France becomes 2021 Team Relay World Champion in Val di Sole
The French team has just retained the Team Relay World Championship title it won a year ago. This is their seventh title in this discipline and makes them the team with the most gold medals in the MTB Team Relay World Championships.
France wins the 2021 Team Relay World Championship
A total of 15 teams took the start of the 2021 Team Realy World Championship which inaugurated the competition for the World titles in Val di Sole.
In the list of participants we could already see that some of the favourite teams, such as France or Switzerland, did not have among their chosen riders for the Team Relay important cyclists like Nino Schurter, Pauline Ferrand Prevot or Jolanda Neff, which made us presage that this would be a very even World Championship. In total there would be 6 laps where each team would participate with 2 junior, 2 under-23 and 2 elite riders, one lap each.
The first best time was set by the USA with Christopher Blevins (elite man), followed by Italy with Luca Braidot (elite man) 2 seconds behind and the Czech Republic's Jan Vastl (elite man) 10 seconds behind.
On lap 2 the podium positions remained the same in the early stages, although the Czech Republic with Under-23 rider Jan Zatloukal managed to take second place from Italy, who were now competing with Junior Marco Betteo. American Braydon Jhonson (junior men) held the lead and managed to keep the first position at the end of lap 2, Czech Republic remained second at 6 seconds and the Frenchman Adrien Boichis moved his team up from sixth to third place at 36 seconds behind the race leader.
American Savilia Blunk (U-23 woman) was the first to take the start of lap 3 followed by Czech Tereza Tvaruzkova (elite woman) and also elite Lena Gerault for France. But Swedish rider Hugo Sandin (junior men) made one of the first great comebacks of the day and managed to finish lap 3 in first place. The USA moved into second place, 18 seconds behind and France was third, 35 seconds behind.
Swedish junior Tilda Hylen was in charge of opening the way on lap 4 and trying to maintain the lead that her teammate had gained. But in this turn there were many changes, and at the end of lap 4 France with junior Tatiana Tournut was in first place, Sweden was in second place and Switzerland entered for the first time in podium positions with under-23 Jacqueline Schneebeli, 14 and 18 seconds respectively.
On the penultimate lap, the French junior, Line Burquier led the race managing her team's advantage and leaving her team first again. For its part, Germany made a sensational lap 5 thanks to the U-23 rider Ronja Eibl who left his team second after advancing 3 places, and USA returned to the charge with Kate Courtney who managed to enter third with one lap to go.
The last lap started with Jordan Sarrou in command of the French team and the race. Meanwhile, Germany's Luca Schwarzbaumer was trying to cut time with Sarrou. The U-23 Riley Amos defended the third place of the USA against the comeback of the Italian U-23 Zanotti who had started 7th and was already 4th at the halfway point of the lap.
France finally arrived at the finish line revalidating its title of Team Relay World Champion in Val di Sole. USA won the silver medal in the sprint and Germany took the bronze medal.
Results 2021 Team Relay World Championships
- France 01:25:51
- USA +00:00:48
- Germany +00:00:49
- Italy +00:01:39
- Switzerland +00:02:04
- UK +00:02:27
- Czech Republic +00:03:05
- Austria +00:04:06
- Belgium +00:04:52
- Canada +00:05:54
- Sweden +00:06:22
- Poland +00:06:58
- Slovakia +00:09:23
- Spain +00:09:55
- South Africa -1 LAP