Teammates in the mix at second World Cup round
Both Marco Fontana and Manuel Fumic made the podium for the Cannondale Factory Racing team at the Dalby round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this past weekend.
Fontana picked up a bronze medal in the cross country after also finishing third in the eliminator two days prior in the town center of Pickering. Fumic collected a fifth place.
Fumic, Fontana and their Cannondale teammate Martin Gujan were visible mixing it up with the contenders throughout the race. After Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) escaped off the front and Julien Absalon (Orbea) went solo to follow him, the three Cannondale riders were part of the main chase group containing most of the rest of the World Cup contenders.
"I am so happy about my racing at the moment," said Italian national champion Fontana. "Things worked out great and I'm backing it up with results. We as a team are on the right path."
"I rode a calculated race and when it came down to the sprint, I knew that this was one for me," said Fontana. "Two World Cups so far and twice on the podium, this is amazing." Fontana beat Maxime Marotte and Fumic for third as the first rider across the line in the chase group at Dalby. That followed up a fifth place finish at the opening World Cup in Pietermaritzburg.
German racer Fumic was present at the front of the chase group all race long. "I might have worked a bit too much, but somebody has to do the work," said Fumic. "With Marco and at the beginning also Martin in the group, it was such a good feeling and I knew that at least one of us would make it on the podium, now it turned out to be two. I had a hard time the last lap, but somehow was able to pull out a nice sprint. It feels good to be back on the podium, also for the team. We all work great together."
Gujan, who struggled a bit mid-race, said, "I felt really good this weekend, but eventually pushed a bit to hard at the beginning in the chase group. I had to slow down a little and got dropped, but recovered well and am happy with my 15th place."
In the overall World Cup standings, Fontana is in fourth and Fumic is fifth. Gujan sits in 15th while the Cannondale team occupies the second spot in the team rankings.
This World Cup season, 29ers are being seen more frequently in the men's cross country race, but some racers continue to compete on their 26ers. The Cannondale team is no exception. At Dalby, Fumic rode a Flash 29er while Fontana and Gujan rode 26er versions of the Flash.
The team will race at round three of the World Cup in Offenburg, Germany, this weekend, May 27-29.
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