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Absalon wins Pietermaritzburg cross country World Cup

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Julien Absalon (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) wins the Pietermaritzburg World Cup

Julien Absalon (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) wins the Pietermaritzburg World Cup
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team) finishing a disappointing 6th

Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team) finishing a disappointing 6th
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Thomas Litscher (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

Thomas Litscher (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)

Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain)was top North American

Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain)was top North American
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Maxime Marotte (BH-Suntour-KMC)

Maxime Marotte (BH-Suntour-KMC)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mathias Fluckiger (Stockli Pro Team)

Mathias Fluckiger (Stockli Pro Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) finishing 2nd

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) finishing 2nd
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team)

Julien Absalon (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team)

Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Fast start...

Fast start...
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Defending World Champion Nino Schurter of Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team suffered a victory destroying rear wheel puncture, eventually limping home in sixth place in the elite men's cross country race in Pietermaritzburg

Defending World Champion Nino Schurter of Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team suffered a victory destroying rear wheel puncture, eventually limping home in sixth place in the elite men's cross country race in Pietermaritzburg
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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Maxime Marrote (BH-Suntour-KMC) rounded out the top three of the elite men's cross country

Maxime Marrote (BH-Suntour-KMC) rounded out the top three of the elite men's cross country
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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Manuel Fumic of Cannondale Factory Racing soared to second place in the elite men's cross country

Manuel Fumic of Cannondale Factory Racing soared to second place in the elite men's cross country
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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BMC MTB Racing's Julien Absalon overcame his fear of the rock garden en route to victory in the elite men's cross country win in Pietermaritzburg

BMC MTB Racing's Julien Absalon overcame his fear of the rock garden en route to victory in the elite men's cross country win in Pietermaritzburg
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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Julien Absalon of BMC MTB Racing punches the air after claiming victory in the elite men's cross country in Pietermaritzburg

Julien Absalon of BMC MTB Racing punches the air after claiming victory in the elite men's cross country in Pietermaritzburg
(Image credit: Darren Goddard / Gameplan Media)
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World Cup leader Julien Absalon

World Cup leader Julien Absalon
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's podium at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup

Elite men's podium at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Julien Absalon (BMC) took the 27th victory in his storied career in the elite men's race on Sunday, at the opening round of the cross country UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

The 5.7-kilometre course is completely new from the one riders saw last fall at the world championships, and most riders considered it to be harder. It challenged riders with technical rock gardens and jumps, and gave them no chance to rest with multiple climbs per lap. The heat also took its toll, although the late start to the men's race meant that they missed the fierce heat that the women faced.

The men's race saw world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) make his trademark fast start, with only Manuel Fumic (Cannnondale Factory Racing) able to match him on the first lap. Absalon got caught in traffic early on the race and had to battle his way to the leaders, joining Schurter and Fumic on the second lap.

From this point, the race followed a pattern that has been seen many times, as the two top riders in the world, Absalon and Schurter, rode Fumic off their wheels and then began to test each other. Schurter appeared to be the stronger on the downhills, but that was where he possibly made a mistake, suffering a flat tire that gave his rival an advantage.

While Schurter had to ride slowly on his flat to the technical zone for a replacement wheel, Absalon continued to push hard, aware that Fumic was still less than 30 seconds back. The two-time Olympic champion was successful in holding on to the finish, taking his first win at Pietermaritzburg. Fumic held on for second, with Maxime Marotte (BH-Suntour-KMC) taking third. Schurter managed to improve to finish sixth after his flat.

"It is nice to win the first World Cup [of the year]," saidAbsalon, "especially here because I was pretty disappointed last year because I had two crashes [at the world championships] and I broke my ribs, so I was a bit afraid of this course. Especially the rocky garden where I crashed."

"But all this week, the feeling was good. I had a poor start, so I used a lot of energy during the first lap to overtake about 15 guys. Once I got up to Nino, it was a nice fight though. He was very fast in some of the technical sections, but then he got a flat tire. I knew Manuel [Fumic] was only 15 seconds back, so I had to keep full gas to the end."

In the under 23 race held earlier in the day, Jordan Sarrou (BH-Suntour-KMC) won the men's event.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano now moves to Cairns, Australia, for round two of both the downhill and cross country, plus the first round of the Eliminator, taking place April 25-27.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team1:38:05
2Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:00:34
3Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC0:00:54
4Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:32
5José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:39
6Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:02:16
7Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:02:19
8Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:02:24
9Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:02:37
10Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing0:02:51
11Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:03:16
12Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:32
13Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:55
14Raphael Gagne (Can)0:03:58
15Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)0:04:02
16Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) I.Idro Drain Bianchi0:04:22
17Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:26
18Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:48
19Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC0:05:05
20Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC0:05:32
21Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) I.Idro Drain Bianchi0:05:46
22Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:05:51
23Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:06:09
24Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:06:18
25Anton Sintsov (Rus) Titici LGL International Team0:06:43
26Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:07:16
27Michal Lami (Svk)
28Matiss Preimanis (Lat) DPA0:07:17
29Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
30Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:08:11
31Marc Stutzmann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team0:08:12
32Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)0:08:20
33Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team0:08:31
34Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:08:53
35Daniele Braidot (Ita)0:09:18
36Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)0:09:36
37Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MMR Bikes Pro Team0:09:42
38Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:09:51
39Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team0:10:05
40Matthias Wengelin (Swe)0:10:12
41Paul Oldham (GBr)0:10:21
42Ruben Scheire (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team0:10:39
43Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls0:10:46
44Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB0:10:47
45Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team0:11:19
46Martin Gluth (Ger)0:11:24
47Markus Bauer (Ger)0:11:27
48Luca Braidot (Ita)0:12:13
49Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team
50Matthys Beukes (RSA)0:12:22
51Mark Tupalski (Aus)0:12:25
52Ola Kjören (Nor)0:12:26
53David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:13:30
54Andrew Blair (Aus)0:13:45
55Hugo Drechou (Fra) Calvisson VTT0:13:56
56Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team0:14:19
57Daniel Eymann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team0:15:13
58Renay Groustra (RSA)0:16:02
-1lapHamish Batchelor (GBr) Fluid Fin Race Team
-1lapBrendan Johnston (Aus)
-1lapLucien Besancon (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team
-1lapJan Withaar (RSA)
-1lapRourke Croeser (RSA) Kargo Pro MTB Team
-2lapsReinis Andrijanovs (Lat) DPA
-2lapsStuart Marais (RSA) Kargo Pro MTB Team
-2lapsLouis-Bresler Knipe (RSA)
-3lapsHeiko Redecker (Nam)
-3lapsTeboho Khantsi LES19910101 Ace - The Sufferfest - Lesotho MTB Team
-4lapsHenrique Avancini (Bra) Caloi Team
DNFPhetetso Monese LES19840922 Ace - The Sufferfest - Lesotho MTB Team
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFSimon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
DNFSebastian Batchelor (GBr) Fluid Fin Race Team
DNFMartinus Esmeyer (RSA)
DNFTyron Bird (RSA)
DNSJan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena Trek
DNSCameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team82pts
2BMC Mountainbike Racing Team77
3Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team47
4BH-Suntour-KMC43
5Trek Factory Racing43
6Cannondale Factory Racing40
7I.Idro Drain Bianchi25
8Stöckli Pro Team23
9Giant Pro XC Team23
10Specialized Racing XC12
11Orange Monkey Pro Team8
12Titici Lgl International Team6
13DPA3
14Ötztal Scott Racing Team2

Elite men World Cup standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team250pts
2Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing200
3Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC160
4Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team150
5José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team140
6Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team130
7Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team120
8Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team110
9Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing100
10Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing95
11Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team90
12Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team85
13Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team80
14Raphael Gagne (Can)78
15Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)76
16Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) I.Idro Drain Bianchi74
17Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team72
18Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team70
19Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC68
20Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC66
21Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) I.Idro Drain Bianchi64
22Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team62
23Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team60
24Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team58
25Anton Sintsov (Rus) Titici LGL International Team56
26Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing54
27Michal Lami (Svk)52
28Matiss Preimanis (Lat) DPA50
29Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team48
30Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team46
31Marc Stutzmann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team44
32Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)42
33Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team40
34Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team38
35Daniele Braidot (Ita)36
36Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)34
37Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MMR Bikes Pro Team32
38Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team30
39Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team29
40Matthias Wengelin (Swe)28
41Paul Oldham (GBr)27
42Ruben Scheire (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team26
43Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls25
44Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB24
45Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team23
46Martin Gluth (Ger)22
47Markus Bauer (Ger)21
48Luca Braidot (Ita)20
49Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team19
50Matthys Beukes (RSA)18
51Mark Tupalski (Aus)17
52Ola Kjören (Nor)16
53David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team15
54Andrew Blair (Aus)14
55Hugo Drechou (Fra) Calvisson VTT13
56Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team12
57Daniel Eymann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team11
58Renay Groustra (RSA)10
59Hamish Batchelor (GBr) Fluid Fin Race Team9
60Brendan Johnston (Aus)8

Team World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team82pts
2BMC Mountainbike Racing Team77
3Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team47
4BH-Suntour-KMC43
5Trek Factory Racing43
6Cannondale Factory Racing40
7I.Idro Drain Bianchi25
8Stöckli Pro Team23
9Giant Pro XC Team23
10Specialized Racing XC12
11Orange Monkey Pro Team8
12Titici Lgl International Team6
13DPA3
14Ötztal Scott Racing Team2

 

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