Hayley Batten finishes second behind Loana Lecomte in Nové Město World Cup

American rider continues red-hot start to the season with second place after winning the short track race Friday.

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Loana Lecomte made it two-for-two with victory at the Nové Město World Cup cross country MTB race Sunday.

The Frenchwoman rode away from the field in the opening laps to score her second World Cup victory after also dominating the Albstadt race last weekend.

Just days after winning the Nové Město short track race, Haley Batten finished second on the podium. The 22-year-old American pulled back Rebecca McConnell in the final lap in another top performance in this year’s World Cup after finishing third in Albstadt last weekend.

“It’s pretty mind-blowing and I don’t really know what to think about it all yet,” Batten said. “I’m absorbing it slowly, but it’s all pretty crazy.”

Batten likely secured a spot on the 2021 US Olympic team with her second-place finish, as the finish met USA Cycling’s automatic criteria for making the team.

Lecomte had gained a sizable lead in the opening laps as McConnell, Batten and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot led the chase, around one minute back.

With the rain-sodden course drying out with every lap, McConnell pulled away from Batten in the third and fourth laps, and the podium positions looked set. However, the Australian faded in the final circuit as Batten pushed hard on the accelerator, and she caught and dropped McConnell on the long climb in the middle of the course before continuing to press through to the finish line.

Lecomte crossed the line with 1:39 advantage after another faultless ride, with Batten fending off a final chase from McConnell to take second.

Ferrand-Prévot finished fourth while Evie Richards took fifth.

Kate Courtney crashed early and then had to nurse a flat tire through the third lap and finished 41st.

Erin Huck finished 16th, while Lea Davidson finished 43rd, Hannah Finchamp 49th, Kelsey Urban 57th, and Chloe Woodruff 64th.

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