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Photo Epic: Andorra XC World Cup 2023

Aug 29, 2023 at 23:28
by Ed Spratt  



The weather drama didn't end with the downhill racing in Andorra as some last-minute schedule and broadcast changes saw the U23 Men take on the slop first as Riley Amos would give a strong showing to best Adrien Boichis by 13 seconds. Noëlle Buri became the first rider to win a U23 Women's XC World Cup who isn't Sofia Pedersen as she crossed the line 24 seconds up on Ronja Blöchlinger.

Mona Mittwerwallner powered her way to her first Elite win as she bested Alessandra Keller in the later laps to cross the line 34 seconds in the lead. Pauline Ferrand Prevot was given a big advantage in the initial lap as a crash slowed most of the field but the newly crowned World Champ didn't have the legs to match Mona and Alessandra as she dropped back to third, nearly a minute and a half back.

Mathias Flückiger once again proved he is tough to beat in tricky conditions as he stormed across the line after a dominant performance. The early stages of the race saw a battle between Luca Schwarzbauer and Mathias Flückiger but it was the Swiss rider who continued to push hard as he built a lead on lap two and never looked back. The closing stages of the race saw Thomas Griot ride into the race as the gap got down to 10 seconds. A final push from Mathias carried him across the line 23 seconds ahead. Following 2nd-placed Thomas Griot was the newly crowned World Champ Tom Pidcock who came good in the second half of the race besting Jordan Sarrou in a final lap fight.

Riders now get a week off before the season continues with a return to Les Gets.



Riley Amos ready to lay down the ride of his life.
Riley Amos ready to lay down the ride of his life.

The U23 men kick off the day s action.
The U23 men kick off the day's action.

Riley Amos went to the front early on and didn t look back.
Riley Amos went to the front early on and didn't look back.

Luca Martin with a great ride into third.
Luca Martin with a great ride into third.

Adrien Boichis has been the consistent force in the U23 men s field but would have to settle for second today.
Adrien Boichis has been the consistent force in the U23 men's field but would have to settle for second today.

It s been a few years since his last win in Les Gets so Riley Amos let all that built up emotion pour out.
It's been a few years since his last win in Les Gets so Riley Amos let all that built-up emotion pour out.

What a ride for Riley Amos.
What a ride for Riley Amos.

Riley Amos takes the U23 in in Andorra.
Riley Amos takes the U23 in in Andorra.

Ronja Blochlinger lines up in the coldest race we ve seen in probably forever.
Ronja Blochlinger lines up in the coldest race we've seen in probably forever.

Noelle Buri keeps warm before the going gets hot.
Noelle Buri keeps warm before the going gets hot.

U23 Women up the first climb.
U23 Women up the first climb.

Buri stalks Blochinger up the fire road eventually leading to a pass.
Buri stalks Blochinger up the fire road, eventually leading to a pass.

Noelle Buri s coast was clear after Samara Maxwell ran out of gas by mid race.
Noelle Buri's coast was clear after Samara Maxwell ran out of gas by mid-race.

Third for Noemi Garnier in the tough conditions.
Third for Noemi Garnier in the tough conditions.

Noelle Buri takes the win here in Andorra.
Noelle Buri takes the win here in Andorra.

Gassed cold but satisfied.
Gassed, cold, but satisfied.

U23 Women s podium - Noelle Buri Ronja Blochlinger
U23 Women's podium - Noelle Buri, Ronja Blochlinger

Cold champagne for an even colder day.
Cold champagne for an even colder day.

Loana Lecomte was in good spirits at the start line.
Loana Lecomte was in good spirits at the start line.

Mona Mitterwallner takes to the line for a massive afternoon.
Mona Mitterwallner takes to the line for a massive afternoon.

Loana Lecomte as always would be a threat for the win.
Loana Lecomte, as always, would be a threat for the win.

No matter the course or altitude Alessandra Keller is always up for a challenge.
No matter the course or altitude, Alessandra Keller is always up for a challenge.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot warms up to the idea of going racing in near freezing temps.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot warms up to the idea of going racing in near freezing temps.

Evie Richards always goes well in the wet and muddy conditions and today was no different.
Evie Richards always goes well in the wet and muddy conditions and today was no different.

Martina Berta leading the pack in the early exchanges.
Martina Berta led the pack in the early exchanges.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot leads on the first lap.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot leads on the first lap.

Puck Pieterse on her way to 7th place.
Puck Pieterse on her way to 7th place.

9th place for Savilia Blunk.
9th place for Savilia Blunk.

Loana Lecomte dancing over the slippery rocks and roots of the technical Andorra course.
Loana Lecomte dancing over the slippery rocks and roots of the technical Andorra course.

Mona Mitterwallner found her way to the front and didn t look back once she got there.
Mona Mitterwallner found her way to the front and didn't look back once she got there.

Evie Richards ripping down the slippery descent on the ski piste.
Evie Richards ripping down the slippery descent on the ski piste.

An early lead for Pauline as she put in time between herself and the rest of the field on lap one.
An early lead for Pauline as she put in time between herself and the rest of the field on lap one.

Another solid showing from Martina Berta. She d come in just off the podium.
Another solid showing from Martina Berta. She'd come in just off the podium.

Earning the final step of the podium was Evie Richards.
Earning the final step of the podium was Evie Richards.

Eighth place for Anne Terpstra.
Eighth place for Anne Terpstra.

Lecomte kept her composure in these hellish conditions enough for a spot on the podium.
Lecomte kept her composure in these hellish conditions enough for a spot on the podium.

Mitterwallner stepped on the gas on the third lap and went on a passing rampage.
Mitterwallner stepped on the gas on the third lap and went on a passing rampage.

Mitterwallner hammering until the very end.
Mitterwallner hammering until the very end.

Mitterwallner chases and eventually passes Keller with only a few kms to go.
Mitterwallner chases and eventually passes Keller with only a few kms to go.

Mona Mitterwallner takes her first elite World Cup win.
Mona Mitterwallner takes her first elite World Cup win.

Disbelief.
Disbelief.

An incredible ride to take her first Elite win.
An incredible ride to take her first Elite win.

A hard fought second place for Alessandra Keller.
A hard-fought second place for Alessandra Keller.

Evie Richards happy with her days work.
Evie Richards happy with her days work.

Mona Mitterwallner takes the win in front of Alessandra Keller Pauline Ferrand Prevot Loana Lecomte and Evie Richards.
Mona Mitterwallner takes the win in front of Alessandra Keller, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Loana Lecomte and Evie Richards.

A very well deserved champagne spray.
A very well deserved champagne spray.

Tom Pidcock had some work to do from a few rows back.
Tom Pidcock had some work to do from a few rows back.

Mathias Fl ckiger with his eyes on the prize.
Mathias Flückiger with his eyes on the prize.

Mathias Fluckiger has the speed and experience for a track in these conditions.
Mathias Fluckiger has the speed and experience for a track in these conditions.

Don t count Sarrou out for a good performance on a day like this.
Don't count Sarrou out for a good performance on a day like this.

Men s Elite start.
Men's Elite start.

The elite men get the final action of the day underway.
The elite men get the final action of the day underway.

Vlad Dascalu powering up the long and seemingly near ending climb.
Vlad Dascalu powering up the long and seemingly never ending climb.

A strong ride for Thomas Litscher into 8th.
A strong ride for Thomas Litscher into 8th.

A top 10 for Vital Albin.
A top 10 for Vital Albin.

Sarrou laying into the pedals. He d end his day in fourth.
Sarrou laying into the pedals. He'd end his day in fourth.

The battle for position between Griot Schwarzbauer and Sarrou raged on up the centre climb.
The battle for position between Griot, Schwarzbauer, and Sarrou raged on up the centre climb.

Seventh for Titouan Carod.
Seventh for Titouan Carod.

Thomas Pidcock started on the third row and had a proper task at hand to get himself onto the podium.
Thomas Pidcock started on the third row and had a proper task at hand to get himself onto the podium.

Luca Schwarzbauer puts in the watts trying keep Fluckiger at bay.
Luca Schwarzbauer puts in the watts trying keep Fluckiger at bay.

Mathias Fl ckiger thrives in these sort of conditions.
Mathias Flückiger thrives in these sort of conditions.

Fluckiger cranking hard to stay out of harms way.
Fluckiger cranking hard to stay out of harms way.

XCC winner Luca Schwarzbauer went hard at the start and would lead before finishing a strong 5th another great weekend for the German.
XCC winner Luca Schwarzbauer went hard at the start and would lead before finishing a strong 5th, another great weekend for the German.

Another podium for BMC s Jordan Sarrou.
Another podium for BMC's Jordan Sarrou.

What a ride from Thomas Griot to snatch second place.
What a ride from Thomas Griot to snatch second place.

Tom Pidcock fighting his way through the pack and onto the podium.
Tom Pidcock fighting his way through the pack and onto the podium.

Mathias Fluckiger takes it in dramatic fashion in Andorra.
Mathias Fluckiger takes it in dramatic fashion in Andorra.

Fluckiger put on one hell of a performance.
Fluckiger put on one hell of a performance.

An impressive third place finish for Pidcock but we all know he wanted more.
An impressive third-place finish for Pidcock but we all know he wanted more.

Mathias Fl ckiger back where he belongs.
Mathias Flückiger back where he belongs.

Teammates Thomas Griot and Luca Schwarzbauer congratulate each other on their podium performances.
Teammates Thomas Griot and Luca Schwarzbauer congratulate each other on their podium performances.

Vlad Dascalu battled his way into the top 10.
Vlad Dascalu battled his way into the top 10.

Your Men s Elite Podium - Mathias Fluckiger Thomas Griot Tom Pidcock Jordan Sarrou and Luca Schwarzbauer
Your Men's Elite Podium: Mathias Fluckiger, Thomas Griot, Tom Pidcock, Jordan Sarrou, and Luca Schwarzbauer

Mathias Fl ckiger gets to spray that winner s champagne once again.
Mathias Flückiger gets to spray that winner's champagne once again.

The last shower of the day.
The last shower of the day.


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,316 articles

33 Comments
  • 28 1
 I know weight is critical (at least in the head) for XC racing, but surely a small lightweight front fender would be worth it for actually being able to see our of your glasses?
  • 6 1
 See the Canyon bikes had one on and the riders looked cleaner. Worth it!
  • 4 0
 I wonder the same thing, every race...
  • 2 2
 How about a spray protector for the chain - keep that waxed chain at max efficiency.
  • 3 1
 not clear on what their rationale is, but I strongly suspect that these pro athletes and their teams' staffs have, starting long ago, given this topic 100x the diligence that most of us have.
  • 2 2
 A fender makes the wheel much more likely to jam or get caught up with mud, slowing you down. No fender and the fork clears the mud. You can wipe your glasses whilst doing 400w, but you can't poke mud with a stick. I have a fender on my xc bike but only for dry but damp or wet top conditions. When it's dry it's off for weight, when it's properly muddy it comes off so the wheel clears mud.
  • 1 0
 @continuity: I was thinking that could be the rationale, but I've ridden in some pretty grim conditions, and that's not happened to me. Or perhaps I'm just lucky and xc courses have extra nasty mud!
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: yeah not so sure about that either, I've had the rear pack up with mud but not the front under the fender. The rear is much more likely to get muddied up just based on the fact the mud has a ledge to sit on at the chainstay joint or whatever that's called.
  • 24 1
 Did Evie have to rush to the podium?
  • 17 0
 Perfect match of mud-covered face and white beanie Big Grin
  • 6 0
 love it. I think she was thinking that it was a badge of honor.
  • 14 0
 Worlds in Scotland definitely piqued my interest in marathon. Long ass backcountry ride with epic descents(actually same descents as Enduro). Something a lot of us really enjoy, although personally would divide that 100km 2,000 Mt vert ride into 15 hour sufferfest day or 2 enjoyable ones, not 5 hours like the superhumans.WTF!
Is marathon the new "authentic" XC?
Discuss
  • 2 0
 Yes, it is (or should be).
  • 6 0
 Amazing how many riders are able win without that "game changing" transmission. Im sure it works very well but it’s hardly game changing.

Wonderful photos as usual.
  • 3 0
 Why do all the women rider's bikes look to have little junction boxes on the seat tube near the bottom bracket?
  • 1 0
 Likely suspension telemetry acquisition. Suspension guesses don't count for much when raw data can be had.
  • 1 0
 Not the transmitter for the timing and results system, since that's a little red unit on the fork leg.
  • 2 0
 @CaptainSnappy: Doubt it. If they needed telemetry, they would have done it during practice and jettisoned the weight for the main event. I'm guessing it has something to do with the live broadcast.
  • 1 0
 Flight Attendant XC. RockShox bikes with white forks.
  • 1 0
 @VCGraphix: Mona runs a Cannondale Lefty and has one on her bike (you can just make it out next to her shoe in the descending shot).
  • 1 0
 WHOOP transmitter?
  • 1 0
 My likely guess is a transmitter for the broadcast, that enables them to show watts/HR/speed etc for the tv coverage. Same as they have for road cycling.
Isn't there on board live cameras for some riders now too?
  • 2 0
 It´s a transmitter for the LIVE show that measures speed, location, some are connected to the HRM, power, etc. Stats makes everything in sport...
  • 3 0
 Good question. They are also on the men's bikes
  • 2 0
 Dumb question: Headed to Mt St Anne for the world cup XC race. Do I need to buy tickets...?
  • 2 0
 They make you pay for the parking lot. Fill up your car with as much friends as you can!
  • 3 1
 In XCO, most of mud is not from your wheel...
  • 1 0
 Happily surprised to see a Photo Epic from the Andorra Mud Fest.
  • 1 0
 Keller and Lecomte's glasses look cool. A tad expensive though (275€)
  • 1 0
 Vests and tights in the summer. What an awesome set of pics.
  • 1 0
 Looks like Riley Amos won U23.
  • 1 0
 Shaved legs for the win.







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