The inaugural race of 2023 WES UCI E-MTB XC World Cup season, the Monaco Round presented by Département Alpes-Maritimes, took place for the first time in Breil-sur-Roya. Windy weather conditions made and exciting fight on a muddy and slippery, brand-new track, the most demanding so far, some of the riders reported.
The event brought together skilled riders from around the world to showcase their talent and push the boundaries of e-bike racing, where W&M Reigning World Champs and World Cup Winners, the Swiss Nicole Göldi (Trek-Bosch) and the French Jérôme Gilloux (Lapierre Overvolt) were the first Raspini Pole Position winners of the season, after an intense morning’s Qualirace.
A bit of chaos seemed to take center stage at turn 1, after the crash of two riders but fortunately, it was nothing serious.
In the Women’s field, Göldi was the fastest at the start and took the first Holeshot Powered by Fassi. The race saw an impressive performance by the Swiss in rainbow jersey, the Race Winner who never relinquished the lead, followed by an intense battle between Justine Tonso (Lapierre Overvolt) and Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) who fought for the second and third place towards the end of the race, after the German rider had been second for most of the competition.
In the Men’s, Frenchman Emeric Ienzer (Scott Sr Suntour Enduro Team) took the Holeshot home. The action began with Jorys Rif (Specialized) leading the way, followed by Jérôme Gilloux, Hugo Pigeon (Scott Sr Suntour Enduro Team), and the rest of the pack.
However, in the second lap, “the Specialist” Gilloux took the lead to win. Also, Théo Charmes (Team AOTL) tried to fight with Pigeon for the podium’s last step, overtaking his rival who would later reclaim the third position after regaining it.
The Monaco Round was demanding from start to finish on Day 2, reducing the number of laps to 5 instead of 7 due to bad weather conditions.
Once again, Breil-sur-Roya played host to an exhilarating electric bike race that had an unexpected twist. The race took place after a night of relentless rain, transforming the challenging muddy terrain into a surprising advantage for the riders.
Justine Tonso (Lapierre Overvolt) and Hugo Pigeon (Scott Sr Suntour Enduro Team) were the Raspini Pole Position winners. After securing Qualirace’s first position, Tonso took home the top honors as Race Winner, surpassing Women’s Reigning World Champ and World Cup Winner, the Swiss Nicole Göldi (Trek-Bosch) in the overall standings.
The track, initially expected to be treacherous and slippery, underwent a remarkable transformation with Antonia Daubermann (Advanced E-Racing) and Pigeon taking the Fassi Holeshot.
Also, debutant Anna Spielmann (Haibike) finished in third place, while Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) ended up in fourth after experiencing technical issues and stopping for assistance, losing valuable time. Daubermann finished in fifth, with Celia Audoli (Monaco) coming in sixth.
In the Men’s race, “the Specialist” Gilloux started off leading on Day 2. However, he suffered some technical issues on the very last lap, giving way to Emeric Ienzer (Scott Sr Suntour Enduro Team) who eventually took the win, followed by his teammate Hugo Pigeon, leaving Men’s Reigning World Champ and World Cup Winner in third place, despite being the favorite in Monaco. The podium finishers were followed by Jeroen van Eck (Ghost Racing Team) and Jorys Rif (Specialized), fourth and fifth, respectively. Gilloux maintains his lead in the standings, ahead of fellow Frenchman Pigeon and Ryf.
Now, the next event to take place in Bologna, Italy on 10-11 June.
Written by | Ronald Ortega