Schurter wins Nove Mesto cross country World Cup

Swiss rider triumphs in another Schurter-Absalon battle

One week after both Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) and Julien Absalon (BMC) had their worst World Cup performances in recent memory, the duo put on an incredible show in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic for round 2 of the cross country World Cup. After dropping all other contenders, the pair went wheel to wheel for the final laps, with Schurter besting his perennial rival by a slim three seconds to take both his second consecutive win in Nove Mesto, and the overall World Cup series lead.

Absalon's BMC teammate Lukas Flückiger held on for third place while Thomas Litscher (Multivan Merida) and Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Cannondale) finished off the podium.

"I'm really happy about the victory," said Schurter, "because this is an awesome place to race. It suits me well, the climbs are not too long and the technical sections are good. Last week did not go so well, so it was a tough week coming here."

"I had a good start today, and felt really strong, so I'm happy to be back on top."

The men's seven-lap race got off to an explosive start, with a group of eight setting the pace. In addition to Schurter and Absalon, the group included Lukas Flückiger, Thomas Litscher (Multivan Merida), Emil Lindgren (Giant Pro XC), Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida), Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC) and the Olympic champion, and local favourite, Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Factory).

However, this group soon began to splinter under the pace set by Schurter and Absalon. After the usual shuffling at the pointy end of the race, four leaders emerged: Schurter, Absalon, Lukas Flückiger and Stephane Tempier (BH-SR Suntour-KMC). Schurter did much of the pace setting.

Crashes took out several podium favorites, including last weekend's runner-up Sergio Mantecon (Wildwolf-Trek) who injured his knee and pulled out. Home crowd favorite Kulhavy, who seemed to be not quite as strong as Schurter and Absalon, went down hard on the rocks in a technical downhill section about halfway through the race.

Then on lap 4, Tempier, who was still with the lead group, crashed hard, clearly shaking himself up in the process. He quit the race and headed to the hospital for further examination.

That left Schurter, Absalon and Flückiger at the front to battle it out for the second half of the race. Finally, even Flückiger was shed leaving just Schurter and Absalon to fight it out, as they have so many times before.

Together, two Multivan Merida teammates, Ondrej Cink and Thomas Litscher chased the top three.

Schurter led much of the last two laps, but Absalon went to the front on the penultimate lap for a time. The effort seemed to cost him as on the final lap, Schurter was back in front and in the last half lap, he started to get a small gap on Absalon.

The French man never gave up - the margin was too small and as he knew from his own experience last weekend, anything can happen. But there would be no upsets as they approached the finish. Schurter had enough time to celebrate his victory, clearly a relief after his performance in Albstadt last weekend.

The world champion was riding the technical sections better than Absalon, and on the last lap finally began to open a few second gap, but his margin of victory was just three seconds after over 90 minutes of racing. Flückiger hung on for third, with Litscher fourth, and a late charge putting Canadian national champion Plaxton into fifth.

"I recognized that Julien was always losing a little bit on the downhill sections, so I tried to race at the front there and get little gaps that made him chase and get more tired," said Schurter.

Absalon, who had to drop out in the first round with mechanical problems while leading the race, said, "It was a really nice fight. I tried, but Nino was stronger today. He is stronger on the short steep climbs, so it was not possible for me to pass him. I lost a few seconds there on the last lap and so I could not catch him for a sprint."

The men's overall standings are also tied, with Schurter and round one winner Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) both at 320 points although Schurter gets to wear the Word Cup leader's jersey. Flückiger is third with 300 points, and Plaxton fourth at 260.

Full Results

Elite men cross country
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team1:39:33 
2Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:00:03 
3Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:00:45 
4Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:02 
5Max Plaxton (Can)0:02:02 
6Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:02:11 
7Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:02:12 
8Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:02:36 
9Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:00 
10Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:03:05 
11Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:03:16 
12Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:19 
13Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team0:03:20 
14Marek Konwa (Pol) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:41 
15Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Giant Pro XC Team0:03:43 
16Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:08 
17Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC0:04:14 
18Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:04:29 
19Martin Loo (Est) Merida Italia Team0:04:50 
20Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena Trek0:05:10 
21Martin Gujan (Swi) TX Active Bianchi0:05:31 
22Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Controltech Nevi0:05:39 
23Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli0:05:43 
24Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) TX Active Bianchi0:05:54 
25Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team0:06:03 
26Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:06:17 
27Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team  
28Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:06:25 
29Oleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team0:06:35 
30Jiri Novak (Cze) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:06:55 
31Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:07:21 
32Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:07:29 
33Patrik Gallati (Swi) Focus XC Team0:07:31 
34Michal Lami (Svk)0:07:47 
35David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)0:08:05 
36Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:08:06 
37Jonas De Backer (Bel)0:08:11 
38Matous Ulman (Cze)0:08:13 
39Giancarlo Sax (Swi)0:08:31 
40Gerhard Kerschbaumer* (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:08:42 
41Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team0:08:49 
42Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:08:55 
43Andras Parti (Hun)0:09:01 
44Matthias Wengelin (Swe)0:09:05 
45Kornel Osicki (Pol)0:09:06 
46Fabien Canal (Fra) Asptt Definitive Tec0:09:12 
47Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:09:13 
48Raphael Gagne (Can)0:09:27 
49Philip Buys (RSA)0:09:43 
50Pavel Boudny (Cze)0:09:48 
51Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing XC0:09:54 
52Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team0:10:15 
53Filip Eberl (Cze)0:10:42 
54Umberto Corti (Ita) Controltech Nevi0:10:52 
55Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls0:10:59 
56Daniel Eymann (Swi)  
57Hans Becking (Ned) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:11:11 
58Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Newcycling0:11:20 
59Kristian Hynek (Cze) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:11:34 
60Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing0:11:43 
61Martino Fruet (Ita)0:11:56 
62Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:12:49 
63Carl Jones (NZl)0:12:58 
-1lapLucien Besancon (Swi)  
-1lapFranz Hofer (Ita)  
-1lapPaolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)  
-1lapRobert Wardell (GBr)  
-1lapOla Kjören (Nor) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet  
-1lapMitchell Hoke (USA)  
-1lapGareth Montgomerie (GBr)  
-1lapPavel Priadein (Rus)  
-1lapTimofei Ivanov (Rus) Forward - Udmurtia  
-1lapDavy Huygens (Bel)  
-1lapMartin Haring (Svk)  
-1lapCristofer Bosque Ruano (Spa)  
-1lapZsolt Juhasz (Hun)  
-1lapDmytro Titarenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team  
-2lapsDaniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team  
-2lapsPascal Meyer (Swi) JB Felt Team  
-2lapsLukas Sablik (Cze)  
-2lapsRenay Groustra (RSA)  
-2lapsPierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra)  
-2lapsMichael Broderick (USA)  
-2lapsRobby De Bock (Bel) Feenstra Felt Powered By Kenda  
-2lapsMilan Barenyi (Svk)  
-2lapsRafal Alchimowiz (Pol)  
-2lapsDavid Escolar Ballesteros (Spa)  
-2lapsEvgeniy Pechenin (Rus) Forward - Udmurtia  
-2lapsErik Groen (Ned) Feenstra Felt Powered By Kenda  
-3lapsBrice Scholtes (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB  
-3lapsChristopher Maletz (Ger)  
-3lapsMarcin Kawalec (Pol)  
-3lapsPeter Ostroski (USA)  
-3lapsKirill Kazantsev (Kaz)  
-3lapsTim Wynants (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team  
-3lapsMykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team  
-3lapsAntonio Guzman (Ven)  
-4lapsMatthias Grick (Aut)  
-4lapsPawel Wojczal (Pol)  
-4lapsAndy Eyring (Ger)  
-4lapsElisei Miron (Rom)  
-4lapsMario Matijevic (Bel)  
-4lapsAlexey Belokrylov (Rus) Forward - Udmurtia  
-5lapsGeorge-Vlad Sabau (Rom)  
-5lapsBesik Gavasheli (Geo)  
-6lapsMarco Schätzing (Ger)  
DNFKarl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team  
DNFJosé Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team  
DNFStéphane Tempier (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC  
DNFMilan Spesny (Cze)  
DNFSergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing  
DNFIsmael Ventura Sanchez (Spa)  
DNFMichele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec  
DNFSepp Freiburghaus (Swi)  
DNFSebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB  
DNFSimon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team  
DNFSang Hoon Na (Kor) Calvisson Vtt  
DNFColin Cares (USA)  
DSQMiguel Martinez (Fra)  
DNSFlorian Vogel (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team  
DNSRalph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team  
DNSMirko Pirazzoli (Ita)  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Mountainbike Racing Team86 pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team71 
3Giant Pro XC Team54 
4Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team40 
6Stöckli Pro Team23 
7Cannondale Factory Racing22 
8BH - SR Suntour - Kmc21 
9Specialized Racing XC19 
10Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team18 
11TX Active Bianchi17 
12Trek Factory Racing13 
13Merida Italia Team12 
14Sram Rubena Trek11 
15Controltech Nevi9 
16Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli8 
17Versluys Team6 
18Focus XC Team4 
19Topeak Ergon Racing Team3 
20ISD MTB Team2 
Elite men cross country World Cup standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team320 pts
2Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing320 
3Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team300 
4Max Plaxton (Can)260 
5Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team250 
6Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC245 
7Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team215 
8Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team215 
9Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC214 
10Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team200 
11Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing200 
12Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team200 
13Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing196 
14Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing174 
15Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team168 
16Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team154 
17Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Giant Pro XC Team154 
18Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team146 
19Marek Konwa (Pol) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team146 
20Martin Loo (Est) Merida Italia Team130 
21Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) TX Active Bianchi122 
22Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team112 
23Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli104 
24Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team102 
25Jiri Novak (Cze) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team100 
26Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC95 
27Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena Trek95 
28José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team90 
29Martin Gujan (Swi) TX Active Bianchi89 
30Fabien Canal (Fra) Asptt Definitive Tec82 
31Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Controltech Nevi80 
32Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team78 
33Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing78 
34Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC72 
35Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team72 
36Gerhard Kerschbaumer* (Ita) TX Active Bianchi68 
37Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta-Corratec59 
38Patrik Gallati (Swi) Focus XC Team54 
39Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team50 
40Oleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team48 
41Jürg Graf (Swi) Bsk Graf-Rollmat-Koba MTB Team48 
42Jochen Kass (Ger)46 
43Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team44 
44Raphael Gagne (Can)43 
45Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team42 
46Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)42 
47Hans Becking (Ned) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team41 
48Andras Parti (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team40 
49Michal Lami (Svk)38 
50David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)36 
51Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team36 
52Filip Eberl (Cze)35 
53Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team34 
54Jonas De Backer (Bel)32 
55Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec32 
56Matous Ulman (Cze)30 
57Philip Buys (RSA)30 
58Giancarlo Sax (Swi)29 
59Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team27 
60Miguel Martinez (Fra)27 
61Mitchell Hoke (USA)26 
62Matthias Wengelin (Swe)24 
63Pascal Meyer (Swi) JB Felt Team24 
64Kornel Osicki (Pol)23 
65Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)22 
66Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB21 
67Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing21 
68Lucien Besancon (Swi)19 
69Pavel Boudny (Cze)18 
70Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing XC17 
71Andy Eyring (Ger)17 
72Simon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team16 
73Umberto Corti (Ita) Controltech Nevi14 
74Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls13 
75Daniel Eymann (Swi)12 
76Ismael Ventura Sanchez (Spa)12 
77Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Newcycling10 
78Tim Wynants (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team10 
79Kristian Hynek (Cze) Elettroveneta-Corratec9 
80Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Roxracing9 
81Pavel Priadein (Rus)8 
Team World Cup standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Mountainbike Racing Team140 pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team132 
3Giant Pro XC Team105 
4BH - SR Suntour - Kmc72 
5Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team71 
6Trek Factory Racing53 
7Specialized Racing XC51 
9Cannondale Factory Racing37 
10Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing35 
11Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team35 
12Stöckli Pro Team30 
13TX Active Bianchi27 
14Merida Italia Team21 
15Versluys Team12 
16Sram Rubena Trek11 
17Controltech Nevi9 
18ASPTT Definitive Tec8 
19Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli8 
20Focus XC Team7 
21Topeak Ergon Racing Team3 
22BSK Graf-Rollmat-Koba MTB Team2 
23ISD MTB Team2 


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