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Pinkbike Primer: Everything You Need to Know Ahead of the Andorra XC World Cup 2023

Aug 23, 2023 at 4:49
by Ed Spratt  
Jordan Sarrou leads Victor Koretzky and Vlad Dascalu down the longest and most technical descent.

The 2023 XC World Cup season continues to heat up as riders head to the high-altitude course in Andorra. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 XC World Cup's fifth round.



What Happened at the Last Round?


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For the fourth time this year, it was Sofie Pedersen who was unmatched in the U23 Women's race as an attack at the start of lap three proved to be too much for the rest of the field. Sofie Pedersen had a slower start than past races this season with Ronja Blöchlinger looking stronger in the early laps. The third lap proved crucial as the series leader's attack saw her take the lead and build a gap that couldn't be closed. Samara Maxwell had an incredible race with a performance that was almost good enough to catch the leader but she ends the fourth round 38 seconds back. Ronja Blöchlinger struggled to find speed in the later laps ending the day in third.

The U23 Men's racing provided plenty of drama as Luca Martin looked unstoppable before a final lap double flat allowed Carter Woods to take the double win in Val Di Sole. Carter Woods had a great ride as he stayed calm and controlled to ride his way into the lead and secure his first XCO win in 2023. Adrien Boichis also showed his strength by staying at the front of the race to take home 2nd. Riley Amos had one of the toughest rides as he had a rear flat in the early laps but fought back from 13th to take home 3rd. Luca Martin crossed the line in 11th.

Another World Cup and another dominant performance from Puck Pieterse as she continues to impress in 2023. From the off Puck Pieterse was looking strong and after the first full lap a gap of 41 seconds was created that proved impossible to close even with a final lap mistake. Martina Berta couldn't quite secure a win at home but she still ends the weekend with a 2nd place finish. Rebecca Henderson looks to be back on form as she powered her way to 3rd place. Pauline Ferrand Prevot had another tough weekend as she had a big crash in the woods ending her chances for a podium finish.

Following his worst World Cup finish in Leogang Nino Schurter proved why he is one of the greatest of all time as he took his 35th World Cup win. Nino Schurter showed he was back to business as usual as he looked strong off the start and made sure to watch the rider around him before attacking on lap four to build a lead of over thirty seconds. No one could catch the Swiss rider as he crossed the line 26 seconds ahead of Mathias Flückiger. Newly crowned European champ Vlad Dascalu made his way through to the front and bested Joshua Dubau to the line to secure third place.


Elite Women


1st. Puck Pieterse: 1:19:49
2nd. Martina Berta: +52
3rd. Rebecca Henderson: +1:00
4th. Laura Stigger: +1:06
5th. Mona Mitterwallner: +1:53

Elite Men


1st. Nino Schurter: 1:20:22
2nd. Mathias Flückiger: +26
3rd. Vlad Dascalu: +38
4th. Joshua Dubau: +38
5th. Alan Hatherly: +52


U23 Women


1st. Sofie Pedersen: 1:07:09
2nd. Samara Maxwell: +38
3rd. Ronja Blöchlinger: +2:02
4th. Noemie Garnier: +2:21
5th. Sina Van Thiel: +2:37

U23 Men


1st. Carter Woods: 1:08:57
2nd. Adrien Boichis: +31
3rd. Riley Amos: +45
4th. Jente Michels: +49
5th. Mario Bair: +50

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You can view the full Elite results here.



What has Happened Since the Last Round?


After a series of back-to-back World Cup rounds the series took a month and a half break over the summer. While there may have been no World Cup racing riders still got between the tape for national races and the 2023 World Champs.

Two of the bigger races during the break were the US and French national championships. In the US Champs taking place at Bear Creek Resort in Pennsylvania Savilia Blunk and Christopher Blevins delivered the wins as they took the 2023 titles.

Across the pond in Jeumont, France it was Loana Lecomte and Titouan Carod who secured their nation's XCO sleeves. Loana Lecomte secured a big win as she bested Léna Gerault by almost three minutes.

Of course, there was also the 2023 World Champs in Scotland but we have included more on that below.



What happened at the World Champs?


Puck Pieterse pushed hard falling just short of catching the two flying French riders.

In the U23 Men's race, Charlie Aldridge mastered the Scottish course to take home the rainbow jersey. Charlie Aldridge looked strong from the off as he battled off attacks from Adrien Boichis and Dario Lillo to secure victory. Adrien Boichis tried his best to beat the British racer but an attack up the first climb would fail and a gap would build that proved impossible to close. Dario Lillo wrapped up the medals 29 seconds off the pace.

Samara Maxwell secured another gold medal for New Zealand as she dominated the U23 Women's field. Samara Maxwell took the lead up the first climb on lap one and never looked back as no rider had an answer for her. The Swiss riders of Ginia Caluori and Ronja Blochlinger would try their best to catch the new World Champion but they would have to settle for the silver and bronze medal positions.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot made history once again as she secured back-to-back double World Championship wins. The French racer started off slow but quickly caught a hard-charging Loana Lecomte up the first climb on lap one and never looked back. Pauline Ferrand Prevot was unmatched as she pushed a hard gear throughout the race piloting the new Pinarello hardtail to its second win of the week. Loana Lecomte secured a silver medal as she rode a faultless race but just never had the power to match the race winner.

The biggest fight of the race was for the bronze medal position where we saw potential 3rd place finishes from Puck Pieterse, Mona Mitterwallner, Alessandra Keller and Evie Richards throughout the race. The last lap would leave it all down to Puck Pieterse and Mona Mitterwallner with a final big punch from the European champ putting Puck into the final medal spot.

Tom Pidcock became the first British man to win the Elite XC World Championships as he dominated the race to take the title at home. Tom Pidcock took advantage of a slightly improve grid position to make his way to the front of the race during lap two and an attack during the fifth lap was impossible to match. Sam Gaze also came from a mid-grid position as he battled past the world's best and almost looked like he could take the gold, the New Zealand rider secured the silver medal. Nino Schurter didn't have the power to secure an 11th title but he does still leave Scotland with a bronze medal.



Elite Women:


1st. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: 1:24:14
2nd. Loana Lecomte: +1:14
3rd. Puck Pieterse: +1:27
4th. Mona Mitterwallner: +1:31
5th. Alessandra Keller: +2:23



Elite Men:


1st. Tom Pidcock: 1:22:09
2nd. Sam Gaze: +19
3rd. Nino Schurter: +34
4th. Victor Koretzky: +43
5th. Vlad Dascalu: +54




U23 Women:


1st. Samara Maxwell: 1:16:26
2nd. Ginia Caluori: +1:01
3rd. Ronja Blochlinger: +1:27
4th. Emily Johnston: +1:54
5th. Kata Blanka Vas: +2:18



U23 Men:


1st. Charlie Aldridge: 1:13:53
2nd. Adrien Boichis: +13
3rd. Dario Lillo: +29
4th. Riley Amos: +1:23
5th. Tom Schellekens: +1:57


A dream result for Charlie Aldridge winning rainbows at home.
Samara Maxwell took to the front early on and didn t look back.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot came alive after a couple laps chasing and passing everyone in her way.
Tom Pidcock s power was on display front and centre today.

You can view the full elite results here.



Who is Leading the Overall?


After the fourth round of the 2023 season, it is Puck Pieterse and Nino Schurter leading the Elite overall standings.


Elite Women


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Elite Men


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Where is the Fifth Round?


The final action of a busy race weekend started early for the U23 races.

The Andorran round of the World Cup series provides one of the toughest challenges of the season as riders balance the singletrack descents and steep climbs with riding at altitude.

Another strong ride from Luca Schwarzbauer into the top 10.
Puck Pieterse stalks Ronja Blochlinger up the first climb.

In the lead group from the get-go Carter Woods put the hammer down pushing the pace until he came away with a win.
Managing the dust into seventh is Martina Berta.



What's the Track Like?

The Pivot Cycles - OTE Team take a lap of the 2022 course.



When and What Racing is Happening this Weekend?


Emily Batty had a fire lit from under her as she began her overtaking rampage from way back. She d finish a well earned 10th.

With XCC and XC World Cup events all in one weekend it is a pretty stacked schedule, here is what you can expect to find happening this weekend.

All times CEST

Thursday, August 24
• 9:00-11:00 // Official XCO Training - Women
• 11:00-13:00 // Official XCO Training - All Riders
• 13:00-15:00 // Official XCO Training - Men
• 16:00-17:00 // Official XCC Training - U23
• 17:30 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - U23 Women
• 18:15 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - U23 Men

Friday, August 25
• 09:00-11:00 // Official XCO Training - Women
• 11:00-13:00 // Official XCO Training - Men
• 16:00-17:00 // Official XCC Training - Elite
• 17:30 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - Women
• 18:15 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - Men

Saturday, August 26
• 09:00-12:00 // Official XCO Training - All Riders

Sunday, August 27
• 09:00 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic - U23 Women
• 11:00 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic - U23 Men
• 13:00 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic - Women Elite
• 15:30 // World Cup Cross-Country Olympic - Men Elite

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organizer.



What's the Weather Expected to be?


Good morning from the Andorran Pyrenees.

It looks like are in for a race week of mostly dry and very warm conditions. A hot and dry Thursday and Friday lead into Saturday and Sunday's potentially wet racing.

Thursday, August 24

Sunny to partly cloudy and very warm; a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon // 31°C // 40% probability of precipitation // wind 9km/h

Friday, August 25

Remaining very warm with plenty of sun // 31°C // 2% probability of precipitation // wind 11km/h

Saturday, August 26

Clouds moving away to leave sunshine with a thunderstorm; not as warm // 24°C // 80% probability of precipitation // wind 9km/h

Sunday, August 27

Considerable cloudiness with a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon // 16°C // 41% probability of precipitation // wind 13km/h

Weather forecast as of Monday, August 21 from Accuweather.



What Happened Last Time in Andorra?


Kicking off the racing was the U23s where Line Burquier took a solid win pulling ahead of Ronja Blöchlinger by 36 seconds. Third place went to Puck Pieterse 52 seconds off the pace. It was a new winner in the U23 Men with Carter Woods back at the top finding 19 seconds on Luca Martin. Riley Amos completed the fastest three, just over a minute behind.

Anne Terpstra made it back-to-back wins in Vallnord after winning here when we last visited in 2019. Anne ran a perfect race leading from lap one and managed to find almost a minute on Mona Mitterwallner. Another 30 seconds back was Ramona Forchini.

It was another close race in the Elite Men with plenty of riders trying for the win but by the finish line it would be two World Cup wins in two weeks for Luca Braidot. David Valero Serrano ran a great race and slotted into second with a hard-charging Nino Schurter saving a slow start to the race with third place.

Elite Women (5 Laps)

1st. Anne Terpstra: 1:15:21
2nd. Mona Mitterwallner: 1:16:18
3rd. Ramona Forchini: 1:16:55
4th. Laura Stigger: 1:17:04
5th. Caroline Bohé: 1:17:10

Elite Men (6 Laps)

1st. Luca Braidot: 1:15:31
2nd. David Valero Serrano: 1:15:41
3rd. Nino Schurter: 1:15:58
4th. Vlad Dascalu: 1:16:09
5th. Jordan Sarrou: 1:16:21


U23 Women (4 Laps)

1st. Line Burquier: 1:01:14
2nd. Ronja Blöchlinger: 1:01:50
3rd. Puck Pieterse: 1:02:06
4th. Noëlle Buri: 1:02:55
5th. Giada Specia: 1:03:35

U23 Men (5 Laps)

1st. Carter Woods: 1:04:14
2nd. Luca Martin: 1:04:33
3rd. Riley Amos: 1:05:15
4th. Charlie Aldridge: 1:05:29
5th. Dario Lillo: 1:05:37




How to Follow the Racing?


Tune in to Pinkbike to catch all the Andorra coverage throughout the week with results, photo epics, bike checks, race analysis and more.




Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,235 articles

16 Comments
  • 17 5
 Does enduro still happen? A few of the sickets bike riders in the world ride the sport; it's the one to which I am most connected, and I honestly don't even know whether it got cancelled.

How to kill a sport: A UCI Docuseries.
  • 4 2
 This guy gets it. Watching Enduro is the reason I started watching the other disciplines, and now I'm wondering if it even existed at all.
  • 3 1
 agreed- 2 month break for the racers? and only 2 races left - if i didn't watch moi moi tv I wouldn't even know enduro even still existed
  • 1 2
 Do you mean DH Lite or Super-XC? @thebradjohns

Given time, UCI will do for EDR what it has done for Artistic Cycling
  • 8 2
 I'm really hoping Nino can hold on for another overall win
  • 7 0
 Pidcock is on the list
  • 4 0
 This is good news. He's fun to watch, I wish XC had the same financial incentive as road racing so he showed up more often. Probably good for XC viewership for more roadies to crossover, especially the drama when they crash first lap Wink
  • 3 1
 Ok, but where do I watch it?
  • 11 0
 'Cycling as you've never seen it'
  • 4 0
 GCN+ is covering live (for USA vpn at least) / GCN calls it Pal Arinsal World Cup races. Most people just refer to this race as Andorra, since Pal Arinsal is a ski area within Andorra.
  • 1 0
 @dorkbike: GCN calls it Pal Arinsal because that's the official name for this next round.
  • 2 0
 Is MVDP racing?
  • 7 0
 He's not on the entry list, and neither is Gaze, though he's doing La Vuelta.
  • 13 0
 Yes but just the start loop.
  • 4 0
 Only until the first corner
  • 3 0
 @jlm0976: After all the nonsense the UCI pulled to help him try to win the worlds this sir is comment gold!







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