The world's MTB women’s elite meet at the Super Cup Massi in Banyoles17-02-2020
Banyoles is world-renowned in MTB circles thanks to the Super Cup Massi, the event that unofficially opens the international cross-country season, where the biggest number of XCO stars meet prior to the World Cup with a starting grid that only the ultimate world championship can match. This year will be no different and the women’s event will offer the first showdown between XCO’s greatest stars.
The Super Cup Massi was a pioneer in its day by giving women’s MTB the prominence it deserves with a day of competition exclusively for female riders. On Saturday, all eyes will be on the riders vying for victory at one of the most prestigious cross-country venues. That’s not to mention the kids’ competition, which is a new feature of this year’s edition. In an Olympic year such as this, Banyoles will mark a new milestone in terms of female participation.
The top three riders from last year’s competition will be back looking for a place on the podium once again. England’s Annie Last (KMC Orbea) will have a lot of work ahead of her if she is to repeat last year’s victory. The 2018 winner and 2019 runner-up, Germany’s Elisabeth Brandau (Radon), will also be returning, as will France's U-23 rider Loana Lecomte (Massi), who this time around will be the favourite.
From there on the list of world-class runners is vast. The Canadian Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing), who we rarely have the pleasure of welcoming to Spain, is one of the best-known riders going. She won’t be coming alone, however, as her team-mate, the English rider Evie Richards, will also be joining her as part of the powerful Trek Factory Racing team.
Meanwhile, Specialized will be bringing the Danish rider Annika Langvad, who, after a difficult 2019, has the task of returning to her best level for 2020. Langvad knows what it’s like to be XCO World Champion, something she experienced in 2016. The race will also be a chance for the young American Haley Batten to debut with the team. Also competing on a Specialized bike will be one of the world’s top young promises for women’s XCO, the Austrian Laura Stigger. The rider made her debut in the U-23 category last year with excellent results, including victory in Sea Otter Europe’s Super Cup Massi.
France’s Julie Bresset (Massi) will be another one of the names appearing at the Banyoles event. Olympic champion at London 2012, this year she has switched teams and her new outfit seems to have given her the motivation to return to her very best. The event will also be a unique opportunity to see Ukraine’s Yana Belomoina (CST PostNL Bafang), winner of the 2017 XCO World Cup, in action.
The Primaflor-Mondraker-XSauce team will come with two riders with everything to go for: on the one hand, Oceania champion Bec McConnell, and on the other, Belgian champion Githa Michiels – two riders who also know the Banyoles Super Cup Massi perfectly. Germany’s Ronja Eibl (Alpecin Fenix) comes to the event as one of the young women to watch after winning several U-23 World Cup events in 2019. The list of top international riders doesn’t stop there however. The Italian riders Eva Lechner, Martina Berta and Chiara Teocchi and the Dane Malene Degn (KMC Orbea) are also podium hopefuls.
As for Spanish riders, none of XCO’s biggest names will be missing. Rocío del Alba García (BH Templo Cafés UCC), Claudia Galicia (Megamo), Meritxell Figueras (MMR) and Natalia Fischer will all be on the starting grid.
The women’s Super Cup Massi will take place in Banyoles on Saturday 22 February at 4 p.m. Registration is open at TicketOci until Thursday.