UCI XCO World Cup: Stigger Storms to Maiden Victory
Laura Stigger stormed away from the field to win her first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO victory on Sunday at Snowshoe after Evie Richards won Friday’s XCC event.
On Friday, Briton Richards laid down a superb performance to win the XCC event with a time of 19:54 beating Dutch XCO overall leader Puck Pieterse by five seconds with Australian Rebecca Henderson in third.
In the women’s XCO race on Sunday, Austrian Stigger was the class act on the day as she pulled clear easily to secure her maiden win by 23 seconds from France’s Loana Lecomte with Italian Martina Berta in third.
Stigger stormed away from a four-rider leading group on the third lap and kept up the strong pace brilliantly to triumph as Richards finished just over a minute behind in seventh spot.
The 23-year-old said: “It is amazing. It is just emotional and I have to thank everyone involved, the team and my family they are supporting me in every hard situation. I didn’t have any strategy today. I just wanted to listen to my body and go my pace. I had a lot of fun in the downhills.”
Stigger’s first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup XCO elite victory comes on the back of two world junior XCO titles, two European junior XCO titles and the 2018 world junior road race title.
In the men’s XCC event on Friday, Frenchman Victor Koretzky managed to hold off his compatriot Jordan Sarrou to win by just two seconds with German Luca Schwarzbauer in third and Romanian Vlad Dascălu fourth.
On Sunday, Sarrou went one better for the XCO victory in Snowshoe when he got the better of cross-country legend Nino Schurter in a sprint for the finish line after a thrilling fast last lap.
Schurter’s fellow Swiss riders Marcel Guerrini and Mathias Flückiger finished in third and fourth respectively, while reigning world champion Tom Pidcock fought back superbly from a puncture for fifth.
It was not only Briton Pidcock that saw his race complicated by punctures with Schwarzbauer battling for the lead with Sarrou when he suffered a rear puncture that ended his victory hopes.
The result leaves Schurter with 1433 points at the top of the standings, a lead of 89 over race winner Sarrou as Flückiger lies in third, Schwarzbauer fourth and France’s Thomas Griot in fifth.
Women’s XCO result from Snowshoe
1. Laura Stigger AUT 1:21.56
2. Loana Lecomte FRA +0.23
3. Martina Berta ITA +0.32
4. Savilia Blunk USA +0.38
5. Jolanda Neff SUI +0.46
Men’s XCO result from Snowshoe
1. Jordan Sarrou FRA 1:18.38
2. Nino Schurter SUI +0.01
3. Marcel Guerrini SUI +0.03
4. Mathias Flückiger SUI +0.10
5. Tom Pidcock GBR +0.13
2023 women’s XCO standings
1. Puck Pieterse NED 1741 points
2. Mona Mitterwallner AUT 1352
3. Loana Lecomte FRA 1211
4. Alessandra Keller SUI 1188
5. Laura Stigger AUT 1184
2023 men’s XCO standings
1. Nino Schurter SUI 1433 points
2. Jordan Sarrou FRA 1344
3. Mathias Flückiger SUI 1266
4. Luca Schwarzbauer GER 1213
5. Thomas Griot FRA 1086