UCI World Championships: Pauline Ferrand-Prévot defends short track MTB world title

Puck Pieterse second and Evie Richards finished third after aggressive race in the Glentress Forest

Clock18:30, Thursday 10th August 2023
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot added another rainbow jersey to her collection

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot added another rainbow jersey to her collection

Both short track mountain biking (XCC) races at the 2023 UCI World Championships were won by the defending champions on Thursday evening, with Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (France) retaining her title after New Zealand’s Sam Gaze had done the same in the men’s race.

The Frenchwoman, triple mountain biking world champion in 2022, rode conservatively in what was an aggressive 20 minutes of racing, before using her sprint to attack during the final lap and go solo to the line.

Puck Pieterse (Netherlands) took second with Evie Richards (Great Britain) behind her in third, medals the only reward for the pair who had taken the race on from the front.

“It’s always special to win a World Champs title,” Ferrand-Prévot told GCN after the race. “You always feel a bit more stressed because you have to defend it, so this morning I said ‘okay, I enjoyed all my season with the rainbow jersey, now it’s time to give it back and to try to win another won.’ So I was really focused and really determined to win this one.”

As is often the case in the short track, the race had been fast and hard from the start, with Martina Berta (Italy) taking it up early whilst the favourites were able to sit back a little. Going into the middle of the race, it was Pieterse and Richards who took up responsibilities, never off the front and setting a pace that saw the bunch split apart over the difficult lap.

With three laps to go, an acceleration from the leaders saw a group of just six riders emerge - Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Richards joined by Alessandra Keller (Switzerland), Bec Henderson (Australia) and Gwendalyn Gibson (United States) - and it became clear that it would be this group that would contest for the win.

After sitting quietly in the group for much of the race, Ferrand-Prévot then took her opportunity in the final lap, launching a big attack that the more tired riders simply couldn’t fully. Quickly pulling out a significant gap, her lead never looked in doubt and the Frenchwoman crossed the line alone to successfully retain her rainbow jersey.

Also defending champion in the cross-country Olympic (XCO), Ferrand-Prévot has another big challenge coming up on Saturday, but it’s clear there are some very strong and motivated competitors around her.

Race Results

1

fr flag

FERRAND-PREVOT Pauline

21' 17"

2

nl flag

PIETERSE Puck

+ 4"

3

gb flag

RICHARDS Evie

+ 9"

4

us flag

GIBSON Gwendalyn

+ 15"

5

au flag

HENDERSON Rebecca

+ 20"

6

ch flag

KELLER Alessandra

+ 25"

7

ch flag

HABERLIN Steffi

+ 38"

8

us flag

BLUNK Savilia

+ 44"

9

ch flag

NEFF Jolanda

+ 49"

10

nl flag

TAUBER Anne

+ 57"

Provided by FirstCycling

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