World Cup season opens in Brazil: multilayered importance for Team BMC athletes

World Cup season opens in Brazil: multilayered importance for Team BMC athletes

The year 2024 holds significant importance, not only due to the World Cup season, which features the first two events in Brazil, the World Championships in Andorra at altitude, but also because of Paris 2024. 

Two of these events coincide in the first two weeks of April: The World Cups in Brazil are part of the selection process of the national XC federations.

In other words, the first two World Cups of the season are among the biggest races of the year, with the federation's attention fixed on the courses. Jordan Sarrou, Titouan Carod, and Juri Zanotti will aim to demonstrate why they deserve to participate in Paris this summer.

Sarrou, who ranked second in the overall XCC and XCO World Cup classifications, showcased consistency in his performances, even after the winter break. Carod, after experiencing an average season last year, has rebounded in the early days of 2024, demonstrating numerous times why he is among the best XCO riders globally. Zanotti has been making consistent progress every year and has already shown this season that he has taken another step closer to the top 10 of the World Cup circuit.

Titouan Carod World Cups 2024

Their pre-season unfolded as planned, and with promising results in preparation races such as the Supercup in Banyoles (Sarrou 2nd, Carod 3rd), the first race in the Italian Bike Cup (Carod 2nd), the opening event in the French Cup (Sarrou 3rd, Zanotti 7th), and last but definitely not least, the second race in the Swiss Bike Cup (Sarrou 1st), there is much anticipation for the events in Brazil.

Sarrou was utterly content with his first victory of the season in Monte Tamaro, as it was the final rehearsal before the World Cups. “I have two weeks to give my fitness the final touches, and I am feeling confident towards the races in Brazil.” 

Also, Zanotti is looking forward to traveling and racing overseas. “I am happy with my progress so far this season. The first World Cups are of utmost importance, and I am excited to go there.”

Juri Zanotti World Cups 2024

Lastly, Carod says: “I realized after Monte Tamaro, Team BMC’s last event before the World Cups, that I made progress. I haven’t had my best shape yet, but I did put a lot of work into my fitness and I am, based on my lap times in the races, confident about the racing in Brazil.” 

It's all about performance in Brazil, both in terms of personal achievements and results of the elite riders, as well as for the team classification, which has always been a goal for Team BMC. 

Also, Steffi Häberlin, who sustained a collarbone injury earlier this year, returns to racing in Brazil. Häberlin did not have the best preparation, but she is fit enough to arrive at the starting line. Without any races under her belt, it is a guessing game to determine where she stands in relation to the field. However, most importantly, her collarbone fracture has healed sufficiently for her to race in the Southern Hemisphere.

Team BMC’s two U23 riders, Janis Baumann and new-signing Maxime l’Homme will not travel to Brazil to compete in the first World Cups of the season. 

The first World Cup is scheduled from April 12th to 14th in Mairiporā, and the following week, Team BMC will line up in Araxá (April 19th-21st).