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Blevins finishes sixth at World Cup XCC

Amos crosses fourth in U23

Durangoan Christopher Blevins had his best world cup result of the season Friday in Italy. Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) finished sixth in the elite men’s short-track cross-country race to kick off the UCI’s Val di Sol Trentino stop. With the result, he earned a front-row start for Sunday’s cross-country Olympic race.

“It’s taken me a long minute to find the punch for short track this season, but today was a step forward to end up sixth,” Blevins said. “It’s nice to remember how much I love this kind of racing when the body feels good! Ready for Sunday and the front row start.”

Blevins worked his way up to the back of the lead pack early in the race when it was about 15-strong and hung there as riders dropped off. On the final lap, Germany’s Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV) sprinted out front to break up the lead group, which had dwindled to about nine, and no one could catch him the rest of the way. Blevins, meanwhile, moved up a couple more spots to place sixth in 19 minutes and 50 seconds, crossing five seconds after Schwarzbauer.

Blevins’ teammate on Specialized Factory Racing, Laura Stigger of Austria, won the elite women’s short-track race.

Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) finished just off the podium in the men’s U23 short-track cross-country race. Amos finished fourth in 19 minutes, 55 seconds, the same time as third-place Adrien Boichis (Trinity Racing MTB). Carter Woods (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) of Canada won in 19:53.

In the U23 women’s XCC, Bailey Cioppa (Bear National Team) finished 27th out of 39 bikers in 15:27.

Elite women’s rider Savilia Blunk (Ford Rockrider Racing) didn’t compete in Italy, opting to prepare for future races instead.

“Back home building for the second half of the season has felt great,” Blunk said. “I’ll be skipping Val di Sole this weekend and missing the team, but happy to be training and focusing on my goals for the rest of the season …”

The bikers will compete in the world cup’s cross-country Olympic races on Sunday.

Haggart races Enduro

Stop No. 5 of the Enduro World Series was also held at nearby Val di Fassa Trentino in Italy. In the U21 women’s Enduro, Durangoan Ainsley Haggart represented the USA and finished sixth overall in 46:35.420. Haggart finished within one minute of the four competitors ahead of her while Emmy Lan of Canada won in 44:38.970.

On the five stages, Haggart finished eighth, sixth, eighth, ninth and eighth.

Lily Planquart of France won the first two stages and the fifth, but a five-minute penalty on Stage 3 put her in 11th overall.