Nino Schurter wins his 10th World Championship against an impressive David Valero who takes silver
The Spaniard David Valero made us dream until the end, but Nino Schurter has been proclaimed XCO World Champion once again. The Swiss rider wins his 10th World title and adds to his legend just on the day when we saw Tom Pidcock suffer the most.
Nino Schurter wins 2022 XCO World Champion
A total of 108 riders lined up at the start of the World Championship, which together with a first uphill climb very close to the first straight meant that the group of favourites had to stretch out a lot on the first lap.
Nino Schurter ensured that this was the case with a powerful change of pace midway through lap 1 that seemed clearly destined against Tom Pidcock. The British rider was very far back on the grid and this circuit did not allow him to make up positions as quickly as in the past. As a result, Pidcock was 30 seconds behind the race leader, in 25th position, before the end of the first lap.
At the start of lap 2, the favourites regrouped at the front of the race and among them was Spain's David Valero, who had made one of his best starts of the year. Schurter, Sarrou, Colombo, Gaze, Valero and Braidot were leading the race while Tom Pidcock continued his comeback and was already in 14th position, 20 seconds behind the leaders.
As he has done so many times before, Tom Pidcock only needed 3 laps to get to the front of the race, but Schurter was not giving any break and was keeping a very high pace which meant that Pidcock could only ride at the end of the group, in sixth position.
We soon learned that Pidcock was only taking a short break before he made a powerful attack that completely broke the group and allowed him to take the lead, followed only by Italian Luca Braidot.
But before the end of lap 4 we saw a brilliant attack by David Valero who took over from Pidcock and even managed to open up a few seconds' lead over the Briton, Luca Braidot and Nino Schurter.
To the surprise of many, Valero's attack took its toll on Pidcock and for the first time in a long time we saw him suffer and even pull away from the leading trio of Valero, Schurter and Braidot.
The attacks were softened during the first meters of lap 5, but again it was Valero who pressed the pace to enter ahead of Schurter and Braidot to the downhill technical zone. Pidcock was still fourth and it was clear that he was feeling the effects of the comeback at the start of the race.
At the start of the penultimate lap, Nino Schurter attacked to take the lead alone with David Valero. Luca Braidot dropped back while Tom Pidcock went straight back to lose nearly 20 seconds in just a few metres.
Schurter's move had laid the cards on the table and it became clear that Pidcock did not have a good hand, even if it seemed impossible. We even saw him have a crash that caused a mechanical breakdown.
With one and a half laps to go, the gold medal seemed to be between Nino Schurter and Spain's David Valero. Luca Braidot remained third, 10 seconds behind.
The bell rang for the last lap and Nino Schurter started a cautious attack to which Valero responded well. Both began to study each other and Nino closed any gap Valero tried to overtake him.
In a heart-stopping last lap, Valero tried everything he could to overtake the Swiss, but Schurter responded with a powerful attack that dropped the Spaniard.
Nino Schurter arrived at the finish line as the winner of his 10th World Champion title. David Valero was silver medallist and Italy's Luca Braidot took bronze.
Finally, Tom Pidock, who started as favourite, finished fourth and off the podium.
Results XCO Men's World Championships 2022
- SCHURTER Nino SUI
- VALERO SERRANO David ESP
- BRAIDOT Luca ITA
- PIDCOCK Thomas GBR
- GUERRINI Marcel SUI
- SARROU Jordan FRA
- HATHERLY Alan RSA
- KORETZKY Victor FRA
- COLOMBO Filippo SUI
- CINK Ond?ej CZE