World champion Tom Pidcock waves to the crowd on winning the XCO title at MTB World Cup Crans-Montana in Switzerland.

Tom Pidcock masters Swiss MTB World Cup a week out from the Tour de France

A fantastic course hosted a dramatic and crash-marred race that was eventually won by the reigning world and Olympic champion.

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) wins MTB World Cup XCO in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Photo: © Piper Albrecht

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 23.06.2024 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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Tom Pidcock doubled up on mountain bike results this weekend, acing the gnarly Crans-Montana track to take his second win of the weekend and second World Cup XCO victory of the season. 

Swiss rider Filippo Colombo (Scott-SRAM) led through the start loop joined by his compatriot and teammate Nino Schurter. Then Julian Schelb (Stop&Go) took the lead on the steep, muddy climb, followed closely by Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers). 

Pidcock then moved into the lead, but Schelb took back the front position and Pidcock slid out in the tech zone, leaving the young Brit to join Schurter and Maximilian Brandl (Lexware) in chasing back to the leader. They made short work of doing so, with Schurter taking the charge into the wind. 

As was the case in the women’s race, certain sections looked more like a cyclocross race. Muddy conditions forced even the best riders to dismount and run. 

Pidcock knew Schurter’s game though and attacked during lap two, preferring to ride at the front at a hard pace just like the veteran Swiss rider. Meanwhile, Mathias Flückiger (Thömus maxon) slotted into third and Schelb was not far behind in fourth. 

Flückiger is no stranger to battling with Schurter. He took the opportunity to overtake his longtime rival, showcasing the dynamism of the opening laps of the race, particularly for the Swiss riders performing in front of a home crowd. He gained 5 seconds over Schurter, but was still 13 seconds behind world champion Pidcock. 

During lap three, it was Schurter’s turn to crash, a rare occurrence for him, high siding a muddy rut and tumbling off the side of the course. He jumped back on his bike and appeared uninjured, but the incident saw him cede third position to Schelb. Schurter crashed again later that lap, narrowly escaping rock garden-induced injury, certainly off his usual game. 

Canyon’s Luca Schwarzbauer and Lars Forster (Thömus maxon) then joined Schurter, adding some intrigue for the battle for the top five in the second half of the race. 

On the next lap, Pidcock crashed again on an ice-slick off-camber section, but quickly remounted and retained the lead. While Forster crashed in a different section and looked like he might have injured his hand. 

Schelb, Schurter, and Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz-RockShox) grouped up, all seeking the third podium spot. Braidot was dangling at the back of that group, but he overtook Schelb on the slick climb during the last lap. 

Pidcock coasted to victory with a minute-10-second advantage over Flückiger, and another minute back, Braidot out-sprinted an exhausted Schurter for third place.

Men’s XCO Results

  1. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers)
  2. Mathias Flückiger (Thömus Maxon) +1:10
  3. Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz Rockshox) +2:05
  4. Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) +2:08
  5. Julian Schelb (Stop&Go Marderabwehr) +2:23
  6. Nadir Colledani (Santa Cruz Rockshox) +2:52
  7. Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV) +2:55
  8. Lars Forster (Thömus Maxon) +3:07
  9. Jordan Sarrou (BMC) +3:22
  10. Filippo Colombo (Scott-SRAM) +3:22

Brief Analysis 

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