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Schurter sprints to World Cup win

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Canada's Geoff Kabush gets the holeshot in the men's race.

Canada's Geoff Kabush gets the holeshot in the men's race.
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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The elite men's race gets underway at a frenetic pace.

The elite men's race gets underway at a frenetic pace.
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Rudi Van Houts (Multivan Merida) on the North shore ladder section.

Rudi Van Houts (Multivan Merida) on the North shore ladder section.
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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José Antonio Hermida heads down the rock garden en route to ninth.

José Antonio Hermida heads down the rock garden en route to ninth.
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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José Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) finishes ninth.

José Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) finishes ninth.
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Julien Absalon leads eventual winner Nino Schurter down the technical rock garden.

Julien Absalon leads eventual winner Nino Schurter down the technical rock garden.
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Nino Schurter nips Julien Absalon at the line.

Nino Schurter nips Julien Absalon at the line.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The elite men's podium (l-r): Jaroslav Kulhavy, Julien Absalon, Nino Schurter, Burry Stander, Ralph Naef.

The elite men's podium (l-r): Jaroslav Kulhavy, Julien Absalon, Nino Schurter, Burry Stander, Ralph Naef.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski remains composed through the Worry Gill drop.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski remains composed through the Worry Gill drop.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Talented young South African Burry Stander.

Talented young South African Burry Stander.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Eventual winner Nino Schurter.

Eventual winner Nino Schurter.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ralph Naef.

Ralph Naef.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marco Aurelio Fontana gets his weight over the back of the back through the drop.

Marco Aurelio Fontana gets his weight over the back of the back through the drop.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy.

Jaroslav Kulhavy.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Geoff Kabush got the holeshot at the start.

Geoff Kabush got the holeshot at the start.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Leaders through the three-way rock drop.

Leaders through the three-way rock drop.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ralph Naef.

Ralph Naef.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mathias Fl

Mathias Fl
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mathias Fl

Mathias Fl
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Florian Vogel takes the Worry Gill drop.

Florian Vogel takes the Worry Gill drop.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon looking relaxed before the start.

Julien Absalon looking relaxed before the start.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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British rider Liam Killeen.

British rider Liam Killeen.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Germany's Manuel Fumic.

Germany's Manuel Fumic.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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US veteran Todd Wells.

US veteran Todd Wells.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Canadian rider Geoff Kabush.

Canadian rider Geoff Kabush.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon on the Worry Gill drop.

Julien Absalon on the Worry Gill drop.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ruben Ruzafa Cueto.

Ruben Ruzafa Cueto.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Lukas Fl

Lukas Fl
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ralph Naef.

Ralph Naef.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) proved that there was no "rainbow curse" on him as he matched women's world champion Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) in swapping his rainbow jersey for the World Cup leader's one.

The Swiss rider won the men's 43km race in a finish very similar to last year's World Championships, when he outsprinted Olympic champion Julien Absalon (Orbea). Again, it came down to a sprint between the two, with Schurter winning by less than a wheel length. Burry Stander (Specialized) of South Africa took third, 14 seconds behind the front two.

The six lap men's race started very fast, with eight riders initially making the selection at the front, but by the fourth lap that was whittled down to just Schurter, Absalon and Stander. The South African looked to be the strongest, but he made a mistake on the last lap, allowing the other two to get away.

Absalon took the lead, setting the pace, but could not shake Schurter, and when they turned onto the gravel finishing straight, the Swiss rider came up alongside his French rival and pulled ahead in the final 10 metres to take the win.

"This is an incredible victory, to win the World Cup and take the leader's jersey is very special," said Schurter. "I hoped to do well here, but there was a very, very strong field, so I was only looking to make the podium. I was dying out there, to stay with Julien, but I knew that if it came to a sprint I was a little bit faster."

Absalon, for his part, revealed that he was quite content with second. "I have been sick this week, so I didn't know if I could race in the middle of the week. But each day I got a little bit better, and by Saturday I was okay again. I didn't know how strong I was going to be, and I was just hoping to get on the podium."

"But it was good for me when the three of us went away, because I was able to rest a bit at the back. I think Stander was the strongest, but maybe he did too much work, and then made a little mistake that allowed Nino and I to get away. At the finish I tried to control it, but Nino was just to strong."

For Geoff Kabush Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), it was a disappointing day to finish 28th, after riding so strongly a week earlier at Sea Otter. "I definitely didn't have the form that I had at Sea Otter. I had a good start, but then I just didn't have the power to keep up. Maybe it was because of all the travel problems to get here; it took me three days, and that didn't help."

Kabush was the second North American, behind Todd Wells (Specialized) in 19th.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing1:54:52
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea0:00:01
3Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing0:00:14
4Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team0:00:28
5Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:41
6Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:00:52
7Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea0:00:55
8Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:01:19
9José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:37
10Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:01:45
11Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team0:01:54
12Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:02:17
13Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing0:02:32
14Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo0:02:42
15Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:02:48
16Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team0:02:54
17Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:03
18Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea0:03:24
19Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:03:49
20Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:53
21Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:04:18
22Marek Konwa* (Pol) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:04:23
23Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing0:04:25
24Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:04:32
25Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)0:04:45
26Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International0:05:04
27François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Les Saisies0:05:06
28Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:05:28
29Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes0:05:29
30Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:05:43
31Maxime Marotte (Fra) Bh-Suntour0:06:03
32Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:06:30
33Tony Longo (Ita)0:06:37
34Derek Zandstra (Can)0:06:44
35Robert Mennen (Ger)0:07:04
36Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
37Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Factory Team0:07:06
38Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:07:16
39Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:07:25
40Martino Fruet (Ita)0:07:38
41Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:07:45
42Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling0:07:49
43Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:07:50
44Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) Tx Active Bianchi0:07:53
45Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.0:07:57
46Marc Colom (Fra)0:08:01
47Patrik Gallati* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:08:05
48Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:08:07
49Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:08:14
50Liam Killeen (GBr)0:08:18
51Piotr Brzozka* (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team0:08:19
52Bas Peters (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:08:34
53Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:08:35
54Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team0:08:36
55Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:08:37
56Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)0:08:42
57Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition0:08:57
58Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International0:09:07
59Markus Bauer* (Ger)0:09:20
60Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:09:44
61Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Surfing Shop0:09:55
62Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)0:10:00
63Guillaume Vinit (Fra) BH-Suntour0:10:04
64Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:10:06
65Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:10:08
66Thomas Litscher* (Swi) M.I.G. Team0:10:21
67Niels Wubben* (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:10:27
68Johnny Cattaneo (Ita)0:10:42
69Lachlan Norris (Aus)0:10:50
70Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:10:54
71Diego Rosa* (Ita) Giant Italia Team0:10:58
72Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:11:04
73Andy Eyring* (Ger)0:11:05
74Anders Hovdenes (Nor) Team United Bakeries, Hoydahl MTB Racing0:11:09
75Andrew Watson (Can)0:11:15
76Paul Van Der Ploeg* (Aus) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:11:28
77Yader Zoli (Ita) Surfing Shop0:11:34
78Pascal Meyer* (Swi) M.I.G. Team0:11:40
79David Fletcher* (GBr)
80Fabien Canal* (Fra) Keops Itwo0:12:10
81Simon Scheiber* (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:12:13
82Adrian Brzozka (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team0:12:21
83Erik Groen* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:12:29
84Torsten Marx (Ger)0:12:34
85Benjamin Buchi* (Swi)0:12:50
86Klaus Nielsen (Den)0:13:01
87Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:13:14
88Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:13:15
89Kornel Osicki* (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team0:13:18
90Mattias Nilsson* (Swe)0:13:35
91Silvio Bundi (Swi)0:13:42
92Fabian Strecker* (Ger)0:13:43
93Kristian Hynek (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:13:44
94Manfred Reis* (Ger) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:13:46
95Jérémy Huguenin* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team0:13:54
96Marcel Fleschhut* (Ger)0:14:06
97Balz Weber (Swi)0:14:08
98Tim Lemmers* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:14:11
99Alessandro Gambino (Ita) GT Brondello Team0:14:15
100Dries Govaerts* (Bel) Team Saeco0:14:25
101Matthew Hadley (Can)0:14:32
102Rene Tann (Ger)0:14:36
103Konny Looser* (Swi)0:14:37
104Mattias Wengelin* (Swe) Team Firebike-Droessiger0:14:52
105Jelmer Jubbega* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:14:56
106Michael Broderick (USA)0:14:59
107Paul Oldham (GBr)0:15:02
108Ondrej Cink* (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:15:04
109Pierre Lebreton (Fra) BH-Suntour
110Sebastian Szraucner (Ger)0:15:13
111Ricardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro* (Por) TX Active Bianchi0:15:21
112Tiago Jorge Oliveira Ferreira* (Por)0:15:25
113Jiri Hudecek (Cze)0:15:31
114Patxi Cia Apezteguia (Spa) MSC Bikes0:15:43
115Matthias Stirnemann* (Swi)0:15:47
116Matej Nepustil* (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:16:09
117Joris Massaer (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team0:16:11
118Robert Gehbauer (Aut)0:16:31
119Marco Schätzing (Ger) Team Firebike-Droessiger0:16:40
120Severin Disch* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team0:16:52
121Christopher Maletz (Ger)0:17:57
122Jakub Magnusek* (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:18:08
123Freddy Betremieux* (Fra)0:18:35
124Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:19:22
125Nicolas Jeantet* (Ita) ISD Cycling Team0:19:37
126Laurent Mineur* (Bel)-1lap
127Daniel Eymann* (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
128Alexander Gehbauer* (Aut)
129Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team
130Marco Arnold* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
131Tim Dunford (GBr) Torq Performance Nutrition
132Sebastian Batchelor* (GBr) Infotre - Leecougan
133Florian Thie* (Swi)
134Thomas Lapeyrie* (Fra) Scott Les Saisies
135Jonas De Backer* (Bel) Team Saeco
136Andrew Blair (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition
137Dave Henderson (GBr)
138Ben Thomas* (GBr) Torq Performance Nutrition
139Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
140Robin Roelofs* (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized MTB Team-2laps
141Cody Canning* (Can)
142Amaury Gernez Aurenge* (Fra) Keops Itwo
143Dror Pekatch (Isr) Subaru-Gary Fisher
144Billy Joe Whenman* (GBr)
145Rob Vangenechten* (Bel) Team Saeco
146Chris Andrews (GBr)
147Travis Frisby* (Aus)
148Richard Felle (Irl)-3laps
149Pascal Hossay (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team
150Allan Clark (GBr)-4laps
DNFLudovic Dubau (Fra) Team New Cycling
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team
DNFJiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team
DNFJimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Saeco
DNFAlban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team
DNFBjorn Brems (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team
DNFTim Wynants (Bel) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFJohn Whittington* (GBr)
DNFAnthony O'boyle (GBr) Torq Performance Nutrition
DNFLee Williams (GBr)
DNFPaolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc) GT Brondello Team
DNFUmberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
DNFRyan Sherlock (Irl)
DNFJulien Fillion (Can)
DNSFrank Beemer (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Orbea72pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team64
3Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing59
4Cannondale Factory Racing58
5Specialized Factory Racing52
6Trek World Racing41
7Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team30
8Giant Italia Team20
9Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo17
10TX Active Bianchi16
11Merida Biking Team15
12Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team10
13Elettroveneta-Corratec9
14Topeak Ergon Racing Team7
15Lapierre International5
16Scott Les Saisies4
17Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain3
18MSC Bikes2
19Subaru-Gary Fisher1

World Cup individual standings after one round
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing250pts
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea200
3Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing160
4Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team150
5Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team140
6Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing130
7Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea120
8Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing110
9José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team100
10Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing95
11Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team90
12Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing85
13Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing80
14Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo78
15Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi76
16Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team74
17Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team72
18Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea70
19Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing68
20Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing66
21Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team64
22Marek Konwa* (Pol) Elettroveneta-Corratec62
23Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing60
24Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team58
25Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)56
26Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International54
27François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Les Saisies52
28Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain50
29Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes48
30Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher46
31Maxime Marotte (Fra) Bh-Suntour44
32Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team42
33Tony Longo (Ita)40
34Derek Zandstra (Can)38
35Robert Mennen (Ger)36
36Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team34
37Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Factory Team32
38Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team30
39Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher29
40Martino Fruet (Ita)28
41Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team27
42Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling26
43Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team25
44Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) Tx Active Bianchi24
45Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.23
46Marc Colom (Fra)22
47Patrik Gallati* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing21
48Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team20
49Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team19
50Liam Killeen (GBr)18
51Piotr Brzozka* (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team17
52Bas Peters (Ned) Team Merida Combee16
53Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team15
54Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG-2 Professional MTB Team14
55Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team13
56Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)12
57Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition11
58Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International10
59Markus Bauer* (Ger)9
60Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team8

World Cup team standings after one round
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Orbea72pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team64
3Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing59
4Cannondale Factory Racing58
5Specialized Factory Racing52
6Trek World Racing41
7Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team30
8Giant Italia Team20
9Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo17
10TX Active Bianchi16
11Merida Biking Team15
12Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team10
13Elettroveneta-Corratec9
14Topeak Ergon Racing Team7
15Lapierre International5
16Scott Les Saisies4
17Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain3
18MSC Bikes2
19Subaru-Gary Fisher1

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