27 years - that is the last time an American has won a World Cup Cross Country race. Tinker Juarez was on top of his game and the US was a superpower in the sport they revolutionized. But the last three decades have seen a drought of US men on the World Cup XC podium. In fact, the US was rarely in the vicinity of the Top 10 list that some started to wonder if perhaps the sport was too competitive with all the cycling heritage that existed in Europe. But would today reveal a glimmer of hope, or perhaps a lightning bolt of epic proportions?

The foundation has been built with the NICA high school racing league and programs by USA Cycling. The US Women have certainly enjoyed Success with phenom Kate Courtney's World Cup XC wins and overall title in 2019. But how long til the US Men followed suit?

XCC Short Course race was a preview of the XC Olympic Course fireworks

Men's Race
In the men's race, there was drama on lap one as World Cup leader Mathias Flueckiger punctured, putting him right to the back of the race however, luckily, his 2021 title had already been wrapped up. At the front, Frenchman Victor Koretzky - fresh off his win in the XCC short course event - went to the front on lap two and applied the pressure but he punctured on lap three to dash his win hopes.

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Brazilian Henrique Avancini was the man to close Swiss legend Nino Schurter down and show his strength with Blevins and Italian Luca Braidot staying safely tucked in the wheels, not giving much away. Czech rider Ondrej Cink was next to hit the front with Romanian Vlad Dascalu also moving up but late punctures for Avancini and Schurter wrecked their chances. Blevins was in the lead group but never took the lead or provided any hints of his form on this day. Was the American plotting a coup or was he just hanging on for dear life?

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Avancini followed by Schurter in the boulder segment of the XC course.
Blevins floated comfortably between second and third place for the final two laps. But while he seemed relaxed behind Nino Schurter, it was an uncomfortable feeling as attack after the attack happened in the front. The pace was very high and the top five would get shuffled with regularity. Avancini at one point bobbled and fell in Blevins' path but a dab and a pedal stroke got Blevens past safely.

Most of the last lap transpired too and there were serious questions whether Blevins could pass the mighty Nino Schurter or whether there was enough room in the end to make a move. But in a tight switchback singletrack climb, Blevins unleashed 27 years of US XC racing frustration and let it all hang out in a climbing attack. Nino unhinged quickly and only Dascalu remained a threat. Blevins paused and attacked again in the final steep pitch. There was no challenge and the crowd and the world watching knew that the drought would be over.

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Blevins' blistering speed on the rocky descents reveals that he has all the tools required.

Blevins, 23, said: "This meant absolutely everything. I would be lying if I said I expected anything close to this or even really dreamed of it. There is so much magic in sport. The streak is over." The US Men's XC world cup drought is so significant because not only has the US not won, they haven't even been in contention. No podiums, Few top 10s and rare top 20s have been the norm for the US best.

This win is shocking indeed and hopefully marks a new era in US Men's Racing in the XC World Cup.

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Elite men's Snowshoe result
1. Christopher Blevins USA 1:15.14
2. Vlad Dascalu ROU +0.09
3. Ondrej Cink CZE +0.20
4. Nino Schurter SUI +0.34
5. Luca Braidot ITA +0.39

2021 men's XCO final standings
1. Mathias Flueckiger SUI 1573pts
2. Victor Koretzky FRA 1310
3. Ondrej Cink CZE 1309

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Women's Race

Evie Richards continued her run of scintillating form to double up in Snowshoe and add the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO win to her Friday XCC one as Christopher Blevins lifted the home fans with America's first XCO men's victory since 1994. Here is all you need to know:

New world champion Richards came into the race looking to continue her superb form and she battled early against Rebecca McConnell, Jenny Rissveds, Sina Frei, Jolanda Neff, and Linda Indergand. Australian McConnell upped the pace and pulled clear, splitting the group in the process, however, a front flat saw her enter the pits with Richards taking a lead that she never relinquished.

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Behind the Briton, the battles were fierce with McConnell moving back up to second, riding alone but with pressure from Anne Tauber and Frei who were locked together in third and fourth. Richards barely looked like she had broken a sweat as she enjoyed the final lap acclaim to win by one minute and 31 seconds with McConnell second and Netherlands' Tauber holding off Switzerland's Frei for third.

France's Loana Lecomte did not race in Snowshoe, citing fatigue, but she had done enough already to tie up the 2021 World Cup title with Richards' win seeing her finish a brilliant second overall. Richards, 24, said: "I was quite stressed. It was really hard to hear the splits as the crowd was so noisy. I was just trying to do consistent laps, but also save some until the end."

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Elite women's Snowshoe result
1. Evie Richards GBR 1:14.53
2. Rebecca McConnell AUS +1.31
3. Anne Tauber NED +1.54
4. Sina Frei SUI +2.10
5. Anne Terpstra NED +2.31

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2021 women's XCO final standings
1. Loana Lecomte FRA 1550pts
2. Evie Richards GBR 1310
3. Jenny Rissveds SWE 1275