Häberlin impresses in first World Cup of the season, Sarrou strong and fourth

Häberlin impresses in first World Cup of the season, Sarrou strong and fourth

Steffi Häberlin and Jordan Sarrou were Team BMC’s most impressive athletes in the first World Cup of the season, this time around in the southern hemisphere. In Mairipora, Brazil, the runner-up in the overall World Cup classification from last year finished fourth. Häberlin showed great form by finishing 12th - her best result in a World Cup in her career.

All the Team BMC pilots experienced a tough start, facing a steep uphill where the majority of the competition had to dismount. Only two riders were able to continue traveling on wheels in the women’s race - Häberlin was behind a rider who made a technical error. And around seven riders managed in the elite men category, with all Team BMC pilots right behind them. It resulted in a long chasing race for Sarrou.

With Carod and Zanotti, a massive regroup occurred after the first lap, though in one long line that could easily break. It was essential to move up, something we saw Sarrou actively trying throughout the following laps.

For a reason, because it was only in the fifth lap when Sarrou - a diesel as he is - really came back to the front positions in the race. “I just followed my own pace and did not get into the red zone,” he would say after the race. A fierce battle followed, Jordan said, between five to six riders - including the former World Champion himself.

This is where it started to, according to the French pilot, become a physically exhausting and tactical race. “Until the last lap,” he said. “Then there was no thinking anymore, only full gas to the finish.”

Behind him, Titouan Carod and Juri Zanotti claimed 36th and 28th positions respectively at the finish line in humid Brazil. Sarrou, further up front, managed to finish fourth, only a few meters behind the top three spots on the podium.

“It was a mental battle,” Sarrou reflected on the race. “I am stoked to be on the podium today.”

Häberlin achieves career-best result

Starting from the third row after a strong performance in the short race, Steffi Häberlin impressed with a 12th place finish. Having broken her collarbone just before the season’s start, the Swiss pilot impressively moved her way up close to the top 10, which seems to be more within reach soon.

Looking back on her first race of the season, Häberlin said: “I did not feel my collarbone today, which really helped. I could follow my own pace and steadily made my way further up front. I am super happy with the result.”

The World Cup season continues with another race in Brazil next week in Araxa. The second race in the World Cup Series is the last selection race for the different national federations to choose their athletes for Paris 2024.

All Team BMC athletes agreed on one thing: “The atmosphere in Brazil is amazing, and next weekend is surely going to be a blast again as well.”