Laura Stigger wins the XCO race at the Snowshoe round of the MTB World Cup.

Snowshoe World Cup XCO: Laura Stigger solos to victory in a dynamic race

Stigger handles a tricky course to take a clear victory as Pieterse clinches the overall series win.

Laura Stigger wins the XCO race at the Snowshoe round of the MTB World Cup.

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 01.10.2023 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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Laura Stigger mastered Snowshoe’s slick technical sections and tough climbs to solo to her first World Cup XCO victory in the homeland of her team, Specialized Factory Racing. The Austrian had already won two XCC races this year, but the longer XCO format saw Stigger finally put all the pieces together in West Virginia in what was possibly the most dynamic race of the season.

Laura Stigger on the attack.

Brief analysis

In contrast to Stigger, Lecomte rode a hardtail, a choice the Frenchwoman has made in order to prepare for the Paris Olympics. The bike choice may have had an advantage on Snowshoe’s smoother climbs but would have been a challenge in the technical sections. However, Lecomte proved a capable pilot with her second-place performance.

Behind Lecomte, Berta showed grit late in the race to hold onto third place, while American National Champion Blunk rode to a career-best fourth-place finish. The inimitable Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing) made up spots throughout the race to claim fifth. Neff won in Mont-Sainte-Anne last year so she’ll be one to watch next week.

With her overall victory, Pieterse further confirmed that she is one of the top XCO racers in the world in just her first season in the elite field. The Alpecin rider has said that she will not race as much cyclocross over the winter to focus fully on the Paris Olympics next year.

The final round of the World Cup takes place up north in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec next weekend.

Brief results

  1. Laura Stigger (Specialized Factory Racing)
  2. Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV)
  3. Martina Berta (Santa Cruz Rockshox Pro Team)
  4. Savilia Blunk (Rockrider Ford Racing Team)
  5. Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing XC)
  6. Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  7. Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing FC)
  8. Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing)
  9. Jenny Rissveds (Team 31 Ibis Cycles Continental)
  10. Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory Racing)

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