Park City’s Haley Batten led all USA Cycling members in Saturday’s sludgy UCI Mountain Biking World Championship races in Leogang, Austria.
Batten placed fourth of 39 riders in the U23 Women’s cross country race, which required four laps on a muddy and rutted 3.6-kilometer course. Her time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 12 seconds was 3:38 behind winner Loana Lecomte of France, who won the two most recent UCI World Cup Elite Women’s cross country races. Lacomte’s win sparked a sweep for France among the day’s races.
Keegan Swenson of Park City was the lone American racer in the Elite Men’s cross country race. He placed 29th overall among the 89 competitors over six laps. He was 6:00 behind winner Jordan Sarrou of France after starting 21st.
“That was one crazy race,” Swenson tweeted. “Happy to come away with a top 30.”
In the Elite Women’s race, Team USA rider Erin Huck placed 16th while Kate Courtney withdrew after she was involved in a crash. France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prevot won the race.
Earlier in the week, Batten and Swenson teamed up with Huck, Madigan Munro and Durango, Colo., riders Christopher Blevins and Riley Amos to take fourth in the Team Relay. That squad included most of the riders who had taken a silver in the event last year, marking Team USA’s first cross country relay medal since 2007. On Wednesday, though, the team slipped down the standings in the muddy event to finish behind France, Italy and Switzerland, respectively.
The UCI Mountain Biking World Championships wrap up Sunday with the downhill finals.