Samuel Gaze and Ferrand-Prevot proclaimed XCC World Champions
Samuel Gaze wins the 2023 Short Track World Championship. The New Zealander revalidated the title after a devastating attack on the last lap that no one could replicate. Koretzky takes the silver and Pidcock the bronze, although the Briton overtook Schwarzbauer at the last minute with a maneuver that ended with the German on the ground. In the women's category, Ferrand-Prevot again took gold ahead of Pieterse and Richards.
Gaze takes gold at the 2023 World Short Track Championships
The race started with strict British punctuality and the 11 laps of the 900-meter Glentress Forest course began. An army of riders started pedaling with the explosiveness that characterizes this kind of races. Blums, Avancini and Gaze -who was defending the World Championship- were the most outstanding riders in the first lap.
Pidcock deserves a special mention, who started from 42nd position and climbed up to 33rd.
Avancini, the brand new winner of the XCM World Championship, and Schwarzbauer took on the responsibility of opening the way. There were no gaps, all the participants formed a large group that pedaled together in unison. Gaze was first to the finish line to open the third lap. Meanwhile, Pidcock was already 18th.
The British rider continued to find spaces to squeeze through and continued to climb the board relentlessly. The Rider rode confidently into the top 10 on the next lap.
Schwarzbauer went back to the front for a change of pace that forced the rest to answer, although he failed to break away from anyone. Litscher, another who had been in the top five from the start, took third place.
The leading men remained largely unchanged. Schwarzbauer, Gaze, Koretzky, Hatherly and Cink were the main players as the race reached the halfway point. Avancini dropped out and Pidcock relaxed his legs, if that's possible, when he reached podium positions. He lost places but everything seemed under control for the Briton, who was visibly a point fresher than the others.
The tension increased as the laps went by. The climax came in the penultimate lap. Decisive moments to get a good place to face the last 900 meters. Cullell showed his best version and was overtaking rivals to place seventh.
Last lap. Gaze starts. Schwarzbauer follows. Gaze again. And this is the definitive change of pace. The New Zealander opened up a gap in a demonstration of brutal strength. Behind, the fight was still fierce and the medals were dancing between several teams.
Gaze managed to hold on until the end although he was a little overconfident, as Koretzky arrived next to him at the finish line. But the New Zealander saw him in time and pressed to cross first and proclaim himself Short Track World Champion. The Frenchman had to settle for silver.
The bronze went to Pidcock, who came from behind to win the bronze medal, although he was involved in a controversial overtaking move in the last corner that earned him the medal but ended with Schwarzbauer's crash.
XCC World Championship Results - Men's
- Samuel Gaze 20'27"
- Victor Koretzky +0"
- Thomas Pidcock +2"
- Alan Hatherly +4"
- Sebastian Fini +5"
- Martins Blums +8"
- Jofre Cullell +8"
- Thomas Litscher +8"
- Luca Schwarzbauer +9"
- Anton Cooper +11"
Ferrand-Prevot wins the XCC 2023 World Championship
Specia won the start and the Italian took control of the first meters, although it was her compatriot Berta who led the first passage through the finish line. Pieterse, Richards and Ferrand-Prevot played the role of one of the main rivals to beat and occupied the top positions of the table.
Richards enjoyed her role as the local rider and took the lead of the group, although Pieterse overtook her as they started the third lap. The lead group was large and formed an increasingly tight line, a symptom of the high intensity with which they were pedaling at the front.
Henderson stepped up and moved into first place. Pieterse, Ferrand-Prevot, Richards, Keller and Gibson traded places, but remained in the top six throughout.
Pieterse turned on the watt machine and moved into first position. The Dutchwoman held on longer than her predecessors, who were waiting on her rear wheel. Frei crashed in an area where several riders piled up, causing the Swiss to lose vital time and ruining her chances.
Pieterse lost the first place to the Swiss Haberlin, who had come back from beyond the top 10. Seventh lap. Eight riders in the lead. The group stayed together but the pace meant that some units were left out as the riders started the eighth lap.
The pack was reduced to five: Henderson, Ferrand-Prevot - so far in a supporting role - Pieterse, Gibson and Richards, while Keller struggled to stay with them.
Penultimate lap. Richards gave her fans the illusion of seeing her proclaim World Champion riding in the lead.
Last lap. Ferrand-Prevot uncovers the cards and takes off like an exhalation. Richards stays and Pieterse holds on with a disfigured face. A mirage. The Frenchwoman does not give in and keeps the pace. Pieterse struggles but stays.
Ferrand-Prevot takes gold at the XCC World Championships and retains the title. Pieterse took the silver after a great race in which he could not cope with the final French attack, while Richards completed a great performance and climbed to the last step of the podium to take the bronze.
XCC World Championship Results - Women's
- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot 21'17"
- Puck Pieterse +4"
- Evie Richards +9"
- Gwendalyn Gibson +15"
- Rebecca Henderson +20"
- Alessandra Keller +25"
- Steffi Haberlin +38"
- Savilia Blunk +44"
- Jolanda Neff +49"
- Anne Tauber +57"