Giger and Neff win BMC Cup in Graenichen

Mathias Flueckiger and Neff lead standings

Fabian Giger, silver medalist at the European Cross Country Championships, won the fourth round of the BMC Racing Cup 2014 in Graenichen. Giger beated new overall leader Mathias Flueckiger and Mathias' brother, Lukas Flueckiger. Jolanda Neff smashed the women's field, winning the HC-category race by a large margin and in front of a great crowd of spectators. She also regained the lead in the overall standings.

Men

Switzerland's top racers almost had the race to themselves in Graenichen, particularly since two-time Olympic champion Julien Absalon (BMC Racing) from France had crashed and hurt himself during training on the course on Saturday. Absalon then had to undergo a small knee surgery at the hospital.

The men's race saw Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC) fighting in the lead group right from beginning. Mathias Flueckiger (Stoeckli Pro) had also moved up to the front positions immedately. BMC's Lukas Flueckiger, however, had suffered a poor start and had to do some chasing.

After having overtaken Florian Vogel, Lukas Flueckiger finally caught up with the leading duo of Fabian Giger and Mathias Flueckiger, and the race had a new beginning after seven out of nine laps.

Before, Mathias Flueckiger had tried to escape in lap six, but his gap had not been big enough. This offered the chance for Fabian Giger to launch a counter-attack on the long paved climb at the beginning of the last lap.

"I like this climb," said Giger after he had won the race. "I managed to get a small gap, and I have learned in recent weeks that it will be very hard for my competitors to close a gap like that when I go full power." Quite noticably, fourth place at the World Cup in Albstadt and the silver medal at the European Championships in St. Wendel have boosted his self-esteem considerably.

"I am happy. It's always great to win, and winning in Graenichen even more so," said Giger who was able to celebrate his second victory this season after 29.4 kilometers in 1:28:55, 17 seconds ahead of Mathias Flueckiger.

Mathias Flueckiger does not yet feel "one hundred per cent" fit, but he was "delighted" concerning his performance. "I'm very glad that I did really well despite my training deficit. I already had pretty good power and it's a nice feeling to be able to fight for the win again," said the 2012 World Championship bronze medalist, who has taken over the lead in the overall standings from German BMC rider Moritz Milatz who was absent due to illness.

Last year's winner Lukas Flueckiger also delivered a positive summary. "In the first two laps I was not able to hold the pace. Therefore I had to spend much energy to get to the front. I assume that's the reason why I was running out of power in the end," said Lukas Flueckiger. He has had to cope with some disappointing results recently.

Florian Vogel (Scott-Odlo) and Martin Gujan (Orange Monkey) completed the men's podium.

Women

Jolanda Neff was in a league of her own in Graenichen. The under 23 Swiss rider, who leads the overall ranking of the World Cup elite category, outclassed her competitors by clocking fastest lap time every single lap. She celebrated her uncontested victory after 25.2 kilometres in a winning time of 1:26:20, a whopping 3:30 ahead of her Polish Liv-Pro teammate Maja Wloszczowska, who was third in the European championships.

Tongue in cheek, Neff hinted at U23 race in St. Wendel eight days ago, when she said, "Apparently, the U23 European Championship race was the ideal preparation. Today's race was really cool, the spectators were great, and I was feeling great as well." As soon as she was up front she just monitored her own pace and did not pay attention to anything else.

Wloszczowska took the liberty of having - in her own words - "a silly crash" in the first lap. "I did a three-meter-dive into the bushes," she said, laughing about her misadventure after the race. From ninth position, she soon had caught up with Neffs pursuers, and beginning with lap four out of six she rode all alone in second position.

Nevertheless she had to be careful to keep Kathrin Stirnemann, a persistent persuer, at bay. "I'd never have thought that I would have to fight so hard for second place against Kathrin," admitted Wloszczowska.

Stirnemann came in third, 12 seconds behind the former world champion, and was quite happy about her podium position. She had been able to drop her RC Graenichen sports club mate and world bronze medalist Esther Suess in the thrid lap.

Stirnemann said, "In the first lap I had problems due to pollen levels, my lungs didn't work properly. But after some time things were suddenly getting better, and I was beginning to have fun. And I was able to use my home advantage, because I know all the lines. It was great to ride in front of such a crowd. However, Maja was just too strong for me. I couldn't attack her again."

Esther Suess in fourth and Irina Kalentyevafrom Russia in fifth rounded out the top five on the podium.

Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team1:28:55 
2Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:00:18 
3Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:00:28 
4Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:01:47 
5Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:02:47 
6Reto Indergand (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:02:57 
7Frank Beemer (Ned) MPL-Specialized0:03:12 
8Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:03:25 
9Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team0:03:35 
10Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:10 
11Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing0:04:37 
12Marc Stutzmann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team0:04:56 
13Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:05:07 
14Daniel Eymann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team0:05:53 
15Christan Helmig (Lux) CCI Differdange pb Trisport0:06:37 
16Michael Hutter (Swi) Signer Merida RVA0:06:56 
17Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland0:07:27 
18Patrik Gallati (Swi) Fischli Bike Team0:08:10 
19Jonas Baumann (Swi) Wheeler – iXS Team0:09:28 
20Philipp Hediger (Swi) Fischer - BMC0:09:41 
21Matthias Allenspach (Swi) Tower Sports - VC Eschenbach0:10:27 
22Florian Thie (Swi) Bergamont Swiss Team0:13:01 
23Michael Wildhaber (Swi) Tower Sports - VC Eschenbach0:14:00 
24Christophe Geiser (Swi) PROF Raiffeisen CCL0:14:19 
25Lucien Besançon (Swi) Wheeler – iXS Team0:15:09 
-2lapsHeiko Redecker (Nam)  
-2lapsOliver Schär (Swi) Röbis Velo-Shop  
-2lapsKirill Kazantsev (Kaz) National team Kazakhstan  
DNFGiancarlo Sax (Swi) BigFriends Racing Team  
DNFMichael Wanski (Ger) Team Lombardo Corsa Germany  
DNFPascal Meyer (Swi) Bergamont Swiss Team  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff (Swi) Liv Pro XC Team1:26:20 
2Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) Liv Pro XC Team0:03:30 
3Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi) Sabine Spitz HAIBIKE Pro Team0:03:43 
4Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler – iXS Team0:05:29 
5Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) RusVelo / Möbel Märki0:06:05 
6Adelheid Morath (Ger) Sabine Spitz HAIBIKE Pro Team0:06:36 
7Corina Gantenbein (Swi) Fischer - BMC0:07:11 
8Nina Wrobel (Ger) Merida-Schulte0:07:30 
9Linda Indergand (Swi) Strüby-Bixs Team0:08:17 
10Lene Byberg (Nor) Bryne ck0:08:55 
11Ramona Forchini (Swi) Strüby-Bixs Team0:10:10 
12Katrin Leumann (Swi) GHOST Factory Racing0:10:34 
13Andrea Waldis (Swi) Colnago Südtirol MTB Team0:12:49 
14Hielke Elferink (Ned) WHEELER-iXS-Team0:13:44 
15Raiza Henrique Goulão (Bra) Soul Riders0:14:25 
16Marine Groccia (Swi) Team Alouettes.ch / CCM0:15:25 
17Florence Darbellay (Swi) Club Cycliste du Littoral0:16:01 
18Aurélia Perry (Fra)0:16:14 
19Britt Van Den Boogert (Ned) SBJ Bike Team0:17:38 
20Franziska Ebinger (Swi) Bergamont-Radsport Lafranchi Madiswil0:17:50 
-1lapCherie Vale (Rsa)  
-1lapCéline Farner (Swi) Bike Team Mellingen  
-2lapsRomaine Wenger (Swi) Thömus Racing Team  
-2lapsSarah Koba (Swi) ASSOS Werksmannschaft  
-2lapsJennifer Kupferschmied (Swi) WHEELER – iXS Team  
-2lapsMallory Barth (Swi) jb Felt Team  
-2lapsSabrina Baumgartner (Swi) Strüby-BiXS Team  
-2lapsFranziska Hagen (Aut) RV Dornbirn  
-3lapsKatja Montani (Swi) Greenhillbikers  
DNFFranziska Brun (Swi) Strüby-Bixs Team  
DNFChrystelle Baumann (Swi) Prof Raiffeisen CCL  
DNFFabienne Schaus (Lux) LC Tétange  
Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Filippo Colombo (Swi) Velo Club Monte Tamaro - BMC1:09:03 
2Robin Gemperle (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:00:40 
3Lars Koch (Ger) LEXWARE0:00:44 
4Johan Jacobs (Swi) arta building/vc steinmaur0:01:08 
5Ramon Lauener (Swi) jb Felt Team0:01:11 
6Sandro Trevisani (Swi) Dom Cycle Merida0:01:18 
7Tobias Neuhaus (Swi) Fischer Junior MTB Team0:01:31 
8Dario Thoma (Swi) bskGraf-ROLLMAT-KOBA MTB Team0:01:49 
9Mike Hermann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team0:02:19 
10Arnaud Hertling (Swi) Team VTT BMC Fribourg0:02:35 
11Léo L'homme (Swi) Team VTT BMC Fribourg0:03:16 
12Niklas Sell (Ger) TuS Obermünstertal0:03:19 
13Casey South (Swi) Team GREENHOPE - biking against cancer0:03:29 
14Timon Rüegg (Swi) Walter Meier Orbea Factory Team0:03:42 
15Joël Grab (Swi) GRAB Offroad Cycling Team  
16Jeremias Bürgin (Swi) 4cycle / Velo + Sport Rast0:04:01 
17Rocco Ferretti (Swi) Velo Club Monte Tamaro - BMC0:04:04 
18Edouard Planet (Fra) REMIREMONT VTT0:04:15 
19Raphael Krähemann (Swi) Team Gadola Wetzikon0:04:24 
20Jean Villermaulaz (Swi) VTT BMC Fribourg0:04:39 
21Rémy Dénervaud (Swi) Team VTT BMC Fribourg0:04:55 
22Joris Ryf (Swi) Thömus Racing Team0:04:59 
23Benjamin Inauen (Swi) Pink Gili Swiss Racingteam0:05:03 
24Lionel Fasel (Swi) VC Echallens0:05:15 
25Noah Troxler (Swi) Fischer Junior MTB Team0:05:17 
26Alexandre Dick (Swi) VTT Balcon du Jura0:05:33 
27Caryl Simonet (Swi) Team Giant Neuchâtel / Zeta Cycling Club0:06:06 
28Manuel Zobrist (Swi) Fischer - BMC0:06:11 
29Claudio Söldi (Swi) bsk Graf Rollmat MTB Team / RV Altenrhein0:06:37 
30Lars Reiniger (Ger) SG Rheinfelden0:06:41 
31Romain Bard (Swi) Team VTT BMC Fribourg0:06:58 
32Luca Langenegger (Swi) Danis Bike Team RMC Appenzell0:07:13 
33Robin Juillerat (Swi) Prof Raiffeisen CCL0:07:47 
34Jan Eichenberger (Swi) Team GREENHOPE - biking against cancer0:07:50 
35Gilles Mottiez (Swi) Team Bike'n Joy Giant0:08:16 
36Michael Habegger (Swi) Alouette / C.C.M0:08:55 
37Niklas Löffler (Ger) WHEELER-iXS-Team/ SC Furtwangen0:08:56 
38Julien Mossier (Swi) Velo Club Monte Tamaro - BMC0:08:57 
39Patrick Zumstein (Swi) Tower Sports VC Eschenbach0:09:00 
40Lukas Düring (Swi) Tower Sports - VC Eschenbach0:09:03 
41Simon Scyboz (Swi) Team VTT BMC Fribourg0:09:25 
42Stephan Hediger (Swi) Fischer Junior MTB Team0:09:39 
43Lukas Kornberger (Ger) VBC Waldshut-Tiengen0:09:44 
44Remo Müggler (Swi) bischibikes / kopierpapier.ch / RV Altenrhein0:09:50 
45Valentin Kiser (Swi) jb Felt Team0:10:36 
46Patrick Käss (Swi) dapp-putz-team.ch0:10:41 
47Zachary Ducret (Swi) Vélo club Payerne Pro cycles0:11:16 
48Mike Woland (Ger) RSV Niederhof0:11:18 
49Fabian Bonderer (Swi) Cycling Project Bike4Fun / VBC Landquart0:11:36 
50Henry Reiniger (Ger) SG Rheinfelden0:11:59 
51Lars Stillhart (Swi) K-Bike/Koba0:12:33 
52Remo Franco Schori (Swi) Ski+Velo-CenterRacingTeam/BC Spiez0:13:06 
53Daniele Palà (Swi) Velo Club Monte Tamaro - BMC0:14:12 
54Maximilian Saier (Ger) LEXWARE TEAM0:14:38 
55Konstantin Müldner (Ger) RSV Hochschwarzwald0:14:45 
56Cedric Gauch (Swi) Fischer Junior MTB Team0:15:36 
57Roger Aeberli (Swi) velo-reichmuth / RRC Amt0:16:21 
58Joël Monney (Swi) Stöckli / BSO0:16:58 
59Loïc Blanc (Swi) GIANT-Jurassic’bikes-Co Factory0:17:54 
-1lapRenato Bucher (Swi) Merida-Biketeam12 / VMC Bürglen  
-1lapNico Keller (Swi) RV Arbon  
-1lapTimo Läderach (Swi) Sputnik Bikeshop Zweisimmen / RV Ersigen  
-1lapGilles Guisolan (Swi) Walter Meier Orbea Factory Team  
-1lapSven Olivetti (Swi) FOCUS X-BIONIC TEAM  
-1lapKim Gull (Swi) Merida Riders Club/ VC Volketswil  
DNFAdrian Bernet (Swi) RMV Cham-Hagendorn  
DNFNikolas Schmieder (Ger) LEXWARE  
DNFNoah Blöchlinger (Swi) bischibikes / kopierpapier.ch  
DNFOscar Vairetti (Ita) Velo Club Monte Tamaro - BMC  
DNFCla Riet Derungs (Swi) Raiffeisen Bikeshop Studer Raceteam  
Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicole Koller (Swi) Tower Sports - VC Eschenbach1:00:37 
2Sina Frei (Swi) jb Felt Team0:02:04 
3Alessandra Keller (Swi) Strüby-Bixs Team0:02:38 
4Aline Seitz (Swi) Specialized Racing0:05:02 
5Pierina Beeli (Swi) bskGraf-Rollmat-Koba MTB Team0:05:53 
6Rebecca Rudolf Von Rohr (Swi) Tropical Solothurn0:07:09 
7Kim Riesterer (Ger) LEXWARE Junior Team0:08:02 
8Michelle Andres (Swi) jb Felt Team0:08:47 
9Joana Schönthal (Swi) Velo-Shop Vonäsch Zollikon/ VC Meilen0:09:53 
10Marlo Koevoet (Ned) Apex racing team0:10:37 
11Sonja Guerrini (Swi) Strüby-Bixs Team0:13:07 
12Miriam Oeschger (Ger) RSV Niederhof0:13:42 
13Clivia Gobat (Swi) Zimmermann-BMC-Mathieu SA0:15:55 
14Lara Brun (Swi) Ski+Velo-CenterRacingTeam/BC Spiez0:16:26 
15Zina Barhoumi (Swi) rsc aaretal münsingen0:18:06 
-1lapMalika Sansonnens (Swi) Zeta Cycling Club  
-1lapFlurina Glaus (Swi) Thömus Racing Team  
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