After a successful start to the BMC Racing Cup in Buchs, round 2 of the Swiss national cross country series will head further south to Lugano/Tesserete. Top favorites include marathon world champion and Cape Epic winner Christoph Sauser (Specialized), Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) and last year's runner up at this race Moritz Milatz (BMC).
Sauser, Flückiger and Milatz are most likely to battle for the win on a technically difficult race course. Flückiger, who successfully fulfilled a key qualification requirement for the Olympic Games in London with a sixth place in the first World Cup in South Africa, is hoping for a good performance to bolster his selection chances after an average result in round 1 in Buchs.
"I'm not 100 percent healthy at the moment, but am positive I'll be able to race for the win this weekend as it's one of my major goals to win the BMC Racing Cup this year." Two years ago, the rider from Bern proved that the Lugano / Tesserete course suits his racing style well when he scored a third place finish behind the Frenchmen Julien Absalon and Alex Vuillermoz.
Sauser would like to confirm his current fitness level as he wasn't able to deliver as good of a race as he would have liked at the World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium, last weekend, in part due to the cold temperatures.
The duel between the two Swiss Olympic hopefuls Flückiger and Sauser could provide an opening for Milatz. The German is already pre-selected for the Olympic Games and will line up without much pressure. Last year, he finished second to Nino Schurter, the winner of round 1 this year.
Junior world champion Linda Indergand and Swiss champion Jolanda Neff will race their first competition among the elite women in Switzerland. Neff scored a fourth place in the U23 race at last weekend's World Cup in Houffalize. The two younger riders will race without the pressure of the established favorites as they take on the more experienced athletes such as Esther Süss, Marielle Saner-Guinchard, Sarah Koba and Kathrin Stirnemann.
About 600 racers have registered among all the categories. The elite and junior races will happen on Sunday after a day of amateur races on Saturday.
For more information, visit www.bmcracingcup.ch.