Czech mate in Nove Mesto as Pidcock and McConnell win again

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Tom Pidcock performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski)
Tom Pidcock performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski)
  • A technical and dusty track in the Czech Republic made for terrifically exciting racing.
  • In the women's category, Rebecca McConnell remains in the form of her life. Completing a hattrick of wins this season.
  • The men's race saw a strong performance from South Africa's Alan Hatherly – and a fantastic comeback by Nino Schurter.

Round three of the UCI XC World Cup saw the most heroic rider performance not result in a win. 

The Czech Republic venue always provides quality racing and this season’s event, was no different. Nove Mesto's track features tricky descents, with large rocks featuring a thin layer of dust, testing tyre grip and rider skills.

UCI XCO World Cup
At each round of this season's UCI World Cup, Alan Hatherly has been among the leading breakaway group. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Even before the pros were scheduled to race on Sunday, Tom Pidcock showed his intent. The British superstar rode from Germany to the Czech Republic, instead of using the customary team car, for transport.

Pidcock's cross-border commuter ride was even more remarkable, as he had won round two of the XC World Cup, in Germany - and didn't appear to need any rest.

Although Pidcock appears to be the fastest XC mountain biker on track, no rider is more dominant this season than Australia's Rebecca McConnell.

UCI XCO World Cup
Nobody has come close to rivalling Australia's Rebecca McConnell this season. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

No catching McConnell

In Nove Mesto the Australian won her third XC World Cup event in a row.

The scale of McConnell's dominance is significant, with Loana Lecomte, who finished second at the Nove Mesto event, 40 seconds adrift. Barring injury, it appears unlikely that any of her rivals will deny McConnell the overall World Cup title this season.

The elite men's race was much closer than round two, in Altstadt (Germany). A group of five riders formed a breakaway, including South Africa's Alan Hatherly.

Tom Pidcock and Romania's Vlad Dascalu were nearly inseparable during the race's final lap. In a dramatic sprint for the line, Pidcock bested Dascalu by a mere second, for the win.

UCI XCO World Cup
Nino Schurter rode on the limit, costing him a rear tyre. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Nino shows why he is the greatest 

By far, the weekend's most impressive performance was by multiple World Champion and World Cup winner, Nino Schurter.

The Swiss mountain biking legend selected the fastest descending lines as part of a high-risk race strategy, resulting in a punctured rear tyre. Despite losing a minute early in the race due to his tyre issue, Schurter delivered a near superhuman performance to finish third.

Alan Harterly finished fifth. The KZN rider's consistency and class at elite World Cup level, has him ranked comfortably within the global top ten, after three events.

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