Flückiger brothers go one-two in Albstadt

Swiss rider Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) and Germany's Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike) took the victories at German Bundesliga in Albstadt on Sunday. Flückiger won the Gonso Albstadt MTB Classic in front of his brother Mathias (Trek World Racing) and Julien Absalon (Orbea). In the women's competition, Spitz beat Julie Bresset (BH Suntour) and Alexandra Engen.

Sunday's cross country races were influenced by rain from previous days and on race day. The mud was difficult to handle, especially on the downhill parts, and racers struggled. Considering the weather, the conditions and the upcoming world championships six days later, officials decided to shorten the event.

Lukas Flückiger raced with no issues. During the second of four laps, he moved into the lead, overtaking his four-years-younger brother Mathias. The duel between them didn't last long.

"In this lap, I didn't do a good downhill. But it didn't matter to me that Lukas passed me," said Mathias.

Lukas Flückiger took the lead and soloed to his first Bundesliga win. "In these conditions, the motivation is very important. To be honest, before the start I was not very motivated. But in recent weeks, my form is very good," he said.

"I think, if I have a good day on Saturday, I am medal contender at the Worlds."

While London 2012 Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) suffered early mechanicals, Absalon took the third spot on the podium.

"I am happy with how I feel," said Absalon. "I think it was difficult for all the Olympic riders in the last weeks. The spectators here in Albstadt must have a lot of passion for mountain biking if they cheer for us in these weather conditions."

Fabian Giger (Rabobank-Giant) after a not so good start, finished fourth, while Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) was the fourth Swiss rider on the podium. "This was a good decision of the jury to shorten the race. Three more laps and nobody would have reached the finish line."

Spitz wins duel with Bresset

In the very first lap, Sabine Spitz and Julie Bresset took the lead, starting an exciting duel between the Olympic gold and silver medal winners.

Spitz seemed to be stronger. "I am happy with my race. It was difficult to train since my Olympic victory," said Bresset afterwards.

Despite that, Bresset kept the race an open one until the last few hundred meters. Before that, Spitz had lost a lead of 20 seconds by crashing, but she chased and came back.

Then Spitz, again in front, flatted.

So the lead duo went together into the last lap. In the downhill, Spitz lost the lead by making a mistake in a slippery part. Bresset passed. But in the very last drop, the French racer lost the line, riding into the hedge, around 500 meters before the finish line.

"I thought, now I can pass her, but immediately I went down as well," said Spitz.

Both got back on their bikes, fighting for the win. Spitz on the flat terrain was a bit stronger and was able to get two seconds in front of Bresset.

"I felt good in the uphill. So I am looking forward to the Worlds," Spitz said.

Alexandra Engen confirmed what she showed as sixth in the Olympic race. The Swede won the fight in the chasing group against Lisi Osl of Austria and a surprising Kathrin Stirnemann of Switzerland.

"It was fun today. Last lap, I was going very hard, because I knew Kathrin was very strong in the downhill. So I tried to make a big gap in the uphill," Engen said.

Swiss riders take the elimination race

Saturday's Voba Tailfingen short race was held in a "last man out" format.

In the men's competition, the last two riders had to leave the race every lap. On a muddy, 500-meter course, the last remaining five riders were fighting for the win. Fabian Giger, with a little help from his Rabobank-Giant teammate Emil Lindgren got a small gap, just before the bell was ringing for the last lap.

Giger pushed hard and Jochen Käß (Multivan-Merida) was not more able to close the gap.

"I am surprised. The legs were good and there was a lot of fun with this format," Giger told.

Käß worried a bit about himself. "I thought we had two more laps to go. It was my fault, so I have to be satisfied with second place," he said.

Lindgren took third in front of U23 rider Simon Stiebjahn and Julian Schelb.

In the women's elimination race, Nathalie Schneitter triumphed. The Swiss, like Giger, took a gap, just before passing the line for the last lap. "I recognized that and just decided to go for it. This format is cool, I like it," Schneitter said.

Alexandra Engen took the second spot on the podium. "It was fun, but Nathalie was stronger today," she said.

Germany's cross and road specialist Martina Zwick rode to third place, beating Katrin Leumann, who is known as a good sprinter.

Full Results (for the cross country)

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lukas Flückiger (Swi)1:01:38
2Mathias Flückiger (Swi)0:00:37
3Julien Absalon (Fra)0:01:01
4Fabian Giger (Swi)0:01:32
5Ralph Naef (Swi)0:02:32
6Emil Lindgren (Swe)0:02:44
7Martin Loo (Est)0:02:57
8Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa)0:03:27
9Manuel Fumic (Ger)0:03:31
10Moritz Milatz (Ger)0:03:36
11Rudi Van Houts (Ned)0:03:43
12Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut)0:04:21
13Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)0:04:43
14Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa)0:04:45
15Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa)0:04:52
16José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa)0:04:55
17Maxime Marotte (Fra)0:05:27
18Martin Gujan (Swi)0:06:02
19Jochen Kass (Ger)0:06:35
20Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger)0:06:56
21Hans Becking (Ned)0:07:13
22Oleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr)0:07:52
23Markus Bauer (Ger)0:09:33
24Torsten Marx (Ger)0:09:40
25Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)0:09:42
26Mitchell Hoke (USA)0:09:53
27Martin Fanger (Swi)0:10:09
28Daniel Geismayr (Aut)0:10:38
29Colin Cares (USA)0:11:03
30Chris Jongewaard (Aus)0:11:08
31Patrik Gallati (Swi)0:12:13
32Daniel Eymann (Swi)0:12:34
33Matthias Leisling (Ger)0:13:08
34Gerrit Rosenkranz (Ger)0:13:45
35Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)0:14:30
36Sebastian Lehr (Ger)0:16:51
37Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Jeffrey Andris (Ger)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Jochen Coconcelli (Ger)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Benjamin Oesterle (Ger)Row 39 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabine Spitz (Ger)1:17:25
2Julie Bresset (Fra)0:00:02
3Alexandra Engen (Swe)0:00:48
4Elisabeth Osl (Aut)0:01:15
5Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)0:01:26
6Nathalie Schneitter (Swi)0:02:15
7Silke Schmidt (Ger)0:03:02
8Corina Gantenbein (Swi)0:04:36
9Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:05:24
10Rosara Joseph (NZl)0:05:42
11Helen Grobert (Ger)0:06:20
12Nataliya Krompets (Ukr)0:06:33
13Katrin Leumann (Swi)0:07:47
14Lea Davison (USA)0:08:09
15Hanna Klein (Ger)0:08:10
16Annika Langvad (Den)0:08:56
17Kajsa Snihs (Swe)0:09:27
18Heidi Sandsto Rosaasen (Nor)0:10:44
19Lena Wehrle (Ger)0:18:52
20Nadine Rieder (Ger)0:18:58
21Tina Kindlhofer (Aut)0:22:39
22Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Viktoria Zeller (Aut)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Asuman Burcu Balci (Tur)Row 23 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Olof Jonsson (Swe)1:20:32
2Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned)0:00:15
3Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)0:03:10
4Timofei Ivanov (Rus)0:03:47
5Dmytro Titarenko (Ukr)0:03:52
6Marc Stutzmann (Swi)0:03:54
7Marcel Fleschhut (Ger)0:04:52
8Matthias Stirnemann (Swi)0:05:41
9Christian Pfäffle (Ger)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Truls Engen Korsaeth (Nor)0:07:09
11Philipp Hediger (Swi)0:07:35
12Marcus Nicolai (Ger)0:08:23
13Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spa)0:08:36
14David Simon (Ger)0:08:40
15Maximilian Holz (Ger)0:09:58
16Sturla Aune (Nor)0:10:11
17Lysander Kiesel (Ger)0:10:19
18Andreas Kleiber (Ger)0:10:38
19Jochen Weisenseel (Ger)0:11:25
20Gregor Raggl (Aut)0:11:54
21Michael Wanski (Ger)0:12:03
22Adrian Sauer (Ger)0:12:52
23Christopher Platt (Ger)0:13:24
24Yannik Brischle (Ger)0:13:35
25Patricio Maximiliano Farias Diaz (Chi)0:13:48
26Sondre Kristiansen (Nor)0:14:14
27Felix Huschle (Ger)0:15:44
28Maxi Maier (Ger)0:16:33
29Michael Crosbie (Aus)0:16:38
30Brede Edvardsen (Nor)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Michael Feinauer (Ger)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Mark Kuyan (Rus)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Marvin Schmidt (Ger)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Steffen Weisenseel (Ger)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Robert Traupe (Ger)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Tobias Schraner (Swi)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Matthias Baldauf (Ger)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Lukas Holtkamp (Ger)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Sebastian Jayne (Aus)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Markus Schrempp (Ger)Row 39 - Cell 2


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