Tom Pidcock wins an exciting XCO 2023 World Championship
After a few weeks full of news, the XCO World Championship has left us with a race full of surprises in which the British Tom Pidcock has won his first rainbow jersey in XCO Elite.
Tom Pidcock is the new XCO World Champion
The start was fast and only a small blockage at the back could have foreshadowed everything that was to happen in a few minutes. First, one of the biggest names of the race, Mathieu van der Poel suffered an unexplained crash in a slow and uncomplicated corner that put him out of the race outright. The ghosts of his crash at the Tokyo Olympics seemed to be back.
Shortly after, bad luck struck David Valero who disappeared from the first places due to a problem with his shoe. With the pace at the head of the race, the Spanish rider's comeback seemed impossible.
In just 2 laps, two of the big favorites had already disappeared and the race was led by a powerful group formed by Swiss Nino Schurter, South African Alan Hatherly and Frenchman Jordan Sarrou. The three of them worked as a team to try to prevent the British Tom Pidcock from reaching them.
But Pidcock did not fail and despite the very high pace of the front riders he managed to overtake all the riders ahead of him and by lap 3 he was only 8 seconds behind the race leader.
On lap 4 the changes did not stop. Pidcock arrived in front and it was then that Schurter and Hatherly collaborated to put one more point of speed with which they unhooked Sarrou and did not let the British rider recover from his comeback.
The pace was at the limit but on lap 5 of 8 Schurter was still pushing without being able to get away from Pidcock and Hatherly. It was on lap 6 when Tom Pidcock began to show everything he knows how to do and by dint of attacks, which Schurter used to placate on the downhills, began to open a gap. There were only 2 laps to go and the British rider's power already seemed far from any rival.
Schurter's problems now came from behind, where New Zealand's Sam Gaze and France's Victor Koretzky had already overtaken Hatherly and were heading for the Swiss in the fight for the medals.
Sam Gaze overtook Nino Schurter at the start of the last lap and was motivated enough to try to cut time on Pidcock, but it was too late.
With no more surprises, Tom Pidcock arrived first at the finish line to be proclaimed XCO World Champion 2023 in front of a home crowd devoted to the British rider.
New Zealand's Sam Gaze took the silver medal and Nino Schurter closed the podium after a magnificent race.
Results XCO World Championships Men Elite 2023
- PIDCOCK Thomas GBR 1:22:09
- GAZE Samuel NZL +0:19
- SCHURTER Nino SUI +0:34
- KORETZKY Victor FRA +0:43
- DASCALU Vlad ROU +0:54
- HATHERLY Alan RSA +1:07
- BRAIDOT Luca ITA +1:41
- FORSTER Lars SUI +1:45
- SCHWARZBAUER Luca GER +1:52
- COOPER Anton NZL +1:53