Thomas Listcher added to the Swiss medal account at this year's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Friday evening when he won the under 23 men's cross country race. Marek Konwa gave Poland its first medal of the championships with a silver while Henk Jaap Moorlag rode to bronze for the Netherlands.
"I had a dream race today, and everything went very smooth," said Listcher, who had helped the Swiss team to a team relay silver medal earlier in the week. "The course was good, I felt strong. Everything was perfectly. I was encouraged by the fans."
Listcher dominated for most of the race, sharing the lead only in the first part of the race with Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy).
"For me, my goal for the start was not to go too fast, but to be in the front because when you are behind, there are risks of crashes," said Litscher.
The Swiss rider was first on the initial downhill with a slight gap to Kerschbaumer, who was just behind him. "I waited a bit for Kerschbaumer because it's so hard to go alone. I thought he could follow me, but after that second uphill, I was alone. So I concentrated hard on the technical sections in order to build my lead from then on." Litscher stopped the clock at 1:32:30.
"The race was very hard and very fast. Today was not my day," said Kerschbaumer after the finish.
As the Italian fell back from Litscher, he was part of the initial battle for second with Moorlag, Konwa and Diego Rosa (Italy), but later dropped back further to finish in sixth place.
On lap four of six total, Konwa got ahead of Moorlag for good. Both seemed likely at that point to keep their second and third spots, too, barring any catastrophe.
"On the first lap, I had a crash," said Konwa, who had been feeling good during the past few weekends of World Cups. "Later, I went on alone. The second and third laps were good for me. I went very fast in the technical sections." Konwa finished 1:42 after Litscher.
"I had a good start, but it was hard to follow the lead guys," said Moorlag, who is halfway toward meeting qualification for the Dutch Olympic team. "I tried to ride my own race and with that, I got a bronze medal, so I'm happy with that."
"The other guys were stronger on the technical parts," he said," but on the uphills and flats, I was strong today." Moorlag finished at 2:13.
Switzerland had a very good day with three finishers in the top five. Matthias Stirnemann and Reto Indergand were fourth and fifth respectively. The two riders never looked like they would break into the medals, but they looked strong throughout the race.
"I had a mechanical in the second last lap," said Stirnemann. "I had a flat front tire, but I didn't lose all the air, so I could ride it to the tech zone, where I got it fixed."
Indergand had what he called a "super" race. "I started as number 37, so it was impossible to be at the front with the group initially, but in the following laps, I worked my way up. My legs felt good." Two years ago as a junior, he won a silver medal at the Worlds in Australia.
The top North Americans were Leandre Bouchard (Canada) and Kerry Werner (United States). "It went out hard today, and it stayed hard the whole time," said Werner. "There was no group work, it felt like you were charging from the start. Everyone was resting in different places, so you might pass them on the climb and they'd pass you back on the next flat."
“I managed my race very well, at my maximum throughout the race. I raced well, and despite a few mistakes, I always came back. I think I may have gained 10-15 positions in the second half of the race, which is very encouraging,” said Bouchard. “It was slippery, yes, but in mountain biking, riders have to adapt to the conditions. Typically I do very well in those conditions."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)||1:32:30|
|2||Marek Konwa (Poland)||0:01:42|
|3||Henk Jaap Moorlag (Netherlands)||0:02:13|
|4||Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)||0:03:33|
|5||Reto Indergand (Switzerland)||0:04:17|
|6||Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy)||0:05:00|
|7||Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Germany)||0:05:13|
|8||Diego Rosa (Italy)||0:05:27|
|9||Sebastien Carabin (Belgium)||0:05:35|
|10||Jordan Sarrou (France)||0:06:03|
|11||Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands)||0:06:46|
|12||Ruben Scheire (Belgium)||0:07:05|
|13||Timofei Ivanov (Russian Federation)||0:07:13|
|14||Nicholas Pettina (Italy)||0:07:42|
|15||Paul Van Der Ploeg (Australia)||0:07:58|
|16||Andy Eyring (Germany)||0:08:06|
|17||Luca Braidot (Italy)||0:08:34|
|18||Piotr Brzozka (Poland)||0:08:46|
|19||Jérémy Huguenin (Switzerland)||0:09:07|
|20||Marcel Fleschhut (Germany)||0:09:14|
|21||Marek Rauchfuss (Czech Republic)||0:09:29|
|22||Zsolt Juhasz (Hungary)||0:09:33|
|23||Fabien Canal (France)||0:09:46|
|24||Sherman Paiva (Brazil)||0:10:04|
|25||Henrique Avancini (Brazil)||0:10:12|
|26||Kenta Gallagher (Great Britain)||0:10:14|
|27||Dmytro Titarenko (Ukraine)||0:10:41|
|28||Shlomi Haimy (Israel)||0:10:42|
|29||Leandre Bouchard (Canada)||0:10:48|
|30||Matej Nepustil (Czech Republic)||0:11:02|
|31||Rourke Croeser (South Africa)||0:11:09|
|32||James Reid (South Africa)||0:11:10|
|33||Kerry Werner (United States Of America)||0:11:11|
|34||Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)||0:11:27|
|35||Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic)||0:11:44|
|36||Dirk Peters (New Zealand)||0:11:51|
|37||Pavel Priadein (Russian Federation)||0:12:03|
|38||Markus Bauer (Germany)||0:12:18|
|39||Ivan Smirnov (Russian Federation)||0:12:35|
|40||Julian Schelb (Germany)||0:12:58|
|41||Jack Hinkens (United States Of America)||0:13:11|
|42||Jeremy Martin (Canada)||0:13:52|
|43||Mario Luis Miranda Costa (Portugal)||0:14:53|
|-1lap||Marc Metzler (Switzerland)|
|-1lap||Kornel Osicki (Poland)|
|-1lap||Trenton Day (Australia)|
|-1lap||Jonas Pedersen (Denmark)|
|-1lap||Daniel Eymann (Switzerland)|
|-1lap||Olof Jonsson (Sweden)|
|-1lap||Mitchell Bailey (Canada)|
|-1lap||Antoine Caron (Canada)|
|-1lap||Evan Guthrie (Canada)|
|-1lap||Jeff Luyten (Belgium)|
|-1lap||Russell Finsterwald (United States Of America)|
|-1lap||Jhonnatan Botero Villegas (Colombia)|
|-2laps||Evan Mcneely (Canada)|
|-2laps||Daniele Braidot (Italy)|
|-2laps||Cameron Ivory (Australia)|
|-2laps||Cristofer Bosque Ruano (Spain)|
|-2laps||Gregor Raggl (Austria)|
|-2laps||Dominic Calitz (South Africa)|
|-2laps||Ricardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro (Portugal)|
|-2laps||Dimitrios Antoniadis (Greece)|
|-3laps||Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukraine)|
|-3laps||Jaime Yesid Chia Amaya (Colombia)|
|-3laps||Fabian Strecker (Germany)|
|-3laps||Urban Ferencak (Slovenia)|
|-3laps||Javier Altamirano Rodrigo (Argentina)|
|-3laps||Federico Andres Mallo (Argentina)|
|-3laps||Benjamin Buchi (Switzerland)|
|-3laps||Samuel Shaw (New Zealand)|
|-3laps||Brad Hudson (New Zealand)|
|-3laps||Anton Liyubuy (Ukraine)|
|-3laps||Matthias Hoi (Austria)|
|-3laps||Takuji Noda (Japan)|
|-3laps||Michael Crosbie (Australia)|
|-3laps||Ricardo Javier Hazbun Velazquez (Chile)|
|DNF||Stephen Ettinger (United States Of America)|
|DNF||Marco Minnaard (Netherlands)|
|DNF||Filip Turk (Croatia)|
|DNF||Ondrej Cink (Czech Republic)|
|DNF||Sascha Bleher (Germany)|
|DNF||Jose Maria Sanchez Ruiz (Spain)|
|DNF||German Dorhmann (Argentina)|
|DNS||Marko Popovic (Serbia)|
|DNS||Felix Euteneuer (Germany)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|13||United States Of America||127|
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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.
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