Enduro and U23 XCC get the first triple-header event going at 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Series in Saalfelden Leogang  

Thursday, 15.06.2023

Enduro and U23 XCC get the first triple-header event going at 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Series in Saalfelden Leogang  

The  UCI Mountain Bike World Series kicks off in Saalfelden Leogang with big wins in the EDR and EDR-E races.

Isabeau Courdurier & Rhys Verner take the EDR wins, Fabien Barel & Florencia Espiñeira Herreros get the EDR-E gold
Round four of the UCI Mountain Bike Enduro World Cup wrapped in a hot and dusty Leogang, with Isabeau Courdurier and Rhys Verner coming away with the wins in the EDR. Fabien Barel and Florencia Espiñeira Herreros leave with the EDR-E victories.

Six stages lay ahead of the riders tackling the EDR race in Leogang, with a real mix of flat out bike park trails and the best alpine super enduro offerings that the valley has to offer. Riders would have to also battle a long day on the bike, combined with the heat. Eyes would be on France’s Morgane Charre (PIVOT FACTORY RACING) and defending series champion Jesse Melamed (CANYON CLLCTV FACTORY ENDURO TEAM) following their wins in Pietra Ligure. 2021 EWS Champion Jack Moir (YT MOB) would sit out this round due to an illness picked up in Italy.

It would be Canada’s Rhys Verner (FORBIDDEN SYNTHESIS TEAM) that would take his maiden win the Elite Men’s race, edging out USA’s Richie Rude (YETI FOX FACTORY TEAM). Just under 3 seconds separated them after a full day’s racing. French National Champion Alex Rudeau (COMMENCAL ENDURO PROJECT) would finish a solid day out on the bike by taking the final podium spot. 
France’s Isabeau Courdurier (LAPIERRE ZIPP COLLECTIVE) would take an emphatic Elite Women’s win in Austria. Italy’s Gloria Scarsi (CANYON CLLCTV PIRELLI) and France’s Morgane Charre (PIVOT FACTORY RACING) would battle for second and third all day, with the former crossing the line with a faster overall time. 

Results EDR Men Top 3: 
1.    Rhys Verner (CAN | FORBIDDEN SYNTHESIS TEAM) 25:08.74
2.    Richie Rude (USA | YETI FOX FACTORY RACE TEAM) 25:11.51 
3.    Alex Rudeau (FRA | COMMENCAL ENDURO PROJECT) 25:17.46

Results EDR Women Top 3:
1.    Isabeau Courdurier (FRA | LAPIERRE ZIPP COLLECTIVE) 28:35.01
2.    Gloria Scarsi (ITA | CANYON CLLCTV PIRELLI) 28:49.36
3.    Morgane Charre (FRA | PIVOT FACTORY RACING) 28:53.57

Also taking to the hills today were the EDR-E racers, taking in a total of ten stages, two of which were power stages. They’d be met by a similar variety in terrain to really test every aspect of the riders’ abilities. 
France’s Fabien Barel (CANYON CLLCTV) made it two wins from two mastering the dry, dusty conditions to finish ahead of Australia’s Mick Hannah (YETI FOX FACTORY TEAM) in the Elite Men’s race. The final podium spot would go to Portugal’s Tiago Ladeira (MIRANDA FACTORY RACING). 

The Elite Women’s race was no less exciting, with an all-day battle between Spain’s Florencia Espiñeira Herreros (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) and Germany’s Ines Thoma (CANYON CLLCTV). After over 40 minutes of racing though, Florencia Espiñeira Herreros would emerge victorious. Slotting neatly into the bronze medal position was Great Britain’s Tracy Moseley.

Speaking after the race, Fabien Barel said: “I knew that stage three and four were the important ones today, ones where you could gamble and take some risks. I rode conservative this morning and then really challenged myself on these two stages. They were so long and rough. I knew that there was a lot of room for mistakes but also room to take some risks and make up a lot of time. I opened up a bit of a gap here and then just tried to stay consistent all afternoon, ride solid and not take too many risks.

It's an unexpected win, but I'm super stoked with the format, the bike, we did a great job with the Strive:ON, it's a really balanced bike.”

Speaking about her win, Florencia Espiñeira Herreros said: “I am very happy and also super tired. That was a huge day out. Eight hours from start to finish. I'm happy that everything went good for me, I felt strong on the stages today. There was a little bit of everything. Bike park, roots, steep and technical sections. It was a crazy day. I'm happy to take the win and the leaders' jersey. Next week we race in Canazei, then I'll head home and keep the training going. Hopefully I can take the overall series win this year.”

Results EDR-E Men Top 3:
1.    Fabien Barel (FRA | CANYON CLLCTV) 36:54.32
2.    Mick Hannah (AUS | YETI FOX FACTORY RACE TEAM) 37:21.45
3.    Tiago Ladeira (POR | MIRANDA FACTORY RACING) 37:31.56

Results EDR-E Women Top 3:
1.    Florencia Espiñeira Herreros (CHI | ORBEA FOX ENDURO TEAM) 44:05.33 
2.    Ines Thoma (GER | CANYON CLLCTV) 44:36.14 
3.    Tracy Moseley (GBR) 44:37.70 

There was plenty of action in the U21 EDR men’s and women’s events as well. France’s Lisandru Bertini (LAPIERRE ZIPP COLLECTIVE) took the U21 men’s win, with a gap of almost 14 back to Australia’s Sascha Kim in second, himself opening a gap to Canada’s Johnathan Helly in third. The U21 EDR women’s race went to Canada’s Emmy Lan (FORBIDDEN SYNTHESIS TEAM), finishing the day ahead of France’s Lily Planquart in second and Lily Boucher (ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACE FACE ENDURO TEAM) in third.

It’s gold for Ronja Blöchlinger & Adrien Boichis in the U23 Cross-Country Short Track
Riders would have to reset quickly after Lenzerheide and be ready to go again in Leogang as the third round of the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup gets underway with the short track event. Swiss riders Dario Lillo (SCOTT DAVOS MTB PROJECT) and Ronja Blöchlinger (LIV FACTORY RACING) would look to add to their tally of victories here in Austria.

Switzerland’s Ronja Blöchlinger (LIV FACTORY RACING) would power to the U23 Women’s victory by holding off the attentions of Denmark’s Sofie Heby Pedersen (WILIER – PIRELLI FACTORY TEAM XCO) and Switzerland’s Noëlle Buri (BIXS PERFORMANCE RACE TEAM) in second and third respectively.

Then it was the turn of the U23 Men, with a stacked field taking to the short track. France’s Adrien Boichis (TRINITY RACING MTB) came out on top after a hectic race from start to finish to take his second short track victory of the year. USA’s Riley Amos (TREK FACTORY RACING XC) finished second, just 2 seconds back, with Swiss rider Luke Wiedmann (THÖMUS MAXON) trailing to finish third.

Results XCC U23 Women Top 3:
1.    Ronja Blöchlinger (SUI | LIV FACTORY RACING) 18:30
2.    Sofie Heby Pedersen (DEN | WILIER – PIRELLI FACTORY TEAM XCO) 18:33
3.    Noëlle Buri (SUI | BIXS PERFORMANCE RACE TEAM) 18:40

Results XCC U23 Men Top 3:
1.    Adrien Boichis (FRA | TRINITY RACING MTB) 19:04
2.    Riley Amos (USA | TREK FACTORY RACING) 19:06
3.    Luke Wiedmann (SUI | THÖMUS MAXON) 19:09


Downhill event kicks off with Junior qualifying
Both the Junior Men and Women would take to the track and get the first times set on track as they look to qualify for finals tomorrow.
New Zealand’s Erice Van Leuven (COMMENCAL LES ORRES) and Henri Kiefer (CANYON CLLCTV PIRELLI) were the fastest Juniors on the hill today.