Schurter bests Absalon in Val di Sole

Vogel third in Swiss domination

Once again, the men's race came down to World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) against World Cup leader Julien Absalon (Orbea) in a sprint, and Schurter both won the race and took over the World Cup lead. This makes it three times that Schurter has beaten Absalon in a sprint in the past 12 months.

The 6.3-kilometre course was dominated by a series of steep, climbs, which took their toll on the fields. In the men's race, only 88 of 190 starters finished on the same lap as the winner.

The men's six-lap race came down to three riders by the mid-point: Schurter, Absalon and last week's winner Florian Vogel, Schurter's teammate. Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) tried a move on the second lap, briefly setting the pace, but couldn't sustain it and fell back to eventually finish eighth.

The lead three worked well together for the first four laps, distancing themselves from everyone except Under 23 series leader Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing) and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida). These two were the only riders to stay within two minutes of the leaders and eventually took fourth and fifth, respectively. Näf took over fifth from fellow Swiss rider Christoph Sauser (Specialized), the World Champion in Val di Sole on this course in 2008. Sauser was riding strongly until a drivetrain problem took him out of contention on the fourth lap; he eventually finished 63rd.

At the front, as the race entered the final two laps, Absalon was getting increasingly nervous at being stuck with the two rivals and teammates. He launched a series of attacks, but the steep climbs made it impossible to gain any sort of meaningful gap on his rivals. Vogel went off the front at the end of lap five, forcing Absalon to chase, and pull Schurter up with him.

The French rider was able to drop Vogel on the final lap, but the gap was small, so he had to stay at the front, while Schurter sat on his wheel. Absalon tried a series of attacks, but Schurter was able to respond to every one and, as they entered the final feed zone, with less than a kilometre and a half to the finish line, Schurter made his own move, getting in front for the series of turns on the final flat section, with nowhere left for Absalon to pass before the finish line.

"It was very good for both Florian and I to be together," agreed Schurter. "I think Julien was actually the strongest rider out there today, but we were able to work together against him. I knew that the place to attack was at the last feed zone, because there was nowhere to pass after that. And, I have been pretty good against Julien in sprints lately, so I was confident I could get by him there."

Absalon agreed that having Vogel there certainly helped Schurter, and virtually conceded the World Cup title to Schurter. "It was two against one, and they were very good together. I tried to attack a number of times, but on these steep climbs it is impossible to get a gap. You cannot get enough power to get away. The feed zone was the place where you had to be in front, but Nino was just a little bit faster and was able to get there first.

"But, I'm happy with my form, and now I will just focus on the World Championships; I have four weeks to prepare. I will ride Windham, of course, but the focus is the World Championships."

Schurter now has 936 points to Absalon's 910, with European champion Jaroslav Kulhavy third at 790.

American Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) was the top North American, in 17th, followed by Todd Wells (Specialized) in 19th. Wells now becomes the top North American in the World Cup series standings, moving up to 18th place after former top-ranked Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) dropped out at the halfway mark in the race.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing1:44:09 
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea0:00:04 
3Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:00:20 
4Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing0:01:26 
5Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:46 
6Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena-Birell-Specialized Cycling Team0:02:31 
7Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:05 
8José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:27 
9Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International0:03:45 
10Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing0:03:51 
11Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:04:05 
12Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea0:04:06 
13Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:04:23 
14Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team0:04:33 
15Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:04:44 
16Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:04:57 
17Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:05:10 
18Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:05:14 
19Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:05:34 
20Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo0:05:43 
21Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes0:05:45 
22Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:06:28 
23Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:06:29 
24Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek0:06:55 
25Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:07:14 
26Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:07:17 
27Tony Longo (Ita)0:07:37 
28Marek Konwa* (Pol) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:07:57 
29Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour0:08:12 
30Niels Wubben* (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:08:20 
31Alexey Medvedev (Rus) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:08:29 
32Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:08:34 
33Marco Minnaard* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:08:35 
34Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:08:48 
35Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea0:08:53 
36Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling0:09:09 
37Patrik Gallati* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:09:23 
38Marc Colom (Fra)0:09:28 
39Robert Gehbauer (Aut)0:09:36 
40Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:09:40 
41Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek0:09:41 
42Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:09:44 
43Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Factory Team0:09:51 
44Pascal Meyer* (Swi) M.I.G. Team0:09:53 
45Frank Schotman (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized MTB Team0:10:01 
46Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:10:03 
47Alexander Gehbauer* (Aut)0:10:10 
48Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:10:11 
49Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team0:10:26 
50Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:10:33 
51Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:10:34 
52Derek Zandstra (Can)  
53Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:10:54 
54Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Surfing Shop0:11:13 
55Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:11:15 
56Rene Tann (Ger)0:11:26 
57Filip Eberl (Cze)0:11:47 
58Thomas Litscher* (Swi) M.I.G. Team0:11:55 
59Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:11:59 
60Bas Peters (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:12:06 
61Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:12:12 
62Ruben Scheire* (Bel) Team Saeco0:12:15 
63Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing0:12:17 
64Andrew Watson (Can)0:12:38 
65Marcus Schulte-Luenzum* (Ger) M.I.G. Team0:12:50 
66Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:12:58 
67Michal Lami (Svk)0:13:18 
68Samuele Porro* (Ita)0:13:19 
69Bjorn Brems (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team0:13:20 
70Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)0:13:22 
71Yader Zoli (Ita) Surfing Shop0:13:27 
72Andras Parti (Hun)0:13:51 
73Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team0:14:00 
74Jiri Hudecek (Cze)0:14:23 
75Jelmer Jubbega* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:14:32 
76David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)0:14:36 
77Diego Rosa* (Ita) Giant Italia Team0:14:44 
78Jérémy Huguenin* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team0:14:54 
79Dmytro Titarenko* (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team  
80Balz Weber (Swi)0:15:19 
81David Fletcher* (GBr)0:15:36 
82Michael Broderick (USA)0:15:52 
83Gerhard Kerschbaumer* (Ita)0:16:11 
84Thibaut Bellanger* (Fra)0:16:30 
85Ondrej Cink* (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:16:39 
86Stephen Ettinger* (USA)0:16:41 
87Reto Indergand* (Swi) Frm Tg Zentralschweiz0:17:14 
88Tim Wynants (Bel) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:18:35 
-1lapPeriklis Ilias (Gre) ISD Cycling Team  
-1lapIrjan Luttenberg* (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team  
-1lapGiancarlo Sax* (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team  
-1lapOla Kjören (Nor) Team Fokus-Danica  
-1lapCristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)  
-1lapPeter Glassford (Can)  
-1lapMatthias Hoi* (Aut)  
-1lapDirk Peters* (NZl)  
-1lapMattias Nilsson* (Swe)  
-1lapChristopher Maletz (Ger)  
-1lapRoberto Giacobazzi* (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.  
-1lapTim Lemmers* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team  
-1lapMatthias Stirnemann* (Swi)  
-1lapMarco Schätzing (Ger) Team Firebike-Droessiger  
-1lapMatthias Rupp* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing  
-1lapBenjamin Sonntag (Ger)  
-1lapJakub Magnusek* (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team  
-1lapElia Silvestri* (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec  
-1lapHugo Drechou* (Fra)  
-1lapZsolt Juhasz* (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team  
-1lapThomas Lapeyrie* (Fra) Scott Les Saisies  
-1lapOleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team  
-1lapGuillaume Vinit (Fra) BH-Suntour  
-1lapRoberto Crisi* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.  
-1lapSebastian Szraucner (Ger)  
-1lapMarcel Fleschhut* (Ger)  
-1lapBenjamin Buchi* (Swi)  
-1lapFabien Canal* (Fra) Keops Itwo  
-1lapKornel Osicki* (Pol) Jbg-2 Professional MTB Team  
-1lapOlof Jonsson* (Swe) Eliza-Orbea Team  
-1lapGilles Sarrazin* (Fra)  
-1lapRussell Finsterwald* (USA) Subaru-Trek  
-1lapRobby De Bock* (Bel)  
-1lapCameron Jette (Can)  
-2lapsFrank Beemer (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team  
-2lapsKyosuke Takei (Jpn)  
-2lapsFabian Rabensteiner* (Ita)  
-2lapsFlorian Thie* (Swi)  
-2lapsOle Christian Fagerli (Nor)  
-2lapsHeiko Gutmann (Ger)  
-2lapsJoshua Carlson (Aus)  
-2lapsSteven Garcin (Fra)  
-2lapsMarcus Nicolai* (Ger)  
-2lapsDaniel Eymann* (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team  
-2lapsMarek Rauchfuss* (Cze)  
-2lapsAdrian Jackson (Aus)  
-2lapsManfred Zöger* (Aut)  
-2lapsFabrice Leguevaques* (Fra)  
-2lapsMatej Nepustil* (Cze) Merida Biking Team  
-2lapsDavid Simon* (Ger)  
-2lapsChristoph Schwab* (Aut)  
-2lapsChristian Bickel* (Swi)  
-2lapsRicardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro* (Por) TX Active Bianchi  
-2lapsTomas Pesek* (Cze)  
-2lapsAdam Morka (Can)  
-2lapsDaniel Kaufmann* (Swi)  
-2lapsUmberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.  
-2lapsJack Hinkens* (USA)  
-2lapsJonas De Backer* (Bel) Team Saeco  
-2lapsCal Britten* (Aus)  
-2lapsOleksandr Kachanov* (Ukr)  
-2lapsMartino Di Pierdomenico* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.  
-2lapsRob Vangenechten* (Bel) Team Saeco  
-2lapsSimon Stiebjahn* (Ger)  
-2lapsMichael Pesse* (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.  
-2lapsNicolas Jeantet* (Ita) ISD Cycling Team  
-2lapsJoris Massaer (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team  
-2lapsFrançois Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Les Saisies  
-3lapsAndrew Blair (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition  
-3lapsDana Weber (USA)  
-3lapsKerry Werner* (USA)  
-3lapsMark Csielka* (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team  
-3lapsFrancesco Niccoli* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.  
-3lapsArtyom Golovaschenko* (Kaz)  
-3lapsJohn Whittington* (GBr)  
-3lapsAndras Szatmary* (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team  
-3lapsMirco Widmer* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team  
-3lapsDror Pekatch (Isr) Subaru-Trek  
-3lapsGabor Bogar (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team  
-3lapsMykhaylo Batsutsa* (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team  
-3lapsSebastian Batchelor* (GBr) Infotre - Leecougan  
-3lapsSeverin Disch* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team  
-3lapsJames Peacock* (Aus)  
-3lapsTimothy Carleton (Can)  
-3lapsNikolay Zaitsev* (Kaz)  
-3lapsKirill Kazantsev (Kaz)  
-4lapsAdrien Niyonshuti (Rwa)  
DNFRobert Mennen (Ger)  
DNFKristian Hynek (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team  
DNFAlexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International  
DNFNicola Rohrbach (Swi)  
DNFChristoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team  
DNFGeoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain  
DNFMartin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team  
DNFMichele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec  
DNFMarkus Preiss* (Aut)  
DNFJohannes Schweiggl (Ita)  
DNFMartino Fruet (Ita)  
DNFJan Skarnitzl (Cze)  
DNFRourke Croeser* (RSA)  
DNFSimon Scheiber* (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team  
DNSErik Groen* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team  
DNSHenrik Kippernes* (Nor) Team Fokus-Danica  
DNSMilan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team97 pts
2Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing72 
4Trek World Racing46 
5Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team34 
6Specialized Factory Racing33 
7Cannondale Factory Racing29 
8Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team26 
9Lapierre International22 
10TX Active Bianchi18 
11Giant Italia Team17 
12Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo11 
13MSC Bikes10 
14Subaru-Gary Fisher7 
15Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team5 
18Team Merida Combee1 
World Cup individual standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing936 pts
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea910 
3Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team790 
4José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team675 
5Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing640 
6Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing635 
7Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing490 
8Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing457 
9Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing440 
10Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea428 
11Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team420 
12Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team360 
13Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing349 
14Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi344 
15Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo334 
16Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team284 
17Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team284 
18Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing283 
19Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour282 
20Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team282 
21Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes272 
22Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing268 
23Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team264 
24Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team260 
25Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea247 
26Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing229 
27Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain228 
28Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team223 
29Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International211 
30Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team202 
31Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International200 
32Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling198 
33Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing196 
34Tony Longo (Ita)182 
35Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) SGF177 
36Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)176 
37Marek Konwa* (Pol) ADV172 
38Thomas Litscher* (Swi) MIG152 
39Adam Craig (USA) RGO150 
40Christoph Soukup (Aut) MBT148 
41Emil Lindgren (Swe) RGO143 
42François Bailly Maitre (Fra) SCO136 
43Sven Nys (Bel)132 
44Karl Markt (Aut) FOX132 
45Matous Ulman (Cze) SHS127 
46Samuel Schultz (USA) SGF123 
47Patrik Gallati* (Swi) SSR119 
48Robert Mennen (Ger)118 
49Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) TBR116 
50Martino Fruet (Ita)108 
51Johnny Cattaneo (Ita)102 
52Bas Peters (Ned) TMC102 
53Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)96 
54Gerhard Kerschbaumer* (Ita)88 
55Derek Zandstra (Can)86 
56Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) GFT85 
57Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)82 
58Niels Wubben* (Ned) TMC75 
59Jelmer Jubbega* (Ned) RGO73 
60Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)70 
61Pascal Meyer* (Swi) MIG63 
62Umberto Corti (Ita) CBE62 
63Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) SSR62 
64Hannes Metzler (Aut) MGT58 
65Fabien Canal* (Fra) KEO54 
66Marc Colom (Fra)52 
67Filip Eberl (Cze)49 
68Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) TBR49 
69Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) TBR48 
70Frank Schotman (Ned) STS48 
71Alexander Gehbauer* (Aut)48 
72Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) FRW46 
73Liam Killeen (GBr)45 
74Alexey Medvedev (Rus) ADV44 
75Marco Minnaard* (Ned) RGO40 
76Milan Spesny (Cze) SHS38 
77Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG37 
78Piotr Brzozka* (Pol) JBG37 
79Magnus Darvell (Swe)35 
80Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) TXB34 
81Christof Bischof (Swi)33 
82Andrea Tiberi (Ita) SSP32 
83Robert Gehbauer (Aut)29 
84Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) LVT28 
85Alban Lakata (Aut) TER27 
86Michael Broderick (USA)26 
87Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD26 
88Jiri Novak (Cze)22 
89Guillaume Vinit (Fra) BHS21 
90Balz Weber (Swi)20 
91Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) TRT19 
92Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) LVT18 
93Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) MGT17 
94Bjorn Brems (Bel) GSD15 
95Rubens Valeriano (Bra)14 
96Matthias Rupp* (Swi) SSR14 
97Jiri Friedl (Cze) MBT13 
98Rene Tann (Ger)12 
99Michele Casagrande (Ita) ADV12 
100Severin Disch* (Swi) GST11 
101Maxim Gogolev (Rus)11 
102Sebastian Szraucner (Ger)11 
103Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) TRQ11 
104Andrew Watson (Can)10 
105Thomas Lapeyrie* (Fra) SCO9 
106David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)9 
107Markus Bauer* (Ger)9 
108Lachlan Norris (Aus)8 
109Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned) TBR8 
World Cup team standings after round five
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team338 pts
3Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing282 
4Specialized Factory Racing226 
5Trek World Racing202 
6Cannondale Factory Racing201 
7Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team153 
8Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team104 
9Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo70 
10Lapierre International66 
11TX Active Bianchi66 
12Topeak Ergon Racing Team61 
13Giant Italia Team50 
15MSC Bikes42 
16Merida Biking Team30 
17Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain29 
18M.I.G. Team27 
19Giant Swiss Team25 
21Subaru-Gary Fisher17 
22Scott Les Saisies11 
23Team New Cycling7 
24Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team5 
25S&H Superior MTB Team4 
26Team Merida Combee3 
27Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.1 
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