Photo Epic: Snowshoe XC World Cup 2022

Aug 1, 2022
by Ross Bell  




Where do we begin? What started off as a fairly mellow Sunday morning with dry but albeit overcast conditions quickly turned into one of the most chaotic days of racing we've seen for quite some time. Earlier in the day Noëlle Buri took her debut win in the U23 women after a battle with Luisa Daubermann, home hero Maddie Munro was third. In the men, Martin Vidaurre Kossmann got back to winning ways but had to work hard for it, Bjorn Riley running him close with Mathis Azzaro.

There were some heavy hitters absent from the start list in the elites - names like Schurter, Lecomte, Prevot, Fluckiger, Stigger, Frei, and Sarrou all opting not to race for various reasons. The weather had also wreaked havoc on the track this week in Snowshoe, as a result the longest climb and descent had to be shortened with the lap count increasing to compensate for the trimmed course length. The women's race started off fairly straight forward but towards the middle of the race things really began to heat up as the weather rolled in. Jenny Rissveds and Alessandra Keller managed to break free from Anne Terpstra and went bar to bar as the laps counted down. Going onto the final lap Rissveds fell foul of the conditions, slipping out on a grass corner which allowed Keller to pounce and power onto her first World Cup win. Rissveds would salvage second, Terpstra was third, Mitterwallner fourth and Neff in fifth.

For the men's race things went from bad to worse as the rain continued to fall and the track continued to get muddier and muddier. It would all be about survival. There were many potential winners and it was extremely hard to call even going onto the last lap. The eventual and somewhat surprising winner was David Valero Serrano, he'd steadily climbed his way towards the front of the pack and when push came to shove he was the man with the most left in the tank to break free from Titouan Carod, Luca Braidot, Christopher Blevins and Filippo Colombo.

Those left hungry for more XC action don't have long to wait as we pack up and head north and over the border into Canada, returning to the classic venue of Mont Sainte Anne.


Noelle Buri lining up for what would be her first U23 World Cup win.
Noelle Buri lining up for what would be her first U23 World Cup win.

The U23 Women kick off the racing action in Snowshoe West Virginia.
The U23 Women kick off the racing action in Snowshoe, West Virginia.

A strong ride from Trek s Maddie Munro for third place on home soil.
A strong ride from Trek's Maddie Munro for third place on home soil.

Luisa Daubermann leads Noelle Buri into the descent.
Luisa Daubermann leads Noelle Buri into the descent.

Noelle Buri does her best to break free from Luisa Daubermann.
Noelle Buri does her best to break free from Luisa Daubermann.

A first World Cup win for Noelle Buri.
A first World Cup win for Noelle Buri.

Noelle Buri wins the U23 women in front of Luisa Daubermann and Maddie Munro.
Noelle Buri wins the U23 women in front of Luisa Daubermann and Maddie Munro.

Back to business for Martin Vidaurre.
Back to business for Martin Vidaurre.

The U23 men are off while the ground is still dry.
The U23 men are off while the ground is still dry.

Mathis Azzaro settled into third after a few goes at the front.
Mathis Azzaro settled into third after a few goes at the front.

Big day for Bjorn Riley making the stars and stripes proud with a second place finish.
Big day for Bjorn Riley making the stars and stripes proud with a second-place finish.

The lead group up the far climb. Vidaurre was always in good company throughout the race.
The lead group up the far climb. Vidaurre was always in good company throughout the race.

Challenged to the end Martin Vidaurre takes the win here in Snowshoe.
Challenged to the end, Martin Vidaurre takes the win here in Snowshoe.

Your U23 Men s podium - 1st Martin Vidaurre 2nd Bjorn Riley and 3rd Mathis Azzaro
Your U23 Men's podium - 1st Martin Vidaurre, 2nd Bjorn Riley, and 3rd Mathis Azzaro

The American fans never dissapoint.
The American fans never disappoint.

Kate Courtney warming up for her home World Cup.
Kate Courtney warming up for her home World Cup.

Anne Terpstra and her kit wont be so tidy and white after the first couple laps this afternoon.
Anne Terpstra and her kit won't be so tidy and white after the first couple laps this afternoon.

Alessandra Keller took the XCC win in Andorra but has yet to claim XCO victory. Today s conditions might just be in her favour.
Alessandra Keller took the XCC win in Andorra but has yet to claim XCO victory. Today's conditions might just be in her favour.

Jenny Rissveds has been a consistent threat at the front of the field but hasn t managed to pull off that win in 2022 just yet.
Jenny Rissveds has been a consistent threat at the front of the field but hasn't managed to pull off that win in 2022 just yet.

The elite women start the long sprint through Snowshoe village.
The elite women start the long sprint through Snowshoe village.

A strong start for Jolanda Neff seen her at the front she d end up fifth.
A strong start for Jolanda Neff saw her at the front, she'd end up fifth.

Jenny Rissveds chasing down Terpstra mid race just as the rain really began to fall.
Jenny Rissveds chasing down Terpstra mid-race just as the rain really began to fall.

Huge ride for Savilia Blunk fighting her way up to sixth.
Huge ride for Savilia Blunk fighting her way up to sixth.

The white ceiling lingered all day bringing with it periods of torrential rain.
The white ceiling lingered all day bringing with it periods of torrential rain.

Gwendalyn Gibson chases her fellow countrywomen down the long slippery descent. She d finish a strong eighth.
Gwendalyn Gibson chases her fellow countrywomen down the long slippery descent. She'd finish a strong eighth.

Haley Batten put on a show on home soil good enough for seventh.
Haley Batten put on a show on home soil good enough for seventh.

Terpstra going across the wet roots. She remained in the mix and claimed third.
Terpstra going across the wet roots. She remained in the mix and claimed third.

No track conditions or temperatures seem to phase Mona Mitterwallner. Fourth for her in the deluge.
No track conditions or temperatures seem to phase Mona Mitterwallner. Fourth for her in the deluge.

Alessandra Keller getting a bit wild on one of the main descents.
Alessandra Keller getting a bit wild on one of the main descents.

Kate Courtney digging deep through the worsening conditions.
Kate Courtney digging deep through the worsening conditions.

The weather closed in towards the end of the race and turned up the drama Jenny Rissveds would have a costly slide out.
The weather closed in towards the end of the race and turned up the drama, Jenny Rissveds would have a costly slide out.

Alessandra Keller finally takes that maiden World Cup win...
Alessandra Keller finally takes that maiden World Cup win...

...and what a way to do it.
...and what a way to do it.

No love lost between these two after an epic race.
No love lost between these two after an epic race.

Another podium effort for Anne Terpstra. The hunt for the top step this season continues in MSA.
Another podium effort for Anne Terpstra. The hunt for the top step this season continues in MSA.

That late mistake presumably cost Rissveds the win today.
That late mistake presumably cost Rissveds the win today.

Mona Mitterwallner fought back onto the podium after finding herself in the pack at the start.
Mona Mitterwallner fought back onto the podium after finding herself in the pack at the start.

Alessandra Keller gets her debut World Cup in infront of Jenny Rissveds Anne Terpstra Mona Mitterwallner and Jolanda Neff.
Alessandra Keller gets her debut World Cup in infront of Jenny Rissveds, Anne Terpstra, Mona Mitterwallner and Jolanda Neff.

It would prove to be a tough day for Vlad Dascalu after a last lap crash took him out the running.
It would prove to be a tough day for Vlad Dascalu after a last-lap crash took him out of the running.

Chris Blevins took the win in Friday night s short track and would have the final call up.
Chris Blevins took the win in Friday night's short track and would have the final call-up.

Titouan Carod has posted good results recently and is ready to go.
Titouan Carod has posted good results recently and is ready to go.

Riders primed and ready for some Snowshoe slip and slidding.
Riders primed and ready for some Snowshoe slip and sliding.

The Men take off under the worst possible conditions.
The Men take off under the worst possible conditions.

Luca Schwarzbauer with another strong ride into 6th.
Luca Schwarzbauer with another strong ride into 6th.

Alan Hatherly would end up 8th.
Alan Hatherly would end up 8th.

Luca Braidot digs deep up the brutal if slightly shortened climb.
Luca Braidot digs deep up the brutal if slightly shortened climb.

David Valero Serrano was quiet for most of the race. He opened up the taps in the final laps challenging the lead and eventually took the win.
David Valero Serrano was quiet for most of the race. He opened up the taps in the final laps, challenging the lead and eventually took the win.

Vlad Dascalu was fighting in the leap pack before he went down hard. Fair play to him still finishing 13th.
Vlad Dascalu was fighting in the lead pack before he went down hard. Fair play to him still finishing 13th.

Titouan Carod had it all but in the bag. It would be a second place finish for him.
Titouan Carod had it all but in the bag. It would be a second-place finish for him.

Filippo Colombo would have a few misfortunes including a crash and a puncture but would still finish 5th.
Filippo Colombo would have a few misfortunes including a crash and a puncture but would still finish 5th.

Pierre De Froidmont closes out the top ten under the open skies.
Pierre De Froidmont closes out the top ten under the open skies.

Top ten finish for Antoine Philipp.
Top ten finish for Antoine Philipp.

Lars Forster kept his head down and picked his way through the field eventually finishing 7th.
Lars Forster kept his head down and picked his way through the field, eventually finishing 7th.

Chris Blevins right in the mix at the sharp end he didn t quite have the legs for the win but still took a fantastic podium on home soil.
Chris Blevins right in the mix at the sharp end, he didn't quite have the legs for the win but still took a fantastic podium on home soil.

David Valero Serrano s timely moves paid off and had him up front for the final sprint.
David Valero Serrano's timely moves paid off and had him up front for the final sprint.

Exctatic to win and well deserved at that.
Exctatic to win and well deserved at that.

Carod was just that close with meters to go.
Carod was just that close with meters to go.

Avancini attempting to see again. It was beyond miserable out there.
Avancini attempting to see again. It was beyond miserable out there.

Pierre De Froidmont was rewarded with a 10th place for his hard efforts.
Pierre De Froidmont was rewarded with a 10th place for his hard efforts.

Vlad Dascalu would have a last lap crash which not only took him out the running but required stiches as a result.
Vlad Dascalu would have a last lap crash which not only took him out the running but required stitches as a result.

Your Elite Men s podium - 1st David Valero Serrano 2nd Titouan Carod 3rd Luca Braidot 4th Christopher Blevins and 5th Filippo Colombo
Your Elite Men's podium - 1st David Valero Serrano, 2nd Titouan Carod, 3rd Luca Braidot, 4th Christopher Blevins, and 5th Filippo Colombo

These brake pads were a fresh set before the men s race.
These brake pads were a fresh set before the men's race.

Next stop MSA.
Next stop MSA.


Author Info:
rossbellphoto avatar

Member since Apr 25, 2010
145 articles

81 Comments
  • 47 2
 Looks at trail, looks at their tyres and lack of knee pads - that's a no from me!
  • 41 1
 I know a joke about mud, but I can't post it here. It's too dirty. Anyway, thanks for the spectacular photos. These riders are warriors.
  • 38 0
 Man I would not imagine the skills set needed to tackle such a track on XC bike and in those conditions. Properly gnarly !! oO
  • 8 35
flag optimumnotmaximum (Aug 1, 2022 at 2:31) (Below Threshold)
 Looks gnarly, but most bikes look like 2014 Trailbikes by now, with propper tires this would actually be like a regular winterlap around here.
  • 4 16
flag scantregard (Aug 1, 2022 at 2:44) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: same here..
  • 13 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: Well, those are far from proper tires. We can even see Schwalbe's "speedgrip" blue logo on Keller's FRONT tire. On those wet roots/rocks, never in my life.
  • 1 11
flag optimumnotmaximum (Aug 1, 2022 at 4:48) (Below Threshold)
 @gui21st: just what i said, only the tires make it gnarly. I would not run a speedgrip tire in the front. Not even in the dry. On my Hardtail i run a Vittoria Barzo in the winter and thats a pretty good tire the wet, that Thömus with barzos could actually be ok.
  • 27 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: see you on the podium next year then yeah???
  • 4 3
 @darkstar66: : No, but trail looks fun with propper tires and xc bikes of 2022 are pretty capable, thats all i said, dunno why it triggers people.
  • 3 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: "regular winterlap around here"

Do you always take the descents at max heart rate, padless in lycra too?
  • 2 0
 @Jamminator: maybe my comment was a bit short for what i wanted to say. I just wanted to comment on riding a track like this on a xc bike and to be fair, at this point in the discussion it was just about this. I stand by it, i think riding the track with a xc bike and good trailtires is nothing only the best in the world can do. Actually racing it on tires with very few knobs is something different. I cant see kneepads or lycra making a big difference here though. I am not as fit as i should be so i ride basically every descent with max heartrate Smile
  • 25 0
 The weather made for an incredible photo gallery - fantastic job Andy/Ross - love your work!
  • 11 0
 My thoughts exactly. Great photo essay.
  • 21 0
 Wow, that picture of Vlad is terrifying. Poor dude. Kudos to all the warriors who went out that day. I'd be hard pressed to ride this on my trail bike and here they are on xc tires and suspension.
  • 21 0
 Those brake pads after 90ish minutes of riding!!! Savage.
  • 3 0
 I wonder if it was even worthy to use brakes with those tires
  • 10 2
 Probably organic compound which would be a pretty big mistake to use in these conditions.
  • 6 0
 @magnusc: no those are metallic, the organic has grey or black backing plate
  • 2 1
 @dylananderson: You are correct. Then someone was probably substantially slowed down by brake rub in this race. Wonder what brake rotor was used in this case.
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: Metal brake pads wear out SO fast in the rain. No idea why. Perfectly plausible to me, for the pads to just be done in an hour and a half (or so)
  • 1 0
 @hellanorcal: Organic pads wear out fast in bad weather, not metallic/sintered. Organic is for dry condition and sintered is for wet.
  • 17 0
 That was proper MTB racing! This track just works, and doesn't only cater for the climbers. It would be cool to get a rundown of tires used. I can't recognize the pattern on Blevins' tires here, friday it was Fast Trak T7s, but this looks like something not available off the shelves.
  • 7 0
 Specialized has a proto XC mud spike they were using this weekend.
  • 5 0
 He was running prototype Specialized Storm tires for XCC. Bikerumor did a feature on his bike.
  • 16 0
 Proud of Snowshoe as someone who has been biking there for 20 years, it's so remote and run by such a small crew, the fact they are able to put on a well-run event with good racing is a small miracle. Of course the track could always be better, but XC and DH proved to be challenging courses w/o unnecessary dangers/features. Riders seemed happy so that's most important. Hopefully the 'shoe gets another WC!
  • 5 0
 Agree. We need more tracks like this, where there is less climbing and more close racing.
  • 1 0
 @mrkkbb: thanks for the tip!
  • 14 3
 Random thoughts:
1) If you watched the broadcast, especially the aftershow, kudos to Jenny Rissveds for being more excited for another riders first win than her own placement. I'm sure, as an athlete, especially one that made a tiny mistake that cost her the win, its hard to not feel disappointed, but she was a trooper and put that aside.
2) Doing trail design, I'm continuously struck how slap-dash these race course layout are. Its just mind boggling to see some of the routing and design choices.
3) How these athletes stayed (mostly) upright in these conditions on those tires is just amazing.
  • 3 1
 1 - Agree, great to see an olympic champion being a really nice human being! Seems like thats what her team is all about.
  • 12 0
 What possible performance improvements are there from not running a front fender? Surely seeing where you're going is useful.
Hardcore conditions. I know where I'd rather be.
  • 6 0
 I see more and more fenders this year.

I predict: will be a similar development as with dropper seat posts.
  • 15 2
 They might help with the bigger chunks but in those conditions youre gonna get shit on your face no matter what. Downside of them is that the fenders would accumulate mud throughout the race and add weight but possibly clog with that much mud as well.
  • 4 1
 Yes! Even a big ass fender full of mud would be better and all that mud in the face, rider, bike...
  • 8 1
 Fender doesn't stop the spray from the other riders, to the point that it's not worth running in a race where you will be following others.
  • 3 0
 The spray coming off the top your own front wheel is what will get you. It goes up into the air and you run into it.
  • 1 0
 Perhaps there’s room for innovation in fender design. I recall Jolanda Neff running some sort of duct tape wavy setup on her downtube during the last Olympics, which was rumoured to deflect and shed mud as she rode.
  • 1 0
 @MB3: that was to flap down mud
  • 1 0
 @MB3: you can see Keller’s bike had it on the pic descending, at the finish it has disappeared.
  • 2 3
 Totally not understand why they are not using fenders: rider and bike stay cleaner, with a lot of advantages.
  • 1 1
 @Notmeatall: not if you're racing...
  • 10 0
 Pierre de Froidmont is the most underrated belgian riders in Belgium, so glad to see Pinkbike sharing 2 pics of him. He definitely deserves more attention and coverage. Thanks for it Pinkbike
  • 5 0
 I had never heard of him, which kind of proves your point.
  • 5 0
 @hubertje-ryu: Do Belgian mountain bikers get much coverage? I assume it's all about road racing and cyclocross. The only country where CX is bigger than mountain biking.
  • 4 0
 @hubertje-ryu: Just to name a few : we have Daan Soete (Elite), Jens Schuermans (Elite), Githa Michiels(Elite), Arne Janssen (U23), Emeline Dutillieux (U23) - all these with Pierre are competing in te XCO Worldcup.
Maybe, one day, we will have a Meirhaeghe again

But the same apply currently with the Enduro and Martin Maes - also very underrated
  • 4 0
 @Starch-Anton: Except in specialized media and sometimes in sport shows, but rarely covered.
We had Kenny Beiley (World Champion in Trial) - But just a few knew about his existence

It's like Football, CX and RR cannibalize people's attention
  • 1 0
 @Mecadav: Is it possible for Houffalize to host a modern XC World Cup? Or is it not up to modern standards -and is there any interest and money for a World Cup in Belgium?
  • 2 0
 @Starch-Anton: Houffalize hosted XCO the last time in 2012 - Absalon won before Schurter and Stander (R.I.P)
For costs optimization, we would need to hosts DH too, and Belgium is definitely too flat for this. You need at least 3.5 km downhills . Not sure we have this somewhere ?
  • 10 0
 Weird quirk of English, but 'no love lost' means that people hate each other. Not the best fit on a photo of smiley huggy people.
  • 9 0
 Well, steel on steel brakes fairly well too, fortunately.
  • 8 1
 Tough conditions for tough men and women . . . Some great racing . . . Love watching both the xc and the downhill . . . It’s all biking and raises a smile!
  • 8 0
 "No love lost" means they #don't like each other which clearly isn't true.
  • 6 0
 This photo gallery was excellent. Please continue this for future World Cups.
  • 4 0
 Presumably the graphic designer of Bjorn Riley‘s US Champion jersey will have another attempt before next weekend’s race at MSA.
  • 1 0
 @bykeco - agreed but sadly there was only 2 days to get him a jersey due to the team bringing him a couple from Europe. Should have a better fitted one for the later races.
  • 6 0
 AXS glass-wipers when?
  • 3 0
 Great photos and commentary...sad to miss it but thanks for the great coverage PB crew !
  • 3 1
 Nino Schurter sat out because of (seemingly minor but painful) injuries sustained during a crash in the short track according to his Instagram. In case anyone was wondering.
  • 5 0
 They had kid racing Saturday night and one of the 9-12 year old girls on a Walmart bike fell at the same part after the ramp (after already going down successfully twice). She’s in good company
  • 1 0
 @threecats: damn that's brutal. Was it just super slick even with the mesh stuff over it? Or pedal strikes / something else?
  • 1 1
 @bkm303: In the crash replay (no rickroll) you can barely see Schurters front tire at the very very far left of the bridge, up against the 2x4 edging.
  • 2 0
 He most likely had an AC joint injury (shoulder separation). They hurt.
  • 2 0
 @Gibbersticks: and they need rest. given the weather and track conditions (forecast at the time), it probably wasn't a difficult decision to make.
  • 4 1
 From what I saw of his crash it was a major slam. Can't believe he walked away. I'll be impressed if he rides next week in Canada.
  • 2 0
 @hellanorcal: I wonder if he was actually just slightly off the metal mesh and the tire slipped out. It definitely didn't span the entire width of the bridge
  • 1 0
 @threecats: I bet you're right.
  • 3 0
 Amazing to see the new Stars and Stripes racers out there! Nice work Bjorn and Savilia!
  • 3 0
 So wait... my brake pads **shouldn't** look like that?
  • 3 0
 Most exciting races for as long as I can remember. Loved it!
  • 2 0
 Awesome gallery and Snowshoe is looking sick!
  • 1 0
 What a legendary race! Must have been brutal to finish, but so worth it when it’s done!
  • 1 0
 No start for Emily Batty? Did she get injured during the short track?
  • 1 1
 I thought she raced the XCC at Snowshoe, but they are saying she busted her ribs at Canadian Nationals. Did she not only win Nationals with a broken rib, but also race Snowshoe XCC, before deciding to let it heal?
  • 4 1
 She fell during the short track. There was a pic of it in the short track photo epic.
  • 4 0
 @MDW83: there is a photo of her going down in the short track. Might have set hear healing back.
  • 2 1
 @magnusc: gnarly fall, but even more so knowing she already had a broken rib. And yet she appears to be smiling!
  • 5 1
 @knutspeed: ya, just saw that. Gritty of her to line up with a broken rib. And no gloves!
  • 2 1
 Dang that's a gnarly looking XC track
  • 1 0
 That muddy guy sure was a fast hombre.
  • 1 0
 Wow, that cover photo... EPIC!
  • 1 0
 Such great photos for such a miserable day. Bravo.







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