Litscher powers to victory

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.

Race notes

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."

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)1:32:30
2Marek Konwa (Poland)0:01:42
3Henk Jaap Moorlag (Netherlands)0:02:13
4Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)0:03:33
5Reto Indergand (Switzerland)0:04:17
6Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Italy)0:05:00
7Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Germany)0:05:13
8Diego Rosa (Italy)0:05:27
9Sebastien Carabin (Belgium)0:05:35
10Jordan Sarrou (France)0:06:03
11Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands)0:06:46
12Ruben Scheire (Belgium)0:07:05
13Timofei Ivanov (Russian Federation)0:07:13
14Nicholas Pettina (Italy)0:07:42
15Paul Van Der Ploeg (Australia)0:07:58
16Andy Eyring (Germany)0:08:06
17Luca Braidot (Italy)0:08:34
18Piotr Brzozka (Poland)0:08:46
19Jérémy Huguenin (Switzerland)0:09:07
20Marcel Fleschhut (Germany)0:09:14
21Marek Rauchfuss (Czech Republic)0:09:29
22Zsolt Juhasz (Hungary)0:09:33
23Fabien Canal (France)0:09:46
24Sherman Paiva (Brazil)0:10:04
25Henrique Avancini (Brazil)0:10:12
26Kenta Gallagher (Great Britain)0:10:14
27Dmytro Titarenko (Ukraine)0:10:41
28Shlomi Haimy (Israel)0:10:42
29Leandre Bouchard (Canada)0:10:48
30Matej Nepustil (Czech Republic)0:11:02
31Rourke Croeser (South Africa)0:11:09
32James Reid (South Africa)0:11:10
33Kerry Werner (United States Of America)0:11:11
34Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)0:11:27
35Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic)0:11:44
36Dirk Peters (New Zealand)0:11:51
37Pavel Priadein (Russian Federation)0:12:03
38Markus Bauer (Germany)0:12:18
39Ivan Smirnov (Russian Federation)0:12:35
40Julian Schelb (Germany)0:12:58
41Jack Hinkens (United States Of America)0:13:11
42Jeremy Martin (Canada)0:13:52
43Mario Luis Miranda Costa (Portugal)0:14:53
-1lapMarc Metzler (Switzerland)Row 43 - Cell 2
-1lapKornel Osicki (Poland)Row 44 - Cell 2
-1lapTrenton Day (Australia)Row 45 - Cell 2
-1lapJonas Pedersen (Denmark)Row 46 - Cell 2
-1lapDaniel Eymann (Switzerland)Row 47 - Cell 2
-1lapOlof Jonsson (Sweden)Row 48 - Cell 2
-1lapMitchell Bailey (Canada)Row 49 - Cell 2
-1lapAntoine Caron (Canada)Row 50 - Cell 2
-1lapEvan Guthrie (Canada)Row 51 - Cell 2
-1lapJeff Luyten (Belgium)Row 52 - Cell 2
-1lapRussell Finsterwald (United States Of America)Row 53 - Cell 2
-1lapJhonnatan Botero Villegas (Colombia)Row 54 - Cell 2
-2lapsEvan Mcneely (Canada)Row 55 - Cell 2
-2lapsDaniele Braidot (Italy)Row 56 - Cell 2
-2lapsCameron Ivory (Australia)Row 57 - Cell 2
-2lapsCristofer Bosque Ruano (Spain)Row 58 - Cell 2
-2lapsGregor Raggl (Austria)Row 59 - Cell 2
-2lapsDominic Calitz (South Africa)Row 60 - Cell 2
-2lapsRicardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro (Portugal)Row 61 - Cell 2
-2lapsDimitrios Antoniadis (Greece)Row 62 - Cell 2
-3lapsMykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukraine)Row 63 - Cell 2
-3lapsJaime Yesid Chia Amaya (Colombia)Row 64 - Cell 2
-3lapsFabian Strecker (Germany)Row 65 - Cell 2
-3lapsUrban Ferencak (Slovenia)Row 66 - Cell 2
-3lapsJavier Altamirano Rodrigo (Argentina)Row 67 - Cell 2
-3lapsFederico Andres Mallo (Argentina)Row 68 - Cell 2
-3lapsBenjamin Buchi (Switzerland)Row 69 - Cell 2
-3lapsSamuel Shaw (New Zealand)Row 70 - Cell 2
-3lapsBrad Hudson (New Zealand)Row 71 - Cell 2
-3lapsAnton Liyubuy (Ukraine)Row 72 - Cell 2
-3lapsMatthias Hoi (Austria)Row 73 - Cell 2
-3lapsTakuji Noda (Japan)Row 74 - Cell 2
-3lapsMichael Crosbie (Australia)Row 75 - Cell 2
-3lapsRicardo Javier Hazbun Velazquez (Chile)Row 76 - Cell 2
DNFStephen Ettinger (United States Of America)Row 77 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Minnaard (Netherlands)Row 78 - Cell 2
DNFFilip Turk (Croatia)Row 79 - Cell 2
DNFOndrej Cink (Czech Republic)Row 80 - Cell 2
DNFSascha Bleher (Germany)Row 81 - Cell 2
DNFJose Maria Sanchez Ruiz (Spain)Row 82 - Cell 2
DNFGerman Dorhmann (Argentina)Row 83 - Cell 2
DNSMarko Popovic (Serbia)Row 84 - Cell 2
DNSFelix Euteneuer (Germany)Row 85 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
2Italy227Row 1 - Cell 3
3Germany212Row 2 - Cell 3
4Poland190Row 3 - Cell 3
5Belgium181Row 4 - Cell 3
6Czech Republic170Row 5 - Cell 3
7Russian Federation166Row 6 - Cell 3
8Netherlands156Row 7 - Cell 3
9France137Row 8 - Cell 3
10Australia136Row 9 - Cell 3
11Canada134Row 10 - Cell 3
12South Africa131Row 11 - Cell 3
13United States Of America127Row 12 - Cell 3
14Brazil121Row 13 - Cell 3
15Ukraine91Row 14 - Cell 3
16New-Zealand76Row 15 - Cell 3
17Portugal65Row 16 - Cell 3
18Hungary63Row 17 - Cell 3
19Great Britain59Row 18 - Cell 3
20Israel57Row 19 - Cell 3
21Colombia50Row 20 - Cell 3
22Denmark38Row 21 - Cell 3
23Sweden36Row 22 - Cell 3
24Austria36Row 23 - Cell 3
25Argentina33Row 24 - Cell 3
26Spain26Row 25 - Cell 3
27Greece22Row 26 - Cell 3
28Slovenia18Row 27 - Cell 3
29Japan10Row 28 - Cell 3
30Chile8Row 29 - Cell 3


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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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