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Photo Gallery: Lenzerheide World Cup

A spectacular weekend of racing puts a pin on the European leg of the World Cup season.


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The second-to-last stop of the 2021 World Cup season took us to Lenzerheide, Switzerland this past weekend, and it provided no shortage of excitement. Each discipline was filled with nail-biting action as racers focused on stacking points for the overall rankings. It was the last European stop of the 2021 season before the whole circus flies across the pond for World Cup finals at Snowshoe, West Virginia.

Crowds cheered for hometown Cross Country favorites, recent Olympic champion Jolanda Neff and Nino Schurter, fresh off his World Championship victory. Unfortunately, neither would wind up on top of the podium at Lenzerheide. Fellow Swiss rider, Sina Frei would have moments at the front, but after an unfortunate flat on the final lap, came through the line in fifth place. The other Swiss favorite, Mathias Flueckiger had plenty of time leading the men’s race as well, but could only pull off a third place finish. At the end of the day, it would be Frenchman Victor Koretzki and Englishwoman Evie Richards at the front of their respective races. Series leader Loana Lecomte finished in fourth place, but locked up the overall title, after Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, who was sitting in second overall announced her withdrawal from the rest of the season before the race. Both victories were hard-fought, with numerous riders jockeying for the lead throughout each race. Koretzki’s victory wasn’t sealed until the final stretch of the last lap, with Schurter launching a last-ditch effort to catch the leader, culminating in a spectacular pass of Flueckiger. But it wasn’t quite enough for the World Champ.

The downhill course was fast, loose, and required a level of precision riding that the French wound up dominating. For the women, Myriam Nicole took top spot, while Loris Vergier sealed the win in the men’s race. French riders would actually wind up taking the top four spots in the men’s race, incredibly, with just over half a second separating them. The top ten were separated by only 3.3 seconds. For the women, Tahnée Seagrave, who qualified second and who’s finished second in Lenzerheide twice before, put down a blistering run to beat, but Myriam Nicole, fresh off her World Championship win in Val di Sole, couldn’t be bested. She pulled out every stop and finished with a comfortable 2.6 second lead.

 

Loris Vergier won at Maribor earlier this year and qualified first here in Lenzerheide. His race begins with a couple bobbles up top, but he’s still first coming through the first 2 splits. He’s up by .1 seconds on first split and .2 on second. Through the middle, he loses time to Bruni and is down by .4 seconds at the next split. But then the Frenchman makes up time on the final sections and wins by just a .197-second margin to take his 5th career World Cup win.

Brook Macdonald finished 18th, continuing his amazing comeback from a spinal cord injury in 2019.

Canadian Finn Iles ices his injured right hand. Iles pulled off a 10th place finish.
Valentina Hoell of Austria has qualified fastest in two races this year but hasn’t been able to pull off a win. This weekend, she qualified third. Her race run landed her in the hot seat, 2.3 seconds ahead of Nina Hoffman, but in the end was bested by Seagrave and Nicole
Myriam Nicole, who dominated qualifying by 4.6 seconds, wound up dominating on her race run as well. She won every split, and finished the race 2.6 seconds ahead of second place finisher Tahnée Seagrave.

The GOAT, Greg Minnaar, back in World Champ stripes, was only able to pull off a 19th place finish on Lenzerheide’s deceptively difficult course.

Danny Hart came through the line in 8th place, 1.7 seconds off the winning pace.
Vergier squeaks out the win.
Just .197 seconds separated the top two Frenchmen, 4-time World Champ Loic Bruni and today's winner Loris Vergier.

Junior DH racer, Jackson Goldstone of Canada keeps his winning streak alive at Lenzerheide.

Loic Bruni gives third place finisher and fellow countryman Thibaut Dapréla some much needed hydration.
The Women's DH podium. Myriam Nicole, Tahnée Seagrave, Valentina Hoell, Nina Hoffman, and Camille Balanche.

The men’s XC race would be contentious from the start all the way to the final moments.
American Women's U23 racer Savilia Blunk took an impressive third place finish in her XC race.
Nino is never short on style.

The Men’s U23 XC podium was decided by a sprint finish.

American favorite, Kate Courtney came through the line in 13th place.

Kate Courtney superfan sighting
Sina Frei was in the lead group for the majority of the race, even taking turns at the front. But an unlucky flat on the final lap lost her a spot and precious time, landing her in 5th place.

Evie Richards takes her second victory in a row, her previous one earning her the rainbow stripes. Her victory wasn’t certain. She was always in the top group, but seemed as though she might be suffering. That was until lap 4 when she launched a huge attack, quickly gaining 10 seconds over second place finisher Rebecca Mcconnell and hanging onto it for a dominating first place finish.
Richards collapses after an incredibly strong attack that she was able to hang onto for the win.

The Men line up for their second to last race of the season. Can Flueckiger seal his overall victory or will the decider happen in West Virginia?

This person clearly teleported in from 1999.

Schurter leads Flueckiger up one of the course’s punchy climbs. The lead pack swapped places numerous times throughout the exciting event.

At the end of the day, the Swiss World Champ was able to pull off a second place finish.
After winning an incredible attack on Flueckiger through the tech zone on the final lap, with a little over a kilometer to go, Victor Koretzki was able to pull off the win, with just two seconds to spare on a quickly approaching Schurter.

Swiss rider Andri Frischknecht came through the line in 20th place.

Victorious Victor Koretzki celebrates his hard-fought win.
Schurter fist-bumps future Swiss superstars.