The rain set in as practice began in Nové Město, creating muddy, slick conditions for Friday’s short track cross country race. With a few changes to the course over previous years, riders were in for more climbing and an additional technical rock garden on the descent. After finishing second in the first XCC race in Albstadt and seventh in XCO on Sunday, Liv Factory Racing’s Linda Indergand earned a first row start which she capitalized on with a strong sprint. The first lap saw several lead changes, but Indergand stayed near the front of the pack, riding smart and in-control. Two leaders pulled a small gap on the rest of the field at the end of the fourth lap and stayed away until the finish, leaving three riders, including Indergand, to contend for third place in a sprint finish. In the end, Indergand finished fifth aboard her Pique Advanced Pro 29.
“The Nove Mesto XCC course changed this year and included a short, technical rock garden section that was very controversial before the race,” said Indergand. “Each lap, I lost a little time on the climb, but would make it back in the rock garden descent, so this change certainly worked to my advantage. I hung onto the wheels of Jenny Rissveds and Annie Last for the majority of the race, and just didn’t have it in me to out-sprint them at the finish. I’m very happy with fifth and really looking forward to Sunday’s XCO.”
With her top-five finish, Indergand held onto her fourth place overall World Cup ranking and will again start on the front row for Sunday’s cross country Olympic race. Tune into Redbull TV at 9am UTC Sunday, May 16 to watch the race live.