Litscher powers to victory

Konwa and Moorlag round out podium

Thomas Listcher added to the Swiss medal account at this year's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Friday evening when he won the under 23 men's cross country race. Marek Konwa gave Poland its first medal of the championships with a silver while Henk Jaap Moorlag rode to bronze for the Netherlands.

"I had a dream race today, and everything went very smooth," said Listcher, who had helped the Swiss team to a team relay silver medal earlier in the week. "The course was good, I felt strong. Everything was perfectly. I was encouraged by the fans."

Listcher dominated for most of the race, sharing the lead only in the first part of the race with Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy).

"For me, my goal for the start was not to go too fast, but to be in the front because when you are behind, there are risks of crashes," said Litscher.

The Swiss rider was first on the initial downhill with a slight gap to Kerschbaumer, who was just behind him. "I waited a bit for Kerschbaumer because it's so hard to go alone. I thought he could follow me, but after that second uphill, I was alone. So I concentrated hard on the technical sections in order to build my lead from then on."  Litscher stopped the clock at 1:32:30.

"The race was very hard and very fast. Today was not my day," said Kerschbaumer after the finish.

As the Italian fell back from Litscher, he was part of the initial battle for second with Moorlag, Konwa and Diego Rosa (Italy), but later dropped back further to finish in sixth place.

On lap four of six total, Konwa got ahead of Moorlag for good. Both seemed likely at that point to keep their second and third spots, too, barring any catastrophe.

"On the first lap, I had a crash," said Konwa, who had been feeling good during the past few weekends of World Cups. "Later, I went on alone. The second and third laps were good for me. I went very fast in the technical sections."  Konwa finished 1:42 after Litscher.

"I had a good start, but it was hard to follow the lead guys," said Moorlag, who is halfway toward meeting qualification for the Dutch Olympic team. "I tried to ride my own race and with that, I got a bronze medal, so I'm happy with that." 

"The other guys were stronger on the technical parts," he said," but on the uphills and flats, I was strong today."  Moorlag finished at 2:13.

Switzerland had a very good day with three finishers in the top five. Matthias Stirnemann and Reto Indergand were fourth and fifth respectively. The two riders never looked like they would break into the medals, but they looked strong throughout the race.

"I had a mechanical in the second last lap," said Stirnemann. "I had a flat front tire, but I didn't lose all the air, so I could ride it to the tech zone, where I got it fixed."

Indergand had what he called a "super" race. "I started as number 37, so it was impossible to be at the front with the group initially, but in the following laps, I worked my way up. My legs felt good." Two years ago as a junior, he won a silver medal at the Worlds in Australia.

Race notes

The top North Americans were Leandre Bouchard (Canada) and Kerry Werner (United States). "It went out hard today, and it stayed hard the whole time," said Werner. "There was no group work, it felt like you were charging from the start. Everyone was resting in different places, so you might pass them on the climb and they'd pass you back on the next flat."

“I managed my race very well, at my maximum throughout the race. I raced well, and despite a few mistakes, I always came back. I think I may have gained 10-15 positions in the second half of the race, which is very encouraging,” said Bouchard. “It was slippery, yes, but in mountain biking, riders have to adapt to the conditions. Typically I do very well in those conditions."

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) 1:32:30  
2 Marek Konwa (Poland) 0:01:42  
3 Henk Jaap Moorlag (Netherlands) 0:02:13  
4 Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland) 0:03:33  
5 Reto Indergand (Switzerland) 0:04:17  
6 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy) 0:05:00  
7 Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Germany) 0:05:13  
8 Diego Rosa (Italy) 0:05:27  
9 Sebastien Carabin (Belgium) 0:05:35  
10 Jordan Sarrou (France) 0:06:03  
11 Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands) 0:06:46  
12 Ruben Scheire (Belgium) 0:07:05  
13 Timofei Ivanov (Russian Federation) 0:07:13  
14 Nicholas Pettina (Italy) 0:07:42  
15 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Australia) 0:07:58  
16 Andy Eyring (Germany) 0:08:06  
17 Luca Braidot (Italy) 0:08:34  
18 Piotr Brzozka (Poland) 0:08:46  
19 Jérémy Huguenin (Switzerland) 0:09:07  
20 Marcel Fleschhut (Germany) 0:09:14  
21 Marek Rauchfuss (Czech Republic) 0:09:29  
22 Zsolt Juhasz (Hungary) 0:09:33  
23 Fabien Canal (France) 0:09:46  
24 Sherman Paiva (Brazil) 0:10:04  
25 Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 0:10:12  
26 Kenta Gallagher (Great Britain) 0:10:14  
27 Dmytro Titarenko (Ukraine) 0:10:41  
28 Shlomi Haimy (Israel) 0:10:42  
29 Leandre Bouchard (Canada) 0:10:48  
30 Matej Nepustil (Czech Republic) 0:11:02  
31 Rourke Croeser (South Africa) 0:11:09  
32 James Reid (South Africa) 0:11:10  
33 Kerry Werner (United States Of America) 0:11:11  
34 Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic) 0:11:27  
35 Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) 0:11:44  
36 Dirk Peters (New Zealand) 0:11:51  
37 Pavel Priadein (Russian Federation) 0:12:03  
38 Markus Bauer (Germany) 0:12:18  
39 Ivan Smirnov (Russian Federation) 0:12:35  
40 Julian Schelb (Germany) 0:12:58  
41 Jack Hinkens (United States Of America) 0:13:11  
42 Jeremy Martin (Canada) 0:13:52  
43 Mario Luis Miranda Costa (Portugal) 0:14:53  
-1lap Marc Metzler (Switzerland)    
-1lap Kornel Osicki (Poland)    
-1lap Trenton Day (Australia)    
-1lap Jonas Pedersen (Denmark)    
-1lap Daniel Eymann (Switzerland)    
-1lap Olof Jonsson (Sweden)    
-1lap Mitchell Bailey (Canada)    
-1lap Antoine Caron (Canada)    
-1lap Evan Guthrie (Canada)    
-1lap Jeff Luyten (Belgium)    
-1lap Russell Finsterwald (United States Of America)    
-1lap Jhonnatan Botero Villegas (Colombia)    
-2laps Evan Mcneely (Canada)    
-2laps Daniele Braidot (Italy)    
-2laps Cameron Ivory (Australia)    
-2laps Cristofer Bosque Ruano (Spain)    
-2laps Gregor Raggl (Austria)    
-2laps Dominic Calitz (South Africa)    
-2laps Ricardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro (Portugal)    
-2laps Dimitrios Antoniadis (Greece)    
-3laps Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukraine)    
-3laps Jaime Yesid Chia Amaya (Colombia)    
-3laps Fabian Strecker (Germany)    
-3laps Urban Ferencak (Slovenia)    
-3laps Javier Altamirano Rodrigo (Argentina)    
-3laps Federico Andres Mallo (Argentina)    
-3laps Benjamin Buchi (Switzerland)    
-3laps Samuel Shaw (New Zealand)    
-3laps Brad Hudson (New Zealand)    
-3laps Anton Liyubuy (Ukraine)    
-3laps Matthias Hoi (Austria)    
-3laps Takuji Noda (Japan)    
-3laps Michael Crosbie (Australia)    
-3laps Ricardo Javier Hazbun Velazquez (Chile)    
DNF Stephen Ettinger (United States Of America)    
DNF Marco Minnaard (Netherlands)    
DNF Filip Turk (Croatia)    
DNF Ondrej Cink (Czech Republic)    
DNF Sascha Bleher (Germany)    
DNF Jose Maria Sanchez Ruiz (Spain)    
DNF German Dorhmann (Argentina)    
DNS Marko Popovic (Serbia)    
DNS Felix Euteneuer (Germany)    
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Switzerland 245  pts
2 Italy 227  
3 Germany 212  
4 Poland 190  
5 Belgium 181  
6 Czech Republic 170  
7 Russian Federation 166  
8 Netherlands 156  
9 France 137  
10 Australia 136  
11 Canada 134  
12 South Africa 131  
13 United States Of America 127  
14 Brazil 121  
15 Ukraine 91  
16 New-Zealand 76  
17 Portugal 65  
18 Hungary 63  
19 Great Britain 59  
20 Israel 57  
21 Colombia 50  
22 Denmark 38  
23 Sweden 36  
24 Austria 36  
25 Argentina 33  
26 Spain 26  
27 Greece 22  
28 Slovenia 18  
29 Japan 10  
30 Chile 8  


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