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Carter Woods wins in West Virginia World Cup

Emilly Johnston battles to fifth place in under-23 XCO in Snowshoe

Canadians made the most of World Cup racing returning close to home, kicking off the North American double-header with a win and a top five in the under-23 XCO races on Sunday.

Replay: Under-23 Men XCO World Cup – Snowshoe, W.Va

Carter Woods (Giant-Factory Racing) launched off the line in Sunday’s under-23 XCO and never looked back. The Vancouver Island racer was initially followed by Adrian Boichis (Trinity Racing) and a fleet of U.S. racers including Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing), Bjorn Riley (Trek Future Racing) and Brayden Jonson.

Boichis remained glued to Woods wheel as the pair started to roll away from the chasers going out onto the first of six full laps. By the end of the first lap, the leading duo were all alone. Boichis was hunting for a win to secure the season title. Woods, in third overall, was hunting for a win. Behind, Riley Amos chased all alone in third.

Boichis attempted to attack going out onto the final lap as Woods went into the tech/feed zone. Woods, sensing danger, reacted fast enough to lead as the two joined together and go onto the descent first.

Again, Boichis attacked. While the French racer initially earned a couple bike lengths of open ground, Woods chased, made contact and immidiately countered with a move of his own. The Canadian’s effort was more successful, with Boichis struggling to match Woods’ power.

Woods quickly built up a small lead and, showing considerable confidence, gave a wave to the crowd well before the finish line. By the time they crossed the line, Boichis dropped 15 seconds behind.

Carter Woods adds to his World Cup win tally with an amazing performance in Snowshoe. Boichis settles for second while Riley Amos finishes third, 55 seconds back.

Replay: Under-23 Women XCO World Cup – Snowshoe, W.Va

In the women’s race it was Ronja Blochlinger, winner of every XCC so far this season, getting of the line fastest. The Liv Factory Racing athlete, though, had world champion Samara Maxwell (RockRider Racing) right on her wheel. As the duo started to move away, Nicole Buri (BIXS) chased with the U.S.A.’s Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) trying to hold her wheel on home soil. Canada’s Emilly Johnston (Trek Future Racing) was in 16th early on.

Maxwell had a moment on the first full lap, nearly colliding with a tree in a technical second of woods. That let Buri and Blochlinger escape and forced the Kiwi to chase.

Maxwell recovered and immediately started putting pressure on Blochlinger. The Swiss racer held on for a while, but the u23 world champion, buoyed by her recent signing with RockRider, escaped by the start of the second lap. That lead continued to extend to a handful of seconds, then into double digits. Behind, Gina Calouri (Thomus Akros) joined, then passed Buri. Emilly Johnston had, by the final lap, executed a phenomenal chase to move into fifth place on course.

That order would hold until the line. Maxwell takes the win, trailed by Blochlinger, Calouri and Buri. Johnston had a phenomenal race to finish fifth in West Virginia.