Rebecca McConnell has claimed back to back world championship bronze medals at the 2020 UCI Mercedes Benz World Championships in Leogang, Austria.
The Australian champion worked her way into second place after the start loop chasing world champion Pauline Ferrand Prèvot who pulled away from the competition quickly, holding an advantage of a minute going into the second lap.
The French woman crossed the finish line with a time of 1:27:33, over three minutes ahead of second place, Prévot won her third Elite World Championship title (’15, ’19, ’20) and her second one in a row.
McConnell battled it out with Yana Belomoina (UKR) during the first few laps and the two would hold off their chasers – Eva Lechner (ITA) and Sina Frei (SUI) – for quite a while, but the Australian would prove to be unable to capitalize on her strong start, while Belomoina would suffer a mechanical that took her out of podium contention.
With Prévot comfortably leading and McConnell in a silver medal position for the majority of the race, the battle between Frei and Lechner would be the one to watch.
The podium order would be decided by the second photo finish of the day. McConnell came out of the final 180 turn first but was unable to counter the sprint attack unleashed by Lechner in the final few meters, with the Italian catching McConnell by half a wheel, taking the silver medal back home to Italy
It would be a French clean sweep of the XC racing on the second last day of the championships with Jordan Sarrou who would establish his position as the leader early and not let up the pace for the entire 1:25:37 and claim the gold.
Dan McConnell, who started with the 34 plate, put in a massive performance over the six laps to push his way into the top 20 riders and finish 16th.