Stigger wins in a sprint over Pieterse to take the XCC of Val di Sole
Stigger wins the XCC of Val di Sole after a sprint with Pieterse that was decided by centimeters. The Austrian launched an attack on the last lap that broke the group of six leading the race. A move that could only be answered by Puck, who fought for the victory until the finish line.
Stigger overtakes Pieterse in extremis to win the Short Track in Val di Sole
The short track started under the gray skies of Val di Sole without Loana Lecomte, Haley Batten -who was absent after suffering a blow to the head- and the already known Rocio del Alba. The start was tight but uneventful, with Pieterse taking the lead in the first meters.
A bottleneck on the first pass through the rocky area forced many of the participants to put their feet down and push their bikes over the slope. Richards overtook the Dutchwoman to take first place. Rissveds, Stigger and Neff were also in the top places when they crossed the finish line.
Keller had to use skill and reflexes to save a crash. Pieterse returned to the lead shortly before a group of ten formed at the front.
Rissveds overtook Pieterse to take the lead as the group stretched and the last riders in the line struggled to maintain contact. It was only a mirage, however, as by the next finish line there were about 15 riders in the group.
Keller, Pieterse, Stigger and Indergand led the way. An army of bikes started the fifth lap with no one able to unhook anyone, indicating that perhaps some riders were storing up some of their strength, if that's even possible in a World Cup Short Track.
Still, the pace eventually took its toll during that lap and Pieterse led the breakaway. Rissveds and Ferrand-Prevot brushed their tires and the Swede was forced to the ground. The race entered its decisive phase with a lead group of six riders: Keller, Pieterse, Ferrand-Prevot, Rissveds, Stigger and Henderson.
Last lap. Everything was up in the air with only a few minutes to go. Pierterse's attack at the beginning of the last lap, which was replied with effective discipline. And Stigger's move that definitively left behind all but Pieterse, who struggled to follow his wheel.
But the Dutchwoman took strength from where there seemed to be none left to catch Stigger, stick to her wake and go all out for the sprint. The Austrian did not give up and pushed to get even in the last meters and cross the finish line in first position by just a few centimeters.
Pieterse had to settle for second place, while Ferrand-Prevot crossed in third place.
Results XCC Val di Sole 2023 World Cup - Women's
- Laura Stigger 19'37"
- Puck Pieterse +0"
- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot +6"
- Alessandra Keller +7"
- Jenny Rissveds +9"
- Rebecca Henderson +11"
- Jolanda Neff +14"
- Ramona Forchini +18"
- Sina Frei +19"
- Kate Courtney +19"