Les Gets 23 XCO Podium 1130x600
Team USA

Team USA Recap: Kuss Holds La Vuelta Leader’s Jersey; Amos, Batten, Blunk, Norton, Pinkerton, and Medcalf Podium at UCI MTB World Cups

By: Anne Stein  September 12, 2023

We recap the latest in American bike racing from the past two weeks (August 27-September 10)


UCI MTB World Cups: Loudenvielle, France

(September 1-3)Ryan Pinkerton (GT-Continental Factory Racing) made it two in a row, earning his second World Cup win in the Junior Downhill race in Loudenvielle, France. The previous weekend Pinkerton earned his first World Cup win in Junior DH at Andorra. In the Elite Men’s race, Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing) took 2nd riding to his career-best result.

Complete results here.

UCI MTB World Cup: Les Gets, France

(September 7-9)Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) podiumed twice, earning silver in Men’s U23 XCO and XCC racing. Amos placed 1st the XCO two weekends earlier in Andorra, and is now consistently back on the podium.

In Elite Women’s XCO, two Americans were on the podium with Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) in 4th and Savilia Blunk (Rockrider Racing Team) in 5th. Batten returned to racing after suffering from a concussion earlier in the year and this would mark Blunk’s first elite podium. In Women’s U23, Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) placed 5th, her best result of the season, while Bjorn Riley (Trek Future Racing) was 6th in Men’s U23.

In XCC, Christopher Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) placed 8th in Elite Men’s race, while Haley Batten was 4th and Gwendalyn Gibson (Trek Factory Racing) 8th in Elite Women’s. In Men’s U23, Amos and Riley duplicated their XCO results, taking 2nd and 6th, respectively. Madigan Munro placed 7th on the Women’s U23 side.

Ryan Pinkerton (GT-Continental Factory Racing) made it an astonishing three for three, earning his third World Cup win in a row in the Junior Men’s Downhill race. Evan Medcalf (Evolve Racing) also podiumed, taking bronze in the same event for his career-best result.

Anna Newkirk (Beyond Racing) had her best World Cup result finishing 6th in the Elite Women’s Downhill race less than a tenth of a second off the podium. Luca Shaw (Canyon Collective Factory Team) placed 8th on the Elite Men’s side. Taylor Ostgaard (Transition Factory Racing) placed 6th and Abby Ronca (The Gravity Academy) was 10th in Women’s Junior DH.

Complete results here


Vuelta a España: Spain

(August 26-September 17) – With two weeks completed and one week to go, American Sepp Kuss(Jumbo-Visma) has a firm hold on the red leader’s jersey at this year’s Tour of Spain. Kuss, 28, is used to being the super-domestique, having helped teammate Primož Roglič win the Giro d’Italia and Jonas Vingegaard win the Tour de France, twice.

This is Kuss’s 12th Grand Tour and his first time ever leading one. It’s also the first Grand Tour leader’s jersey worn by an American since Chris Horner won the Vuelta in 2013. “We’re in a really good position now with the team, but the hardest stages are still to come,” Kuss said before Monday’s rest day.

Complete results here

Tour of Britain: United Kingdom

(September 3-10)Magnus Sheffield (INEOS-Grenadiers) placed 4th overall and 1st in the Young Riders category at the week-long Tour of Britain. Sheffield, 21, finished just three seconds behind the winner, Wout van Aert. It was a strong return to racing for Sheffield, who crashed out two-and-a-half months ago at the Tour of Switzerland.

Complete results here

Maryland Cycling Classic: Baltimore, Maryland

(September 3)Neilson Powless (EF Education-Easypost) sprinted to a 2nd place finish at the one-day Maryland Cycling Classic, which attracted World Tour pros from around the globe to the United States. Though Powless improved on his third-place finish last year, he couldn’t overcome the Lidl-Trek squad, which propelled Mattias Skjelmose to victory.

The 122-mile road race included 8,500 feet of climbing, which split the group halfway through, and finished with four laps of a 7.5 mile circuit in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. “It turned out to be another really aggressive hard day of racing in Baltimore,” said Powless afterwards. “Something about this course just makes the race very selective. And I think it's probably the heat and the hilly terrain out in the countryside. But when we got to the end, it was just a slug fest.” Americans Scott McGill (Human Powered Health) placed 7th and Riley Sheehan (Israel-Premier Tech) was 9th.

Complete results here

Bommarito Audi Gateway Cup: St. Louis, Missouri

(September 3) – Jordan Parra (ACG) and Marlies Mejias Garcia (Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) took the men’s and women’s wins at the final stop of the American Criterium Cup series, held over Labor Day weekend in St. Louis.

Pro Men: Jordan Parra (ACG), Cesar Marte (Work Hard Be Humble Cycling), Danny Summerhill (ACG)

Pro Women: Marlies Mejias Garcia (Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24),

Samantha Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles), Skylar Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles)

Overall Series Results (after 10 races):

Pro Men: Danny Summerhill (ACG), Alfredo Rodriguez (Miami Nights), Dusan Kalaba (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)

Pro Women: Paola Munoz (Miami Nights), Andrea Cyr (Miami Nights), Skylar Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles)

Final Team Results:

Men: ACG, Miami Nights, ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK

Women: L39ION of Los Angeles, Miami Nights, DNA Pro Cycling

Complete results here


USA Cycling Gravel National Championships: Gering, Nebraska

(September 9)Keegan Swenson (Santa Cruz Bicycles/SRAM) and Lauren Stephens (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) took the elite wins at the inaugural USA Cycling Gravel National Championships. Thirty-nine age-group athletes also earned Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the event.

More than 544 athletes competed over 41 categories on four courses: 131.4 miles, 88 miles, 52.6 miles and 24.8 miles. A $60,000 prize purse was equally split between the top-5 Elite men and women, and the top three Elite finishers qualified for the UCI Gravel World Championships.

Age-group race winners also automatically qualified for their respective categories for the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships, which will be held in Veneto, Italy, October 7-8.

Elite Men: Keegan Swenson (Santa Cruz Bicycles/SRAM), Alexey Vermeulen (Jukebox - ENVE), Brennan Wertz (Mosaic Cycles)

Elite Women: Lauren Stephens (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), Alexis Skarda (Santa Cruz Bicycles), Crystal Anthony (Liv Racing Collective)

Race Recap here

Complete results here