Aldridge becomes U23 XCO World Champion
Aldridge is crowned 2023 U23 XCO World Champion. The Scotsman takes the gold in front of his compatriots after an attack on the last lap that broke the equality that the leading trio showed from the beginning. Boichis and Lillo put up a fight until the end, but had to settle for silver and bronze, respectively.
Aldridge wins the 2023 U23 XCO World Championships
The race started in Glentress Forest under a sun that had barely shown itself in previous days. The start was clean at the front and had some hiccups at the back, with one rider having mechanical problems and another ending up on the ground. Aldridge, Amos, Boichis and Lillo were the first to cross the finish line and close the start loop.
The first full lap started with these four riders in the lead, who marked territory from the start and asserted their status as favorites. Italy's Vittone followed in their wake to form the leading quintet. Behind, eleven riders, including bogeymen such as Solvhoj and Schellekens, were just a few meters behind.
The front group upped the pace and Vittone soon began to lose meters until he was swallowed up by the chasing group. The four leaders kept their positions stable. The apparent calm was actually hiding an offensive aimed at opening up a gap. The plan worked and they gained an income of 14 seconds.
Aldridge continued in first position until he handed over the baton to Lillo. Maximum equality. Too early for attacks between them but with enough intensity to increase the cushion. Martin, Schellekens and company exchanged positions, but none was able to reverse the situation. 19 seconds.
Amos at the front with the three stuck to his wheel. Martin had reduced the gap to 19 seconds, although by then the chasing group had broken up into several groups of a few riders, with Martin himself riding solo in fifth.
Lillo pushes. He was determined to make the race harder and managed to stretch out the group slightly, but soon after they would tighten up again to rebuild the quartet and face the end of the lap together.
The next few minutes saw the leading group claim its first casualty. Amos, who had already shown more fatigue than his rivals, lost several watts and dropped 17 seconds. The American had more than half a minute margin behind, but unless he recovered, he left the trio in front with half a medal in his pocket.
Aldridge, Lillo and Boichis. Already in the penultimate lap, the differences were reluctant to appear and everything seemed destined to be decided on the last lap. Behind, Amos was 34 seconds away and a group formed by Schellekens, Rose and Lillelund was at 1 minute and 1 second behind.
Last lap. Lillo attacks on the finishing straight. Boichis follows him and Aldridge does the same. The British rider gets out of trouble and overtakes the Swiss, who now closes the trio. Aldridge goes all out and gives a superb pedal stroke that leaves Lillo standing. Boichis replies and holds the pace, but Aldridge keeps the bet and ends up dismantling the Frenchman. He takes revenge on Boichis and escapes.
Aldridge arrives at the finish line with no one to threaten his victory and is proclaimed 2023 U23 XCO World Champion. United Kingdom is more leader in the medal table of the Glasgow World Championships with its 19th gold and 48th medal in the total of metals. Boichis crosses second and Lillo takes bronze.
Results XCO U23 World Championship - Men's
- Charlie Aldridge 1h13'53"
- Adrien Boichis +13"
- Dario Lillo +29"
- Riley Amos +1'23"
- Tom Schellekens +1'57"
- Ethan Rose +2'06"
- Tobias Lillelund +2'14"
- Mario Bair +2'28"
- Andreas Emanuele Vittone +2'38"
- Janis Baumann +2'46"