Kate Courtney Dominates Nove Mesto
While Nino Schurter had to leave the top spot on the podium to Mathieu van der Poel, 23 year old Kate Courtney once more prooved that the future belongs to her.
Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Despite a trying start at Nove Mesto’s World Cup XCO race, Kate Courtney managed to once again walk away with a win. It’s the World Champion’s second World Cup victory, and one of the sweetest wins in her young career.
Kate Courtney: “My race in Nove Mesto was a special one. After a tough start, a flat tire and one of the deepest digs of my entire life, I was able to cross the line for my second World Cup victory. It took every ounce of my physical and mental strength to stay focused, positive and keep pushing until the very end. This was a real team effort and one I am very proud of. It has been a dream start to my season and these last two races have given me great confidence in my preparation, equipment and in the unbelievable team around me. I am excited to keep working hard with the belief that anything might be possible.”
“My victory in Nove Mesto took every ounce of my physical and mental strength to stay focused, positive and keep pushing until the very end. This was a real team effort and one I am very proud of.“
Kate Courtney, SCOTT-SRAM
2018 UCI Elite XC World Champion
After a glorious win in Albstadt the weekend prior to Nove Mesto, all eyes were on the 23-years-old World Champion from the USA. Finishing in 4th at the XCC Short Track race, Courtney secured a front line start position for the XCO race on Sunday. Kate’s main rival from the Albstadt race, Anne Tauber (NEL), attacked from the start line, with Courtney, Jolanda Neff (CH), Rebecca McConnell (AUS) and Sina Frei (CH) chasing. Kate Courtney however, fell back to fourth by the second lap after suffering a flat tire. In a champion manner, Kate fought her way back and managed to catch one rider after another until she overtook Tauber in the last lap, who suffered a technical in one of the very last climbs, to secure the win.
It is clear Kate Courtney is currently ahead of the game. After winning the Pan American Championships in April, the World Champion is wearing the leaser’s jersey after two consecutive World Cup wins in Albstadt and Nove Mesto.
Photography: Etienne van Rensburg / raineduponmedia / ego-promotion
The XCO course in Nove Mesto is a very technical one. All three main contenders for the win – Kate Courtney, Jolanda Neff and Anne Tauber – suffered technicals.
With 700 pts Kate Courtney now leads the overall World Cup ranking by 210 pts on Jolanda Neff (SUI, 490pts) and Chloe Woodruff (USA, 385pts).
Nino Schurter in 2nd, Andri Frischknecht again in the Top 10
The men’s elite race was dominated by the two currently most powerful athletes, Nino Schurter and Mathieu van der Poel (NEL). From the beginning of the race, the Olympic Champion and the young Dutch talent managed to break away. Together they both practically rode their own race with a rather large average distance of nearly 1.30 mins ahead of the chasing group consisting of Mathias Flückiger (CH), Henrique Avancini (BRA), Ondrej Cink (CZ) and Maxime Marotte (FRA). While Nino and MVDP both tried to distance themselves from one another several times neither would allow for a breakaway. The Dutch- who already won the World Championships in Cyclo-Cross, as well as the WorldTour Amstel Gold Race on the road this year – “was simply too strong to beat today”, like Nino admitted after the race.
“Today I got the best out of it, MVDP was even more explosive in the final. But I am very satisfied with my performance. Racing on this level at this speed, I would have won in the past years. Such fights keep me motivated.“
Nino Schurter, SCOTT-SRAM
Olympic & 7x World Champion
Nove Mesto, for good reasons, belongs on the list of the athletes’ favorite courses; it’s technical, the climbs are steep and the are crowds wild. The popular XCC Short Track race on the other hand is a pure speed track. MVDP won, Nino finished in 4th.
Nino Schurter (left), Mathieu van der Poel, Mathias Flückiger (right) rounded up the Top 3 podium.
Andri Frischknecht again finished in 9th position, like in Albstadt. Despite a wild looking crash at the XCC short track race two days prior, Andri fought his way into the Top 10 from the start and managed to stay in it until the end. The young talent without a doubt belongs to some of the most promising rookies in the running.
“I’m happy with my performance today. I managed to ride in the Top 10 from the start. The track in Nove Mesto suits me very well. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the sprint for 8th place. Nevertheless, I’m satisfied and think there’s certainly more to in the box for me to come this year.”
With a rather long break until the third World Cup stop on July 6-7, athletes now take a little breather from racing at the highest level. The Andorra World Cup in Vallnord will take place in high altitude. Nino Schurter sits in third in the overall ranking, while Andri Frischknecht moved to 12th.
While Kate Courtney heads home to compete at the Epic Series in Carson City, Nevada, SCOTT-SRAM riders will fight for the Swiss National Champion title in Gränichen this weekend. Lars Forster, who is still recovering from his Albstadt crash, will hopefully be back on the bike for the coming weekend.
The Winner’s bike: SCOTT’s Contessa Spark RC 900 World Cup
E-Dropper, SRAM’s brand new wireless shifting AXS technology and TwinLoc. Just some of the trick bits you’ll find on Kate Courtney’s SCOTT Spark!