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Pieterse hails Mitterwallner’s Andorra win and warns the young guns are hungry

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Pieterse hails Mitterwallner’s Andorra win and warns the young guns are hungry

9 months ago

Dutch debut elite star Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) says she was delighted to see fellow 21-year-old Mona Mitterwallner take the top step in Andorra.

Pieterse, who struggled with the altitude of the year’s loftiest course, says she predicted the Cannondale Factory Racing rider, who won the Cross-country marathon World Championship would win at Pal Arinsal.

“It was really cool to see. Before the race, I already told the team that I thought she was going to win,” she said.

Mitterwallner ground out an impressive win on the lung-busting Andorra course

“Last year in Andorra, she was also outstanding. And it was, I think for her, just a matter of time until she won her first World Cup. So yeah, it was well deserved.

“It’s also really cool that she's another 21-year-old, so the young generation is really knocking on the door.”

Pieterse, who has won three of five rounds in the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-country Olympic World Cup, came seventh in Andorra - having not been further back than fifth all season. The young rider still leads the overall rankings by more than 260 points and she says she was still happy with that result.

“Andorra was quite a tough race. I think for me mostly because of the altitude,” she says.

“I quite liked the rain and the cold, the extra element. But yeah, I gave it everything I had. I didn't have my best day. But I was happy I could still finish in the top 10.

“So yeah, it's good to also have a day where maybe the legs are a bit less. Or the situation with the altitude is maybe not the best. It's good to still push through, I think. “

Pieterse was happy to finish in the top 10 at Pal Arinsal

Looking to this weekend’s race in Les Gets, Pieterse said she expected World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Ineos Grenadiers) to go all in for win but says she won’t be the only one.

“ I think she will race all out again for sure, but yeah, there are also some other riders - I'm one of them - who want to do the same, of course, so we'll see how it goes,” she said.

“ I think it's a course that suits me. It's a bit more of a traditional course, like the uphills don't have any technical things. And in the downhill it's a bit playful, but I really like it so I hope it will show in my results. “

Ronja Blöchlinger took the first win of the Haute Savoie Festival in the U23 Short Track on Thursday afternoon

Pieterse came second in the U23 World Championship at Les Gets last year and she said the crowd had been something else.

“Last year here it was really crazy with the spectators,” she said. “They were all over the course and they make so much noise. I was on the podium in the under 23s and that podium ceremony was crazy. Everyone was singing like the French national anthem and stuff. I think it’s one of the busiest races of the year with spectators.”

The UCI Mountain Bike World Series Festival Haute-Savoie, taking place in Châtel, Les Gets and Morzine-Avoriaz, will combine no less that 20 individual UCI Mountain Bike World Cup races alongside a 10-day festival that celebrates mountain biking within this iconic French region, from September 7 - 17. 

Watch on GCN+, which is available globally, on the Eurosport App and discovery+, as well as catch all of the highlights from the UCI Enduro World Cup on the UCI Mountain Bike World Series YouTube channel.

More details here

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