Before a new mountain bike season gets underway and we are swept up in the excitement of predictions and promise, we wanted to reflect on 2023 and celebrate a season of success for Shimano and our athletes.

The first year of the restructured and rebranded UCI Mountain Bike World Series brought us plenty of drama and adrenaline. Between the cross-country, downhill and enduro disciplines, the series consisted of 13 rounds, visiting 10 countries across 3 continents.

Whilst the format changed, the excitement remained. Fresh faces pushed the pace with the likes of Puck Pieterse and Jackson Goldstone tearing up the Elite ranks, but the old guard stood their ground with Mathias Flückiger back on top and Benoît Coulanges, proving that long-term dedication reaps the ultimate reward.

2023 was a beautiful year, with many XTR-powered victories to boast, showcasing the modern magic of mechanical tech. It was a tough job to choose, but here are our top ten highlights of the 2023 World Cup.


Benoît Coulanges’ first World Cup win was a long time coming, but what a way to do it!

His victory in Les Gets was the culmination of more than a decade of progression through the Elite ranks - 55th was his best result back in 2013.

He went fastest in qualification, semi-finals, and finals, a perfect crescendo that led to epic scenes at the finish! The infamous French crowds were on another level, celebrating a French win on home soil in spectacular style.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


Talk about making an entrance!

The Dutch dynamo burst onto the Elite scene in Nove Mesto na Morave, stepping up from U23 and straight onto the top of the podium. She racked up four wins and 11 podiums over the season and wrapped up the XCC and XCO overall titles.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


When it comes to injuries, Marine Cabirou and Tahnée Seagrave know a thing or two. Thankfully, they have also proven they kill it at comebacks!

After breaking her back in Leogang in 2022, Marine slowly but surely built strength and speed as the summer progressed, taking the win in Les Gets and then again in Snowshoe.

Tahnée's route back from concussion to the podium has also been seriously inspiring. Fifth place in Austria and third in Andorra were highlights in a season-long progression. It was Tahnée’s first injury-free season in many years, building from being scared to do a full DH run in the spring to the confidence for race run commitment all summer.

We wish Camille Balanche the same comeback power in 2024.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


If you have the faintest interest in DH, then you’ll know that Jackson Goldstone has been touted as the next big thing since he was a very small kid. What you may not know, though, is that in 2023, he was the only male to win more than once and that he did so during a near-disastrous appendix rupture and the associated surgery.

Not only did he take two victories, he did so with wild margins – 4.326 seconds in Mont-Sainte-Anne and 2.224 in Val di Sole!

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


Richie Rude kick-started the Enduro World Series with a win in Derby alongside his teammate Bex Baraona, who claimed her first EDR win. By the end of the season, he had claimed the overall victory for a record-equaling third time.

With Enduro wrapped up, Richie returned to his DH roots for the North American rounds, smashing out an impressive 17th Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


The tight-knit Swiss team really perfected the formula for success last season.

Lars Forster was back to winning ways in Leogang and Mathias Fluckiger was on top in Andorra and second in Val di Sole and Mont-Sainte-Anne. Alessandra Keller scored nine podium finishes across XCC and XCO, including a short track win in Andorra and second overall.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


We just couldn’t omit the World Championships!

The INEOS Grenadiers were golden, with Pauline Ferrand Prevot doing the XCC/XCO double and Tom Pidcock claiming the XCO title for Great Britain on home soil.

Charlie Aldridge gave GB another rainbow jersey with the U23 win, whilst teammate Mona Mitterwalner added a second gold to the Cannondale Factory Racing collection in the Marathon.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


OOLAB = Orbea Optimization Laboratory. And where better to optimize our equipment than in world-class enduro racing environments?

Orbea has the invaluable experience of riders such as Damien Oton and Martin Maes to provide the very best research and development partnership. Working closely with Orbea and the OOLAB gives SHIMANO access to top-tier data and feedback, allowing us to work on the next generations of drive units and test the EP801 and DEORE XT Di2 AUTO SHIFT and FREE SHIFT features at the height of performance demand. The 2023 collaboration has proven fruitful already.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


As a main partner of the UCI Mountain Bike World Series, an avid supporter of athletes and a super fan of racing, SHIMANO was present at all the World Series races in 2023.

Our race support set-up offers technical assistance, with mechanics working on dozens of bikes each day. It’s also a place for the public to see and test new products and to engage with riders and teams.

Jenny Rissveds led a brilliant kids’ ride, which ended with drinks and snacks at our pit area, and hundreds of spectators tested out the EP801 motor and DEORE XT Di2 group set on the test tracks that we set up at every round.

We love this interaction and can’t wait to see more of you in 2024.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten


GT Factory Racing has been a stalwart of the MTB scene for many, many years, with the unmistakable blue and yellow gracing our eyes from the age of VHS to vlogs!

Fifty years of racing wrapped up with Ryan Pinkerton’s Junior overall title in DH and Ethan Craik’s amazing second place at the season's close. Katy Winton was a brilliant ambassador for the sport in so many ways, Jess Blewitt cemented her status as one of the steeziest riders on the circuit, and Wyn Masters’ Privateer Award was – and will continue to be – a fantastic project.

The Good Times kept rolling! Thank you for everything, GT Factory Racing.

Our 2023 MTB Top Ten

And that’s a wrap!

What a season it was. 2024, you have much to live up to, but we have faith!

Share This Article

Related stories