lot of adrenaline and emotion marked the Short Track (XCC) dispute of the 2023 Pan American Mountain Bike Championship on the afternoon of Friday, April 28. The test, which determines the starting grid for the elite athletes in the XCO, scheduled for Sunday, ended with the victory of the American Kate Courtney and the Mexican José Gerardo Arevalo.

In search of important points that can lead to the qualification for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, the athletes of the Junior, Sub23 and Elite categories showed that they did not come for a walk, starring in a fierce and high-level dispute. The wet and heavier track due to the rains made the battle intense and the end uncertain.

In the women’s event, which lasted 12 laps, athletes from the United States, Canada and Brazil spent practically the entire race in the first pack. As of the sixth round, the strategy of the American team was to block the opponents and start a small escape with one of their athletes. But Raiza Goulão and Karen Olimpio pedaled hard and kept Brazil in the fight for first place.

With two laps to go, Kate Courtney managed to open up a good lead, taking over the lead from time to time and crossing the finish line first, with a time of 21min44. The silver went to Raiza Goulão by a difference of only 03 seconds, with a time of 21min47. Kelsey Urban from the United States completed the podium in third place, with a time of 21min49.

“It was very interesting what happened today, the rain really made the track very hard compared to the previous days. Also, with the test being flatter, without as many steep climbs, the peloton was closer for a long time, but in the end I saw an opportunity to break away and push on for the win,” Kate said.

For the Pan American vice-champion, the dispute served to show that Brazil is no longer a mere secondary player on the continent. «We are a power and this difference is going to decrease more and more. The idea was to stay at the top and give the maximum. I think that what made the difference was the mental work, at certain moments it took a lot of focus to avoid making mistakes, and it is worth noting Karen’s reading in the test, she realized that we could help each other, this teamwork too It worked very well and was decisive for the result achieved to be positive, as it was,” Raíza highlighted.

In the men’s test, an alternation between the first places showed that the test would be defined only in the final stretch. Reigning Pan American XCO Champion Henrique Avancini kept a strong pace from the start, leading the pack on several occasions and continued to alternate the lead with Chilean Martin Vidaurre and Canadian Gunnar Holmgren.

But, with 4 laps to go, the Mexican José Gerardo Arevalo escaped, opening a great advantage over his opponents, which increased until the last of the 14 laps of the test. With a time of 22 minutes and 26 seconds, the Mexican confirmed his title.

Second place went to Martin Vidaurre, with 22 minutes, 33 seconds and 766 thousandths, closely followed by Canadian Gunnar Holmgren, in third place, with 22 minutes, 33 seconds and 907 thousandths. The best Brazilian in the competition was José Gabriel, fourth place, with a time of 22 minutes, 34 seconds and 387 thousandths.

“It was a very risky strategy, it was all or nothing, especially with athletes like Avancini and Vidaurre, so I think I got a bit lucky. I was able to reserve strength and when I saw an opportunity, I decided to go for it. It was a very complicated test, so much so that it was not easy for any of the competitors to escape, but I am happy that everything went well”, explained the winner.

lively weekend

The Parque da Cachoeira de Santo Antônio expects to receive an avalanche of MTB fans this weekend, as well as residents of the historical region of Minas Gerais and foreign visitors to witness the event. The public will be able to enjoy the attractions of Villa Pan, which has live music, a food court, and equipment and accessory stores. In addition to the exclusive sector with regional products. Admission is free.

The Brazilian Cycling Confederation has prepared a mega-structure for the LIVE broadcast of the 2023 Pan American Mountain Bike Championship. The programming, with narration and live commentary, will fully cover the Team Relay (XCR), Short Track (XCC), Eliminator (XCE) and Olympic Cross Country (XCO) for the Elite and Sub23 categories.

But all the other tests will also have guaranteed transmission with an open signal for the spectators. To see them, you simply have to access the CBC channel on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/ciclismocbc).