It was a mixed bag of results for Australian cross-country riders at the first round of the UCI Mercedes Mountain Bike World Cup in Nové Mesto, Czech Republic early Wednesday morning.
National XCO champion Rebecca McConnell (Prima Flora Mondraker XSauce), had the four plate for the first XCC of the season and was up on the pace of the seven lap race with cold temperatures and a saturation of rain made which made for a course that resembled a cyclocross track at times.
A mechanical on the third last lap ended the 2019 world champion bronze medallists race and she will now start on the fourth row for Friday mornings (AEST) XCO.
English woman Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing XC), in her elite women’s debut was first past the line ahead of the French pair of current world champion Paulie Ferrand Prevott (Canyon Collective Factory Team) and Loana Lecomte (Massi).
The top 40 in the men’s then rolled onto the start line with Daniel McConnell (Prima Flora Mondraker XSauce) lining up in the field with the number 33 plate.
A crash midway through the eight lap race which saw a number of the favourites fall back through the field, allowed McConnell to pick his way up the rankings, finish 19th and on the third row for Thursday’s XCO.
An upset in the men’s with Mexican Jose Gerado Ulloa Arevalo (A.R Efideporte Pro Cycling Team) take the opening XCC of the season.
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