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World class field lines up for women's race
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
The BMC Cup heads to Davos for the first time this weekend. Round five will serve as one final test before the Swiss cross country national championships next weekend.
Racers will compete on a 4km circuit with 100m of climbing, primarily on singletrack. Elite men will do the maximum number of laps: eight, with other categories doing fewer. The race is drawing riders from Switzerland and abroad; more than 500 participants have registered from 15 countries.
With Swiss Olympic team riders Nino Schurter, Ralf Naef and Florian Vogel off training at altitude, the men's race is wide open. Matthias Flückiger, his brother Lukas, Martin Gujan and U23 world champion Thomas Litscher are among the Swiss favorites while European champion Moritz Milatz and Austria Alexander Gehbauer are crossing the border to race.
The women's field is much more stacked, with four past and current world champions racing: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa, Sabine Spitz, Irina Kalentieva and Maja Wloszczowska will be at the start as favorites, but they could be surprised by Switzerland's Esther Suss. Eva Lechner, Annie Last and Alexandra Engen also should not be underestimated.
The participation of Swiss champion Nathalie Schneitter is still uncertain after injury. She is hoping to defend her title next week in Balgach. Jolanda Neff is another racer working on coming off injury.
The elites and juniors will race on Sunday, July 16.