Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Van der Poel, Ferrand-Prevot win short track mountain bike races

UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

BEAUPRE, QC - AUGUST 31: Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France during the Women’s Elite Cross-country Olympic distance race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne on August 31, 2019 in Beaupre, Canada. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Getty Images

ALBSTADT, Germany -- Mathieu van der Poel and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot confirmed their status as the favorites in mountain biking at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the first World Cup race of the season in Germany.

The two won 20-minute short track races and will be on the front row for Sunday’s cross country race, which should be an even better barometer of which riders are trending upward ahead of the Summer Games, which start in July.

Van der Poel is one of the top cyclocross racers in the world and also plans to ride the Tour de France for his Alpecin-Fenix team. He has acknowledged that he may be forced to leave the three-week grand tour early to prep for Tokyo.

The Dutch rider attacked early on and finished in 20 minutes, 39 seconds. Victor Koretzky of France was second, followed by Swiss rider Nino Schurter, the three-time Olympic medalist and reigning gold medalist.

Ferrand-Prevot, the three-time world champion, hung back early in the women’s race before pulling ahead in the final last half-mile. Linda Indergand of Switzerland was second and Britain’s Annie Last edged American Kate Courtney for third.