Canadian Cyclist


July 8/24 16:15 pm - Isabella Holmgren Takes Double Win at Les Gets World Cup

Posted by Editoress on 07/8/24

Once again, Canada's Isabella Holmgren (Lidl-Trek) had a perfect World Cup weekend, winning both the XCC and XCO races in the women's Under-23 category at Les Gets, France, the sixth round of the World Cup. This was Holmgren's second win in the XCC and third in the XCO. In other top Canadian results, Cole Punchard (Pivot Cycles-OTE) was fifth in the Under-23 men's XCO, Owen Clark was ninth in the Under-23 men's XCC, Ella MacPhee (Pivot Cycles-OTE) was a career high eighth in the Under-23 women's XCO, and Emilly Johnston (Trek Future) was eighth in the Under-23 women's XCC.

Isabella Holmgren won the XCC by three seconds over her closest rival, Kira Böhm (Cube Factory), with Johnston finishing 31 seconds back in eighth and MacPhee 14th. Holmgren now has two wins and a second place in the three XCCs she has participated in, jumping her up to fifth in the overall standings from 12th. Böhm continues to lead, 71 points ahead of Johnston, with MacPhee sitting tenth overall.




As much intent as her move seemed to contain, Holmgren said she "didn't really go into it with a plan, because it's such a technical course with all the rocks and everything. I just felt it and thought it would be better to go sooner rather than later. One lap I had a mishap on the rocks, and you never know if that will happen again."

In the men's Under-23, Bjorn Riley (Trek Future) took his second win of the season, in the absence of Series leader Riley Amos (Trek Factory) who was ill. Clark was 13 seconds back in ninth, followed by Noah Ramsay in 12th, Punchard in 18th and Zorak Paille (Pivot Cycles-OTE) in 33rd. Amos continues to lead the overall standings with four wins and a second place, but Riley has pulled to within ten points. Punchard is the top Canadian in 18th, followed by Paille (21st), Clark (31st) and Ramsay (43rd).

In the Elite categories, Jennifer Jackson (Liv Factory) was the only Canadian woman, finishing 16th behind winner Alessandra Keller (Thomus Maxon). Keller continues to lead the overall standings, with Jackson moving up two spots to ninth. Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory) won the Elite men, with Canadian Leandre Bouchard (Foresco Holding Proco RL) finishing 25th and Gunnar Holmgren (KMC Ridley) not finishing after a mechanical. Sam Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck) moves into the overall lead with his third place result. Holmgren sits 35th (down two spots) and Bouchard 49th.

XCC results


Isabella Holmgren was once again the strongest rider in the Under-23 women, with her third win in three World Cups entered in her first year as an Under-23 rider. Olivia Onesti (Trinx Factory) attacked hard in the first lap, opening a gap on the rest of the field, but by the end of the second lap Holmgren had caught her and dropped her in the next lap to eventually win by 25 seconds, with Böhm finishing third, 1:46 down. Ella MacPhee rode up from the mid teens to take eighth, with Marie-Fay St-Onge 57th and Nicole Bradbury 68th. Unfortunately, Emilly Johnston, the Number 2 ranked rider overall could not start due to illness. In the overall standings, Böhm continues to lead, and Johnston dropped to fourth from second due to her DNS. Holmgren, despite having only half of the World Cups is up to fifth overall, while MacPhee remains in eighth, putting three Canadians in the top-10.





"I'm so happy to have the support of Trek for the last three World Cups," said Holmgren. "Without them I don't think I'd be able to do this." Holmgren also commented on her Olympic selection:  "I'm really happy to be able to go with my brother [Gunnar]. This was a nice race to boost my confidence. Between now and then I'm just going to train hard and have fun."

In the Under-23 men, Bjorn Riley led from start to finish, winning by 1:17 over Luca Martin (Orbea Factory). Punchard went from 15th at the end of Lap 1 to tenth a lap later and then steadily moved his way up to fifth on the final lap. Owen Clark went from 20th to as high as 12th with one lap to go before losing one spot in the last lap. Ian Ackert (Trek Future), last year's Junior silver medallist at the Worlds, was 18th, Maxime St-Onge 75th, Zorak Paille 86th, Alexander Woodford 106th and Noah Ramsay did not finish. Riley Amos continues to lead the standings despite not racing, although Bjorn Riley crept closer. Punchard improved to 12th from 14th and Owen Clark to 31st from 35th, while Paille dropped five spots to 34th. Ackert, who has completed only three races, jumped from 50th to 41st.

In the Elite women, Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) took her first win of the season after a second, third and fourth place, finishing 2:27 ahead of Candice Lill. However, many of the favourites, including world champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Ineos Grenadiers) and Haley Batten (Specialized Factory) skipped the race for Olympic prep. Canadian champion Jackson was 26th after fading out of the top-20 in the second half of the race. Sandra Walter was 45th, Juliette Tetreault was 60th and Emma Olsen 62nd. Keller, third at Les Gets, continues to lead the standings, with Pieterse bumping the absent Batten for second. Jackson remains 19th overall, with Walter moving up three spots to 58th.




"I tried to go full gas from the start and luckily it worked out," Pieterse summarized afterwards. "I knew it was a climber's course so I tried to push every climb to my fullest and take less risks on the descent. The last lap I got a bit tired and made a few mistakes but luckily I had enough time. Maybe the focus was a bit gone ... After three laps I worried if I had taken it too early but luckily I kept it together."

Alan Hatherly battled Mathias Flückiger (Thomus Maxon) for the first three laps before pulling away to eventually win by 1:31, adding the XCO win to his XCC victory of two days earlier. Among the absent riders doing Olympic prep were World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM), world champion Thomas Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) who is racing at the Tour and Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory). Gunnar Holmgren was the top Canadian in 36th, followed by Tyler Orschel (Pan-American Union) in 47th, Leandre Bouchard in 52nd, Victor Verreault (Foresco Holding Proco RL) 63rd and Logan Sandesky 64th. Hatherly overtook the absent Schurter to lead the overall standings, with Holmgren remaining the top Canadian in 34th place.




For Hatherly it had been an "unreal weekend. Before the race I visualized the double and I'm so happy to have executed it, especially leading into the [Olympic] Games. Once I was confident and happy with my pacing strategy I just cracked on. I was surprised that I rode away the way I did, but happy. I just kept it steady to the finish."

XCO results


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