Riley Amos is on a World Cup tear

Riley Amos' second straight perfect World Cup weekend highlighted even more battle-filled racing

Four starts. Four wins. Riley Amos quite literally could not ask for a better start to World Cup racing. 

After sweeping both men’s U23 short track and Olympic-distance in Mairiporã, Amos repeated the feat in Araxá in similar fashion. At both venues, he simply outlasted and outgrinded his rivals on two very hot, difficult tracks. During Sunday’s XCO, he separated himself on the fifth of seventh laps, putting a three-second gap on Finn Treudler, who had been the only rider to stay with Amos in the early going. He kept the Swiss rider at arm’s length the rest of the way to complete the double.

Riley Amos has won all four of his World Cup starts this season.

“Never had one of these, and now we have all four of them to start,” Amos said after the race, referring to the World Cup leader’s jersey for short track and XCO. “It’s been crazy. Such a different culture [in Brazil], such a different style of racing, but it’s cool to be out of your element a bit and see the world while racing World Cups. So I’m super thankful we got to come here and they did a really good job with this event and taking care of us, and I hope we can be back next year.”

Amos is on a tear. Going back to April 5, he has won five straight races. His streak was kicked off with an elite level win at the U.S. Pro Cup event in Fayetteville, where he edged out Canadian Carter Woods and elite XCO Mairiporã winner Christopher Blevins.

Jolanda Neff gave everything she had in Araxá.

Vlad Dascalu was on a comeback mission Sunday.

Amos’ wins accounted for two of eight top 10 finishes by the Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli XC squad on the weekend.

Jolanda Neff had a standout XCO effort once again. Like a lot of riders, she struggled with the blistering speed and heat of short track racing on Saturday, and had to settle for a 34th place finish that put her near the back of the pack at the start of Sunday’s XCO. But despite being buried in the field on a technically demanding course, she was able to pick her way through the crowd, turning in faster and faster lap times to finish sixth, just off the podium.

“It was really, really hard,” Neff said after the race. “I think if you manage to find a good feeling, it’s great, but today it was just suffering the whole time. I’m still looking for better legs. Hopefully they’ll come back at some point, but I’m glad I could get back to the top 10 today.”

Madigan Munro is on a hot streak of top 10 finishes.

Evie Richards cooling down after Sunday's XCO.

Neff was at her strongest during the second half of the race. On the fifth and seventh of eight laps, she closed 15 seconds total on the leader. Neff had her sights on catching fifth-place Anne Terpstra, but didn’t quite have the gas on the final lap after exhausting herself for the first hour and 15 minutes of racing. 

“Sixth place in the end. Last week was a fifth. So I guess that’s where I am right now,” Neff said. “I still hope for a better feeling, and I’ll keep working and hopefully next time it’s already going to be more fun. The fans were amazing today for sure. That helped [laughs].”

Anton Cooper wearing the evidence of a hard fought battle.

Evie Richards (9th elite women’s XCC, 8th elite women’s XCO) and Madigan Munro (6th U23 women’s XCC and XCO) both finished their trips to Brazil with two top 10 finishes. They both have yet to finish lower than ninth this season, with Richards winning short track in Mairiporã, where Munro took second in short track and fourth in XCO.

Vlad Dascalu finished ninth and Anton Cooper finished 49th in men’s elite XCO to close out the weekend. Like Neff, Dascalu battled back from deep in the field — 28th in short track — to secure a solid result. The margins in the elite men’s field remain razor thin — Dascalu was just 39 seconds out of first — and after some rest and refocus, the Romanian rider will be looking to put himself back in the podium mix.

Riley is in fighting mode.

Next up, some well earned time off after a hard start to the season. The TFR XC gang will hit up Nové Město in the Czech Republic beginning May 24 for another technical test where the likes of Richards (4th XCO in 2023, two XCC wins in 2020), Neff (XCC win and 4th XCO in 2022), Dascalu (4th XCC and 2nd XCO in 2022) and Cooper (4th XCO in 2022) have all had recent success. 

The journey is only just getting started, if you can believe it. We’re definitely not going to forget this Brazilian back-to-back any time soon.

Emilly Johnston after her second podium of the weekend, and third of her trip to Brazil.

Emilly Johnston doubles up on podiums for Trek Future Racing

Trek Future Racing continues to tear up the World Cup circuit. One week after securing five Top 5 finishes in Mairiporã, they took five more in Araxá, led by Emilly Johnston’s two second-place finishes in U23 women’s short track and XCO. She battled hard in both races, coming up just 4 seconds short of double-winner Kira Böhm in short track and 12 seconds short in XCO. In both races, she was the only rider who could keep up with the German rider into the last lap.

“Proud of my consistency these last couple weeks,” Johnston wrote on Instagram after the race. “It’s something I struggled with in the past, so happy with my effort. Kira Böhm and Valentina Corvi were flying today. Love racing with so many strong girls. Love you Brazil.”

Bjorn Riley and Riley Amos have been a dynamic duo this season.

For the second week in a row, Bjorn Riley took second place just behind Amos to form a Trek 1-2 on a World Cup podium. He outsprinted Luke Wiedmann in the men’s U23 short track race to take his second podium of the season, then followed up the performance with fourth place in the XCO event on Saturday.

Giuliana Salveni Morgen was one of the most popular riders at the first two rounds of the World Cup as a Brazilian native. She capped her home course campaign by finishing fifth in U23 women’s short track. 

This development squad is showing proof of concept — combining data-led training with an overall focus on athlete mental and physical wellness — on a world stage. Trek Future Racing’s 2024 season is going to be fascinating to watch.