Tom Pidcock dynamites the race and wins in Albstadt, Valero finishes on the podium
He hadn't competed in mountain biking for almost a year and was coming straight from the road classics season. None of that stopped Tom Pidcock from being the best in the XCO World Cup in Albstadt.
Tom Pidcock proves himself to be unbeatable in Albstadt
After his victory in Petrópolis, Nino Schurter had in Albstadt the first chance to become the mountain biker with the most World Cup victories in history. And from the opening loop he started to try to do so.
The race was to be decided in 6 laps and after a first few metres in which the German Lucas Schwarzbauer led, Nino Schurter took the lead on lap 1. With one of his characteristic downhill attacks, Schurter managed to open a small gap on the leading group - only Vlad Dascalu was able to get on his wheel.
The group came back together at the start of lap 2, but Schurter's work had taken effect and there were now only 10 riders in the lead. Among them were Tom Pidcock, Alan Hatherly, Mathias Flueckiger, Dascalu, Avancini, Sarrou and Schurter himself.
Swiss rider Mathias Flueckiger took the lead midway through lap 2 and with several powerful changes of pace left Schurter and Pidcock alone to fight for the lead alongside him.
The race changed completely when Tom Pidcock decided on lap 3 that it was his turn. We had seen him do it during the Olympic Games race and here the British rider repeated the strategy. He first increased the pace of the bunch and then launched a sustained uphill attack that left him completely alone in the lead and 15 seconds ahead of Schurter and Fluckiger.
At the start of lap 4, Pidcock was already 20 seconds ahead of the chasing group of Schurter, Flueckiger, Hatherly and Titouan Carod.
The Spaniard David Valero was having a great race and we saw him riding in 6th position and leading the second group. Jofre Cullel closed the same group in 11th position.
With two laps to go, Pidcock did not slow down and his lead continued to grow. Lap 5 started with Flueckiger out of the race due to a flat tyre and Schurter, Carod and Hatherly 39 seconds behind the INEOS Grenadier British rider.
The final lap bell rang with Pidcock in the lead, 40 seconds ahead of his pursuers. But the fight was raging behind in the next group. Schurter, Carod, Dascalu, Hatherly and, a little behind, David Valero were fighting and exchanging positions continuously to try to decide the podium.
Completely out of reach, Tom Pidcock finished first to win the Albstadt 2022 XCO World Cup. A resounding victory with which the British rider maintains his status as the top mountain bike favourite.
The last lap left us with an exciting fight for the rest of the podium places that was resolved with Schurter in second position, Dascalu third, Carod fourth and David Valero fifth.
Results Elite Men's XCO World Cup Albstadt 2022
- PIDCOCK Thomas (INEOS Grenadier)
- SCHURTER Nino (SCOTT-SRAM MTB RACING TEAM)
- DASCALU Vlad (TREK FACTORY RACING XC)
- CAROD Titouan (BMC MTB RACING)
- VALERO SERRANO David (BH TEMPLO CAFÉS UCC)
- SARROU Jordan (SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING)
- HATHERLY Alan (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
- COLOMBO Filippo (BMC MTB RACING)
- AVANCINI Henrique (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)
- ULLOA AREVALO Jose Gerardo (Massi)