Under 23 racer Stander wins elite men's Champéry World Cup

With second place, Absalon locks up World Cup overall with one race to go

Burry Stander (Specialized Factory Racing) has had what he considers to be the best week of his career, after following up his Under 23 cross country world championship title last weekend with his first World Cup win. Taking what was also the first South African cross country World Cup win, Stander beat series leader Julien Absalon (Orbea) in a thrilling come from behind victory at round seven in Champéry, Switzerland.

Absalon's second place locked up the overall title for the French rider with one race remaining, while Stander did the same for the Under 23 title. Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) took third. Adam Craig (Giant) was the top North American, finishing sixth, with Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 16th and Canadian champion Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) fading to 21st after riding in the front group for the first few laps.

Alexis Vuillermoz (Lapierre International) led the field of 144 out of the start loop for the first of six laps. He continued to ride at the front on lap two, but Absalon was reeling him in, and took the lead on lap three, attacking on the main climb. As Absalon extended his lead to over one minute by the fourth lap, it appeared that the race was unfolding as expected.

However, on lap five, the first indication that this might be a historic day occurred when Stander began to slowly pull back the Olympic champion, knocking 20 seconds off the lead. An interesting and unprecedented situation was happening: Absalon was fading while Stander was getting stronger.

Going into the final, long climb before the technical descent to the finish, Absalon still had a lead of 25 seconds, but while he was struggling, Stander was powering up the climb, and he caught his rival at the top shortly before entering the singletrack. Stander swept by Absalon, who could only watch him go, and the recently crowned Under 23 world champion rolled into the finishing straight 15 seconds ahead of Absalon, punching the air in victory. Absalon rolled across the line and collapsed at the side of the track, utterly shattered after his ride, and only holding off Näf by nine seconds. The Flückiger brothers - Lukas and Mathias - both for Trek World Racing, completed the podium at 28 and 41 seconds respectively.

Stander and Absalon had taken two different approaches to their long trip back to Europe from Canberra. Stander went home to South Africa for two days (same time zone as Europe) and then flew up to Switzerland. Absalon, by contrast, stayed in Sydney for two days, then went to Singapore for two days before flying to Europe. Absalon's wife said her husband was "exhausted" before the race began.

"For sure, this is a huge victory for me, my first World Cup win. I had a good week, resting up from Australia, so I think I came into the race well prepared. The start was pretty fast, so I lost a few spots, but I was able to move up on the first lap, and by lap two, I was in a good spot. For the last two laps, I was hearing that I was getting closer to Julien, so it gave me lots of motivation, especially when I could see him on the climb. When I caught up to him, I could see that he had nothing left, so I just went."

Craig moved up from the low 20s in the first lap to top-ten by mid-race, and then to sixth in the final lap, after posting some of the fastest lap times for the second half of the race. "I had, for me, a pretty good start, not dropping back too far. Then I was able to start moving up, because I think I maybe had more in the tank than some of those guys that dug so deep last week [at the Worlds]. For me, this is a sweet, sweet course, with the good climb, some nice singletrack, that was still rideable even after the rain last night."


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Burry Stander* (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing1:41:06 
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea0:00:15 
3Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:24 
4Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:00:28 
5Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing0:00:41 
6Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team GMT0:01:06 
7Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International0:01:26 
8Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:06 
9Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea0:02:26 
10Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing0:02:49 
11Emil Lindgren (Swe) De Brink-Ten Tusscher0:02:58 
12Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International0:03:09 
13José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team  
14Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour0:03:25 
15Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:03:54 
16Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:03:58 
17Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team0:04:10 
18Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing0:04:26 
19Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Msc Bikes0:04:38 
20Marek Konwa* (Pol)0:04:46 
21Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:05:06 
22Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team  
23Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:05:25 
24Guillaume Vinit* (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier0:05:40 
25Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:06:20 
26Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:06:41 
27Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team0:06:44 
28Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea0:07:01 
29Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:07:30 
30Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo0:07:36 
31Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team  
32Fabien Canal* (Fra) Lapierre International0:07:51 
33Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Massi0:07:56 
34Derek Zandstra (Can)0:08:02 
35Milan Spesny (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB0:08:11 
36Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Giant Mountain Bike Team GMT0:08:25 
37Robert Mennen (Ger)0:08:37 
38Markus Bauer* (Ger)0:08:43 
39Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Mountain Bike Team GMT0:08:49 
40Sepp Freiburghaus* (Swi)0:08:54 
41Christof Bischof (Swi) ISD Cycling Team0:08:59 
42François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier0:09:13 
43Karl Markt (Aut) Srm Stevens Team0:09:41 
44Andrew Watson (Can)0:10:03 
45Fabian Giger* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team0:10:09 
46Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Tea0:10:16 
47Yader Zoli (Ita) Torpado-4Us0:10:44 
48Dario Alejandro Gasco* (Arg) Massi0:10:54 
49Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:10:57 
50Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)0:11:11 
51Patrik Gallati* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:11:20 
52Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:11:42 
53Anders Hovdenes* (Nor) Team Etto Hoydahl0:11:53 
54Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) De Brink-Ten Tusscher  
55Marti Gispert Labarta (Spa) Msc Bikes0:11:54 
56Pascal Meyer* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team0:11:59 
57Severin Disch* (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team GMT0:12:04 
58Felix Euteneuer* (Ger)0:12:23 
59Nicolas Jeantet* (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.0:12:30 
60Michael Broderick (USA)0:12:56 
61Bjorn Brems (Bel) Team Saeco0:12:58 
62Silvio Bundi (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team GMT0:13:02 
63Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:13:18 
64Robert Gehbauer* (Aut) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:13:20 
65Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International0:13:22 
66Diego Rosa* (Ita) Giant Italia Team0:13:42 
67Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:13:58 
68Andrea Tiberi (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:14:40 
69Marc Colom (Fra)0:15:46 
-1lapPiotr Brzozka* (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team  
-1lapSergiy Rusenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team  
-1lapLudovic Mottet (Bel)  
-1lapAlexis Chenevier* (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier  
-1lapOndrej Cink* (Cze) Merida Biking Team  
-1lapFabian Strecker* (Ger)  
-1lapNicola Rohrbach (Swi) Central Ghost Pro Team  
-1lapKornel Osicki* (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team  
-1lapPatrick Gaudy (Bel)  
-1lapLudovic Dubau (Fra)  
-1lapDavid Fletcher* (GBr)  
-1lapOlof Jonsson* (Swe)  
-1lapConnor McConvey* (Irl) De Brink-Ten Tusscher  
-1lapDaniel Eymann* (Swi)  
-1lapAndras Parti (Hun) Srm Stevens Team  
-1lapPeter Glassford (Can)  
-1lapPascal Hossay* (Bel)  
-1lapUmberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.  
-1lapJosef Kamler* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB  
-2lapsEric Batty (Can)  
-2lapsTorsten Marx (Ger) Ds-Rennsport  
-2lapsAndrew Blair (Aus)  
-2lapsManfred Reis* (Ger) Team Marin Bikes  
-2lapsZsolt Juhasz* (Hun)  
-2lapsCristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)  
-2lapsMatous Ulman (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team  
-2lapsMatej Nepustil* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB  
-2lapsLachlan Norris* (Aus) Discovertasmania.Com  
-2lapsLee Williams (GBr)  
-2lapsSimon Stiebjahn* (Ger)  
-2lapsJulien Saussac* (Fra) BH-Suntour  
-2lapsLuka Mezgec* (Slo) Mbk Orbea  
-2lapsThomas Litscher* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team  
-2lapsThibaut Bellanger* (Fra)  
-2lapsNicolas Bouchet Bert Manoz* (Fra)  
-2lapsMarco Minnaard* (Ned) De Brink-Ten Tusscher  
-2lapsRenay Groustra (RSA)  
-2lapsDaniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition  
-2lapsBenjamin Sonntag (Ger)  
-2lapsHenrique Avancini* (Bra) ISD Cycling Team  
-2lapsAlexis Swetloff (Fra) Keops  
-2lapsPatxi Cia Apezteguia (Spa) Conor - Camping La Siesta  
-2lapsLeni Trudel* (Can)  
-2lapsAmaury Gernez Aurenge* (Fra) Keops  
-2lapsRob Vangenechten* (Bel) Team Saeco  
-2lapsDaniel Kaufmann* (Swi)  
-3lapsRene Tann (Ger)  
-3lapsFrank Beemer* (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Tea  
-3lapsTim Wynants* (Bel) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Tea  
-3lapsJiri Hudecek (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team  
-3lapsAlexander Gehbauer* (Aut)  
-3lapsDries * Govaerts (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team  
-3lapsBenjamin Buchi* (Swi)  
-3lapsCameron Jette* (Can)  
-3lapsMatthys Beukes* (RSA)  
-3lapsTim Lemmers* (Ned) De Brink-Ten Tusscher  
-3lapsOleksandr Gerashenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team  
-3lapsJohn Whittington* (GBr)  
-3lapsSimon Weber* (Swi)  
-3lapsZsolt Szlobodnyik (Hun)  
-3lapsValentin Fiderer* (Ger)  
-3lapsJonas De Backer* (Bel)  
-4lapsPeriklis Ilias (Gre) ISD Cycling Team  
-4lapsKristian Hynek (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team  
DNFJaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)  
DNFFlorian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing  
DNFFlorian Thie* (Swi)  
DNFMarkus Loisl* (Aut)  
DNFMartin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing  
DNFLukas Kaufmann* (Swi)  
DNFAlexandre Moos (Swi)  
DNFOleksandr Kachanov* (Ukr)  
DNFAnders Ljungberg (Swe)  
DNFRoman Rametsteiner (Aut)  
DNFRobert Kircher (Aut)  
DNSEvgeniy Pechenin (Rus) Format-Udmurtia  
DNSIgor Bogdan (Ukr)  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Factory Racing67 pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team61 
4Trek World Racing58 
5Lapierre International43 
6Cannondale Factory Racing36 
7Giant Mountain Bike Team26 
8De Brink-Ten Tusscher20 
10TX Active Bianchi16 
11Subaru-Gary Fisher15 
12JBG-2 Professional MTB Team14 
13MSC Bikes12 
14Merida Biking Team12 
15Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles10 
16Team Scott Valloire Galibier7 
17Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing5 
18Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo1 
Elite men individual World Cup standings after seven rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea1472 pts
2Burry Stander* (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing1090 
3Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team970 
4José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team940 
5Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing714 
6Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing709 
7Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team701 
8Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles681 
9Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Massi590 
10Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing569 
11Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing543 
12Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing542 
13Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi524 
14Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International504 
15Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team496 
16Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing481 
17Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo470 
18Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team455 
19Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International447 
20Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team423 
21Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing396 
22Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing366 
23Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team354 
24Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team352 
25Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing347 
26Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea340 
27Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea322 
28Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes309 
29Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher308 
30Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)304 
31Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team296 
32Manuel Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International261 
33Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team253 
34Milan Spesny (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB249 
35Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team213 
36Ludovic Dubau (Fra)212 
37Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Giant Mountain Bike Team209 
38Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) TX Active Bianchi202 
39Liam Killeen (GBr) Trek World Racing198 
40Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Mountain Bike Team197 
41Derek Zandstra (Can)191 
42Christof Bischof (Swi) ISD Cycling Team190 
43Marc Colom (Fra)177 
44Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour175 
45Emil Lindgren (Swe) De Brink-Ten Tusscher174 
46Guillaume Vinit* (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier172 
47Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher170 
48Pierre Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International165 
49Bas Peters (Ned)162 
50Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team140 
51Umberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.123 
52Lukas Kaufmann* (Swi)122 
53Seamus Mcgrath (Can)106 
54Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition105 
55Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita)102 
56Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team98 
57Robert Mennen (Ger)98 
58Fabien Canal* (Fra) Lapierre International96 
59Andrea Tiberi (Ita) TX Active Bianchi94 
60François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier89 
61Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned)88 
62Bjorn Brems (Bel) Team Saeco85 
63Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) TX Active Bianchi84 
64Sergiy Rusenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team83 
65Karl Markt (Aut) SRM Stevens Team83 
66Fabian Giger* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team81 
67Andrew Watson (Can)80 
68Hannes Metzler (Aut)77 
69Anders Hovdenes* (Nor) Team Etto Hoydahl76 
70Jürg Graf (Swi)71 
71Michael Broderick (USA)71 
72Raphael Gagne* (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles68 
73Marek Konwa* (Pol)66 
74Sven Nys (Bel)62 
75Thomas Litscher* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team61 
76Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team60 
77Lachlan Norris* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com56 
78Lado Fumic (Ger) Fumic.Brothers.International55 
79Carl Decker (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team55 
80Filip Eberl (Cze)55 
81Balz Weber (Swi) DS-Rennsport51 
82Yader Zoli (Ita) Torpado-4US46 
83Rotem Ishai (Isr)43 
84Stefan Widmer (Can)43 
85Renay Groustra (RSA)42 
86Johnny Cattaneo (Ita)38 
87Matthew Hadley (Can)35 
88Connor McConvey* (Irl) De Brink-Ten Tusscher34 
89Pascal Meyer* (Swi) SKS M.I.G. Team33 
90Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona33 
91Severin Disch* (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team32 
92Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team31 
93Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Central Ghost Pro Team31 
94Markus Bauer* (Ger)30 
95Periklis Ilias (Gre) ISD Cycling Team29 
96Dries Govaerts* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team29 
97Silvio Bundi (Swi) Giant Mountain Bike Team29 
98Barry Wicks (USA) Kona29 
99Sepp Freiburghaus* (Swi)28 
100Juan Pedro Trujillo Hernandez (Spa) Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo24 
101Matous Ulman (Cze) Scott & Hagget MTB Team23 
102Niels Wubben* (Ned)22 
103Andrew Blair (Aus)22 
104Dario Alejandro Gasco* (Arg) Massi20 
105Josef Kamler* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna MTB19 
106Frank Schotman (Ned)19 
107Eric Batty (Can)18 
108Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team18 
109Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc) Giant Italia Team18 
110Patrik Gallati* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing17 
111Benoit Simard (Can)16 
112Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)15 
113Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) De Brink-Ten Tusscher14 
114Paul Van Der Ploeg* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com14 
115Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)14 
116Marti Gispert Labarta (Spa) MSC Bikes13 
117Robbie Squire* (USA)13 
118Peter Sagan* (Svk)13 
119Martin Lazarski (Can)12 
120Roan Exelby (RSA)12 
121Felix Euteneuer* (Ger)10 
122Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team10 
123Nicolas Jeantet* (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.9 
124Julien Fillion (Can)9 
125Torsten Marx (Ger) DS-Rennsport9 
126Klaus Nielsen (Den)9 
127Nathan Haas* (Aus) Discovertasmania.com8 
128Colin Cares* (USA)8 
Elite men team World Cup standings after seven rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team530 pts
2Specialized Factory Racing394 
4Cannondale Factory Racing269 
5Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing232 
6Trek World Racing225 
7Lapierre International179 
8TX Active Bianchi136 
9Giant Mountain Bike Team129 
10Topeak Ergon Racing Team117 
12Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles105 
13Cemelorca-Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo86 
14Giant Italia Team73 
15Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team67 
16Merida Biking Team61 
18Subaru-Gary Fisher57 
19MSC Bikes49 
20De Brink-Ten Tusscher20 
22JBG-2 Professional MTB Team14 
23Ceska Sporitelna MTB11 
24Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.10 
25Team Scott Valloire Galibier7 
26Felt International MTB Team6 


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