Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has been enjoying his off season by taking part in the inaugural Red Bull Velodux. The urban cyclo-cross relay race pitted the likes of the 2012 road world champion and reigning cross country champion Julien Absalon against the cream of Swiss cyclo-cross. The hour-long race took place on the streets of Estavayer-Le-Lac in Switzerland and took the riders over cobbles, stairs, jumps, a wall ride and, of course mud.
Gilbert partnered up with his BMC teammate Danilo Wyss, finishing 15th and a lap down on the winners. "It was a very technical course. Very demanding, not just physically. It was not an easy race,” Gilbert told Sporza afterwards. "Cyclo-cross is an old passion of mine. Normally at the team we don’t participate in such competitions, but this was an exception. I noticed that I no longer had the technique in the legs. With the specialists that were here, I am but small beer, but it was fun."
The event was won by Swiss under23 cyclo cross champion Lars Forster, who rode with mountain biker Michi Wildhaber. They were followed home 46 seconds later by Marcel Wildhaber and Andri Frischknecht with Julien Absalon rounding out the top three with his teammate Ralf Näf.
"The mix of traditional cyclo cross sections and unusual passages was fun, but the legs will probably hurt a little more tomorrow than they do for a normal cross-country race," said Absalon.
Katrin Leumann and Jolanda Neff won the women’s competition.