By Sue George
Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini Esercito) and Swiss champion Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing) escaped the punctures that slowed many of their competitors on the way to a win in the second of two rounds of the Maremma Cup cross country on Sunday in Italy.
The Swiss triumphed in the men's race with a first, second and third places. Vogel took the lead during the second lap and left his adversaries behind to finish first. Under 23 world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing) had problems with the chain during the initial lap but then he worked his way up from 30th to finish in second place.
Third place went to another Swiss rider after a hard-fought battle between Italian Marco Fontana who punctured during the last lap and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking Team), who had also punctured while in second place. Näf made a strong recovery after changing his wheel. It was good enough for third place and an all-Swiss podium.
Italian favorite Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) had to settle for the fourth place, while former world champion Miguel Martinez (Felt International MTB Team) ended in the fifth place.
In the women's race, Lechner defeated Evelin Staffler (Colnago Arreghini Esercito) and Blaza Klemencic (Felt International MTB Team) although both runners up suffered flats during the race. For a few laps, Swiss Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Cap Arreghini) was second but then she, too, punctured and ended up in fourth.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of round two of the Maremma Cup.