Flueckiger has perfect World Cup Weekend

Round 4 of the men’s XCO World Cup in Leogang, Austria, came down to two-way battle between Swiss rivals Mathias Flueckiger (Thomus Maxon) and World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott SRAM), with Flueckiger adding a second win for the weekend to the Short Track he won on Friday. 

South African champion Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory) finished third for the best World Cup XCO result of his career. Schurter continues to lead the overall standings, but Flueckiger, the defending World Cup champion, moved up to seventh from third.

After rain and mud all week, race day was sunny and hot, with the track drying out almost completely. The Leogang circuit is all about climbing, with two major ascents per lap totaling 210 metres of elevation gain each time. The men raced a start loop plus six laps.

By the end of the start loop, seven riders had already opened a gap, including Schurter, Hatherly, Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory), Vlad Dascalu (Trek Factory), Anton Cooper (Trek Factory), Jordan Sarrou (Specialized Factory) and Titouan Carod (BMC MTB). Flueckiger had a slow start and was working his way up through traffic.

Schurter went to the front on the first climb of the opening lap, and Carod, Sarrou and Avancini were quickly shed, while Flueckiger moved up to join the leaders. The five leaders began the second lap together, but the pace Schurter continued to set saw Cooper yo-yoing off the back. He and Maxime Marrotte (Santa Cruz) managed to rejoin the leaders briefly before getting dropped for good before the start of the third lap.

The final selection took place on lap 3, with Flueckiger attacking hard on the first climb from fourth place. 

He blew by the three in front of him, with only Schurter able to latch onto his wheel. Dascalu and Hatherly both struggled to rejoin the leaders, with the South African managing a couple of times in the next few laps to briefly catch on, only to get immediately dropped whenever either of the Swiss riders surged.

The two leaders rode together until the final climb on the last lap, when Flueckiger put in another strong attack. He could only gain a few seconds but it proved to be enough for the Swiss champion to win the fifth XCO World Cup of his career. Hatherly managed to hold off Dascalu by six seconds to take third.

"I'm exhausted, but it's great to win," said Flueckiger. 

"After Friday's win and today I know I'm in good shape, but today was tough. It was a great battle once again with Nino. This time it was a bit better for me and I'm happy about that. It's a really demanding course here with so much climbing, and you never have the chance to recover. From outside it may have looked tactical, but it was more or less full gas."

Schurter agreed with his rival. 

"It was a tough race; this isn't my favourite track. It was a tough battle with Mathias, he pushed hard, especially when he attacked and we got away. That was a hard attack and it took a while to recover. It was a nice battle and I'm super happy about my second place on a track that doesn't suit me so well."

Schurter remains the overall leader for the Series, with 964 points after four events, 189 points ahead of Dascalu, who moves up to second from third. 

Flueckiger, after winning both the Short Track and XCO on the weekend, jumps from seventh to third, 64 points behind Dascalu.

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathias Flückiger (Swi) 1:15:31
2Nino Schurter (Swi) 0:00:06
3Alan Hatherly (RSA) 0:00:39
4Vlad Dascalu (Rom) 0:00:45
5Maxime Marotte (Fra) 0:01:09
6David Valero Serrano (Spa) 0:01:18
7Anton Cooper (NZl)
8Luca Braidot (Ita) 0:02:03
9Jens Schuermans (Bel) 0:02:09
10Joshua Dubau (Fra) 0:02:15
11Pierre De Froidmont (Bel) 0:02:22
12Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) 0:02:32
13Andri Frischknecht (Swi) 0:02:39
14Ondřej Cink (Cze) 0:02:49
15Joel Roth (Swi) 0:03:02
16Titouan Carod (Fra) 0:03:11
17Reto Indergand (Swi) 0:03:18
18Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) 0:03:22
19Antoine Philipp (Fra) 0:03:31
20Vital Albin (Swi) 0:03:38
21Gioele Bertolini (Ita) 0:03:45
22Thomas Litscher (Swi)
23Maximilian Foidl (Aut) 0:04:03
24Henrique Avancini (Bra) 0:04:28
25Stephane Tempier (Fra) 0:04:29
26Jordan Sarrou (Fra) 0:04:41
27Daniele Braidot (Ita) 0:04:44
28Luca Schwarzbauer (Ger) 0:04:47
29Gregor Raggl (Aut) 0:04:48
30Nadir Colledani (Ita) 0:05:00
31Alessio Agostinelli (Ita)
32David List (Ger) 0:05:02
33Julian Schelb (Ger) 0:05:25
34Tomer Zaltsman (Isr)
35Bruno Vitali (Swi) 0:05:39
36Filippo Colombo (Swi) 0:05:50
37Niklas Schehl (Ger) 0:05:51
38Jakob Dorigoni (Ita)
39Maximilian Brandl (Ger) 0:06:14
40Mats Tubaas Glende (Nor) 0:06:16
41Peter Disera (Can) 0:06:18
42Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Den) 0:06:28
43Knut Røhme (Nor) 0:06:33
44Juri Zanotti (Ita) 0:06:37
45Thibault Daniel (Fra)
46Karl Markt (Aut) 0:06:57
47Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spa) 0:07:01
48Lukáš Kobes (Cze) 0:07:02
49Cameron Orr (GBr) 0:07:03
50Maxime Loret (Fra) 0:07:16
51Julien Trarieux (Fra) 0:07:31
52Gioele De Cosmo (Ita) 0:07:37
53Marcel Guerrini (Swi)
54Jofre Cullell Estape (Spa) 0:07:39
55Sean Fincham (Can) 0:07:54
56Filip Helta (Pol) 0:08:00
57Simon Andreassen (Den) 0:08:01
58Nick Burki (Swi) 0:08:12
59Tyler Orschel (Can) 0:08:16
60Fabio Spena (Swi)
61Zsombor Palumby (Hun) 0:08:45
62Karol Ostaszewski (Pol) 0:09:00
63Erik Hægstad (Nor) 0:09:03
64Jens Adams (Bel) 0:09:06
65Sven Olivetti (Swi) 0:09:11
66Cameron Ivory (Aus) 0:09:50
67Dario Thoma (Swi) 0:10:04
68Isaac Mundy (GBr) 0:10:15
69Georg Egger (Ger) 0:10:24
70Samuel Gaze (NZl) 0:10:50
71Thomas Griot (Fra) 0:11:29
72Craig Oliver (NZl)
73Erno Mccrae (Bel)
74Josef Jelínek (Cze)
75Ursin Spescha (Swi)
76Michael Gaßner (Ger)
77Malcolm Barton (Can)
78Christopher Mcglinchey (Irl)
79Hugo Boulanger (Fra)
80Florian Hamm (Ger)
81Basile Allard (Fra)
82Vincent Jonatan Beckmann (Ger)
83Juan Francisco Diaz Torres (Arg)
84William Dowling (USA)
DNFDavid Nordemann (Ned)
DNFChristopher Lawless (GBr)
DNFBen Oliver (NZl)
DNFAmando Martinez Galvan (Mex)
DNSLars Forster (Swi)
DNSEmil Hasund Eid (Nor)

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