Philipp came into the Marseille race in top form after finishing his 2021 World Cup campaign two weeks earlier in the U.S. He finished 13th at the final World Cup XC race in West Virginia, his best result in a season that saw him improving each round and steadily earning better positions on the start grid. Finishing the season with top-20 World Cup results, Philipp has put himself in position to aim even higher next year as he gets closer to fighting for podiums.
For his last race of the season, held on a rocky, technical course in Marseille, Philipp chose to ride a prototype version of the full-suspension Anthem 29. “Not only was this French Cup race a good opportunity to grab some additional UCI points for next season, but it also let me test my engine against the other major French XC riders,” he said.
It was a fast start from the gun, with Titouan Carold and Victor Koretzky taking the early lead. Wearing his Giant Rev Pro helmet and Charge Pro shoes, Philipp closed the gap to the leaders on the second lap. He was later slowed by a crash but still managed to hold on for fifth place. “It was a solid race where I learned a lot, and it makes me hungry for next season,” Philipp said.
Looking back on his overall season, Philipp said he was happy with his first full year in the elite men’s ranks. “I learned a lot, having both very good races and not-so-good races,” he said. “But it’s in these not-so-good moments that you must not let go and instead continue to belive and work to achieve your goals. We have a tight-knit team and I’m lucky to have great equipment from Giant and team sponsors. This is a massive strength for the coming seasons.”