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Christopher Blevins wins World Cup Cross-Country Men’s Elite race in Brazil

Riley Amos finished first in the men’s under-23 race
Durango's Christopher Blevins rides on the 3.2-mile course in Centennial Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the U.S. Pro Cup. (Courtesy Kai Caddy)

Durango’s Christopher Blevins continued his strong form this past weekend by winning the cross-country mountain biking men’s elite World Cup event in Mairiporã, Brazil.

Blevins, who rides for team Specialized Factory Racing, won the seven-lap race around the 4.46-kilometer track with 231 meters (758 feet) of elevation ascent in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Blevins beat his Specialized Factory Racing teammate Victor Koretzky of France by two seconds. The Durangoan beat out 94 other riders who finished the race.

“That just happened,” Blevins wrote on Instagram. “So much love for this sport, my team and all my people who made this possible. THANK YOU. I'm a World Cup winner here in Brazil and this is among the best weekends of results in World Cup history for both Specialized Factory Racing and USA Cycling.”

With the win, Blevins is first in the men’s elite cross-country Olympic World Cup standings and Specialized Factory Racing has a commanding lead in the team standings.

Blevins was outside the top 10 at the beginning of the second lap but caught up to the top group at the beginning of the fifth lap. On the final lap, he then made his move on an uphill section of the track into the trees and in an instant he moved up from third to first. Blevins built a gap on the descent and was able to celebrate as he crossed the line in first.

In the men’s under-23 race, Riley Amos finished first in his five-lap race with a time of 1:06.31 for Trek Factory Racing. Fellow American Riley Bjom finished second nine seconds behind Amos.

“Died 1000 deaths out there on Saturday for it, the boys definitely helped me set a new PB for most pain on my bike in an hour,” Amos wrote on Instagram. “Riley Bjom, Christopher Blevins and I truly had the perfect weekend, keeping the Olympic dream alive and well for all of us. Overall such an insane weekend for USA Cycling. I don’t think we have ever done so well as a nation at a World Cup before. I remember growing up watching the World Cups wondering why Americans didn’t have what it took to be the best in the world in this sport, weekends like this show the next generation that we can!”

In the cross-country women’s elite race, Savilia Blunk finished second with Decathlon Ford Racing Tram after five laps around the course with a time of 1:17.45 which was 28 seconds behind race winner Jenny Rissveds from Sweden. Fellow American Haley Batten finished third behind Blunk.

Blunk found herself inside the top 10 by the end of the start loop and quickly moved up to third in the first lap. Blunk then moved up to second place and she eventually took the lead in the second lap from Batten.

She held the lead until an uphill section in the third lap where she was passed by both Rissveds and Batten. Blunk fell away from the top two in the fourth lap but fought back in the final lap and was in perfect position when Batten crashed towards the end of the final lap. Blunk rode past and finished second.