
2. Alessandra Keller SUI +34
3. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot FRA +1:28
4. Loana Lecomte FRA +1:34
5. Evie Richards GBR +1:40

Men’s XCO result
1. Mathias Flückiger SUI 1:28:03
2. Thomas Griot FRA +23
3. Tom Pidcock GBR +44
4. Jordan Sarrou FRA +54
5. Luca Schwarzbauer GER +1:17

UCI MTB World Cup Women’s XCO standings
1. Puck Pieterse NED 1266 points
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot FRA 997
3. Alessandra Keller SUI 942
4. Mona Mitterwallner AUT 938
5. Anne Terpstra NED 815

UCI MTB World Cup Men’s XCO standings
1. Nino Schurter SUI 998
2. Mathias Flückiger SUI 969
3. Luca Schwarzbauer GER 938
4. Jordan Sarrou FRA 926
5. Lars Forster SUI 825

Tue 29th Aug, 2023 @ 6:30 pm

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