Nino Schurter and Julien Absalon have continued their tight tussle for the Cyclingnews Reader Poll's Best Mountain Bike Rider in 2015 with the Swiss coming out on top after a season in which he won the World and European cross-country titles. Schurter topped the poll with 26% of the vote with Absalon in second place on 22%, just ahead of Jolanda Neff on 21%.
After a brief foray into road racing with the Orica-GreenEdge team last year, Schurter was 100% committed to cross-country this season winning his fourth rainbow jersey and finishing the World Cup series as the top ranked rider ahead of Abasalon. The 29-year-old won the final three rounds of the World Cup at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Windham and Val di Sole having finished second in the first two rounds to finish on 850 points, 110 ahead of second placed Jaroslav Kulhavý.
Schurter closed out his season by winng the Rio Olympic Games test event, the Aquece Rio, in October.
Having won the 2014 readers poll by almost 10% over Schurter last year, Absalon slips to second in the 2015 poll. The 35-year-old won his 30th career World Cup race this season with his biggest win being his third straight European Mountain Bike Championships title.
Winner of three World Cup races and overall series winner Neff was just one percent behind Absalon with the final votes were tallied seeing the 22-year-old finish as the highest ranked female. Neff, a three-time U23 cross-country world champion, also enjoyed the European Games and European Mountain Bike Championships gold medals this season.
Women's downhill world champion and overall World Cup winner Rachel Atherton finished fourth in the voting with 16%, followed by men's downhill World Cup overall winner Aaron Gwin on 14%.
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