Pieterse extends his dominance and wins with overwhelming authority the XCO World Cup in Val di Sole
Pieterse takes the victory in the World Cup of Val di Sole in another exhibition that left her rivals with no options and that places her as the undisputed leader of the overall. The Dutchwoman went solo with a huge pace in the first lap and then kept the lead until the end of the race. Berta and Henderson were second and third, respectively.
Pieterse gives another lesson with a new victory in Val di Sole that makes her even more leader
The race began with a clean start that left Stigger, Forchini and Neff occupying the first three positions. As in the U23 men's race, there was a bottleneck on the climb that involved a large number of riders, who had no choice but to dismount and continue on foot.
Berta wanted to enjoy the lead to return the encouragement of the throats of her compatriots, who cheered behind the fences. Even so, it was Pieterse who made her move with a pace that distanced her when they had just started the first long lap. The Dutchwoman pulled hard and soon opened a gap of 13 seconds. By then, the chasing group consisted of Ferrand-Prevot, Berta, Keller and Stigger.
Pieterse continued with the powerful pedaling and increased the gap to those coming from behind. 23 seconds. 30 seconds in less than 20 minutes since the chrono started running.
For her part, Mitterwallner was left behind at the start and had to approach the race as a chase in which she had to make up positions to save the day and score as many points as possible; meanwhile, Neff suffered a blow at the start and lost many places.
The chasing group suffered a drop when Keller lost pace and was caught by Henderson, ten seconds behind the trio of Ferrand-Prevot, Stigger and Berta.
Away from all this, Pieterse continued to add kilometers on his own without showing any cracks in his pedaling. The lead stabilized at around 42 seconds for a while, but increased to 52 seconds at the finish. Behind, Henderson and Keller managed to catch the chasing group.
Berta's move, encouraged by racing at home, was completing a great performance. Ferrand-Prevot answered with authority to the Italian's blow of effect, although the attack did serve to leave Henderson, Stigger and Keller behind.
Things remained uneventful at the front of the race. Pieterse closed the lap and 53 seconds later Ferrand-Prevot and Berta did the same to start the penultimate lap. For his part, Neff continued his particular comeback and entered the top10.
Ferrand-Prevot had a nasty crash and, beyond the minute she lost, was visibly in pain. The Frenchwoman needed a few moments to regain her cadence, although she took the courage to continue despite being bruised.
Berta escaped in second position while Henderson and Stigger were destined to fight for the third step of the podium in the decisive last lap, although the Australian then pulled out the strength to make even Berta's second place uncomfortable.
Pieterse led the rest of the lap with ease until her wheel slipped on a stretch of pure pedaling that caused her to lose a few seconds. A test of her nerves, although she had enough margin to not worry too much.
The end of the lap was uneventful and Pieterse arrived at the finish line to certify her third World Cup win -in four races- of the season. A result that allows her to reach the break with a big margin in the overall standings.
Berta crossed in second place after a great race in which she was always in the front positions. Henderson threatened to snatch the position, but in the end she was just a few meters short of contact with her and came in third.
Special mention for Ferrand-Prevot, who despite the crash finished eighth. And remarkable comebacks by both Mitterwallner and Neff, who scored good points on a day that went wrong at the start.
Results XCO World Cup Val di Sole 2023 - Women's
- Puck Pieterse 1:19'49"
- Martina Berta +52"
- Rebecca Henderson +1'
- Laura Stigger +1'06"
- Mona Mitterwallner +1'53"
- Jolanda Neff +2'01"
- Jenny Rissveds +2'30"
- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot +2'48"
- Evie Richards +2'51"
- Anne Terpstra +2'54"