Solvhoj and Pedersen win the U23 XCO World Cup in Nove Mesto
Solvhoj and Pedersen win the first race of the U23 XCO World Cup, held in Nove Mesto. The Norwegian was part of the leading group from the beginning and pulled out strength in the most delicate moment of the race to take the victory. Pedersen held on until she launched an attack that went unanswered and gave her the first step of the podium.
Solvhoj executes a flawless strategy and wins the game over Lillo
The race started with Lillo-Solvhoj-Amos-Schellekens-Wilson as the leading names. The five managed to get a small lead, but Boichis, winner of the Short Track, regained it and became the sixth rider in the lead shortly after the first finish line. The gap to the chasing group, also made up of six riders, was then 9 seconds.
They rode at a good pace as the gaps between them stretched and shrank by the minute. Another lap completed. Now it was Hudyma and Blackmore who, by pedaling, managed to join the leaders.
Soon after Martin was the next to give chase to the leaders. Amos, who had been leading the expedition for quite some time, handed over the honors to Lillo and Solvhoj.
Amos-Lillo-Solvhoj-Wilson-Schellekens-Hudyma-Blackmore exchanged positions at the top of the table. Orbea Factory Team's Frenchman Luca Martin was in no man's land 20 seconds behind, with another 14 riders more than half a minute behind.
With the fourth lap approaching the halfway point, Lillo-Amos-Solvhoj increased the pace to open a 7-second gap with those who shared the lead.
Fifth lap. The lead grew to 12 seconds, but despite a promising performance, bad luck came knocking at Amos' door. The American's rear tyre came off, leaving Lillo-Solvhoj in a head-to-head battle to win the race.
The war was then waged on the distance between the duo and the chasing group, who could make eye contact with the leading pair on the longest straights. Even so, the pace of Lillo-Solvhoj was superior and the gap was 26 seconds at the finish line.
Lillo made a move, pulled on his quadriceps and Solvhoj, although unable to connect with his wheel, remained a few meters behind. A spill of effort on the part of the Swiss that was sterile when Solvhoj cut those seconds and passed him.
Last lap. Solvhoj first and Lillo 5 seconds behind. The Swiss rider demanded more effort from his legs. At times it seemed that Lillo was getting closer. But it was a mirage. Solvhoj dominated with an iron fist the final stages of the race and showed a point more freshness than his rival.
And so they reached the finish. Solvhoj pushed and pushed and although Lillo sprinted like an animal until he was very close when they reached the finish line, in the end he could not catch him. The Norwegian raised his arms to the sky of Nove Mesto and took the first victory of the season. The podium was completed by Schellekens after a great performance.
Results XCO U23 World Cup Nove Mesto 2023 - Men's
- Oliver Solvhoj 1:08'27"
- Dario Lillo +2"
- Tom Schellekens +41"
- Oleksandr Hudyma +45"
- Matthew Wilson +55"
- Luca Martin +1'06"
- Joseph Blackmore +1'17"
- Emanuele Vittone +1'33"
- Luke Wiedmann +1'44"
- Carter Woods +2'
Pedersen beats Caluori to a clear win in Nove Mesto
The race started and Pedersen quickly took the lead of the one who escapes in the Start Loop. A distance that started small but gradually increased. 6 seconds with Caluori and 11 with the group of seven runners who came behind twelve minutes into the race.
Caluori and Blochlinger made common cause and went after Pedersen. The Swiss worked well and achieved their goal at the start of the third lap. Behind, the group of Garnier-Johnston-Munro-Buri and company was almost half a minute behind.
The race continued until Blochlinger had a technical problem and was forced to stop for assistance. The incident caused her to lose too many seconds to rejoin the fight for the victory.
Pedersen pulled out a little more power than her rival and opened a gap of 6 seconds. The Danish Wilier Pirelli Factory Team XCO rider kept pushing the pedals and increased the gap to 16 seconds shortly after the start of the penultimate lap.
Meanwhile, the war for the third place on the podium seemed to be going Johnston's way, who was 23 seconds ahead of Cortinovis.
Pedersen continued to show no signs of faltering and increased her lead to the final 30 seconds. Caluori was second and a few moments later Johnston crossed the finish line to take third place.
Results XCO U23 World Cup Nove Mesto 2023 - Women's
- Heby Sofie Pedersen 1:09'21"
- Gina Caluori +30"
- Emilly Johnston +1'20"
- Sara Cortinovis +1'32"
- Noelle Buri +1'50"
- Noemie Garnier +1'51"
- Ella Maclean-Howell +2'02"
- Samara Maxwell +2'13"
- Madigan Munro +2'18"
- Zoe Cuthbert +2'18"