With the second race in the Coupe de France coming up in Guéret, Titouan Carod will be Team BMC's man to watch. Jordan Sarrou, leader in the Coupe de France after his victory in Marseille last month, unfortunately won't be able to start.
The former world champion broke his little finger during a training earlier in April, missed the Capoliveri Legend in Elba, and hoped he could return to racing in Guéret. Unfortunately, the rider of Team BMC has not fully recovered yet.
It is a big disappointed for Sarrou to miss the HC race in Guéret this weekend. "Guéret was a race I was looking forward to while I was trying to recover from my injury. I am very disappointed to miss this race, and that I am not able to defend my leading position in the Coupe de France."
In the next days, Sarrou will undergo more medical examinations.
The absence of Sarrou leaves all eyes on Team BMC's Titouan Carod. He showed great shape in the Capoliveri Legend in Elba and continued to work on his shape the two weeks after.
The French mountain bike champion will not only start in the XCO race on Sunday, but also in the XCC race on Friday. So does Juri Zanotti. Janis Baumann will both race the under-23 race on Saturday and the elite race on Sunday. "We are heading to France to get some double racing stimuli, as we believe that this will contribute to building their shape to the World Cups," sports director Alex Moos says.
Carod finished second in 2021 on a similar XCC course (behind teammate Sarrou) and aims to improve his result in 2023. Also, in the XCO, the rider of Team BMC hopes to win. He can expect competition from Tom Pidcock, who is returning to XCC and XCO after a Spring Classics campaign on the road.
Carod: "It is disappointing that Sarrou cannot compete, but I am committed to represent Team BMC on the top step of the podium after the XCC and the XCO race. I feel good, improved since Elba and ready to create a speedy race with - hopefully - victories afterwards."
Team BMC in Guéret:
Friday, 28/04, 16.00h : Juri Zanotti, Titouan Carod,(XCC, elite) Saturday, 29/04, 14.45h : Janis Baumann (XCO, under-23) Sunday, 30/04, 14.30h : Janis Baumann, Juri Zanotti, Titouan Carod (XCO, elite)