Absalon wins Pietermaritzburg cross country World Cup

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

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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)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Matiss Preimanis (Lat) DPA0:07:17
29Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
-1lapBrendan Johnston (Aus)Row 59 - Cell 2
-1lapLucien Besancon (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
-1lapJan Withaar (RSA)Row 61 - Cell 2
-1lapRourke Croeser (RSA) Kargo Pro MTB TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
-2lapsReinis Andrijanovs (Lat) DPARow 63 - Cell 2
-2lapsStuart Marais (RSA) Kargo Pro MTB TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
-2lapsLouis-Bresler Knipe (RSA)Row 65 - Cell 2
-3lapsHeiko Redecker (Nam)Row 66 - Cell 2
-3lapsTeboho Khantsi LES19910101 Ace - The Sufferfest - Lesotho MTB TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
-4lapsHenrique Avancini (Bra) Caloi TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
DNFPhetetso Monese LES19840922 Ace - The Sufferfest - Lesotho MTB TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
DNFSebastian Batchelor (GBr) Fluid Fin Race TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
DNFMartinus Esmeyer (RSA)Row 73 - Cell 2
DNFTyron Bird (RSA)Row 74 - Cell 2
DNSJan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena TrekRow 75 - Cell 2
DNSCameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Rox RacingRow 76 - Cell 2
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Multivan Merida Biking Team82pts
2BMC Mountainbike Racing Team77Row 1 - Cell 3
3Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team47Row 2 - Cell 3
4BH-Suntour-KMC43Row 3 - Cell 3
5Trek Factory Racing43Row 4 - Cell 3
6Cannondale Factory Racing40Row 5 - Cell 3
7I.Idro Drain Bianchi25Row 6 - Cell 3
8Stöckli Pro Team23Row 7 - Cell 3
9Giant Pro XC Team23Row 8 - Cell 3
10Specialized Racing XC12Row 9 - Cell 3
11Orange Monkey Pro Team8Row 10 - Cell 3
12Titici Lgl International Team6Row 11 - Cell 3
13DPA3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Ötztal Scott Racing Team2Row 13 - Cell 3
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Elite men World Cup standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team250pts
2Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing200Row 1 - Cell 3
3Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC160Row 2 - Cell 3
4Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team150Row 3 - Cell 3
5José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team140Row 4 - Cell 3
6Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team130Row 5 - Cell 3
7Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team120Row 6 - Cell 3
8Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team110Row 7 - Cell 3
9Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing100Row 8 - Cell 3
10Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing95Row 9 - Cell 3
11Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team90Row 10 - Cell 3
12Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team85Row 11 - Cell 3
13Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team80Row 12 - Cell 3
14Raphael Gagne (Can)78Row 13 - Cell 3
15Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)76Row 14 - Cell 3
16Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) I.Idro Drain Bianchi74Row 15 - Cell 3
17Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team72Row 16 - Cell 3
18Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team70Row 17 - Cell 3
19Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC68Row 18 - Cell 3
20Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC66Row 19 - Cell 3
21Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) I.Idro Drain Bianchi64Row 20 - Cell 3
22Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team62Row 21 - Cell 3
23Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team60Row 22 - Cell 3
24Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team58Row 23 - Cell 3
25Anton Sintsov (Rus) Titici LGL International Team56Row 24 - Cell 3
26Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing54Row 25 - Cell 3
27Michal Lami (Svk)52Row 26 - Cell 3
28Matiss Preimanis (Lat) DPA50Row 27 - Cell 3
29Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team48Row 28 - Cell 3
30Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team46Row 29 - Cell 3
31Marc Stutzmann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team44Row 30 - Cell 3
32Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)42Row 31 - Cell 3
33Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team40Row 32 - Cell 3
34Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team38Row 33 - Cell 3
35Daniele Braidot (Ita)36Row 34 - Cell 3
36Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)34Row 35 - Cell 3
37Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MMR Bikes Pro Team32Row 36 - Cell 3
38Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team30Row 37 - Cell 3
39Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team29Row 38 - Cell 3
40Matthias Wengelin (Swe)28Row 39 - Cell 3
41Paul Oldham (GBr)27Row 40 - Cell 3
42Ruben Scheire (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team26Row 41 - Cell 3
43Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls25Row 42 - Cell 3
44Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB24Row 43 - Cell 3
45Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team23Row 44 - Cell 3
46Martin Gluth (Ger)22Row 45 - Cell 3
47Markus Bauer (Ger)21Row 46 - Cell 3
48Luca Braidot (Ita)20Row 47 - Cell 3
49Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team19Row 48 - Cell 3
50Matthys Beukes (RSA)18Row 49 - Cell 3
51Mark Tupalski (Aus)17Row 50 - Cell 3
52Ola Kjören (Nor)16Row 51 - Cell 3
53David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team15Row 52 - Cell 3
54Andrew Blair (Aus)14Row 53 - Cell 3
55Hugo Drechou (Fra) Calvisson VTT13Row 54 - Cell 3
56Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team12Row 55 - Cell 3
57Daniel Eymann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team11Row 56 - Cell 3
58Renay Groustra (RSA)10Row 57 - Cell 3
59Hamish Batchelor (GBr) Fluid Fin Race Team9Row 58 - Cell 3
60Brendan Johnston (Aus)8Row 59 - Cell 3
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Team World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Multivan Merida Biking Team82pts
2BMC Mountainbike Racing Team77Row 1 - Cell 3
3Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team47Row 2 - Cell 3
4BH-Suntour-KMC43Row 3 - Cell 3
5Trek Factory Racing43Row 4 - Cell 3
6Cannondale Factory Racing40Row 5 - Cell 3
7I.Idro Drain Bianchi25Row 6 - Cell 3
8Stöckli Pro Team23Row 7 - Cell 3
9Giant Pro XC Team23Row 8 - Cell 3
10Specialized Racing XC12Row 9 - Cell 3
11Orange Monkey Pro Team8Row 10 - Cell 3
12Titici Lgl International Team6Row 11 - Cell 3
13DPA3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Ötztal Scott Racing Team2Row 13 - Cell 3

 

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