The UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Round 6 hosted at the Sea Otter Europe Festival with twists and turns defined this year’s World Cup Winners.
Day 2 saw intense battles, technical problems, and some unfortunate retirements, but before that, Mirko Tabacchi (RDR Italia Factory) and Barbora Vojt (Team challenge one by UNNO) set the morning’s Qualirace by claiming the Raspini Pole Position.
The race began with the Fassi Holeshot, which was dominated by the German duo of Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) and Rico Libesch (Advanced E-Racing) as the fast-started riders at turn 1.
Czech Vojt, who started at the front, found herself in the midst of a multiple overtaking battle with Justine Tonso (Lapierre Overvolt), Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized), and Anna Spielmann (Haibike).
Eventually, the French rider crossed the line in first and secured the top spot of the leaderboard to be crowned 2023 World Cup Winner one race ahead of the final round.
“Today’s race was challenging because we were in the same pack for at least 2 laps with all the girls, racing on a narrow track to maintain our positions and make overtakes. So, when I had the opportunity, I launched an attack to take the lead and then pushed hard to create a gap and break away. I felt like I was in better shape today compared to yesterday. It is great to win here and I’ll be focused to win the next race in Barcelona, too!”, said Tonso.
Austrian Spielmann secured the second position, while Barbora Vojt, after an impressive WES debut with a double podium finish and a pole position, settled for third. Sofia Wiedenroth finished fourth, followed by Kathrin Stirnemann (Thömus Maxon) in fifth.
In the Men’s race, drama continued as Mirko Tabacchi, leading the first two laps, broke his pedal and was forced to retire from the race.
This left Joris Ryf (Specialized) in close battle with Jérôme Gilloux (Lapierre Overvolt), knowing that the Swiss rider needed a victory to keep his general classification aspirations alive. However, “The Specialist” managed to break away, take the win and secure the World Cup Title.
“It was such an important race for the Overall Standings, and it is always good to clinch the title one race ahead of the final round and to take the finale easily. That was my goal and I’m glad I made it. We had a very fast start today, Mirko (Tabacchi) made a great attack on the big uphill and got to the front, and it was impossible to catch him. Unfortunately, he suffered some technical problems and had to stop after 2 laps, so it was a battle between me and Joris (Ryf). Unluckily, he crashed and I could widen the gap. So happy to win the race and the title here!”, said Gilloux.
Ryf had to settle for second place, while Spanish rider Lluc Coma Macià (Farners Club Ciclista) claimed the podium’s third spot, his first ever at WES. Rémy Gena (Team challenge one by UNNO) finished fourth, with Heiko Hog (Advanced E-Racing) rounding out the top five.
The sixth Magneti Marelli Checkstar Power Lap Award of the season went to Tonso and Tabacchi in their respective categories.
World Cup Winners
French teammates Tonso and Gilloux have been crowned 2023 World Cup Winners, as two of the best in E-MTB XC racing, but the season isn’t over as they have to prepare to the curtains down at Barcelona, alongside the rest of the grid, next October 21, for the last one-shot race.
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