Photos: Phil Gale and Emmie Collinge

With a short break in the World Cup series, all disciplines are back in action this weekend in Andorra, and Short Track kicks the party off on a Friday evening. Vallnord in Andorra is high, with the track sitting at about 2000m, so if you have been following pro riders on social media you will have noticed many, but not all, have spent time training or racing at altitude.

The whole Swiss team have had their national camp at St Moritz, which sits at about 1800m, while others have trained in Livigno. Some riders have trained low, but raced at higher altitude. Competing at altitude is difficult due to slower recovery with less oxygen available, and the best approach for preparation is different for each athlete. So - who got it right?

In the women's race, our own Bec McConnell lead the charge, clearly having recovered from the dental surgery she flew home for after Nove Mesto, where she had finished 2nd. But as the race moved on with 8 laps declared, the Swiss took control. From Forchini, to Indergand, Neff and Keller - there were four Swiss riders who could be on the top step, with World Champion Kate Courtney never away from the front of the race.

Keller lead into the final lap, but with a surge over the short and steep wooden flyover it was Jolanda Neff who won, with Keller in 2nd and Courtney 3rd.

 
In the men's race, everyone wondered if Nino Schurter would finally win a short track? With Mathieu van der Poel finally taking a break from racing, after the cyclocross season and his spring classics campaign, the World Cup leaded wasn't present.
 
On the dusty course, the rivalry from the Cannondale Factory Team and Scott-SRAM was present, with Henrique Avancini (who won the short track in Andorra in 2018) at the front for much of the race, to stay out of the dust.
 
Crossing the line in the lead coming into the final lap, his position wouldn't change, and Schurter could not better him. Avancini's team mate Maxime Marotte was 3rd.
 
 
Neff was piloting Trek's unreleased new XC bike. It does have a lower pivot1