Mountain biking | Léandre Bouchard, best Canadian on a “very tiring” day

Mountain biking | Léandre Bouchard, best Canadian on a “very tiring” day
Mountain biking | Léandre Bouchard, best Canadian on a “very tiring” day

Passing through Crans Montana in Switzerland, the mountain bike World Cup was dominated by Briton Thomas Pidcock this weekend. Winner on the short track the day before, the reigning world champion won the Olympic cross-country solo on Sunday, while Léandre Bouchard signed the best Canadian result in this race by ranking 44e.

Posted at 5:19 p.m.

Thomas Pidcock, who will be at the start of the Tour de France next week, had also triumphed in Nove Mesto, in the Czech Republic, a month earlier. Like the Tokyo Olympics, he had the upper hand over the Swiss Mathias Flückiger on the new Crans Montana course. Muddy conditions caused a few falls on Sunday and the eventual winner was unable to escape.

The rider from the Ineos Grenadiers team took the lead in the second lap and, despite a fall, managed to stay in the lead while increasing his lead. Flückiger followed far behind, 1 minute and 10 seconds later, while the Italian Luca Braidot took third place (+2 minutes and 5 seconds).

“A very tiring day, I’m exhausted, but I’m satisfied at the same time! After a slight collision at the start, I managed to move up position by position. It was really nice to manage to find the best lines on a new course, it took us out of our comfort zone a little,” indicated Léandre Bouchard, who was back on the circuit after missing the World Cup. Val di Sole, Italy.

His teammate at Foresco Holding Proco RL, Victor Verreault, ranked 56e. William Maltais-Pilote is at 86e level, while Raphaël Auclair, victim of a fall, did not finish the race.

“There was a lot of climbing and it was quite wide, and then the dirt got wet very quickly in certain sections, so you had to find some balance. These are difficult conditions, but I like them,” added Bouchard. The day before, he had ranked 37e of the short track event reserved for the 40 best runners.

The women’s Olympic cross-country event was won by Frenchwoman Loana Lecomte on Sunday with a 46-second lead over Alessandra Keller of Switzerland. Dutchwoman Puck Pieterse completed the podium.

Roxane Vermette and Léa Bouchard finished 48e and 53e, respectively. Ontario’s Jennifer Jackson achieved the best Canadian result, placing 15e (+6 minutes and 50 seconds).

On the under-23 side, Ophélie Grandmont was the 48the cyclist to cross the finish line, just under 15 minutes after winner Olivia Onesti, from France.

The next World Cup will be played in Les Gets, France, from July 4 to 7.



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