Gibson, Blunk, and Courtney rounded out the Top-15 in the Women’s race.
LES GETS, France (August 28, 2022) — The U23 Cross-Country and Elite races closed out the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Les Gets. Team USA ended the event with three bronze medals in the Team Relay, Women’s Short Track, and Elite Women’s Cross-Country.
After throwing down the fastest lap for the women in the Team Relay, Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Specialized Factory Racing) knew she was in prime condition for this week of racing. Batten was on fire from the gun. She finished her first lap in fifth place and was in the lead group. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA) gained her lead in the first lap and never looked back. She had a 30-second gap by the first lap and grew her lead to over 2 minutes at one point in the race. From there, it was going to be a fight for silver. Batten was leading out Alessandra Keller (SUI) until lap five then Jolanda Neff (SUI) made contact. She passed on lap four and Batten had the legs on the climbs, but struggled to stay with her on the descents. At that point, Batten had also grown her gap on Keller to 30-seconds solidifying her spot on the podium.
Batten said, “I definitely showed up at my absolute best today and I wanted to win really badly but, you know what, Pauline and Jolanda are some of the best ever, so I think to finish behind them is an honor. I think, more than anything, I’m just proud to be a part of women’s mountain biking right now.”
The rest of Team USA also had a great showing with Courtney, Gibson, and Blunk staying in the Top-15 and fighting for every spot. After a bit of shuffling around throughout the race, Gibson would end up leading the American train across the line in 12th. The United States would once again score second as a team behind Switzerland.
- Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA) 1:22:08
- Jolanda Neff (SUI) +1:35
- Haley Batten (Park City, Utah; Specialized Factory Racing) +2:13
- Gwendalyn Gibson (Ramona, Calif.; Norco Bicycles) +5:38
- Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Orange Seal Off-Road Team) +5:46
- Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif.; SCOTT-SRAM Factory Racing) +6:31
- Hannah Otto (Salt Lake City; Pivot Cycles/ DT Swiss) – 1 LAP
- Kelsey Urban (Kentfield, Calif.; Team 31: Outride) – 1 LAP
Elite Men’s XCO
Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing) was close to a World Championship win in Friday’s Short Track and was hoping for redemption in today’s XCO. He was in the lead group for the first lap and a half. By lap three, he pulled out of the race due to injuries sustained on Friday night.
- Nino Shurter (SUI) 1:21.13
- David Valero Serrano (ESP) +0:09
- Luca Braidot (ITA) +0:29
DNF. Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.; Specialized Factory Racing)
U23 Men’s XCO
Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing) and Bjorn Riley (Boulder, Colo.; Team Trek VAUDE) went in as two of the favorites, both landing on U23 World Cup podiums this season. Amos just came off a broken collarbone from the National Championship and was not sure he would race after just getting back on the bike. Amos and Riley grew up racing and traveling together for years and found themselves on each other’s wheels in the middle of the World Championship. Amos had a front row call up and settled into a pace he could control and make no major mistakes. Riley moved his way into the top ten from the start and picked off riders one by one eventually passing Amos. He worked his way up to fifth by the last lap with Amos finishing in eighth.
“I’m super stoked on my result. The race went really well. The start was pretty hectic, but I was able to find my way to the front ten. From there I really just played it pretty strategic and focused on passing people when I could and I really saved my energy on the flats. I managed to get up to fifth place in the end. I’m super stoked on the result. It was just the icing on the cake [for the season], and I could not be happier to get that result. I’m really happy to do it with the USA colors on my back.”
- Simone Avondetto (ITA) 1:10:35
- Mathis Azzaro (FRA) +0:28
- Luca Schatti (SUI) +0:57
- Bjorn Riley (Boulder, Colo.; Team Trek VAUDE) +1.36
- Riley Amos (Durango, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing) 2:06
- Austin Beard (Middlesex, Vt.; Bicycle Express Racing) +6:34
- Robbie Day (Evergreen, Colo.; Bear National Team) +8:45
- Brayden Johnson (Littleton, Colo.; Bear National Team) +9.11
U23 Women’s XCO
Madigan Munro (Boulder, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing) put in a major effort from the start to solidify herself in the lead group. She settled in and stayed consistent finishing in the ninth position. Lauren Lackman (Wausau, Wisc.; Rib Mountain Cycles) got caught up in a crash at the start and went out on her first lap in last, out of 57 riders. She went all out and moved her way up to 27th by the end of the first lap. She continued to push it on the climbs and stayed consistent to finish the race in 26th place.
- Line Burguier (FRA) 1:11:09
- Puck Pieterse (NED) +0:43
- Sofie Pedersen (DEN) +0:59
- 9. Madigan Munro (Boulder, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing) +4:02
- Lauren Lackman (Wausau, Wisc.; Rib Mountain Cycles) +8:31
- Sofia Waite (Littleton, Colo.; WE Development) +11:04
- Ruth Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) +12:26