Tom Pidcock tackles muddy XCO World Cup finale on Mont-Sainte-Anne – Canadian Cycling Magazine

The rain-drenched Mont-Sainte-Anne cross-country course was the final test at the end of the 2023 World Cup season, posing a challenge for competitors with greasy roots, slippery slabs and muddy madness. Tom Pidcock and Loana Lecomte finished the weekend and season with clean wins, while Nino Schurter and Puck Pieterse won the elite men’s and women’s season titles.

Jenn Jackson led Canada to a career-high World Cup finish, and a resurgent Léandre Bouchard cracked the top 20 in the elite men’s race.

Canadians in Quebec

This season, Canada’s best had the chance to end the 2023 season at home and they took full advantage of it. Jenn Jackson (Liv Factory Racing) achieved her best World Cup result in the elite women’s XCO race, clearing the puddles to finish 12th. Laurie Arseneault (Pittstop Racing) was 24th and Roxane Vermette 44th in the elite women’s category.

Léandre Bouchard (Forresco Holdings ProCo RL Pro Team) led the Canadians in his home province, taking 16th place in the elite men’s race. Gunnar Holmgren (Pivot Cycles-OTE) finished his incredible 2023 season in 21st place in the MSA. His teammate Raphael Auclair finished 27th, Sean Fincham (Berria Vittoria) 46th, Tyler Orschel 52nd and Victor Verreault 54th among the large Canadian contingent racing in MSA.

Canucks under-23 team in Quebec

In under-23 racing, Carter Woods’ season ended on the penultimate lap. The Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider took a hard hit while running in the top five, forcing him to retire from the race. This also dropped Woods from second to third overall, behind Adrien Boichis (Trinity) and Mont-Sainte-Anne winner Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing).

Xavier Roy (28th), Owen Clark (32nd) and Zorak Paille (38th) were the only three Canadians to finish in the lead in the U23 men’s XCO.

Emilly Johnston (Trek Future Racing) finished her year in 12th place in Mont-Sainte-Anne, giving her eighth place overall for the 2023 season. Ella MacPhee finished in the top 20 in 19th place. Marie Fay St.-Onge in 25th, Ophelie Grandmont in 27th, Jocelyn steals in 28th and Lea Bouchard in 29th, all finishing on the leading lap at MSA.

Ronja Blochlinger (Liv Factory Racing) ended her dominant year on the top step of the podium in MSA and at the top of the rankings in 2023. Noëlle Buri (Bixs) and American Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) completed the podium in Quebec, while Sofi Pederson (Willier Pirelli) and world champion Samara Maxwell (Rockrider Ford) flanked Blochlinger on the podium.

Tom Pidcock drove through the mud in Mont-Sainte-Anne without any problems. Photo: Bartek Woliński / Red Bull content pool

Pidcock perfect in the World Cup final

Tom Pidcock (INEOS) ended his summer racing season with a fascinating battle with Swiss star Mathias Flückiger (Thomus Maxon) in Mont-Sainte-Anne. They both left the field to fight for the final victory in 2023. Flückiger collapsed due to a series of punctures, leaving the world champion alone at the front celebrating another victory. The Swiss driver fought back and finished second, 26 seconds behind. Marcel Guerrini (Bixs) was in second place with a time of 1:31.

Marcel Guerrini ends the season with a big third place in MSA. Photo: Bartek Woliński / Red Bull content pool

Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) also had mechanical problems at MSA, finishing 12th. However, this was enough for the sensational Swiss to win his ninth title in the overall World Cup classification. Jordan Sarrou (BMC) was just 40 points behind him with 1,509 points, while Schurter had a total of 1,549. Flückiger was another 10 points behind with 1,499.

Loana Lecomte chases Rissveds and Pieterse through the treacherous rocks of Mont-Sainte-Anne. Photo: Bartek Woliński / Red Bull content pool

Loana Lecomte ends 2023 with a good result

In the elite women’s race, Loana Lecomte (Canyon Cllctv) took first place in the last World Cup in 2023. The French rider defeated 2016 Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis) to claim a very muddy victory in the MSA.

Loana Lecomte celebrates her latest World Cup victory in Quebec. Photo: Bartek Woliński / Red Bull content pool

Apart from Lecomte and Rissveds on the podium, Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was third. Resurgent Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing) in fourth place and Italian Martina Berta (Santa Cruz RockShox) on the extended podium.

Puke Pieterse crosses the MSA River. Photo: Bartek Woliński / Red Bull content pool

Pieterse’s third place was enough to secure the Dutch athlete’s overall elite women’s title, a phenomenal achievement for her first year racing in the elite category. Lecomte is second and Austrian Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory Racing) is third.

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