2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup overall winners decided at Val di Sole

Just a week after the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, the final round of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at the popular Italian resort of Val di Sole delivered amazing racing and confirmed the overall winners.

Cross-country short track (XCC), cross-country Olympic (XCO) and downhill (DHI) were on the menu.

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (FRA) and Titouan Carod (FRA) won Friday’s XCC races with the overall titles going to Alessandra Keller (SUI) and Alan Hatherly (RSA).

Myriam Nicole (FRA) and Loris Vergier (FRA) won Saturday’s DHI Elite races with the overall winners Camille Balanche (SUI) and Amaury Pierron (FRA).

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (FRA) and Titouan Carod (FRA) won Sunday’s XCO Elite races, with Alessandra Keller (SUI) and Nino Schurter (SUI) the overall winners.

XCC Women: Keller confirms title

New UCI World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot outsprinted her close rival and French compatriot, European Champion Loana Lecomte, in the final metres to take the win, reflecting her victory in the opening round at Petropolis, Brazil. The Swiss pairing of Vallnord Pal Arinsal (Andorra) winner Alessandra Keller and Mont-Sainte-Anne (Canada) winner Jolanda Neff battled for bronze, with Keller getting it.

Keller put herself in a position to win both the XCC and XCO titles in the same year. She won with 1460 points from early series leader Rebecca McConnell (AUS) on 1270 and Neff with 1249.

XCC Men: Hatherly has it

With confidence high since his Mont-Sainte-Anne XCO win, Titouan Carod made it a French double win, narrowly taking the race victory from series leader and Petropolis XCC winner Alan Hatherly (RSA). Behind them Luca Braidot (ITA) carried on his great XCO form, beating the irrepressive Nino Schurter (SUI) to third.

With that finish Hatherly sealed the overall title on 1342 points from Filippo Colombo (SUI) on 1156 points and Carod’s 1083.

DHI Women: Balanche battles back

In the Women Junior competition Canada’s Gracey Hemstreet took her fifth UCI World Cup win of the season from Izabela Yankova (BUL), with new UCI World Champion Jenna Hastings (NZL) in third. Hemstreet won the overall with 440 points from Phoebe Gale (GBR) on 355 and Yankova (295).

The Women Elite battle was thrilling on the loose dust of the Black Snake. Myriam Nicole (FRA) put down an unbeatable run with Fort William (Great Britain) UCI World Cup winner Nina Hoffmann (GER) second and the new UCI World Champion Valentina Höll (AUT) third.

The overall winner would not be decided until the very last run with Camille Balanche (SUI), Nicole and Höll all in contention. Despite breaking her collarbone as recently as the Mont-Sainte-Anne race, Balanche’s run was good enough to win her the overall title – the first Swiss woman to do so – with 1465 points from Nicole’s 1405 and 2021 overall winner Höll on 1386.

“It was the perfect season, even though I got injured I gave everything to be back. It was painful, it took a lot of energy and it was worth it… now I’m empty and I’m so happy!” said Camille Balanche.

DHI Men: French domination continues

In the Men Junior category, new UCI World Champion Jordan Williams (GBR) won in Val di Sole from the USA’s Ryan Pinkerton and Remy Meier-Smith (AUS). Canada’s Jackson Goldstone had already confirmed the 2022 overall title, finishing on 440 points ahead of Williams’ 386 and Lachlan Stevens-McNab (NZL) on 271.

The Men Elite race was pure entertainment as many riders attacked the course with an ‘end of term’ vibe. France’s Loris Vergier won by 3sec from the in-form Andreas Kolb (AUT). Meanwhile, the USA’s Dakotah Norton pushed his countryman and teammate Aaron Gwin out of third.

When it became apparent that Finn Iles had not recovered from injury enough to race, Amaury Pierron (FRA) secured his second overall title before Saturday’s race – in which he crashed, finishing 53rd – with 1253 points. Vergier’s victory took him up to second with 1008, leapfrogging the Canadian’s tally of 996.

“When you don’t do mistakes and you link everything, it’s always a big margin, and it’s so hard to do so I’m really stoked!” said Loris Vergier.

XCO Women: Keller makes history!

The Women U23 final race saw new UCI World Champion Line Burquier (FRA) take the win from Ronja Blöchlinger (SUI) and Noémie Garnier (FRA). Burquier underlined her dominance, confirming the overall win with 825 points from Noëlle Buri (SUI) on 665 and Italy’s Sara Cortinovis with 566.

New UCI XCO UCI World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot took the win for a perfect weekend after her XCC victory on Friday. It was another French 1-2 with Lecomte following her in, and the hard-battling Jolanda Neff taking 3rd. Anne Terpstra – overall leader before the race – made the start line but had not recovered from illness and could not finish.

Alessandra Keller’s 6th place finish was enough to secure the XCO overall with 1682 points, alongside the XCC overall. Rebecca McConnell finished 19th place but still took second place overall, with 1626 points. Third is Terpstra on 1469.

“After winning the short race on Friday I won today,” said Pauline Ferrand-Prévot. “It was a super nice ride, also super technical, it was a really good day, I can take this win today, it’s the final one, I’m super happy.”

“I had to dig really deep, that’s for sure, especially on the last half a lap,” said Alessandra Keller. “I had to go for the podium spot, I had to go all in.”

Men Elite: record-breaking Nino

After clinching his record 10th UCI Mountain Bike World Championships victory last weekend, Nino Schurter went into the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup’s final race with the series lead, looking for a record 8th overall win and a record 34th UCI World Cup victory.

But there were five other men who could – mathematically at least – take the overall with the right results in the final race, not least Mont-Sainte-Anne winner Titouan Carod, who maintained a lead to the end and enjoyed his own ‘perfect weekend’ after Friday’s XCC win. Carod won by 35-sec from Schurter with Jordan Sarrou (FRA) in third.

It left the overall standings with Schurter taking his 8th overall title, finishing on 1723 points ahead of Carod who jumped from 5th to 2nd with 1620 and Luca Braidot on 1533 points.

“It was a really hard win for me,” said race winner Titouan Carod. “Two wins in a row and one Friday and one today, that’s amazing.”

“It feels insane!” said Nino Schurter. “The whole season, with winning the UCI World Champs and now also winning the overall, it’s like a dream.”