American Haley Batten (Trinity Racing) won Friday’s short-track cross-country MTB World Cup in Nové Město, Czech Republic.
Batten, riding in just her second World Cup as an elite, surged into the front group of riders early in the six-lap race and then attacked breakaway companion Loana Lecomte on the penultimate lap to score a thrilling solo victory.
Batten said she was so focused on the race that she didn’t realize she was in front until she finished.
“I knew I was going pretty strong after last weekend,” Batten said after the race. “After the rock garden I knew I just needed to be at the front. It was an exciting race in the mud and I cannot believe it.”
Heavy rainfall transformed the short-track course into a muddy and slippery bog, and the course saw multiple riders crash. One such rider was reigning world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, who crashed at the race’s midpoint and eventually abandoned. Video cameras caught sight of Ferrand-Prévot laying on the grass on her side holding her abdomen.
Batten, 22, is one of five U.S. women gunning for the two remaining spots on the American team for the Tokyo Olympics. Last weekend she scored an impressive third place at the World Cup cross-country opener in Albstadt, Germany.
Batten joins countrywomen Kate Courtney and Chloe Woodruff as a winner of a World Cup short-track race.
MTB World Cup short-track cross-country
- Haley Batten, 23:35
- Loana Lecomte, at 0:16
- Jenny Rissveds, at 0:21
- Annie Last, at 0:21
- Linda Indergand, at 0:23