On a weekend when many top mountain bikers were taking a break just after the World Championships last weekend in Val di Sole, Italy, Martin Gujan and Marielle Saner won round five of the Swisspower Cup in Champéry, Switzerland. The race too place under fantastic, summery conditions on a technical course that saw many changes in positions, crashes and mechanicals.
Gujan (Athleticum MTB Team) and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Hard Rock FRW) dictated the pace at the front. At the beginning, Gujan's team-mate Mathias Flückiger also played a role, but he later withdrew and did not finish the race. Gion Manetsch (Athleticum MTB Team) was in third place after the split was made on the second last lap. That's when Gujan got away with Fontana and went on to a solo win in 1'46"46. Fontana ended up second at 50 seconds while Manetsch finished third in 1"45. With his victory, Gujan also took over the overall lead.
Fourth and fifth places went to Daniel Suter (Giant-Swiss-Team) annd Marcel Wildhaber (Tower Sports - VC Eschenbach).
In the women's race, Marielle Saner Guinchard (Bikepark.ch / BMC), who excels at cross country and downhill racing, took an unquestionable home victory with a time of 1'30"48. She was in the front after lap one and never looked back. Behind her was second-placed Maroussia Rusca (Scott Allianz Suisse), who would finish 59 seconds back, and third placed Katrin Leumann (goldwurst-power / Sputnik) at two minutes.
Thanks in part to the absence of three-round winner Vivienne Meyer, Michelle Hediger (Fischer-BMC) went on to a victory in the junior women's race. In the junior men's race, Arnaud Grand (Thömus Racing Team) from Montreux, captured his first win.
The next round of the Swisspower Cup takes place in two weeks in Savognin on July 12-13.