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XCC Photo Epic: Lenzerheide XC World Cup 2023

Jun 10, 2023 at 1:12
by Ed Spratt  



Just a few weeks after the first round at Nove Mesto riders have made their way to Switzerland for an all-out weekend of racing in Lenzerheide.

Following the first-ever World Cup U23 XCC race at Nove Mesto the younger riders were back between the tape this week as they got a second chance to prove their sprint skills in the lung-busting short course format. The Women's race saw Ronja Blöchlinger continue to be the rider to beat in the XCC races as she took victory on home soil. Fellow Swiss rider Ginia Caluori did her best to match the hard-charging race winner but she had to settle for 2nd place crossing the line 11 seconds back. Round one XCO winner Sofie Pedersen matched her round one XCC results as she completed the top three riders. In the U23 Men's race, we saw a new winner as Daio Lillo made it another Swiss win and improved upon his 5th place at Nove Mesto. Last-round winner Adrien Boichis took the second place spot on the podium with Carter Woods slotting into third.

A day later and with a packed crowd it was the turn of the elite riders to take on the challenging Lenzerheide course. From the off, it looked like Laura Stigger was on her way to another short track win. With both Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Puck Pieterse in the mix, it was always going to be a tough fight for anyone wanting the win. As the leading group continued to stay together throughout the first eight laps it was a final lap attack from Jenny Rissveds that ultimately decided the winner. Jenny had been right on the top rider's wheel for most of the racing holding back to see who was looking fast. As the race made its way into the final lap Jenny says she realised that she may be the strongest rider in the group and went on the attack building a strong lead to take the win by two seconds.

The Men's racing had no shortage of drama as Luca Schwarzbauer took control of the race from early on and keep the top riders honest as the pace remained high through the early laps. As the race progressed we saw plenty of riders move around at the front with Sam Gaze, Nino Schurter, Jordan Sarrou and more taking a turn at the front. The big moment in the race came when at the start of lap eight the then-current race leader Sam Gaze lost control of his front wheel through the first turn and went down while also taking Nino Schurter with him. Neither rider could get back to the front of the race with Sam taking 14th and Nino 16th.

As the race was reaching its conclusion Jordan Sarrou led a big pack of riders into the final lap. While the French racer was looking strong it was the powerhouse of Luca Schwarzbauer who punched into the lead with a huge sprint early in the lap and kept his lead going to the finish. Luca ended the race two seconds up on Jordan Sarrou with Sebastian Fini Carstensen securing third.

The elite and U23 now have a short rest before the XCO action gets underway on Sunday.

Sofie Pedersen has had a strong start in the U23 women this season.
Sofie Pedersen has had a strong start in the U23 women this season.

The U23 women s start.
The U23 women get the XC ball rolling in Lenzerheide.

Ronja Bl chlinger went early and wouldn t be caught again.
Ronja Blöchlinger went early and wouldn't be caught again.

Second spot for Ginia Caluori who stayed with the leaders all race long.
Ginia Caluori stayed with the leaders all race long.

Third for Sofie Pedersen.
Third for Sofie Pedersen.

Ginia Caluori worked hard for her second place.
Ginia Caluori's hard work would pay off with second place.

Ronja Bl chlinger seems to be the one to beat in XCC so far this season.
Ronja Blöchlinger seems to be the one to beat in XCC so far this season.

Bl chlingerr over the moon with how her race went.
Blöchlingerr over the moon with how her race went.

Ronja Bl chlinger takes the win and keeps the leader s jersey Ginia Caluori goes second and Sofie Pedersen in third.
Ronja Blöchlinger takes the win and keeps the leader's jersey, Ginia Caluori goes second, and Sofie Pedersen in third.

Dario Lillo ready to go.
Dario Lillo ready to go.

The U23 men head out on their start lap.
The U23 men head out on their start lap.

Dario Lillo already in front of the pack by the first few laps.
Dario Lillo was already in front of the pack by the first few laps.

Carter Woods got lost in the traffic before finding his pace and made moves towards a third place finish
Carter Woods got lost in the traffic before finding his pace and made moves towards a third place finish,

The conditions took a turn for the first half way through the U23 Men s race.
The conditions took a turn half way through the U23 Men's race.

Dario Lillo with a commanding win.

Carter Woods digging deep through the driving rain.
Carter Woods digging deep through the driving rain.

Adrien Boichis fought hard for second place.
Adrien Boichis fought hard for second place.

Dario Lillo does the business on home soil.
Dario Lillo does the business on home soil.

Big day for the young man.
Big day for the young man.

Dario Lillo takes the win on home soil Adrien Boichis in second and Carter Woods cloes out the podium in third.
Dario Lillo takes the win on home soil, Adrien Boichis in second, and Carter Woods cloes out the podium in third.

Laura Stigger lining up for battle in the Leader s jersey.
Laura Stigger lining up for battle in the Leader's jersey.

Puck Pieterse was sporting the number one plate for this one. She d finish the race securing a front row spot come Sunday.
Puck Pieterse was sporting the number one plate for this one. She'd finish the race securing a front row spot come Sunday.

The women are off in Switzerland.
The elite women are off in Switzerland.

Laura Stigger leads them off the line.
Laura Stigger leads them off the line.

Stigger lead the opening laps of the race.
Stigger continued to lead the opening laps of the race.

Puck Pieterse and Sina Frei going bar to bar.
Puck Pieterse and Sina Frei going bar to bar.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot was consistent all race long. She ll be lining up on the front row Sunday.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot remained consistent all race long. She'll be lining up on the front row Sunday.

A tough fight throughout the main breakaway group powers up the climb.
A tough fight throughout, the main breakaway group powers up the climb.

Anne Tauber had a strong showing finishing in fifth.
Anne Tauber had a strong showing finishing in fifth.

Laura Stigger drove the pace at the front of the field for a large portion of the race.
Laura Stigger drove the pace at the front of the field for a large portion of the race.

Alessandra Keller taking second place for the home crowd.
Alessandra Keller taking second place for the home crowd.

One lap remaining - Rissveds looks to come around the outside on the climb.
One lap remaining - Rissveds looks to come around the outside on the climb.

Jenny Rissveds makes her break for freedom.
Jenny Rissveds makes her break for freedom.

Jenny Rissveds back on from here in Lenzerheide.
Jenny Rissveds back on form here in Lenzerheide.

Rissveds gassed. She made a massive leap from starting a couple rows back.
Rissveds gassed. She made a massive leap from starting a couple rows back.

Laura Stigger with a good ride into 6th.
Laura Stigger with a good ride into 6th.

A good effort from Gwendalyn Gibson who started way back in 21st and came through in seventh.
A good effort from Gwendalyn Gibson who started way back in 21st and came through in seventh.

Not an easy go out there this evening.
Not an easy go out there this evening.

Jenny Rissveds back on the top spot ahead of Alessandra Keller and Pauline Ferrand Prevot.
Jenny Rissveds back on the top spot ahead of Alessandra Keller and Pauline Ferrand Prevot.

A solid crowd came out to watch the XCC racing.
A solid crowd came out to watch the elite XCC racing.

Final touches to Luca Schwarzbauer s eventful race winning bike.
Final touches to Luca Schwarzbauer's eventful race-winning bike.

Sam Gaze knows a thing or two about XCC.
Sam Gaze knows a thing or two about XCC.

Joshua Dubau continuing his strong start to the season.
Joshua Dubau continuing his strong start to the season.

Luca Schwarzbauer. about to add another notch to his XCC tally.
Luca Schwarzbauer. about to add another notch to his XCC tally.

The men head through the tech zone on the first lap.
The men head through the tech zone on the first lap.

Luca Schwarzbauer and company fight for positions up the hill.
Luca Schwarzbauer and company fight for positions up the hill.

Joshua Dubau out in front for the start of the race.
Joshua Dubau out near the front for the start of the race.

Sam Gaze closes in on the leader and is ready to defend.
Sam Gaze closes in on the leader and is ready to defend.

Luca Schwarzbauer leads out another lap at the front of the field.
Luca Schwarzbauer leads out another lap at the front of the field.

Nino Schurter takes his turn at the front. He would eventually be taken out in a crash with the man behind him in this photo Sam Gaze.
Nino Schurter takes his turn at the front. He would eventually be taken out in a crash with the man behind him in this photo Sam Gaze.

Luca Braidot stayed in the mix coming away with fifth.
Luca Braidot stayed in the mix, coming away with fifth.

Schwarzbauer still up front through the tech zone with one a few laps to go.
Schwarzbauer was still up front through the tech zone with a few laps to go.

A collision between Gaze and Schurter had them both out of contention.
The collision between Gaze and Schurter had them both out of contention.

Sebastian Fini Carstensen with a well deserved third place.
Sebastian Fini Carstensen with a well-deserved third place.

Jordan Sarrou ahead of Luca Schwarzbauer in the roots.
Jordan Sarrou, ahead of Luca Schwarzbauer, in the roots.

Jordan Sarrou is finding a good run of form.
Jordan Sarrou is finding a good run of form.

Another XCC win for Luca Schwarzbauer.
Another XCC win for Luca Schwarzbauer.

The two Swiss teammates catch their breath.
The two Swiss teammates catch their breath.

Deep in the hurt locker.
Deep in the hurt locker.

Luca Schwarzbauer victorious here in Lenzerheide.
Luca Schwarzbauer victorious here in Lenzerheide.

Second place for Jordan Sarrou.
Second place for Jordan Sarrou.

Luca Schwarzbauer takes the win in front of Jordan Sarrou and Sebastian Fini Carstensen.
Luca Schwarzbauer takes the win in front of Jordan Sarrou and Sebastian Fini Carstensen.


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,239 articles

5 Comments
  • 18 0
 I love the photo epic! So nice seeing the detailed shots to see what tires the racers are using.
  • 13 0
 I know most PBers prefer gravity, but I’d love the free fitness level of XCers
  • 1 0
 Video?
  • 2 4
 It’s crazy to me they can ride xcc and then xco the next day.
  • 8 0
 2 Days. XCC Friday, XCO Sunday.







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