Cross country racer Nino Schurter and downhiller Rachel Atherton were voted by Cyclingnews readers as Male and Female Mountain Bikers of the Year for 2013.
Schurter dominates cross country circuit
The rivalry of Swiss rider Nino Schurter and Frenchman Julien Absalon continued off the bikes at the end of the season with the 2013 Cyclingnews Reader Poll voting. Schurter took top honors in this latest round by winning the poll with 3,108 votes (23 percent). Absalon, a former Cyclingnews Reader Poll winner, proved he is still popular among readers, with 2,504 votes (19 percent).
Schurter had a fantastic season, winning three (Nove Mesto, Val di Sole and Vallnord) out of six World Cup rounds, and in all but one World Cup, he placed in the top three. That gave him the overall World Cup title.
By also winning the world championships in Pietermaritzburg, Schurter proved again that he is the most consistent rider on the international cross country circuit. He even made an appearance at the season-ending Enduro World Series round for a different type of fun.
Absalon won one World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne after a few earlier rounds including some mechanical trouble. He raced to an impressive sixth place at Worlds despite broken ribs, but had to sit out the final round of the World Cup in Norway due to those injuries.
Gee Atherton was the top gravity rider in the 2013 Reader Poll, in third place with 1,863 votes (14%). Atherton led the downhill World Cup for much of the season after winning the first two rounds in Fort William and Val di Sole; however, he lost the overall title in the final round to Steve Smith.
Marathon world champion Christoph Sauser of Switzerland finished in fourth place in the poll, ahead of downhill world champion Greg Minnaar, who defended his rainbow stripes at home in South Africa.
Atherton is the woman to beat on gravity circuit
Great Britain's Rachel Atherton was the best racer on the downhill World Cup circuit in 2013. She won four of six World Cups in Fort William, Val di Sole, Vallnord and Hafjell on her way to the overall World Cup title. She also remained calm and cool under pressure to win her second-ever world title at the downhill world championships. Her success convinced Cyclingnews readers to vote her number one female mountain biker for 2013, with 3,653 points (29 percent).
Cross country world champion Julie Bresset of France finished second with 2,041 votes (16%). After breaking her collarbone in the spring, she worked her way back to top form, just in time for biggest race of the year, where she won Worlds. Due to missing several rounds of the World Cup and having to build her fitness back, Bresset did not factor at the top of the overall World Cup standings this year after she did not win a single round.
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa of Norway proved she is still going strong into her 40s, by winning the marathon world title and finishing third in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll with 1,682 votes (13 percent). She also put in several top five cross country World Cup performances.
Four cross and BMX world champion Caroline Buchanan of Australia impressed readers enough for fourth place while inaugural Enduro World Series winner Tracy Moseley of Great Britain round out the top five.
|7||Paul van der Ploeg||6.0%|
|3||Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa||13.4%|