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Schurter bests Absalon in Val di Sole

Once again, the men's race came down to World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) against World Cup leader Julien Absalon (Orbea) in a sprint, and Schurter both won the race and took over the World Cup lead. This makes it three times that Schurter has beaten Absalon in a sprint in the past 12 months.

The 6.3-kilometre course was dominated by a series of steep, climbs, which took their toll on the fields. In the men's race, only 88 of 190 starters finished on the same lap as the winner.

The men's six-lap race came down to three riders by the mid-point: Schurter, Absalon and last week's winner Florian Vogel, Schurter's teammate. Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) tried a move on the second lap, briefly setting the pace, but couldn't sustain it and fell back to eventually finish eighth.

The lead three worked well together for the first four laps, distancing themselves from everyone except Under 23 series leader Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing) and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida). These two were the only riders to stay within two minutes of the leaders and eventually took fourth and fifth, respectively. Näf took over fifth from fellow Swiss rider Christoph Sauser (Specialized), the World Champion in Val di Sole on this course in 2008. Sauser was riding strongly until a drivetrain problem took him out of contention on the fourth lap; he eventually finished 63rd.

At the front, as the race entered the final two laps, Absalon was getting increasingly nervous at being stuck with the two rivals and teammates. He launched a series of attacks, but the steep climbs made it impossible to gain any sort of meaningful gap on his rivals. Vogel went off the front at the end of lap five, forcing Absalon to chase, and pull Schurter up with him.

The French rider was able to drop Vogel on the final lap, but the gap was small, so he had to stay at the front, while Schurter sat on his wheel. Absalon tried a series of attacks, but Schurter was able to respond to every one and, as they entered the final feed zone, with less than a kilometre and a half to the finish line, Schurter made his own move, getting in front for the series of turns on the final flat section, with nowhere left for Absalon to pass before the finish line.

"It was very good for both Florian and I to be together," agreed Schurter. "I think Julien was actually the strongest rider out there today, but we were able to work together against him. I knew that the place to attack was at the last feed zone, because there was nowhere to pass after that. And, I have been pretty good against Julien in sprints lately, so I was confident I could get by him there."

Absalon agreed that having Vogel there certainly helped Schurter, and virtually conceded the World Cup title to Schurter. "It was two against one, and they were very good together. I tried to attack a number of times, but on these steep climbs it is impossible to get a gap. You cannot get enough power to get away. The feed zone was the place where you had to be in front, but Nino was just a little bit faster and was able to get there first.

"But, I'm happy with my form, and now I will just focus on the World Championships; I have four weeks to prepare. I will ride Windham, of course, but the focus is the World Championships."

Schurter now has 936 points to Absalon's 910, with European champion Jaroslav Kulhavy third at 790.

American Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) was the top North American, in 17th, followed by Todd Wells (Specialized) in 19th. Wells now becomes the top North American in the World Cup series standings, moving up to 18th place after former top-ranked Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) dropped out at the halfway mark in the race.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing1:44:09
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea0:00:04
3Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:00:20
4Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing0:01:26
5Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:01:46
6Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena-Birell-Specialized Cycling Team0:02:31
7Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:05
8José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:27
9Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International0:03:45
10Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing0:03:51
11Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:04:05
12Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea0:04:06
13Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:04:23
14Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team0:04:33
15Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:04:44
16Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:04:57
17Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:05:10
18Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:05:14
19Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:05:34
20Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo0:05:43
21Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes0:05:45
22Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:06:28
23Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:06:29
24Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek0:06:55
25Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:07:14
26Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team0:07:17
27Tony Longo (Ita)0:07:37
28Marek Konwa* (Pol) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:07:57
29Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour0:08:12
30Niels Wubben* (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:08:20
31Alexey Medvedev (Rus) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:08:29
32Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:08:34
33Marco Minnaard* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:08:35
34Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:08:48
35Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea0:08:53
36Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling0:09:09
37Patrik Gallati* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:09:23
38Marc Colom (Fra)0:09:28
39Robert Gehbauer (Aut)0:09:36
40Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:09:40
41Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek0:09:41
42Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:09:44
43Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Factory Team0:09:51
44Pascal Meyer* (Swi) M.I.G. Team0:09:53
45Frank Schotman (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized MTB Team0:10:01
46Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:10:03
47Alexander Gehbauer* (Aut)0:10:10
48Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:10:11
49Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team0:10:26
50Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:10:33
51Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team0:10:34
52Derek Zandstra (Can)
53Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team0:10:54
54Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Surfing Shop0:11:13
55Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:11:15
56Rene Tann (Ger)0:11:26
57Filip Eberl (Cze)0:11:47
58Thomas Litscher* (Swi) M.I.G. Team0:11:55
59Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:11:59
60Bas Peters (Ned) Team Merida Combee0:12:06
61Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:12:12
62Ruben Scheire* (Bel) Team Saeco0:12:15
63Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing0:12:17
64Andrew Watson (Can)0:12:38
65Marcus Schulte-Luenzum* (Ger) M.I.G. Team0:12:50
66Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:12:58
67Michal Lami (Svk)0:13:18
68Samuele Porro* (Ita)0:13:19
69Bjorn Brems (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team0:13:20
70Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)0:13:22
71Yader Zoli (Ita) Surfing Shop0:13:27
72Andras Parti (Hun)0:13:51
73Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team0:14:00
74Jiri Hudecek (Cze)0:14:23
75Jelmer Jubbega* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:14:32
76David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)0:14:36
77Diego Rosa* (Ita) Giant Italia Team0:14:44
78Jérémy Huguenin* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team0:14:54
79Dmytro Titarenko* (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team
80Balz Weber (Swi)0:15:19
81David Fletcher* (GBr)0:15:36
82Michael Broderick (USA)0:15:52
83Gerhard Kerschbaumer* (Ita)0:16:11
84Thibaut Bellanger* (Fra)0:16:30
85Ondrej Cink* (Cze) Merida Biking Team0:16:39
86Stephen Ettinger* (USA)0:16:41
87Reto Indergand* (Swi) Frm Tg Zentralschweiz0:17:14
88Tim Wynants (Bel) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:18:35
-1lapPeriklis Ilias (Gre) ISD Cycling Team
-1lapIrjan Luttenberg* (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
-1lapGiancarlo Sax* (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-1lapOla Kjören (Nor) Team Fokus-Danica
-1lapCristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)
-1lapPeter Glassford (Can)
-1lapMatthias Hoi* (Aut)
-1lapDirk Peters* (NZl)
-1lapMattias Nilsson* (Swe)
-1lapChristopher Maletz (Ger)
-1lapRoberto Giacobazzi* (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
-1lapTim Lemmers* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team
-1lapMatthias Stirnemann* (Swi)
-1lapMarco Schätzing (Ger) Team Firebike-Droessiger
-1lapMatthias Rupp* (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing
-1lapBenjamin Sonntag (Ger)
-1lapJakub Magnusek* (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team
-1lapElia Silvestri* (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec
-1lapHugo Drechou* (Fra)
-1lapZsolt Juhasz* (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team
-1lapThomas Lapeyrie* (Fra) Scott Les Saisies
-1lapOleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team
-1lapGuillaume Vinit (Fra) BH-Suntour
-1lapRoberto Crisi* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.
-1lapSebastian Szraucner (Ger)
-1lapMarcel Fleschhut* (Ger)
-1lapBenjamin Buchi* (Swi)
-1lapFabien Canal* (Fra) Keops Itwo
-1lapKornel Osicki* (Pol) Jbg-2 Professional MTB Team
-1lapOlof Jonsson* (Swe) Eliza-Orbea Team
-1lapGilles Sarrazin* (Fra)
-1lapRussell Finsterwald* (USA) Subaru-Trek
-1lapRobby De Bock* (Bel)
-1lapCameron Jette (Can)
-2lapsFrank Beemer (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
-2lapsKyosuke Takei (Jpn)
-2lapsFabian Rabensteiner* (Ita)
-2lapsFlorian Thie* (Swi)
-2lapsOle Christian Fagerli (Nor)
-2lapsHeiko Gutmann (Ger)
-2lapsJoshua Carlson (Aus)
-2lapsSteven Garcin (Fra)
-2lapsMarcus Nicolai* (Ger)
-2lapsDaniel Eymann* (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-2lapsMarek Rauchfuss* (Cze)
-2lapsAdrian Jackson (Aus)
-2lapsManfred Zöger* (Aut)
-2lapsFabrice Leguevaques* (Fra)
-2lapsMatej Nepustil* (Cze) Merida Biking Team
-2lapsDavid Simon* (Ger)
-2lapsChristoph Schwab* (Aut)
-2lapsChristian Bickel* (Swi)
-2lapsRicardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro* (Por) TX Active Bianchi
-2lapsTomas Pesek* (Cze)
-2lapsAdam Morka (Can)
-2lapsDaniel Kaufmann* (Swi)
-2lapsUmberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
-2lapsJack Hinkens* (USA)
-2lapsJonas De Backer* (Bel) Team Saeco
-2lapsCal Britten* (Aus)
-2lapsOleksandr Kachanov* (Ukr)
-2lapsMartino Di Pierdomenico* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.
-2lapsRob Vangenechten* (Bel) Team Saeco
-2lapsSimon Stiebjahn* (Ger)
-2lapsMichael Pesse* (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
-2lapsNicolas Jeantet* (Ita) ISD Cycling Team
-2lapsJoris Massaer (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche MTB Racing Team
-2lapsFrançois Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Les Saisies
-3lapsAndrew Blair (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition
-3lapsDana Weber (USA)
-3lapsKerry Werner* (USA)
-3lapsMark Csielka* (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team
-3lapsFrancesco Niccoli* (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D.
-3lapsArtyom Golovaschenko* (Kaz)
-3lapsJohn Whittington* (GBr)
-3lapsAndras Szatmary* (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team
-3lapsMirco Widmer* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
-3lapsDror Pekatch (Isr) Subaru-Trek
-3lapsGabor Bogar (Hun) Euro One-Cube MTB Team
-3lapsMykhaylo Batsutsa* (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team
-3lapsSebastian Batchelor* (GBr) Infotre - Leecougan
-3lapsSeverin Disch* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
-3lapsJames Peacock* (Aus)
-3lapsTimothy Carleton (Can)
-3lapsNikolay Zaitsev* (Kaz)
-3lapsKirill Kazantsev (Kaz)
-4lapsAdrien Niyonshuti (Rwa)
DNFRobert Mennen (Ger)
DNFKristian Hynek (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team
DNFAlexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International
DNFNicola Rohrbach (Swi)
DNFChristoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team
DNFGeoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain
DNFMartin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
DNFMichele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec
DNFMarkus Preiss* (Aut)
DNFJohannes Schweiggl (Ita)
DNFMartino Fruet (Ita)
DNFJan Skarnitzl (Cze)
DNFRourke Croeser* (RSA)
DNFSimon Scheiber* (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team
DNSErik Groen* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team
DNSHenrik Kippernes* (Nor) Team Fokus-Danica
DNSMilan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team97pts
2Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing72
4Trek World Racing46
5Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team34
6Specialized Factory Racing33
7Cannondale Factory Racing29
8Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team26
9Lapierre International22
10TX Active Bianchi18
11Giant Italia Team17
12Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo11
13MSC Bikes10
14Subaru-Gary Fisher7
15Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team5
18Team Merida Combee1

World Cup individual standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing936pts
2Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea910
3Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team790
4José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team675
5Mathias Flückiger* (Swi) Trek World Racing640
6Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing635
7Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing490
8Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing457
9Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing440
10Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea428
11Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team420
12Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team360
13Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing349
14Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi344
15Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo334
16Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team284
17Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team284
18Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing283
19Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour282
20Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team282
21Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes272
22Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing268
23Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team264
24Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team260
25Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea247
26Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing229
27Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain228
28Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team223
29Alexis Vuillermoz* (Fra) Lapierre International211
30Martin Fanger* (Swi) Giant Swiss Team202
31Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International200
32Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling198
33Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing196
34Tony Longo (Ita)182
35Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) SGF177
36Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)176
37Marek Konwa* (Pol) ADV172
38Thomas Litscher* (Swi) MIG152
39Adam Craig (USA) RGO150
40Christoph Soukup (Aut) MBT148
41Emil Lindgren (Swe) RGO143
42François Bailly Maitre (Fra) SCO136
43Sven Nys (Bel)132
44Karl Markt (Aut) FOX132
45Matous Ulman (Cze) SHS127
46Samuel Schultz (USA) SGF123
47Patrik Gallati* (Swi) SSR119
48Robert Mennen (Ger)118
49Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) TBR116
50Martino Fruet (Ita)108
51Johnny Cattaneo (Ita)102
52Bas Peters (Ned) TMC102
53Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)96
54Gerhard Kerschbaumer* (Ita)88
55Derek Zandstra (Can)86
56Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) GFT85
57Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)82
58Niels Wubben* (Ned) TMC75
59Jelmer Jubbega* (Ned) RGO73
60Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)70
61Pascal Meyer* (Swi) MIG63
62Umberto Corti (Ita) CBE62
63Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) SSR62
64Hannes Metzler (Aut) MGT58
65Fabien Canal* (Fra) KEO54
66Marc Colom (Fra)52
67Filip Eberl (Cze)49
68Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) TBR49
69Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) TBR48
70Frank Schotman (Ned) STS48
71Alexander Gehbauer* (Aut)48
72Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) FRW46
73Liam Killeen (GBr)45
74Alexey Medvedev (Rus) ADV44
75Marco Minnaard* (Ned) RGO40
76Milan Spesny (Cze) SHS38
77Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG37
78Piotr Brzozka* (Pol) JBG37
79Magnus Darvell (Swe)35
80Cristian Cominelli* (Ita) TXB34
81Christof Bischof (Swi)33
82Andrea Tiberi (Ita) SSP32
83Robert Gehbauer (Aut)29
84Sebastien Carabin* (Bel) LVT28
85Alban Lakata (Aut) TER27
86Michael Broderick (USA)26
87Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD26
88Jiri Novak (Cze)22
89Guillaume Vinit (Fra) BHS21
90Balz Weber (Swi)20
91Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) TRT19
92Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) LVT18
93Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) MGT17
94Bjorn Brems (Bel) GSD15
95Rubens Valeriano (Bra)14
96Matthias Rupp* (Swi) SSR14
97Jiri Friedl (Cze) MBT13
98Rene Tann (Ger)12
99Michele Casagrande (Ita) ADV12
100Severin Disch* (Swi) GST11
101Maxim Gogolev (Rus)11
102Sebastian Szraucner (Ger)11
103Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) TRQ11
104Andrew Watson (Can)10
105Thomas Lapeyrie* (Fra) SCO9
106David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)9
107Markus Bauer* (Ger)9
108Lachlan Norris (Aus)8
109Irjan Luttenberg* (Ned) TBR8

World Cup team standings after round five
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team338pts
3Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing282
4Specialized Factory Racing226
5Trek World Racing202
6Cannondale Factory Racing201
7Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team153
8Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team104
9Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo70
10Lapierre International66
11TX Active Bianchi66
12Topeak Ergon Racing Team61
13Giant Italia Team50
15MSC Bikes42
16Merida Biking Team30
17Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain29
18M.I.G. Team27
19Giant Swiss Team25
21Subaru-Gary Fisher17
22Scott Les Saisies11
23Team New Cycling7
24Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team5
25S&H Superior MTB Team4
26Team Merida Combee3
27Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.1

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