Although Nino Schurter finished second at the cross country mountain bike world championships last week instead of defending the title he had for the previous three years, the Swiss mountain bike star was content with his 2014 season.
"I'm happy with my season. It wasn't an important season for me, and it's not an Olympic year," he said. "I won a lot the previous years, and I tried to do something different and learn something and I was successful with that. I have to be happy with a silver medal."
What Schurter did differently was switch out some World Cup mountain bike racing for some WorldTour road racing in the spring and early summer. It cost him winning the World Cup overall and left him a bit tired by the end of the season.
"I wasn't that able to suffer that much in my head," said Schurter. "I was a bit tired from a long season. I had a tough program with the Cape Epic and some road races. The last World Cups were successful, but they were demanding and I couldn't go over my limit."
"I was super fit this season but at the end I was a bit tired to suffer. I probably had a bit too much racing."
What may be most impressive about Schurter is his consistency. He has won a medal at every world championships, except for one in 2010, when he flatted twice and finished fourth.
At the 2014 Worlds, he lost the race to Julien Absalon, a soon-to-be-five time world champion who was stronger on the day.
Schurter has no plans to race more on the road in 2015; instead his eye is back on the Olympics for 2016. After getting the silver medal in London, he is hungry for a gold medal in Rio.
"I'm focused on the World Cup for 2015 and will try to win the overall and Worlds. Next year our qualification starts for the Olympics so it will be everything focused for cross country."
In the meantime, he will race the Swiss Epic stage race with Scott Odlo teammate Florian Vogel. "I'm hoping it won't be too hard," he joked. "After that, it's definitely holiday time."
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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