The Frenchman of the BMC Team will be seeking to replicate his victory over World Champion Nino Schurter in the 2022 World Cup grand finale in Val di Sole, as the two rejoin at the Capoliveri Legend XCO, Internazionali d'Italia Series round 2 on the Elba Island on April 8.
Titouan Carod, the 29-year-old rider for Team BMC and reigning French champion, is indeed expected among Schurter's fiercer opponents on the Elba Island. Carod dominated the grand finale of the World Cup in Val di Sole last year, where he won both the Short Track and the Cross-Country events, the latter right ahead of Schurter. In 2023, Carod is still looking for his first victory, after claiming the third step on the podium in Banyoles.
The Swiss BMC team, one of the strongest in World cross country, can also count on Italian vice-champion Juri Zanotti, also boasting a long-time experience of Internazionali d'Italia Series, and Janis Baumann, the young Swiss rider and bronze medallist at the U23 European Championships in 2022.
"The World Cup is getting closer and my form is growing. I feel stronger race after race. The competition will be fierce in Capoliveri. I expect an interesting race and to be on the final podium. I foresee a great fight to win this race, and I can't wait to throw myself into the fray," admitted Carod.
Meanwhile, Team BMC is already familiarizing themselves with the trails of Elba Island and the Capoliveri Bike Park at the foot of Monte Calamita and its iron mines.
"We have planned a short training camp on Elba before the race. I carry the positive feelings of Monte Tamaro, where I raced in front of my fans, friends, and family. Capoliveri represents another good test for my season," said Juri Zanotti.
Zanotti will also be among the top Italian contenders in Capoliveri, along with the Team Santa Cruz duo of Luca Braidot and Nadir Colledani, the top two finishers in the first round of the Internazionali d'Italia Series in San Zeno di Montagna.
The Capoliveri Legend XCO program for Saturday, April 8, includes the men's UCI Junior Series race at 09.00, followed by the women's competitions (Open and Juniors) at 11.00 and the men's Open race at 14.00. The competitions for the youth categories are scheduled on Sunday, April 9.