Pieterse makes a great performance to win the Leogang World Cup
Pieterse stars in a great performance to win the Leogang XCO World Cup. The Dutchwoman showed her best version in a day in which she dominated with a total authority and a powerful pedaling that gave no option to her rivals. Mitterwallner signed a great race to be second and Stigger was third.
Pieterse wins the XCO World Cup in Leogang with great superiority
Terpstra was the fastest at the start and was at the front of the peloton to face the tough climb with which the Leogang circuit welcomes its guests. The negative news was Ferrand-Prevot, sunk beyond the twentieth position after failing to place in the top positions of the table.
The spotlight was on Pieterse when she got out of the saddle and set a pace that forced everyone to give their best right from the start of the race. Even so, there were no gaps and they completed the start loop one after the other.
We did not have to wait long to see the first cut: Pieterse, Terpstra and Rissveds opened a gap with Lecomte, Keller, Stigger and the others. The gap was 20 seconds when Rissveds gave in to the Dutch women's unrelenting pace. For her part, Ferrand-Prevot showed a little head, but still thirteenth at 36 seconds.
With no respite possible, Pieterse rode hard to get rid of his compatriot and build a cushion of 8 seconds before tackling the long uphill straight that would cause so much leg pain for most of us.
Puck completed a first lap to mark with a ride that did not reveal any cracks. Terpstra looked smaller and smaller until Stigger and Rissveds caught her, but they already had the leader 34 seconds away. Ferrand-Prevot brought out her rainbow jersey and caught these three, as did Mitterwallner.
The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider's lead stopped increasing in spurts and stabilized at around 35 seconds. Something that could give morale to the pursuers if it were not for the fact that a battle front opened up in the group itself. Stigger-Risseds on one side and Ferrand Prevot-Mitterwallner on the other.
The Frenchwoman, who was not riding as smoothly as usual, gave up time as the halfway point of the race approached and Pieterse was still pedaling hard enough to keep those behind her at a distance.
Penultimate lap and, except for a fatal fainting episode, the race belonged to Pieterse. Mitterwallner connected again with Stigger and Rissveds to present his candidacy for the silver.
For her part, Ferrand-Prevot was gradually losing her strength as Lecomte and Frei overtook her without the Frenchwoman from INEOS even being able to refuse for a moment.
Pieterse rode with the authority of a tyrant while Mitterwallner regained his footing after a momentary loss of contact with the other two pursuers, which he was able to deal with effectively.
Thus, the Dutchwoman started the last lap with the tranquility of having a sufficient cushion to not risk more than necessary. The positive surprise was for Mitterwallner, who found the strength where it seemed there was nothing left to open a gap of no less than 25 seconds with Stigger, who in turn was 12 seconds ahead of Rissveds.
Pieterse arrived and raised her arms with the smile of someone who knows she has completed a great performance. Puck thus writes her definitive letter of introduction that puts her as one of the riders called to mark an era in the XCO in the coming years. Second World Cup victory of the season after Nove Mesto.
Behind, Mitterwallner came in second after completing a great race that at times seemed to say goodbye to the top3 and Stigger was third.
Results XCO World Cup Leogang 2023 - Women's
- Puck Pieterse 1:16'36"
- Mona Mitterwallner +38"
- Laura Stigger +56"
- Jenny Rissveds +1'25"
- Loana Lecomte +1'54"
- Sina Frei +2'04"
- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot +2'18"
- Anne Terpstra +2'28"
- Kate Courtney +2'35"
- Jolanda Neff +2'42"