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Koretzky outsprints Schurter to win World Cup #1

Pidcock shows he might by the cross-over start to watch on mountain bikes

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT Koretzky Photo by: Bartek Wolinksi / Red Bull Content Pool

While everyone was looking at one road and cyclocross start to make his presence felt in Albstadt, and Mathieu van der Poel did on Friday, it was a different ‘cross racer making an impression on Sunday.

Tom Pidcock road through much of the massive men’s field, passing riders to lead the race at one point, before finishing fifth. It’s Pidcock’s first elite mountain bike World Cup, after winning under-23 world championships in the fall, making the result all the more impressive.

Pidcock wasn’t the only surprise in Sunday’s men’s race. Victor Koretzky (KMC Orbea) surprised Nino Schurter (Scott SRAM), winning his first World Cup in a sprint finish.

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT Tom Pidcock
Tom Pidcock delivered a fantastic race in his first elite World Cup at Albstadt. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.

Elite Men’s Race

At teh start of the men’s race, it was Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix) and Henrique Avancini (Cannondale) on the offensive. The two pushed out front on the first lap, but it was not to last. By the start of Lap 2, the front group, including Peter Disera (Norco Factory Racing) at that point, was back together. Ominously, Tom Pidcock (Ineos) had already made contact. After waking up to snow on Friday, on Sunday’s riders visibly struggling with the sudden heat.

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT mathieu van der Poel
Mathieu Van Der Poel attacked, faded, and rallied in Albstadt, his first XCO race in nearly two years. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.

After pushing the pace early, van der Poel faded. The Dutch phenom poured water over himself at every chance, sitting in the top 10, but never on the front. Van der Poel rallied on the last lap to finish seventh.

“It was hard, but I’m really glad back to be back on the mountain bike,” van der Poel said after the race. “It was a hard one, and I had a little bit of back trouble. I hope to be doing better already for next week in Nove Mesto.”

Pidcock showed his face on the front, before fading slightly from the effort of moving up through the field. Pidcock would finish fifth, closing out the podium in incredible result and a hint at what may come next week in Nove Mesto.

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT koretzky
Victor Koretzky flies while Tom Pidcock chases in Albstadt. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.

Sprinting for the history books

At the front of the race, though. it was a quartet of Schurter, Koretzky, Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus RN) and Ondrej Cink (Kross Orlen). Flueckiger, the last winner in Albstadt back in 2019, led for much of the last lap. Flueckiger suffered a mechanical in the last half of the last lap when his seat post would not return to full height and, unable to contest the finish, held off Cink to take third.

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT Schurter
Nino Schurter with Koretzky looming not far behind. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.

Schurter was the first to take advantage, squeezing by his fellow Swiss rider and opening a gap before Koretzky could find space to pass. The two rode together on the final climb. Schurter looking for a historic 33rd XCO win to match Julien Absalon’s record. Koretzky looking for his first World Cup win.

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT Koretzky
Victor Koretzky charges to his first elite World Cup win in Albstdt. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.

Schurter attacked on the descent, hitting a large step down to open a gap. Koretzky held close, chasing on the flat and pulling by Schurter just before the finish. Koretzky opened the sprint, and Schurter could not respond. The French rider takes his first World Cup win in Albstadt. Schurter will wait another week, at least, to match Absalon’s record.

For Koretzky, who was always near but never on the front, the key was patience. “If you go in the Red Zone on this track, there is no chance for recovery,” he shared after the finish line, “I”m so happy to take this win.”

Leandre Bouchard Bear Mountain
Léandre Bouchard was the top Canadian in Albstadt.

Canadians in Albstadt

Léandre Bouchard (Pivot Cycles-OTE) led the Canadian effort in Albstadt. Starting from the third row, the tall Quebec rider moved steadily up the field to finish 15th. Bouchard showed he is comfortable riding up with the front group in Friday’s XCC, and will have another chance to do so again this Friday in the Czech Republic.

After riding on the front early on, Peter Disera (Norco Factory Team) slipped back in the later laps to finish 42nd.

Andrew L’Esperance was next across the line for Canada in 63rd, with Norco teammate Sean Fincham following in 91st. Raphael Auclair (102nd) and Marc Andre Fortier (110th) followed for Pivot Cycles-OTE.

Quinton Disera (Norco Factory Team) was 114th, Alexandre Vialle 122nd, Tyler Orschel 131st, Raphael Gangé 135th and Felix Belhumeur 142nd in Albstadt.

World Cup racing resumed in just 5 days, at Round #2 in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic.

2021 XCO WORLD CUP ALBSTADT men's podium
Ondrej Cink (4th), Nino Schurter (2nd) Victor Koretzky (1st), Mathias Flueckiger (3rd), Tom Pidcock (5th) Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool.

Results: 2021 World Cup XCO #1 – Albstadt, Germany

Elite Men

1.
KORETZKY Victor (KMC – ORBEA)
1:20:23
2.
SCHURTER Nino (SCOTT-SRAM MTB RACING TEAM)
1:20:25
+2
3.
FLUECKIGER Mathias (THÖMUS RN SWISS BIKE TEAM)
1:20:46
+23
4.
CINK Ondrej (KROSS ORLEN CYCLING TEAM)
1:20:48
+25
5.
* PIDCOCK Thomas
1:20:52
+29
6.
COOPER Anton (TREK FACTORY RACING XC)
1:20:53
+30
7.
VAN DER POEL Mathieu (ALPECIN – FENIX)
1:21:36
+1:13
8.
HATHERLY Alan (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
1:21:42
+1:19
9.
GRIOT Thomas (MASSI)
1:21:56
+1:33
10.
AVANCINI Henrique (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
1:22:28
+2:05
11.
SARROU Jordan (SPECIALIZED RACING)
1:22:29
+2:06
12.
LITSCHER Thomas (KMC – ORBEA)
1:22:42
+2:19
13.
BLEVINS Christopher (TRINITY RACING MTB)
1:22:49
+2:26
14.
KERSCHBAUMER Gerhard (SPECIALIZED RACING)
1:22:53
+2:30
15.
BOUCHARD Leandre (PIVOT CYCLES – OTE)
1:23:05
+2:42
16.
MAROTTE Maxime (SANTA CRUZ FSA MTB PRO TEAM)
1:23:14
+2:51
17.
DUBAU Joshua (MASSI)
1:23:26
+3:03
18.
DASCALU Vlad (TREK – PIRELLI)
1:23:32
+3:09
19.
SCHWARZBAUER Luca (LEXWARE MOUNTAINBIKE TEAM)
1:23:35
+3:12
20.
BRANDL Maximilian (LEXWARE MOUNTAINBIKE TEAM)
1:23:36
+3:13
21.
FUMIC Manuel (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
1:23:39
+3:16
22.
COLLEDANI Nadir (MMR FACTORY RACING TEAM)
1:23:40
+3:17
23.
INDERGAND Reto (GIANT FACTORY OFF – ROAD TEAM)
1:23:51
+3:28
24.
FRISCHKNECHT Andri (SCOTT-SRAM MTB RACING TEAM)
1:23:57
+3:34
25.
VADER Milan (KMC – ORBEA)
1:24:06
+3:43
26.
ANDREASSEN Simon (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
1:24:08
+3:45
27.
FANGER Martin
1:24:10
+3:47
28.
VALERO SERRANO David (BH TEMPLO CAFÉS UCC)
1:24:27
+4:04
29.
ALBIN Vital (THÖMUS RN SWISS BIKE TEAM)
1:24:31
+4:08
30.
MARKT Karl (TREK | VAUDE)
1:24:31
+4:08
42.
DISERA Peter (NORCO FACTORY TEAM XC)
1:26:01
+5:38
63.
L’ESPERANCE Andrew (NORCO FACTORY TEAM XC)
1:27:41
+7:18
91.
FINCHAM Sean (NORCO FACTORY TEAM XC)
1:31:24
+11:01
102.
AUCLAIR Raphael (PIVOT CYCLES – OTE)
1:17:24
+9:34
110.
FORTIER Marc Andre (PIVOT CYCLES – OTE)
1:18:26
+10:36
114.
DISERA Quinton (NORCO FACTORY TEAM XC)
1:19:20
+11:30
122.
VIALLE Alexandre
1:05:44
+10:05
131.
ORSCHEL Tyler
1:07:37
+11:58
135.
GAGNE Raphael
53:36
+9:57
142.
BELHUMEUR Felix (PIVOT CYCLES – OTE)
41:37
+9:51