Gerhard Kerschbaumer (i.idro DRAIN-Bianchi) wrapped up the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup with his best performance of the season in Méribel, France, this past weekend. The Italian finished fifth in the elite men's cross country race on Sunday.
"My shape has gotten better and better during recent weeks, and I felt good before the race. Halfway through, I sped up my pace and then managed the last laps well," he said.
He finished the seven-lap race just one minute and 12 seconds off winner Nino Schurter (Scott Odlo), who will be looking to defend his world championship title in Hafjell, Norway in early September.
Kerschbaumer returned to World Cup racing after missing two rounds due to surgery for appendicitis. Despite missing those two rounds, he was 15th in the overall final World Cup classification.
He ended lap one in 10th position, then moved up to fourth place by lap four. On the final lap, he was passed by Lukas Fluckiger, but held off a charging Dan McConnell.
"Such a result gives me more power and further determination. Now I'm looking forward to the world championships. The course is not the best fit for me, but I aim to do my best to get a good result," Kerschbaumer said.