Koretzky's exhibition to win the 2021 XCO World Cup in Lenzerheide
The World Cup returned in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, to one of the main XCO locations, with Nino Schurter and Mathias Flueckiger as favourites. After a thrilling race in which the crowd did not stop cheering until Victor Koretzky was proclaimed winner ahead of Schurter and Flueckiger.
Koretzky wins the 2021 Lenzerheide XCO World Cup
With Nino Schurter wearing the brand new rainbow jersey he won a week ago in Val di Sole, the men's XCO World Cup in Lenzerheide started. After a first asphalted uphill, the riders entered a first downhill with roots that penalized a lot those who did not have a good start of the race. And among those who lost out was Swiss rider Mathias Flueckiger, who was left far behind from the start.
Frenchman Victor Koretzky took the lead on the opening loop followed by Henrique Avancini, South African Alan Hatherly, Nino Schurter, Titouan Carod and Dutchman Milan Vader. That group of six managed to open up a small lead of about 6 seconds before the start of lap 1.
A few metres after the start of the first lap, Nino Schurter launched a first uphill attack, which was well answered by the front group, but with which he made a small selection, unseating Milan Vader and Titouan Carod.
After Mathias Flueckiger's bad start, the Swiss rider recovered very quickly and managed to get into the leading group before the end of lap 1. A group that now consisted of Avancini in the lead followed by Koretzky, Schurter, Hatherly and Fluckiger.
A crash by Milan Vader when he was leading the chasing group allowed the race leader to gain a little more advantage.
On lap 2 of 6, Czech rider Ondrej Cink managed to get into the leading group while Avancini took the lead after Schurter overtook him in the refreshment area, which did not sit well with the Brazilian, who gesticulated to show it.
Nino Schurter came back on the charge in another technical zone before the end of lap 2, but he took his foot off the accelerator on the finishing straight and the group was back together again before lap 3.
Once again Nino Schurter and Mathias Flueckiger were riding together in first and second place as we saw a week ago at the World Championships in Val di Sole. Next to them was Victor Koretzky, and the three of them seemed to be the ones with the best sensations despite the fact that they had not yet achieved a significant advantage.
It wasn't until lap 4 that we first saw Fluckiger lead the race, but it was really Schurter who continued leading the race. On that same lap Schuter didn't let the pace set and attacked in each of the areas where he knew he would do the most damage. Among them in the technical zone.
With almost two laps to go, Mathias Flueckiger tried a hard uphill attack, but again Schurter was able to respond and a downhill was enough for him to make contact with his compatriot.
The last lap started with Mathias Flueckiger, Nino Schurter, Victor Koretzky and Alan Hatherly together in the lead, and it looked like the winner would be between them. Although Henrique Avancini was running fifth and still had a chance to fight for the victory. Anything could happen.
The first move was made by Koretzky who first passed Nino Schurter and then Fluckiger to take the lead. But Mathias beat him back within a few metres.
While Schurter was still third, Koretzky regained first place and took the opportunity to attack again, gaining at least 2 seconds on the Swiss.
Victor Koretzky entered the finish line as the winner of the 2021 Lenzerheide XCO World Cup. Nino Schurter was second after an aggressive overtake on Mathias Fluckiger, third, which almost ended in an accident.
XCO Results Elite Men World Cup in Lenzerheide