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Schurter takes UCI World Cup lead after XCO win in Andorra

World champion Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM), after getting blanked in the first two rounds of the Elite men's cross-country World Cup, finally took the 31st win of his career on Sunday, at Vallnord, Andorra. With his win, Schurter also moved into the overall series lead, after former World Cup leader Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon Circus) elected to skip the high-altitude race.

Hot, dry and dusty conditions added to the difficulty of this extremely demanding circuit, with rough descents causing numerous crashes, and steep climbs made worse by the thin air at 2,000 metres.

Brazil's Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory), winner of the Short Track on Friday evening, attacked out of the small lead group on the steep 'Wall' climb on the first lap, opening a gap. Ondrej Cink (Kross Racing) took up the chase, joining Avancini on the second lap and then riding clear on the third lap.

Schurter was mired back in fourth after crashing on a descent, and had to work his way back to Avancini on lap 4, joined by round 1 winner Mathias Fluckiger (Thomus RN). The trio were 37 seconds down on Cink at this point, who was riding strongly and looked to be in control, until a lap later, when the Czech rider abruptly slowed and was caught by the three chasers before pulling into the pit, tapping his chest and appearing to be in physical distress.

"I had a heart arrhythmia; my computer said I had a 230 [beats per minute] heart rate. I don't know what happened, but I stopped in the feedzone and tried to breath, and after one minute my heart rate was back down and I decided to continue." Cink dropped to the low 20s, but eventually recovered to finish 10th.

At the front, Schurter, Fluckiger and Avancini were riding together, with the Swiss riders starting to launch attacks as they began the final two laps. Avancini couldn't respond to the sudden accelerations, but clawed his way back each time until the last lap, when Schurter attacked and only Fluckiger could respond. The two Swiss riders continued to test each other, until Schurter attacked again with 300 metres to go, opening a few metres on his rival to win by two seconds, with Avancini taking third.

In the absence of Van der Poel, Schurter moves into the series lead with 835 points, followed by Fluckiger at 755 and Van der Poel at 700.

"It was a super tough one," said Schurter. "I had a stupid mistake on the first descent; I crashed, and then it took me a while to get into my rhythm again. I think this is the hardest race, at the high altitude, as you are always suffering. I attacked as hard as I could [at the start of the last lap], but I could see that he [Fluckiger] was still with me, so I knew it was going to be a hard one to win. I tried again, and it worked out, but it was very hard."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter1:19:34
2Mathias Flueckiger0:00:02
3Henrique Avancini0:00:12
4Gerhard Kerschbaumer0:00:27
5Jordan Sarrou0:00:45
6Jose Gerardo Ulloa Arevalo0:00:53
7Anton Cooper
8Anton Sintsov0:01:19
9Victor Koretzky0:01:23
10Ondrej Cink0:01:31
11Peter Disera0:01:33
12Stephane Tempier0:01:37
13Florian Vogel0:01:46
14Jens Schuermans0:01:51
15David Valero Serrano
16Nadir Colledani0:02:00
17Thomas Litscher0:02:12
18Keegan Swenson0:02:16
19Kevin Panhuyzen0:02:34
20Andri Frischknecht0:02:42
21Titouan Carod0:02:49
22Matthias Stirnemann0:02:55
23Thomas Griot0:03:02
24Pablo Rodriguez Guede0:03:13
25Milan Vader0:03:19
26Karl Markt0:03:25
27Alan Hatherly0:03:27
28Manuel Fumic0:03:37
29Lars Forster
30Gioele Bertolini0:04:16
31Fabian Giger
32Pettina' Nicholas0:04:39
33Leandre Bouchard0:04:40
34Reto Indergand0:04:41
35Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez0:04:42
36Andrea Tiberi0:04:44
37Luiz Henrique Cocuzzi0:05:17
38Markus Schulte-lunzum0:05:23
39Hugo Drechou0:05:28
40Florian Chenaux0:05:30
41Joshua Dubau0:05:42
42Maxime Marotte0:05:50
43Jan Vastl0:05:54
44Wout Alleman0:06:00
45Lukas Flueckiger0:06:12
46Martins Blums0:06:20
47Carlos Coloma Nicolas0:06:31
48Jakub Zamrozniak0:06:32
49Jan Skarnitzl0:06:55
50Severin Disch0:06:58
51Georg Egger0:07:04
52Simon Vitzthum0:07:26
53Raphael Gagne0:07:32
54Martin Fanger0:07:37
55Gregor Raggl0:07:58
56Martin Loo0:08:17
57Sebastian Fini Carstensen0:08:44
58Maximilian Foidl0:08:48
59Arnold Jeannesson0:08:57
60Erik Haegstad0:09:13
61Adelino Moll Mut0:09:23
62Guy Sessler0:09:36
63Leo Lhomme0:10:01
64Ben Oliver0:11:41
65Lorenzo Pellegrini
66Mario Costa
67Thibaud Saint Guilhem
68Ivan Filatov
69Mario Sinues Mico
70Maxime Loret
71Jaime Miranda Jaime
72Rob Vanden Haesevelde
73Simon Laurent
74Zdenek Vobecky
75Xavier Pijuan Porcel
76Roberto Ferreira
77David Rosa
78Marc Andre Fortier
79Erno Mccrae
80Andrew l'Esperance
81Victor Selles Pardo
82Lucas Dubau
83Samuel Gaze
84Grant Ferguson
85Manuel Sanchez Aldeguer
86Pedro Rodriguez Mesa
87Salvador Moll Mut
88Pau Romero Barcelo
89Jesus Torres Perez
90Guy Diaz Grollier
91Edoardo Bonetto
92Sergi Oller Piferrer
93Cristofer Bosque Ruano
94Sebastian Jayne
95Xavi Calaf Garcia
96Rodolphe Lestievent
97Fabio Ribeiro
98Arthur Tropardy
99Adria Noguera Soldevila
100Jorge Gomez Mora
101Clement Noel
102Camilo Jesus Espinosa Ozaez
DNFBen Zwiehoff
DNFNicola Rohrbach
DNFDaniele Braidot
DNFCarlos Jimenez Serrano
DNFDaniel James Mcconnell
DNFBartlomiej Wawak
DNSTom Bell

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