Strange things happen this late in the season. Last week, it was Tom Pidcock who suffered two flats but rode his way back to a podium finish. A week later, Mathias Flückiger was the one forced to the pits, allowing Pidcock a chance to pounce and cap off the Ineos rider’s season with another victory.
- Cannondale teammates Simon Andreassen, Alan Hatherly, and Charlie Aldridge were fast off the line with Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV), Christopher Blevins (Specialized) and his teammate Victor Koretzky also in the mix.
- Andreassen – seemingly coming out of the woodwork – led the first lap but Flückiger took over the lead mid-way through the lap.
- After a solid start, Blevins was forced into the tech zone with a puncture, as was BMC’s Jordan Sarrou.
- Pidcock took over the chase, keeping Flückiger within striking distance. The Swiss rider suffered a puncture toward the end of the lap and Pidcock inherited the lead.
- Flückiger and Aldridge chased back together before Flückiger bridged the gap to Pidcock. Meanwhile, Marcel Guerrini (BIXS) rode his way to third position.
- Flückiger overtook Pidcock but the Briton kept him within eyesight. The Ineos rider capitalized when Flückiger suffered yet another rear wheel puncture.
- Pidcock headed out on the final lap solo, winning by more than 20 seconds over Flückiger. Guerrini finished third.
- Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) dropped his chain during the final lap, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Swissman from riding to his 9th-career World Cup overall victory.
Another win for Pidcock was a fitting finish to the season for the rider who also won the first World Cup race of the year in the Czech Republic. Along the way, Pidcock picked up the rainbow jersey in Glasgow, proving that he can continue to mix and match road racing and cyclocross with mountain biking.
The final victory wasn’t easy though. Flückiger was strong, and one can only imagine what the battle may have looked like if he wasn’t handicapped with punctures. Mont-Sainte-Anne’s brutal conditions also made the racers work for it, forcing everyone off their bikes in numerous spots due to slick, muddy conditions. Even when they were able to ride, the roots and rock slabs were more reminiscent of a hockey rink than a mountain bike trail.
The race was also a chance for wildcard riders like Guerrini and Andreassen to show themselves near the front. Guerrini went well at Snowshoe last week, and Andreassen delighted with the Dane’s best World Cup showing since 2020.
Finally, Schurter kept his consistency by clinching yet another World Cup overall title.
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