American Haley Batten took the victory at the XCO World Cup in Araxá, Brazil, beating Jenny Rissveds after both riders fought a spectacular battle with attacks on the last lap. Blunk, Keller and Terpstra completed the podium.

The heat and humidity welcomed the 59 riders to the Brazilian town of Araxá on Sunday. The start was uneventful and Jackson became the first leader of the day.

The peloton made its way up the tough climbs and, with the exception of the riders in the top positions, many dropped back and forced those behind to do the same.

Keller, Indergand and Batten skillfully solved the first challenges of the circuit and opened a small gap. Even so, the finish line brought this advance party back to the starting gate. Soon after, the first serious lead group formed – Batten, Indergand, Stigger, Rissveds, Batten, Blunk, Jackson and Berta – and they put some ground on the rest of the field.

The eight leaders hammered the pedals hard and the first casualties arrived: Berta and Stigger dropped out of the lead group and joined the group of Henderson, Tauber, Lecomte and company.

The lead settled down and for the next few kilometers kept up the pace. What seemed like a temporary truce – it was not the time to spend energy on too aggressive moves – ended up increasing the casualty list: Indergand gave up and lost contact with those who had been her traveling companions.

Rissveds took over the lead and took the baton of the race. The Swede set a steady, pounding pace, although the other four members of the group remained glued to her wheel. The cameras showed Lecomte exhausted on the ground after abandoning due to lack of strength to continue.

The lead group’s scrap took another rider: Jackson suffered a puncture, lost a lot of ground and left the quartet of Rissveds, Keller, Blunk and Batten at the front of the race. And then Rissveds struck a blow that left his three companions unanswered: a solo gallop to open a six-second gap and put in a bid for victory.

Despite the efforts of the Swede, the quartet came together again. With the chasers almost a minute behind, it was time to think coldly and plan the best strategy. Keller went to the front of the line but Batten replaced her soon after. The American tried to stir the hornet’s nest and found an immediate riposte from Rissveds. For their part, Blunk and Keller gave up a few meters.

Batten and Rissveds made good time to distance Blunk and Keller. The leading pair showed an extra point of freshness that translated into a 10-second cushion with a lap and a half to go. Batten took the lead while Rissveds, dedicated to imitate the pedaling from the rear, shared the good feelings of the American.

The armistice between Batten and Rissveds, who seemed to have postponed the duel to the last lap, allowed Blunk to catch them again. It was even an invitation for Keller to rejoin despite the fact that there was nothing to suggest that the Swiss would return to the lead.

Last lap. Batten stood up and attacked at the finish line in a ferocious burst of fury with a brutal sprint that squeezed the watts out of quads that already had many kilometers under their belts. Rissveds matched forces in a response that definitely knocked out Blunk and Keller.

The Swede tried a move that Batten countered with aplomb. Tense calm in the knowledge that further attacks were to come. And Batten again. Rissveds suffered and seemed to give in, but managed to come back. Batten in front, Rissveds behind. And then the American spurred the pedals and crushed the cranks. The move shattered Rissveds’ hopes and handed Batten the victory on a platter.

Thus, Batten marched to the finish line to certify the victory in the Araxá XCO World Cup. A great weekend for her, who also won the XCC on Saturday. With no last minute surprises, Rissveds -second-, Blunk -third-, Keller -fourth- and Terpstra -fifth- came after her. Special mention for Jolanda Neff -sixth-, who came back after a bad start.

Results XCO World Cup Araxá 2024 – Women’s

Haley Batten 1h 23′ 04″.

Jenny Rissveds +17″

Savilia Blunk +40″

Alessandra Keller +1’05”

Anne Terpstra +1’46”

Jolanda Neff +2’10”

Nicole Koller +2’13”

Evie Richards +2’33”

Kate Courtney +2’44”

Linda Indergand +2’50”