With three more World Cup events remaining in the 2023 season, the competition for the coveted leader's jersey is heating up. Several pilots are still in contention for this prestigious white jersey, including Team BMC rider Jordan Sarrou. Throughout the season, Sarrou has demonstrated consistency, and his focus remains on securing the prize, starting with the upcoming race in Les Gets this weekend.
Sarrou acknowledges the closely contested nature of the battle, emphasizing that it remains open for any contender. Reflecting on the excitement following the World Cup in Andorra, he asserts his commitment to winning the general World Cup classification this year, stating, "It's still anyone's game."
Despite his consistent performance, Sarrou has yet to clinch a World Cup XCO victory. Winning is ultimately the ‘best’ way to get hold of the leader’s jersey, so technically the former world champion can hit two birds with one stone. His teammate and former World Champion, Titouan Carod, shares similar ambitions of standing on the podium for the remaining three World Cup races.
Paralleling the previous season, Carod appears to hit his peak form towards the season's conclusion. The French national champion had different expectations at the start of the season, but physical setbacks hindered his performance during the early summer months. Nonetheless, those familiar with the XC scene recognize that Carod is a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming World Cup events.
“I won the last two World Cups in 2022”, Carod says. “Back then, Val di Sole was the last World Cup, and in Les Gets we battled in the World Championships. It is great to have a World Cup in my home country and knowing the progress I made the last few weeks regarding my fitness; I am very much looking forward to the racing in the French Alps.”Juri Zanotti shares Carod's excitement. Following a strong performance at high altitude in Andorra, Zanotti is targeting Les Gets as an opportunity to surpass his personal best in the current World Cup season, and perhaps even his overall career. "I finished 15th once," Zanotti notes, "and I believe I can improve upon that result. The confidence I gained from last week drives my desire to compete at a high level in Les Gets."
For Steffi Häberlin, the Les Gets course is a favorite on the yearly circuit. Häberlin explains: "It suits my riding style, and I've been looking forward to this event for weeks." Reflecting on her performance in Andorra, she identifies room for improvement in her climbing, and she believes that focusing on this aspect could lead to a strong outcome in Les Gets.
Lastly, Janis Baumann, who was unfortunately sidelined due to illness during the XCO race in Andorra, is making a return to racing. Baumann find it a challenge to predict his performance in Les Gets, given the disruption caused by his illness. Despite uncertainties, he remains optimistic and eager to assess his current shape. Baumann is set to kick off the action for Team BMC in the Short Track race on Thursday, with the elite riders participating in the XCC on Friday and the entire team competing in the XCO disciplines on Sunday.