XC Team Relay: Mont-Saint-Anne - Mont-Saint-Anne
Switzerland opened the 2019 Mountain Bike World Championships on Wednesday by taking their third consecutive Team Relay title at Mont-Saint-Anne, Canada. The USA took silver and France finished third.
This is the sixth Team Relay title for Switzerland, surpassing the record of five held by France.
The Swiss team fell back to eighth after the first rider, with Denmark and the Czech Republic taking an early lead. However, by the third of five riders, Switzerland were up to fifth, and Jolanda Neff, the fourth rider, brought them up to third, behind the Netherlands and the USA.
Nino Schurter was the Swiss anchor rider, and he blazed past the two riders ahead of him at the start of the last lap to give Switzerland the win.
The USA rode consistently in the top-three all race, moving ahead of the Netherlands on the final lap before being caught by Schurter, with France moving up from fifth to third in the final lap.
"When I started, the USA guy [Keegan Swenson] was 16 seconds ahead, and it was hard to catch and then attack him," said Schurter. "But I felt strong and managed to get to him. It's a great way to start the World Championships and get some good atmosphere into the team."
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