The 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Series continued last week at one of the most legendary locations in the sport: Les Gets, France. XCC, XCO and downhill racing was on tap for the week and as always, you could feel the excitement and energy from the French fans. Time and time again, memorable World Cup moments are made at this circuit, and this year was no exception.
The week started with the XCC races. Ronja Blöchlinger (Liv Racing) remains undefeated in the U23 Women’s category, taking the win in Les Gets. Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Carter Woods also stepped onto the U23 Men’s podium in the third position. In the Elite competition, it was Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) earning a gold medal once again in the Elite Women’s race, while Jens Schuermans (GFORT) placed fourth in the Men’s. Nino Schurter (Scott SRAM) didn’t start due to illness.
Junior DH racers got to it next, glad to be back in dusty conditions after their race was cancelled at the previous round because of bad weather. Valentina Roa Sanchez (Transition Factory Racing) had the best run of her World Cup, capturing her first-ever Junior Women’s win. However, Sacha Mills (KWT Imports), another Maxxis rider, was hot on her heels in second place.
Saturday’s Elite DH race was definitely the main event for the rowdy French fans. In one of the most exciting races in recent memory, France’s Marine Cabirou (Scott DH Factory) rode to a magnificent win in front of her home crowd. Nina Hoffmann (Santa Cruz Syndicate) and Mille Johnset (Canyon Cllctv) both had great runs and podium finishes behind Marine, placing third and fourth.
On the Elite Men’s side of the DH race day, Jackson Goldstone (Santa Cruz Syndicate) held down the fort and continued his incredible first Elite season with another podium result in fourth place. With only a couple of races left, he’ll look to add as many points as possible to his overall tally for the end of the season.
The XCO races closed out the awesome week in Les Gets. Ronja Blöchlinger rolled fast on those MaxxSpeed tires to a second-place result in U23 Women, her podium streak still unbroken. Carter Woods and Luca Martin (Orbea Factory Team) had strong days in the U23 Men’s race, taking third and fourth. Puck Pieterse continues to have an unquestionable breakout season in Elite Women, with another second place in XCO, while Nino Schurter somehow started in the men’s race after his illness and fought all the way to a silver medal.
Another year, another insane week of racing in Les Gets. This one never gets old. Snowshoe, USA is approaching quickly, and before long we’ll know the overall champions of the 2023 UCI MTB World Series!