Puck Pieterse wins the European XCO Championship 2024 under the rain

Mountain bike 12/05/24 13:31 Migue A.

Puck Pieterse takes the victory in the 2024 European XCO Championship. The Dutch rider prevailed in an exhausting race due to the intense rain that turned the circuit into a mud pit and dashed the hopes of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, who was forced to abandon. Mona Mitterwallner and Nina Benz took silver and bronze, respectively.

Puck Pieterse wins the battle for gold at the 2024 European XCO Championship

A curtain of rain continued to lash the town of Cheile Gradistei all morning. If the weather gave a break during the Team Relay, the weather conditions worsened for the arrival of the 2024 European XCO Championship. The large amount of water poured turned the Romanian circuit into a muddy and heavy track. Umbrellas disappeared from the grid and the forty-one riders called to the event began the battle for the continental gold.

The start occurred without incidents and Chiara Teocchi showed off her skills in the first meters to take the lead. The mud forced very precise riding and mistakes could happen at any moment. It didn't take long to see the two main favorites: Puck Pieterse and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot broke away already in the first lap and opened a gap of about 24 seconds with Teocchi, Specia, Terpstra, and Benz.

The leading pair joined forces until Ferrand-Prevot decided to increase the pace. Pieterse responded but lost some ground, especially when she got stuck on a climb and had to dismount. Behind, Specia remained alone in third place.

Ferrand-Prevot continued to push skillfully to gradually increase the distance between her and a Pieterse who was trying unsuccessfully. However, the Dutch rider's persistence paid off and she managed to catch up with Pauline. Both riders were reunited before finishing the third lap.

The battle for bronze took place many meters behind between Benz, Koller, and Specia, while Mitterwallner held the sixth position after a bad start that dropped her beyond the twentieth position. Terpstra's fall fortunately did not have major consequences.

Pieterse activated the power meter and managed to pull away from a Ferrand-Prevot who saw the Dutch rider's orange jersey getting further away. However, before she could break the race, a lack of traction forced her to dismount and complete a climb on foot; Pauline showed skill, managed to stay on the bike, and closed the gap to her rival. A mirage. After overcoming the obstacle, Pieterse flew again.

The distance grew larger and increased exponentially when Ferrand-Prevot crashed on a tricky descent. The French rider quickly got up but lost a lot of time before rejoining the race. The lead was now in Pieterse's hands, while Mitterwallner seriously threatened Ferrand-Prevot's silver.

Calm prevailed in the first position, with a Pieterse pedaling comfortably -if that's possible with the rain and mud accumulating on the circuit-. A pleasant situation that contrasted with the small chaos that almost erupted behind: a dog entered the track and became a dangerous obstacle that almost caused a crash.

Ferrand-Prevot stopped and, despite rejoining the battle, eventually abandoned.

The race entered a lull; the groups were non-existent and the top five -Pieterse, Mitterwallner, Benz, Koller, and Perdersen- rode alone. The Dutch rider turned the pedals with authority and continued to lead without showing cracks, although the adverse conditions made it impossible to take the victory for granted.

The fog became thicker and scares were constant: the cameras showed Teocchi straightening the handlebars and shortly after it was Mitterwallner who fell at the same point as Ferrand-Prevot. The Austrian quickly recovered and got back on the pedals without losing too much time.

Pieterse continued at the front with superb dominance that left her rivals with no chance; time to manage the lead, avoid mistakes, and consume the final kilometers without surprises. And so she completed the last meters, without unexpected twists, to cross the finish line and confirm the victory in the 2024 European XCO Championship.

The Dutch rider retained the victory from the previous year, while Mona Mitterwallner finished second -after an extraordinary comeback- and Nina Benz third.

Results of the European XCO Championship 2024

  1. Puck Pieterse (Netherlands) 1h 28' 09"
  2. Mona Mitterwallner (Austria) +1'11"
  3. Nina Benz (Germany) +2'14"
  4. Nicole Koller (Switzerland) +3'28"
  5. Greta Seiwald (Italy) +4'34"
  6. Anne Terpstra (Netherlands) +5'21"
  7. Lia Schrievers (Germany) +5'46"
  8. Janika Loiv (Estonia) 5'54"
  9. Paula Gorycka (Poland) +6'33"
  10. Sofie Heby Pedersen (Denmark) +6'38"




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Puck Pieterse gana bajo el diluvio el Campeonato Europeo de XCO 2024


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Puck Pieterse vence sob chuva o Campeonato Europeu de XCO 2024


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Puck Pieterse a remporté le Championnat d'Europe de XCO 2024 sous la pluie diluvienne