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[UPDATED] Elite XC Results & Overall Standings from the Nove Mesto XC World Cup 2023

May 15, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
Pauline Ferrand Prevot was in the mix from the get go.

The results are in from dramatic racing in Nove Mesto. Puck Pieterse took her first Elite win at her first Elite race after battling with World Champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Puck Pieterse managed to shut down the gap to the French rider on the final lap and with an attack through the tech zone she was able to secure the lead and take the win by five seconds. Following closely behind 2nd-placed Pauline Ferrand Prevot was Loana Lecomte who came from behind in the early stages of the race to a point in the last lap where it looked like she may have been in contention for the win. Loana would eventually cross the line 3rd, 11 seconds off the pace. In an incredible achievement, Evie Richards fought back from a flat rear tire that destroyed her chance at securing the win to end the day with an impressive fourth place.

In her post-race broadcast interview, Puck Pieterse said: "I don't know what happened, I only knew that normally my start is really good but we were going so fast that I thought I totally blew myself up but it looked like the others did too. Then Pauline and I were going in front of each other and I think after a few laps Evie had a flat or something and then I was suddenly racing for the front and I didn't know what to do. I just try to keep calm and it worked out."

With rain making the course even more challenging for the Elite Men all eyes were on Friday's XCC winner Tom Pidcock and whether he could secure a third consecutive win at Nove Mesto. Despite joining the front of the race in the first lap and looking like it would be an easy ride Joshua Dubau would make sure that a win was not a guarantee for the Olympic champion. A mid-race crash would make things even harder for Tom Pidcock but battered and bruised he fought back and managed to get into a position where an attack on the last lap would create a gap big enough to stay ahead into the finish and secure the win. Joshua Dubau fought hard but he will be more than happy with a 2nd place, just five seconds back. Nino Schurter couldn't get his 34th win this weekend but with a third place he will have picked up some important series points.

After the race, Tom Pidcock said in a broadcast interview: "Today was a hard race honestly. The conditions were super tricky, we haven't ridden at all in the rain. So yeah it was tricky, I think my tires were a bit hard and I was struggling a bit on the roots. But yeah it is nice to win in the end."

The riders will now have a few weeks to wait until the series picks up again in Lenzerheide.

Check out the full results and updates from the racing as it happened below.


Elite Women:

1st. Puck Pieterse: 1:23:01
2nd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +5
3rd. Loana Lecomte: +11
4th. Evie Richards: +16
5th. Alessandra Keller: +38

Elite Men:

1st. Tom Pidcock: 1:22:46
2nd. Joshua Dubau: +5
3rd. Nino Schurter: +23
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +23
5th. Thomas Griot: +48

The Elite Men's Race as it Happened

6:00 am PDT: The Elite Men's Race is Now Underway
The Elites Men sprint off the line as they face some tricky conditions as it is raining in Nove Mesto. The rain isn't heavy enough to really change the course too much but it may make things extra slippy on the many roots spread out across the lap.

6:02 am PDT: Luca Schwarzbauer Leads the Start Loop
After Tom Pidcock has a slower start than he may have wanted it is the German rider leading the race after he secured 3rd in Friday's XCC.

6:08 am PDT: Top Five After the Start Loop
1st. Luca Schwarzbauer: 7:15
2nd. Sam Gaze: +7
3rd. Nino Schurter: +8
4th. Tom Pidcock: +8
5th. Titouan Carod: +8

6:09 am PDT: A Big Mistake for Sam Gaze
It appears that Sam Gaze may have made a mistake causing a blockage on the track. Only Nino Schurter seems to have avoided it as he is still right on Luca Schwarzbauer's wheel.

6:14 am PDT: Joshua Dubau and Nino Schurter Catch Luca Schwarzbauer
The chasing pair of Joshua Dubau and Nino Schurter have closed the gap to Luca Schwarzbauer as the group now sit 10 seconds ahead of Tom Pidock in 3rd.

6:17 am PDT: Tom Pidcock, Sam Gaze and Mathias Flückiger Have Joined the Leaders
The race is closing back up again after a very quick start loop. As we reach the conclusion of the first full lap we now have a group of six riders all very close at the front.

6:19 am PDT: Top Five After the First Lap
1st. Tom Pidcock: 18:13
2nd. Nino Schurter: +0
3rd. Luca Schwarzbauer: +0
4th. Joshua Dubau: +0
5th. Mathias Flückiger: +0

6:20 am PDT: The Leading Group Grows to 8 Riders
As we start the second full lap the race continues to come back together as we now have a large pack of eight riders setting the pace.

6:21 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Launches an Attack
Tom Pidcock seems to have had enough of the slowing pace as he goes into the lead.

6:22 am PDT: Riders are Struggling in the Wet
The wet rocks on the Shimano Expert Climb are causing some difficulties for the top riders as we see Nino Schurter take a small fall.
Screenshot: WBD. Sports Broadcast

6:26 am PDT: Luca Schwarzbauer, Nino Schurter and Mathias Flückiger Form a Chasing Group
Luca Schwarzbauer, Nino Schurter and Mathias Flückiger are hunting down the leading two riders after they broke away following the carnage on the Shimano Expert Climb.

6:29 am PDT: Top Five After the Second Lap
1st. Tom Pidcock: 28:43
2nd. Joshua Dubau: +0
3rd. Nino Schurter: +15
4th. Luca Schwarzbauer: +15
5th. Mathias Flückiger: +20

6:32 am PDT: Tom Pidcock has Split from Joshua Dubau on the First Climb
Tom Pidcock seems to be pushing hard and has managed to find four seconds against 2nd-placed Joshua Dubau.

6:35 am PDT: Joshua Dubau Closes the Gap Again
Joshua Dubau is putting down an impressive performance today as he has once again caught Tom Pidcock.

6:40 am PDT: Top Five After the Third Lap
1st. Tom Pidcock: 39:17
2nd. Joshua Dubau: +3
3rd. Nino Schurter: +30
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +30
5th. Luca Schwarzbauer: +30

6:41 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Stalls on the Expert Climb
The leader of the race is off his bike as he slips out on the wet rocks. Joshua Dubau cleans the climb and is right back on the Olympic champion's rear wheel.
Screenshot: WBD. Sports Broadcast

6:46 am PDT: Nino Schurter and Jordan Sarrou are Closing in on the Leaders
After starting the lap 30 seconds back the gap back to Nino Schurter and Jordan Sarrou has shrunk to 25 seconds at the midpoint of lap four.

6:48 am PDT: A Massive Crash for Tom Pidcock
Joshua Dubau goes into the lead as Tom Pidcock slides out in the woods. The gap is already sitting at 10 seconds.
Screenshot: WBD. Sports Broadcast

6:50 am PDT: Top Five After the Fourth Lap
1st. Joshua Dubau: 50:13
2nd. Tom Pidcock: +13
3rd. Nino Schurter: +23
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +25
5th. Luca Schwarzbauer: +42

6:56 am PDT: The Gap is Not Closing Quickly Between Joshua Dubau and Tom Pidcock
So far it does not look like Tom Pidcock can close the gap to the leader as it is sticking around 11 seconds. Tom Pidcock will have to watch out as Nino Schurter will now be in sight and chasing him down from behind.

7:01 am PDT: Top Five After the Fifth Lap
1st. Joshua Dubau: 1:01:06
2nd. Tom Pidcock: +4
3rd. Nino Schurter: +24
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +24
5th. Thomas Griot: +37

7:03 am PDT: Tom Pidcock has Caught Joshua Dubau
A battered and bruised Tom Pidcock has managed to bridge the gap to Joshua Dubau as there are just two laps remaining.

7:05 am PDT: The Pace is Slowing Down
The chasing pair of Jordan Sarrou and Nino Schurter seem to be closing in slightly as Tom Pidcock struggles again on the Shimano Expert Climb.

7:09 am PDT: Joshua Dubau is Really Pushing Hard Now
Joshua Dubau has upped the pace as they head into the second part of the lap but Tom Pidcock is holding his wheel so far.

7:12 am PDT: Top Five Heading Into the Final Lap
1st. Joshua Dubau: 1:12:01
2nd. Tom Pidcock: +1
3rd. Nino Schurter: +21
4th. Jordan Sarrou: +21
5th. Thomas Griot: +28

7:17 am PDT: What a Ride from Joshua Dubau
No matter what happens in the second half of this final lap Joshua Dubau has laid down an incredible performance today as he denies Tom Pidcock an easy ride.

7:19 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Launches his Attack
Tom Pidcock goes hard on the pedals in an effort to lead into the next downhill but Joshua Dubau will not be dropped easily.

7:21 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Goes Hard on the Pro Climb
Tom Pidcock has finally created a gap but at only four seconds it could still be closed. But any gap this close to the end is a real danger when it is Tom Pidcock you have to chase down.

7:23 am PDT: Tom Pidcock Takes a Third Consecutive Win at Nove Mesto
After an incredibly tough race for Tom Pidcock he secures another win at Nove Mesto.
Screenshot: WBD. Sports Broadcast

The Elite Women's Race as it Happened

2:30 am PDT: The Elite Women are Off
The Elites are off the line with Puck Pieterse leading into a shortened start loop before six full laps.

2:35 am PDT: Evie Richards & Haley Batten Lead the Start Loop
Evie Richards & Haley Batten take control of the pace as riders head around the start loop. They will be hoping to break the big group up before starting the first full lap of the course.

2:37 am PDT: Haley Batten Builds a 5-Second Gap
Haley Batten takes advantage of her lead into the first singletrack downhill as she gaps Evie Richards and the chasing group by five seconds.

2:39 am PDT: Top Five After the Start Loop
1st. Haley Batten
2nd. Evie Richards: +4
3rd. Rebecca Henderson: +4
4th. Sina Frei: +4
5th. Martina Berta: +5

2:46 am PDT: Evie Richards Now Leads After a Mid-Climb Attack
Evie Richards has gone into the front of the race after a big effort with Haley Batten and Sina Frei close behind. The pace will need to stay high as Puck Pieterse, Loana Lecomte and Pauline Ferrand Prevot are making their way through the chasing group after a slower start to the race.

2:51 am PDT: Top Five After the First Lap
1st. Evie Richards: 20:29
2nd. Puck Pieterse: +14
3rd. Haley Batten: +15
4th. Sina Frei: +15
5th. Martina Berta: +15

2:55 am PDT: Evie Richards is Keeping the Pace High & Making Big Gaps
After just one full lap Evie Richards has already created some huge gaps as Kate Courtney in 14th is the last rider within a minute of the current race leader.

2:57 am PDT: Puck Pieterse is the Only Rider Matching the Leader's Pace
After crossing the line 14 seconds back Puck Pieterse is the only rider to keep this gap equal as she makes her way up the steep Whoop climb. The rest of the chasing group are now led by Sina Frei in third who has dropped to 22 seconds behind Evie Richards.

3:00 am PDT: Sina Frei has a Technical Issue
Sina Frei has pulled into the tech zone but after a quick stop, she is back in the race. Despite the stop being short she has dropped by to 9th place, 33 seconds back.

3:01 am PDT: Big Moves from Loana Lecomte
After falling back to around 10th position in the early stages of the race so far Loana Lecomte seems to be pushing hard as she is now in 6th and only 26 seconds off the pace.

3:01 am PDT: Top Five After the Second Lap
1st. Evie Richards: 32:47
2nd. Puck Pieterse: +10
3rd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +12
4th. Martina Berta: +32
5th. Haley Batten: +32

3:06 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot Takes the 2nd Place Position
Pauline Ferrand Prevot has overtaken Puck Pieterse as the two riders try and chase down Evie Richards. Alessandra Keller is now heading up the following chasing group although they are still around 30 seconds off the pace.

3:11 am PDT: Disaster for Evie Richards with a Rear Flat Tire
Luckily she is close to the tech zone but this will cost her the advantage she had built so far.

3:13 am PDT: Evie Richards has Slipped Back to 6th After a Flat Tire
It is now Puck Pieterse and Pauline Ferrand Prevot who lead with Loana Lecomte back in third, 10 seconds off the leading riders' pace. Evie has made her way back to 6th so far but she still has more work to do.
Screenshot: WBD. Sports Broadcast

3:16 am PDT: Top Five After the Third Lap
1st. Puck Pieterse: 45:27
2nd. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: +1
3rd. Loana Lecomte: +10
4th. Rebecca Henderson: +15
5th. Alessandra Keller: +20

3:19 am PDT: Puck Pieterse has Ridden Away from Pauline Ferrand Prevot
After passing Pauline Ferrand Prevot on a climb Puck Pieterse has managed to pull five seconds ahead of the World Champion to take the race lead on the fourth full lap.

3:21 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot has already Closed the Gap
Heading up the incredibly steep Whoop climb Pauline Ferrand Prevot has already shut down the gap created by Puck Pieterse. Loana Lecomte is also keeping matched to the leaders as the gap remains at 10 seconds.

3:28 am PDT: Top Five After the Fourth Lap
1st. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: 57:57
2nd. Puck Pieterse: +2
3rd. Loana Lecomte: +17
4th. Alessandra Keller: +27
5th. Rebecca Henderson: +27

3:30 am PDT: The Race Pace Remains High
As we cross into the final stages of the race the speed of the leaders remains high as it is only the top nine riders who are within a minute of Pauline Ferrand Prevot.

3:31 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot Looks to be Pulling Away
Pauline Ferrand Prevot is starting to attack at the front with the gap to second-placed Puck Pieterse building to seven seconds. Puck Pieterse isn't letting her get away though and is also pushing hard to catch the World Champion.

3:36 am PDT: Puck Pieterse is Closing Back in on Pauline Ferrand Prevot
After the gap extended to around 10 seconds Puck Pieterse is pushing hard again to close this down to just five seconds. Ideally, Puck Pieterse will want this closed soon as they make their way around to start the final lap.

3:38 am PDT: Evie Richards has Joined the Chasing Group
Evie Richards has fought hard after her mechanical and is now on the rear wheel of the chasing group featuring Alessandra Keller and Anne Terpstra. These riders are currently fighting for 4th, 5th and 6th place.

3:41 am PDT: Top Five Going into the Final Lap
1st. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: 1:10:29
2nd. Puck Pieterse: +7
3rd. Loana Lecomte: +19
4th. Evie Richards: +37
5th. Alessandra Keller: +37

3:45 am PDT: Puck Pieterse has Caught Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Pauline Ferrand Prevot has let Puck Pieterse catch her at the front as they make their way around the final lap. Loana Lecomte has also massively closed the gap down from 19 to just seven seconds. We could be in for a three-way sprint finish.

3:49 am PDT: Pauline Ferrand Prevot Can't Build a New Gap
Puck Pieterse is right on the World Champions rear wheel despite the best efforts of Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Loana Lecomte is also setting her sights on the lead as she is now just five seconds back. Evie Richards has nearly done the impossible as she is back to only 15 seconds off the pace, a 20 seconds reduction from the start of the lap.

3:50 am PDT: A Huge Attack from Puck Pieterse
Puck Pieterse has launched a huge attack on the fireroad and builds a small gap into the Cannondale BMX section.

3:53 am PDT: Puck Pieterse Wins in Nove Mesto
After a dramatic battle with the World Champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Puck Pieterse takes her first Elite win after an early move up from the U23 racing.
Screenshot: WBD. Sports Broadcast

Full Results:

Elite Women:


Elite Men:


Overall Standings:

Elite Women:


Elite Women's Teams:


Elite Men:


Elite Men's Teams:


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,319 articles
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  • 76 12
 Shimano mechanics popping champagne for winning the women's and men's elite with XTR, and beating SRAM's new transmission.
  • 26 17
 who would've thought riders still have to pedal themselves?
  • 36 14
 Shimano is simply better
  • 7 0
 Were there issues with the new SRAM drivetrain that you know of? Evie Richards had issues with both rear tire as well as shifting, didn't she? But I didn't see what brand she was on. Both SRAM as well as Shimano now have drivetrains which allow you to shift under load which I can imagine is a major advantage in XC. But if they both have that then I suppose no one has an advantage. Unless one is less reliable than the other of course.
  • 37 5
 Shifting doesn’t win races, the racers do
  • 10 0
 Is Pidcock still on Suntour suspension? Because shutting out both Rockshox and Fox in first and second in favor of Suntour and Manitou would be even better.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: Evie is on the new transmission, from what i saw the mechanic forpot to take the rear derailleur out of service mode, so evie coulnd't shift, but she fixed it herself.

@sspiff: Pidcock is indeed on SR Suntour suspension, but if i remember correct they didn't choose it from free will. I think one of the sponsor they already had owns a part of SR Suntour, and that's why they picked it.
  • 8 8
 @hi-dr-nick: Sure, they do, but it's very pleasing when somone wins on mechanical Shimano shifting that was released 5 years ago, rather than the new overpriced Sram "transmission", which also cost 3 times more
  • 11 2
 I love this for the simple fact, that no matter what the industry is shoving at us with digital, electric, wireless, battery operated, smartphone connected, super new hanger stuff, it clearly gives you NO MEASURABLE ADVANTAGE at all.
  • 4 1
 @IluvRIDING: but you can stand on it! It's what all the cool kids do...
  • 8 0
 5th place in the U23 Mens XCO was riding a '22 model Giant Anthem Advanced, that not only has had a full 18mths riding/racing now... has also had the live valve suspension taken off and replaced by regular suspension... and was "only" running XT drivetrain (mechanical).
  • 1 0
 @laupe: with that logic Suntour would be better then Fox / RockShox . Is it ? I am not sure but who knows.
  • 3 3
 @northboy: I've made several comments, so not sure which one you are referring to, but i'm going to assume you mean the one where i said "Shimano is simply better" :

I'm not saying Shimano is better because the races where won on it, i'm saying shimano is generally better
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: Yep, he is on a Suntour fork and shock with eletronics on. There is a brand new article on bike rumour about it.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Evie is on Trek/Sram team.
  • 2 0
 @northboy: When they are within 10% of the performance (of the product), up or down, and have a way lower price point, with no creaking crowns, I'd consider it a win.
  • 2 0
 @laupe: I think SRAM and Shimano in most cases are pretty similar in terms of operation. I have a bike with XT 12sp, Deore/SLX 12sp, and GX AXS and they all feel great. The fact is, and I am sure you know this, these racers could likely win on any bike that shows up at a race.
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: Isn't it true that the Shimano 12sp stuff allows you to shift under load whereas with SRAM you could only do that with their latest stuff? I can imagine this is an option that's going to help any XC racer on those tough climbs where the races are won or lost. Though again, most of them will already be on one of these so it wouldn't really matter anymore. As with the new SRAM, it is the cassette which times the actual shift, maybe you have more command over that so that might help with their tactics too, especially if you want to surprise everyone and sprint away on a climb. That's my thinking, I haven't ridden any of that stuff. Both systems will work but I can imagine one system might suit one rider better than the other.
  • 2 0
 @laupe: Not only did Evie's mechanics not take her rear derailleur out of service mode, but they also looked like they had never practiced changing a wheel in a race scenario. It took a few seconds for the mechanic to start taking her wheel off, and at first, it was just one guy working on the bike, then finally another guy came over to hold the bike for the guy changed the wheel. They could have done better with a little practice IMO.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I have shifted under load with SRAM drivetrains for years, both 10,11, and 12sp. It is true AXS shifts under load really well as does Shimano 12sp, but they all do it.
  • 2 1
 @laupe: you are a god damn broken record. Yes, we all know shimano is generally better. We get it, you don’t like SRAM and you think the new transmission is over priced. Get over it haha
  • 40 1
 I was disappointed to learn last season that UCI XCO was leaving Redbull TV and moving to Eurosport. Having watched the races this weekend I was quite happy with the coverage. The visuals are if anything even better! My biggest concern was if I couldn't catch the events live, there wouldn't be replays throughout the week. Not the case, much like their road race coverage, replays will be available! :-)
  • 8 2
 The camera angles were really impressive. That chase footage on the last lap must have taken a lot of coordination.
  • 12 27
flag deaner2 (May 14, 2023 at 15:07) (Below Threshold)
 Man that commentary sucks without Warner though. Rough to make it through both races
  • 15 1
 @deaner2: Rob’s excitement cannot be replicated or replaced. Good to still have the knowledge and insight of Bart, but I missed the duo.
  • 24 6
 @deaner2: The commentary was just as good as it was with Rob Warner, in my opinion... They stuck to the facts and did a great job.
  • 2 0
 For a person with a Roku i can't watch it
  • 4 1
 Yeah I was very sceptical that the coverage would match Redbulls.. but happy to be wrong! I only watched the YouTube highlights package and that did the job of whetting my appetite for the full thing.
  • 3 1
 Yes I thought the coverage and the commentary were pretty good (on par with redbull). I'm also quite surprised that Cedric Gracia's interventions were quite useful and interesting (tire and suspension setup for example).
  • 9 0
 I thought it was great. Commentary was also fine. Not sure aboutr Cedric though. My only gripe is that they didnt keep the leaderboard going at every lap to see where racers are down the field. They kind of stopped at position 10 or so
  • 1 1
 The only thing I found missing was the U23 women’s race. Did they not broadcast this?
  • 1 0
 @Telebikes: women's and men's u23 races were streamed live on the UCI YouTube channel, I watched both.
  • 1 0
 @DrMaturin: That's good to know. Seems strange to pay for GCN+ and have them not cover the women's U23 but do the men's U23. Kinda weak
  • 1 0
 @Telebikes: the u23 races are streamed as free on UCI YouTube. I watched both at ~1 hr:40' each.
The elite races are pay to view
  • 1 0
 @DrMaturin: That's great and I did know that, but why would GCN+ show the U23 men's and not the U23 women's? Why should we have to go to multiple places to watch especially since we have to pay for coverage on GCN+. seems like a fail to me and a disrespect to the U23 women's. It should be there.
  • 35 1
 Great to see team Rockrider at the front of overpriced big brands. Also perfect coverage by Eurosport / GCN, congrats!
  • 1 1
 Is the team riding the same bikes you and I can buy, or are they doing what Huffy did with their BMX teams back in the day? Good bike for the team; heavy, low-grade steel for the K-Mart shopper?
  • 9 0
 @TheR: I believe they are on a new full suspension bike that will be commercially available next year
  • 30 0
 Also impressive that you can podium without running your cables through the headset
  • 2 0
 @nowthatsdoomage: Hahaha who would've thought ?? ^^

*All the brands promoting tourist cables for marginal racing gains currently flipping their table*
  • 5 0
 @TheR: If you want to see details of the bike (in french but the photos speak for themselves): www.vojomag.com/news/nouveautes-2023-rockrider-940s-le-proto-du-rockrider-racing-team-devoile
  • 1 0
 @Whipperman: Nice! Where can I buy it?
  • 31 0
 Wow, this Joshua Dubau guy. Small team, few noteworthy results in past years, not named in the who-will-win poll. Impressive performance today.
  • 9 0
 Agreed... though he is known in cx and usually finishes top 20 with a few notable top 10s... former French National cx champ at least once. Though Bart & co. also had no idea who he was. They suggested that Pidcock would not know him but they have raced against each other many times.
  • 3 0
 @rdileo: Yeah, Top 15 in last years CX Worlds, behind Pidcock....And had a 9th in Namur, which is as close to a XCO track that CX Is.
  • 7 0
 His father, Ludovic Dubau, was a pretty good MTBiker too
  • 18 0
 @granjak: actually Ludovic was commenting in the french language broadcast. Props for him for staying neutral all race. Finnish was emotional as he was trying to keep talking about other riders sprinting to the line but was obviously crying and losing his voice.
  • 5 0
 @opignonlibre: I remember very well Ludovic Dubau racing for the mighty Sunn team in the mid -nineties.
If I had to comment on a world cup race and my kid was in front I couldn't even speak,I would by crying all the time.
Great race!
  • 7 0
 This Rockrider-Ford team is actually pretty big with two huge sponsors (Rockrider is the mtb brand of Decathlon). There wasn't any coverage of this new team on Pinkbike but it was well documented in France. The bike looks amazing.
  • 23 1
 What the Puck?
  • 51 1
 Back home to The Netherlands: Puck to Flat
  • 2 1
 Puck yeah!
  • 20 0
 I feel terrible for Evie. That rear change was absolutely atrocious. It took at least 30 seconds longer than it needed to.
  • 15 0
 Yeah, huge bummer yet also impressive how professionally she took it. Did you see her interview afterwards? She seems like such a great character, all smiles. Just like Loana by the way. Being a fast rider is one thing. But to be positive and robust is at least as important.
  • 2 0
 Yes I was surprised by how slow the rear wheel change was. Looks like the mechanic was quite used to the new Sram mechs.
  • 15 0
 Pedanticism alert Re: Pidcock's "third back-to-back win" in the opening paragraphs of this article. This is incorrect. Pidcock has won at Nove Mesto 3 times in a row. Last year (his second win) was his first back-to-back win. Today is his *second* back-to-back win, not his third.
  • 11 0
 Good point, I have changed the article to say it's his third consecutive win at Nove Mesto.
  • 20 1
 World class pedantry, well played sir!
  • 10 0
 Every year there seems to be a woman coming out of u23 that is immediately at the top end of the elites with potential to podium and win. Kate did it, loana, now puck etc. How come? Seems like we never see that with men and it takes them a few years to establish themselves.
  • 8 1
 Thinking of it, it happens in DH but only in the womens field too iirc. Maybe because that limit of 23 years old is across both sexes but women typically develop quicker than men. Both physically as well as mentally (and the prefrontal cortex in the brain). So maybe men of 22 or 23 years old still are no match for the older blokes but the 22 and 23 year old women are already right up there. That said, Puck appeared fitter and stronger through the final stages but Pauline still clearly had the edge in riding technique, being able to maintain a better line where Puck did swerve occasionally.
  • 3 0
 I think Vali followed this arc. She definitely could win straight out of juniors.
  • 11 2
 Goldstone enters
  • 2 0
 @vinay: yep, also the gear available to groms, kids and juniors gets better every year and more parents are able and willingness to buy these
  • 2 4
 It's a good question.

Are testing protocals, or frequence ANY different for u23 women compared to the Elite women? Yeah, I know that casts aspersions, but the fact of the matter is we are talking cycling AND elite/professional athletes.
Does this happen in women's distance running or track events (peak at age 23)?
  • 2 0
 I would have expected last year's top U23 Line Burquier to do the best, but got a Top20.... And in the men's, the top U23, Vidaurre finished behind Avondetto, the U23 World Champion.
  • 4 0
 field is bigger and deeper in the men, race is longer as well.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: Let's not forget Jackson Goldstone.
  • 10 0
 Pidcock is only 23 and was the U23 world champ in XCO before going pro early.
  • 6 0
 @suspended-flesh: @oldfaith: Whilst forgetting Jordan Williams
  • 4 0
 @suspended-flesh: Yeah see, I knew knew I'd be off when I say something hasn't happen. I'm a pretty useless history book. Goldstone is a bad example though. He turned pro right when he got his balance bike. He's a veteran now.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Fair play - as @commental: mentioned, Jordan is probably a better example.
  • 2 1
 @suspended-flesh: Really looking forward to the 2 of them going head to head this year.
  • 1 0
 @sonuvagun: There is lots of testing in U23s. I know one and they have lost count of how many times they've been tested (came up in a conversation about dehydration from racing - Australia being quite hot sometimes).
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: fair enough, but my question was if there is/are any difference(s) i.e. differences in how testing is done or what is/isn't tolerated.
  • 3 0
 @sonuvagun: Oh, I see. Interesting thought. I highly doubt that U23 have a different testing regime for three reasons: 1. the testers get numbered vials so they shouldn't know anything about the individual, including age/age category. 2. the WADA list of banned substances doesn't specify that some substances are prohibited in certain age groups but not others whereas, say, they do specify that some substances are banned from some sports but not others e.g. beta blockers are banned in concentration sports like archery and motor racing, which means they are not disallowed in running (my reading of it). 3. U23 is supposed to prepare juniors for elite, so if I was Lord Commander of cycling I'd make sure they were treated just as strictly for educational purposes. I'd say no. 2 carries the most weight and would be the correct answer.

I do know that junior riders have maximum gear sizes for road and track. That's the only thing I can think of where age is factored in to some sort of limitation in cycling.

Happy to be corrected on any of this.
  • 3 0
 @sonuvagun: Puck has been at the front in CX this past season, and was a strong contender the year before, racing elites and not U23. She has form, in other words. I was surprised that Fem van Empel (Jumbo Visma rider) didn't perform better as she was very strong at the end of the CX season.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: Dude, you are one of the very few people on this site who can just discuss something and keep it objective. Aside from that, thank you for taking the time to put that into writing-very informative. So it sounds like it's less likely not a pharmaceutical loophole being exploited.

I'd be curious to know how much faster these women are racing in their first elite season compared to their last U23 season. An objective way to measure progress, one could take a first-year elite rider in a winning race and compare it to her performance on the same course in her previous U23 season. How much progress is happening on average for female riders making the jump from U23 to Elite? At the very least, from a physiological perspective it should be interesting.
  • 1 0
 Pidcock did it. He’s 23
  • 1 0
You are correct that there was a maximum gear size for juniors, but it has now been removed. Riders of any age can use size what they want
  • 2 0
 @handynzl: Fem won the CX worlds but Puck could have taken it too if she didn't make a mistake (so now she has silver). Mind you again, these are both riders born in 2002, competing at the very top end of the elite field of both CX and XC. I think finishing 17th on your first elite race at that age is still impressive. It is just that Puck is taken all the attention now. But yeah, they're both really strong though maybe Puck is a bit more technical which helps on this track. I was expecting Ceylin to finish higher though, not sure what happened there. But 17th on your first elite race when you're that young, that's just still very good.
  • 1 0
 @Wyndbrook: Oh. In Australia there's still a rollout limit. Checking now, goes to 19 years. I guess how I wrote the above sounds like rollout was applied to U23, but I was just trying to find an example of an age-based difference in rules.
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: Let's not forget Puck also got a Top 5 finish at Strade Bianchi this year (after Faulkner was DQ'd)....sandwiched right between van Vlueten and Niewiadoma. Puck has a proven massive engine!
  • 10 0
 The writing was on the wall really for Joshua Dubau. He was crazy fast when he competed in the Bike The Rock MTB festival in Heubach a couple of weeks ago. A couple of Top 20 pro XC racers competed in that race and Dubau won with a massive 10 second lead over Pierre de Froidmont and a 40 second lead over Luca Schwarzbauer. Also not at all surprising that Tom Pidcock won regardless.
  • 10 0
 Great coverage GCN+ but as expressed by other commentaries I missed the leaderboard going at every lap to see where racers are down the field. They kind of stopped at position 10 or so. For example I had no glue how Jolanta Neff is going and the same applies to many other great riders. I hope they will fix this and we will leaderboard of all riders at each lap like RedBull use to share. Other then that I loved to watch the event.
  • 3 0
 Same thing at the split timing points along the course, I miss that info. Also they seemed to use handheld or drone cameras a lot more and fixed cameras less, which is sometimes great but also makes it harder to tell how far behind chasing riders are.
  • 2 0
 Not just out on course during the race, but also the finish too. RedBullTV would leave the finish camera up along with the results board for a few minutes after the leaders crossed so we could figure out where everyone finished in real-time...now that's gone.
  • 13 1
 I am really confident with my Fantasy XC picks....
  • 9 0
 one of the exciting things about watching the race weekends was picking my fantasy team and seeing how they did, sucks it's gone Frown
  • 1 0
 @rad-but-also-sad: be the change you want to see
  • 4 2
 @brianpark: any chance we'll get Fantasy back for dh, enduro, and/or xc? It was so much fun. Don't even need good prizes or any at all, just let us play lol.
  • 2 0
 @rad-but-also-sad: But now your picks must be really happy as they know now they have a chance of performing well during their races ! hahaha
  • 2 0
 @Aksel31: I was gonna win the bike this year though Frown
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: Zero chance, because even after last year when people asked to play without prizes and just for bragging rights, they still said no...
  • 4 0
 Gutted for Evie - she seemed back on form and extremely strong after her back problems the last couple of years. She was lucky that the flat occurred just before the tech zone but unlucky that the rear wheel change seemed to take forever. She was up by almost 20 seconds before that happened, then was down by 30 seconds after. So she lost almost a minute overall. She still finished only 16 seconds down so that was seriously impressive. I feel like she had a good chance to win but sometimes you're just unlucky. Love her attitude!!
  • 4 0
 Downvote me if you wish, but I don't enjoy listening to Pidcock's interviews after a win. Every other racer is always gracious to win, commends their competitors for a good race, hopeful for the next race, etc. Pidcock just mutters on about himself, as if he bothered to wake up in the morning and show up at a bike race.
  • 6 0
 Won by the dutch PP. I don’t mind if she wins a couple more races this year.
  • 5 0
 Hot damn Puck, that's so impressive winning an elite race at this age.
  • 3 0
 Hot take: the men's elite riders seemed hampered by their tires. I know putting down race wattage on wet rocks will inevitably lead to slip-outs, but the rate of top competitors crashing here seemed almost laughable. I'm not an XC guy, so someone please inform me if there's anyone running knobbier Maxxgrips out there, or what the reasoning is not to if conditions are as ugly as this.
  • 21 0
 The reality is knobs don't do much on wet rocks and roots. Also more errors are made when your heartrate is through the roof.
  • 4 0
 The claims are crazy steep, and wet too. You know it's hard when they display Ninovs speed and it is around 5kmh. Not much margin with any tire on those gradients. The riders are tired and powerful and picking weird lines to avoid competitors.
On wet, smooth surfaces, compound is everything and knobs only reduce grip.
They usually run super low pressures for more grip (1.1 bar is not uncommon) but because of the rock gardens they increased it a bit to avoid flats.
  • 3 0
 realistically these races are won on climbs, so the teams are always going to prefer a light, fast rolling tire. It's definitely a tradeoff as you saw with some of the crashes, but the penalty of running a more capable tire for the downhill sections would be massive for the majority of the race. Different tread patterns wouldn't have done much at this race, but Pidcock did say he felt his tire pressure was too high.
  • 3 0
 USA women didn't crack the top 10 but they have so many good riders now than I'm sure we'll have a few podiums this year. But on the mens side all we have is christopher blevins. Are there no other top American men that can ride at the world cup level?
  • 5 0
 Riley Bjorn got 3rd in U23 STXC. He’ll make a splash in the elite men’s field. I think he’s beaten Blevins a few times this last year.
  • 3 1
 Chris Ballz batting 1.000, I’m prepping the condiments to eat my SPD sandal…

This whole thing was superior to Red Bull’s coverage. In almost every way. Cameras direction hosts man-on-the-street and commentary. There seems to have been a call to mention more bike tech / brands, that was my favorite part. Ric McMacLynn is way more charismatic live than when he’s reading a recap script—that crewneck sweatshirt he wore to the launch announcement was a huge mistake haha he’s good!

Of course, they’re only covering the same xc racing as last year, they haven’t made any changes to the format…so we’ll have to see how DH goes…if anything, it’ll look really good as it flames out.

Deep breath and surreptitious fist bump, ESO…keep it up.
  • 4 3
 I follow CX in the winter and after having to listen to the announcer of those race mispronounce Puck Pietersé's last name all winter it looks like it's going to be that way all summer even though Bart if pronouncing it correctly...... and the new announcer guy seems to want to throw in a bunch of quips ala Rob that don't always hit the mark. They need to work on their production a bit also. Several shots of back action and the ground that had no place in the coverage.
  • 4 1
 I feel for the guy who came all the way from Mexico and got lapped six times.
  • 3 0
 Nobody gets lapped 6 times. There is an "80% rule" in which if you aren't going 80% of the leader's pace the officials pull you, to avoid creating problems for the leaders later in the race trying to pass slow traffic. It's not all about riding speed though necessarily. If a rider has a mechanical or a crash but then gets themselves riding again, sometimes they still fall offside of the 80% rule and can get pulled by the officials.
  • 3 1
 @Ginsu2000: Thanks for the clarification. So he got lapped a few times after he got pulled, I suppose. Still a bummer to come all the way from Mexico and ride so little.
  • 4 0
 I think I saw him getting passed by the leaders. He seemed to be struggling, like a tourist that accidentally ended up on the course (never mind that this guy can probably run circles around me)
  • 3 0
 The listing is results refers to how many laps were remaining when the rider was pulled off course by commissaires. So -4 laps, means when they were pulled, there was 4 to go. etc...

The 80% is calculated as 80% of the leaders time for first full lap. So for example..... if first lap was 10min, then 80% is 8min. So there is always a point in the last couple hundred metres of the lap, where anyone falling 80% or more behind leader is pulled off the course. In this example 8min or more down at that point.

As @Ginsu2000 said; the purpose being to try and keep track clear for leaders so that lapped riders don't cause course congestion
  • 1 0
 It feels like it was yesterday that I read Puck Pieterse was a great talent in cyclocross. Didn't expect to see her winning here.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know how to watch on Discovery +? I’m on the app but for the life of me can’t find anything.
  • 11 1
 It’s been said many times already, in the US the races are only on GCN+, and not Discovery+.
  • 2 0
 Evie still got 4th after flatting and waiting in the pits for a while.
  • 1 0
 Has Pidcock said if he plans to race the entire XC season or will he be off doing roadie things for some of the races?
  • 1 0
 He said not to compete at the next round, and racing worldchampionship and Andorra.
  • 2 0
 @Ignite1974: Thanks, saw something along those lines today. Looks like Nino could still get another championship.
  • 3 2
 No more (free) stream to watch? Or am I just stupid and cant find it.
  • 3 0
 Looks like Eurosport streamed the womens race.
  • 16 5
 GCN+ orr Eurosport Smile it's actually better than redbull more camera on course
  • 8 1
 @MisterJones: The drone footage scares me a bit. I hope they don't crash into anyone or crash on the course and affect the race. That said, everything does look well done and of course I trust that the pilots who are allowed to fly these in the woods near people are well trained and don't take silly risks.
  • 2 0
 There are feeds around. Try and find a roadies site with a Giro d'Italia feed and you'll find a feed to the XCC at the same place... that's a hint right there.
  • 2 1
 @MisterJones: better footage? the exact same company that filmed for redbull, is filming for discovery, so i guess they're just using more cameras...
  • 2 0
 @scantregard: Even when it was on Red Bull TV the footage got better every year... Newer technology, better cameras, viewer input, etc... If it doesn't get better every year then they're doing something wrong!
  • 2 0
 Tom-o! Tom-o!
  • 4 3
 CX girl and roadie on top. Interesting...
  • 1 1
 Puck is a Mountain Biker - she was Euro U23 Champion last year and silver medalist at U23 MTB world Champs in Les Gets, She was Dutch Junior MTB Champion in 2020! Pidcock is more famous for being a CX boy or was.
  • 1 0
 loved the tv production with very creative and spectacular images ...
  • 1 4
 I may be wrong, but it seems to me Pidcock was only one from top riders using oxygen advantage technique (closed mouth), actually giving him oxygen advantage.
  • 1 1
 Just to clarify, I dont mean he is doping, not at all, just using full body potention.
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