Switzerland has selected its first mountain biker for the 2012 London Olympic Games, with Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) getting the prestigious call up. The Swiss Cycling Federation assured Schurter a place on the men's cross country mountain bike team by virtue of his recent success at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
Swiss Olympic selection committee president Gian Gilli said Schurter, 25, has proved he can win medals at big events. Schurter earned selection by taking silver in the world championships this month at Champery, Switzerland, earlier this month.
This season, Schurter also finished second overall in the UCI World Cup. He was the Elite men's cross country world champion in 2009. He competed in the 2008 Olympic Games, where he won a bronze medal.
Being selected to the Swiss Olympic team will come as a big relief to Schurter who will not have to engage in a very competitive selection process for one of the toughest Olympic teams in the sport. Instead, he will be able to focus solely on his preparation for the Olympic Games.
Others riders still vying for selection include mountain bikers such as Lukas and Matthias Flückiger (Trek World Racing), former cross country and current marathon world champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized), Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower) and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida). Thomas Litscher (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic), the newly crowned Under 23 champion is another rider to watch.