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Blevins begins World Cup season

Blevins places seventh in first short track race
Christopher Blevins rocks his world champ stripes for the first time with Specialized Factory Racing in Petropolis, Brazil. Blevins began his World Cup season Friday with a seventh-place finish in short track. (Christopher Blevins/Instagram)

Short track world champion Christopher Blevins began his World Cup season Friday with his new team at a new stop on the Mercedes-Benz UCI tour in Petropolis Brazil.

Mountain bikers completed seven 1.4-kilometer laps in the short track race, and the bikers started fast and never really slowed down. Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) started in the second row and quickly moved into the leaders group. Brazil’s Henrique Avancini set the fast pace on his home soil. Nino Schurter, who has 32 career World Cup wins, led after one lap and traded the lead with Avancini throughout the race.

Blevins was four seconds behind the leader after two laps. He finished the third lap in ninth, but charged into second place shortly after.

The cyclists continued to sprint out of every corner to hold on to their places.

Blevins was three seconds off the lead after five laps and entered the final lap only two seconds back.

Alan Hatherly (Canondale Factory Racing) of South Africa, however, won the race on a sprint to the finish in 19 minutes, 55 seconds.

Thomas Litscher of Switzerland finished second one second later while Maxime Marotte of France grabbed the final podium spot, finishing two seconds after Hatherly.

Avancini placed fourth, Schurter finished fifth, Mathias Fluckiger of Switzerland crossed sixth while Blevins finished seventh just five seconds after the winner.

The World Cup will continue with the U23 cross-country race Saturday and the elite cross-country Olympic races on Sunday. The races will be streamed on https://www.redbull.com/us-en/live-events.

Riley Amos (Trek Factroy Racing) will race in the World Cup’s U23 division for the second time this season after winning his third ever World Cup start in Leogang last year.