Skip to main content

Schurter wins Windham cross country World Cup

Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing) won the elite men's cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Windham, New York on Sunday afternoon. World Cup overall leader Julien Absalon (BMC) finished second, just six seconds after Schurter while Absalon's teammate Lukas Flückiger was third another 10 seconds later.

"It was a hard battle with Absalon, but I'd say I'd made it happen on the downhill," said Schurter to Cyclingnews. "I'm super stoked to win here on a course that's maybe not the best suited for me."

The "old school" course featured one long climb followed by one long downhill.  It was less technical than many other recent World Cups and had more concentrated climbing.  The downhills were super fast.

Sergio Mantecon (Trek Factory Racing) led the men at the end of the uphill starting section ahead of the first of the seven laps, but soon after, Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox) surged to the front to mix it up with Schurter and Absalon.

"I felt solid and while I wasn't as sharp as last week, I got lucky at the start," said Kabush. "It's been frustrating getting caught in the middle of the field in the starts, so when it opened up, I went to the front and rode some smooth lines."

However, it wasn't long before a lead group of four men established themselves during lap one: Schurter, Absalon, Lukas Flückiger and his brother Mathias Flückiger (Stöckli Pro Team).

For much of the first part of the race, the four lined up in that order although Absalon was sometimes leading on the climb while Schurter usually led the descent.

On lap three, Lukas Flückiger went for it at the top of the downhill. The Swiss rider was descending very well and moved to the front, forcing the others to chase. The move proved decisive, perhaps not in the way that he expected, as it forced a gap to him that the other three had to close.

"I had more confidence than last week, so I started better in the race," said Lukas Flückiger. "I felt good on the downhills but was suffering hard on the uphills. So on the third lap, I tried to go, but I wasn't strong enough on the uphill so it was hard to take my speed into the next lap. It was good to try it though as it gave me still more confidence for the next race."

Schurter was not surprised to see his Swiss compatriot make a move. "Lukas is always a strong guy. It was nice when he attacked because he opened up the gap to Absalon so it was great for me."

Schurter was the first to close the gap to Lukas Flückiger and from that point in the race, he was always at the front with Absalon dangling just behind him. Once both riders passed Lukas Flückiger, Absalon would tend to close slightly the gap to Schurter on the climbs, but he'd always lose a bit of time on the next descent. Following his teammate's attack, Absalon was never again at the front of the race.

With the course featuring one big long climb and one big long descent, the differences in riding styles of the two favorites were more pronounced, magnified by the fact that Absalon was on a hardtail and Schurter was on a full suspension.

Schurter said, "It was quite an advantage to have the full suspension on the downhill. I was able to always open the gap, maybe 10 to 15 seconds, and then I'd try to hold it on the uphill."

Absalon said, "I tried to push back to regain the 10-12 seconds I lost on every downhill. I knew that second position would still be good for the World Cup overall and a crash would have been a disaster. I was definitely thinking about the World Cup overall."

"For Nino, it was different. He had nothing to lose," said Absalon. Schurter had skipped a round of the World Cup earlier this season. "If you want to win the overall, you need to do all the races. Two win any race, you have to take risks, but for me that was not the good option."

Behind the leaders, four men chased together for much of the race: Dan McConnell (Trek Factory Racing), Stephane Tempier (BH-Suntour-KMC), Mantecon and Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing).

Although the time gaps were never large, Schurter, Absalon and Lukas Flückiger maintained their places in the final few laps, with Absalon always getting close, but never managing to pass Schurter on the climbs and Schurter gaining time back on the descents. Lukas Flückiger kept losing a bit of time on the climbs and making that time back on the descents.

McConnell's strong finish was enough for him to overtake Mathias Flückiger for fourth place. Mathias Flückiger ended up fifth.

"It was a hard seven laps. It was another long race," said McConneloug. "I was lucky enough to have my teammate Sergio in the group so one of us would make the move and the other would sit in and get towed along. That helped. It was about three laps to go that I could sneak away and push toward the top three."

"You have to go into the red on the climbs and then just hold on during the descents. I'm happy to come away with a podium here."

Kabush and Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Rox) led the North Americans in finishing 12th and 13th while Stephen Ettinger (BMC) was the top American finisher on home World Cup soil. Ettinger flatted early in the race.

"I paid a little for my fast start, but 12th is a good result for me, and it was my teammate Derek Zandstra's best World Cup finish with a 13th. It was nice to fight toward the podium - it was a good result, and I'll take it."

Another pre-race favorite Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) was never seen near the front after he was held up in a crash just following the start line.

US National Champion Stephen Ettinger (BMC) was the top American finisher at the US's home World Cup, despite a flat tire.

"I felt good, but when I flatted on lap one, I probably went back to 50th or 60th position. When that happens, you just have to do damage control. I think I made it back to 27th. It was a hard, long race. Seven laps of that was tough though in the end, but if it had been six, it wouldn't have changed much for me."

Absalon's second place meant that he kept his position as leader of the World Cup standings. He has 1290 points to Schurter's 1080 after Schurter skipped a round in Australia to race the road instead. McConnell is third in the standings with 840 points.

"It will be nice to finish the World Cup season in France," said Absalon.

Full Results

Elite men cross country
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team1:40:58
2Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:00:06
3Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:00:16
4Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:00:22
5Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:01:12
6Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:01:27
7Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing0:02:04
8Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC0:02:27
9Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:02:40
10Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:16
11Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:03:40
12Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing0:03:44
13Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing
14Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:59
15Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:04:12
16José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:14
17Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:39
18Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC0:04:46
19Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team0:04:54
20Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Tropix-Frm0:04:57
21Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:05:23
22Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) MMR Bikes Pro Team0:05:34
23Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena Trek0:05:55
24Michal Lami (Svk)0:06:10
25Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team0:06:33
26Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:06:59
27Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:07:13
28Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team0:07:27
29Marc Stutzmann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team0:07:33
30Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) I.Idro Drain Bianchi0:07:38
31Ruben Scheire (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team0:07:41
32Henrique Avancini (Bra) Caloi Team0:08:04
33Hector Riveros (Col)0:08:06
34Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC0:08:13
35Martin Loo (Est) Merida Italia Team0:08:17
36Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:08:21
37Hans Becking (Ned) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team0:08:22
38Matiss Preimanis (Lat) DPA0:08:29
39Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:08:44
40Christian Helmig (Lux)0:09:13
41Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)0:09:21
42Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team0:09:22
43Russell Finsterwald (USA) Sram/Tld Racing
44Evan Guthrie (Can)0:09:34
45Hugo Drechou (Fra) Calvisson VTT0:09:41
46Ismael Ventura Sanchez (Spa)0:09:53
47Zsolt Juhasz (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team0:10:00
48Martin Gluth (Ger)0:10:07
49Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:10:41
50Miguel Martinez (Fra) Tropix-Frm0:11:05
51Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)0:11:22
52Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team0:11:42
53Raphael Gagne (Can)0:11:48
54Cameron Dodge (USA)0:11:51
55Ricardo Pscheidt (Bra)0:12:32
56Andrew Watson (Can)0:12:36
57Simon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team0:13:04
58David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)0:13:35
-1lapSebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB
-1lapMitchell Hoke (USA)
-1lapPaolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)
-1lapSeiya Hirano (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team
-1lapSergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team
-1lapSteffen Thum (Ger)
-1lapPeter Glassford (Can)
-1lapLuciano Caraccioli (Arg)
-1lapKerry Werner (USA)
-1lapPatrick Chartrand (Can)
-1lapWilliam Melone (USA)
-1lapDario Alejandro Gasco (Arg)
-1lapPatricio Maximiliano Farias Diaz (Chi)
-2lapsRobby De Bock (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team
-2lapsSimon Gegenheimer (Ger)
-2lapsRyo Saito (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team
-2lapsThomas Sampson (USA)
-2lapsFabio Hernando Castaneda Monsalve (Col)
-2lapsAdrian Retief (NZl)
-2lapsRubens Valeriano (Bra)
-2lapsCarlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MMR Bikes Pro Team
-2lapsAndrew L'esperance (Can)
-2lapsCole Oberman (USA)
-3lapsPatricio Andres Campbell Vilches (Chi)
-3lapsChristopher Hamlin (USA)
-3lapsMarco Antonio Escarcega (Mex)
-3lapsJoseph Clemenzi (USA)
-3lapsDaniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
-3lapsAaron Oakes (USA)
-4lapsJavier Fiallo (Ecu)
-4lapsErnie Watenpaugh (USA)
-4lapsNoah Tautfest (USA)
-4lapsJean-Philippe Thibault-Roberge (Can)
-4lapsBesik Gavasheli (Geo)
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFCameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing
DNFAndras Parti (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team
DNFMarek Konwa (Pol) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team
DNFJosé Juan Escarcega (Mex)
DNSShlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team
DNSMax Plaxton (Can) Cannondale Factory Racing
DNSJosé Alberto Gonzalez Merchan (Ecu)

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Mountainbike Racing Team88pts
2Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team62
3Trek Factory Racing54
4Multivan Merida Biking Team46
5Cannondale Factory Racing42
6Stöckli Pro Team38
7Scott-3Rox Racing37
9Giant Pro XC Team32
11MMR Bikes Pro Team9
12Sram Rubena Trek8
13Focus XC Team6
14Orange Monkey Pro Team5
15Versluys Team3
17I.Idro Drain Bianchi1

Elite men cross country World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team1290pts
2Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team1080
3Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing840
4Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC731
5Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing696
6Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team675
7José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team672
8Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing605
9Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-Suntour-KMC592
10Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team576
11Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team559
12Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team466
13Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team464
14Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team460
15Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing426
16Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team422
17Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) I.Idro Drain Bianchi369
18Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team354
19Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Tropix-Frm329
20Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team308
21Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) I.Idro Drain Bianchi297
22Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team296
23Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MMR Bikes Pro Team292
24Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team267
25Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC259
26Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team257
27Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team255
28Raphael Gagne (Can)255
29Martin Gujan (Swi) Orange Monkey Pro Team250
30Michal Lami (Svk)228
31Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing215
32Ruben Scheire (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team208
33Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team206
34Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC204
35Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)186
36Reto Indergand (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team182
37Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing178
38Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Sram Rubena Trek178
39David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)170
40Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team150
41Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team141
42Miguel Martinez (Fra) Tropix-Frm137
43Sven Nys (Bel)132
44Martin Gluth (Ger)130
45Matiss Preimanis (Lat) DPA128
46Hugo Drechou (Fra) Calvisson VTT125
47Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team118
48Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB112
49Luca Braidot (Ita)110
50Jonas De Backer (Bel)106
51Martin Loo (Est) Merida Italia Team105
52Russell Finsterwald (USA) Sram/Tld Racing104
53Anton Sintsov (Rus) Titici Lgl International Team102
54Marc Stutzmann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team101
55Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team101
56Daniele Braidot (Ita)100
57Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team99
58Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) MMR Bikes Pro Team98
59Henrique Avancini (Bra) Caloi Team96
60Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team82
61Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team74
62Michele Casagrande (Ita)70
63Andrew Blair (Aus)64
64Andras Parti (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team63
65Hector Riveros (Col)60
66Matthias Wengelin (Swe)60
67Frank Beemer (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team58
68Kerry Werner (USA)58
69Evan Guthrie (Can)58
70Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)57
71Marek Konwa (Pol) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team55
72Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak Ergon Racing Team52
73Ismael Ventura Sanchez (Spa)52
74Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)51
75Robby De Bock (Bel) Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team51
76Mark Tupalski (Aus)47
77Hans Becking (Ned) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team45
78Christian Helmig (Lux)45
79Carl Jones (NZl)44
80Simon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team43
81Jan Nesvadba (Cze)40
82Paul Oldham (GBr)37
83Brendan Johnston (Aus)35
84Tom Meeusen (Bel)32
85Mario Luis Miranda Costa (Por)31
86Andrew Watson (Can)31
87Matous Ulman (Cze)30
88Philip Buys (RSA)29
89Dirk Peters (NZl)29
90Zsolt Juhasz (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team29
91Shaun Lewis (Aus)28
92Steffen Thum (Ger)26
93Fabian Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Italy Team25
94Cory Wallace (Can) Kona Factory Team25
95Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls25
96Ryo Saito (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team24
97Ivan Seledkov (Rus)23
98Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)23
99Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team22
100Filip Eberl (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin21
101Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Btwin MTB Racing Team21
102Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)21
103Markus Bauer (Ger)21
104Travis Frisby (Aus)19
105Matthys Beukes (RSA)18
106Mitchell Hoke (USA)18
107Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Factory Team16
108Jochen Kass (Ger)16
109Ola Kjören (Nor)16
110Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)15
111David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team15
112Cameron Dodge (USA)14
113Ricardo Pscheidt (Bra)13
114David Valero (Spa)12
115Oleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) Isd MTB Team11
116Rourke Croeser (RSA) Kargo Pro MTB Team11
117Daniel Eymann (Swi) Giant-Swiss-Team11
118Martin Haring (Svk)10
119Renay Groustra (RSA)10
120Hamish Batchelor (GBr) Fluid Fin Race Team9
121Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing8
122Jiri Novak (Cze) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team8

Team World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Mountainbike Racing Team492pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team330
3Trek Factory Racing291
4Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team282
6Cannondale Factory Racing207
7Giant Pro XC Team196
8Stöckli Pro Team149
9I.Idro Drain Bianchi120
11Scott-3Rox Racing68
12Specialized Racing XC61
13MMR Bikes Pro Team49
14Sram Rubena Trek23
15Orange Monkey Pro Team23
16Focus XC Team22
17Versluys Team17
18Titici Lgl International Team7
19Calvisson Vtt7
20Feenstra Felt Pb Kenda Bike Team6
22Topeak Ergon Racing Team5
23Sram/Tld Racing4
24Ötztal Scott Racing Team2


Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

Latest on Cyclingnews