Gunnar Holmgren launched a stellar start to the Les Gets World Cup weekend, finishing in the top-15 in the elite short track cross country (XCC) race on Friday. The Ontario racer placed 14th in the elite men’s XCC on Friday.
Holmgren was the lone Canadian man in the elite men’s XCC field in Les Gets. His 14th place is two spots behind where he finished the XCC in Vallnord two weeks ago but, crucially, earns the Pivot Cycles-OTE racer another second-row start. The top 16 spots in a World Cup XCC determine seeding in the front two rows for that weekend’s XCO race. In Andorra, Holmgren translated his second-row start into his best-ever elite World Cup result.
Holmgren’s stand-out result comes the day after Carter Woods earned a podium in the under-23 XCC race in Les Gets.
Friday’s elite men’s XCC was won by France’s Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing), giving the Les Gets crowd a home-nation winner to celebrate. Jordan Sarrou (BMC) added another French rider to the podium in second place. German powerhouse Luca Schwarzbauer (Canon CLLCTV), appearing to have learned his lesson from XCC worlds in Glasgow, forced his way into third place via an inside line on the final corner while Thomas Litscher (Lapierre) crashed behind.
Jenn Jackson (Liv Factory Racing) was the lone Canadian in the elite women’s XCC World Cup. Jackson placed 30th in Les Gets.
It was Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck), though taking top honours in France. The Dutch racer fended off a late charge from Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) and Alessandra Keller (Thomus Maxon) to take the win out of an elite group of five that later reduced to just three.