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Julien Absalon wins on home soil in La Bresse

Julien Absalon won a record 31st cross-country World Cup in La Bresse, France, on Sunday. The win took place before a partisan crowd on a course less than 20 minutes from his home. Adding to the joy of the spectators, French riders took the next two spots on the podium, with Maxime Marotte (BH-SR Suntour-KMC) taking second and his team mate Victor Koretzky third. World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) suffered two flats and had to settle for fourth.

The rain that had been forecast for race day came the night before, leaving the descent muddy but rideable. After a long climb out of town, riders faced a technical section traversing the top of the course before a long, switchback descent back to the finish, for a total of 4.2 kilometres.

Absalon, Schurter and Mathias Fluckiger (Stoeckli Pro Team) opened a gap on the first climb, with Marotte, Koretzky and Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) leading the chase. Absalon and Schurter dropped Fluckiger on the next lap, and then Schurter suffered his first flat, allowing Absalon to solo at the front.

After a fast wheel change, Schurter was back into third, but on the fourth lap he suffered another flat, dashing any hopes of rejoining his rival. Meanwhile, Fluckiger was fading as Marotte and Koretzky were speeding up, pushed on by the cheers of the crowd. The top three was set, with Schurter recovering in the final two laps to move into fourth.

"It's incredible to win at home, but the pressure was really great," admitted Absalon. "It was really hard because it's important for me to go do a good race to thank all the spectators and all the guys who who work really hard during this last month [to build the course]. So, yes, I am really happy, and it will be one of the best moments in my career. Four years ago, in 2012 [when he also won here], it was a really great moment and also a really great moment today."

Schurter continues to lead the overall standings as the first half of the World Cup draws to a close, with 650 points. However, Absalon is now only 40 points back in second, with Marotte in third, another 50 points in arrears. 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team1:26:38
2Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:01:00
3Victor Koretzky (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:01:24
4Nino Schurter (Swi) SCOTT ODLO MTB Racing Team0:01:42
5Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing0:02:06
6Mathias Fluckiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:02:25
7Jordan Sarrou (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC0:02:31
8Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:02:43
9Reto Indergand (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:09
10Luca Braidot (Ita)0:03:53
11Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MMR Factory Racing Team0:04:04
12Jhonnatan Botero Villegas (Col)0:04:09
13Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:04:10
14Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:27
15Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:04:38
16Anton Sintsov (Rus) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team0:04:39
17Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spa) MMR Factory Racing Team0:04:59
18Howard Grotts (USA) Specialized Racing0:05:06
19David Valero (Spa) MMR Factory Racing Team0:05:22
20Leandre Bouchard (Can)0:05:23
21Florian Vogel (Swi) Focus XC Team
22Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:05:29
23Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:05:46
24Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing XC0:06:13
25Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) SRAM Mitas Trek0:06:32
26Stephen Ettinger (USA)0:06:43
27Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:06:48
28Fabian Giger (Swi) Kross Racing Team0:06:54
29Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) MMR Factory Racing Team0:07:03
30Karl Markt (Aut) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team0:07:10
31Ruben Scheire (Bel) Habitat Mountainbike Team
32Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) Bianchi Countervail0:07:11
33Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) Kross Racing Team0:07:12
34Raphael Gagne (Can)0:07:21
35Martin Loo (Est)0:07:22
36Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Cst Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:07:33
37Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) SCOTT ODLO MTB Racing Team0:07:39
38Luis Miranda Costa Mario (Por)0:07:45
39Martin Gujan (Swi) Wheeler Pro Team0:07:58
40James Reid (RSA)0:08:08
41Lars Forster (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:08:13
42Hector Riveros (Col)0:08:16
43Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing XC0:08:17
44Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing0:08:22
45Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Expres CZ-Merida Team Kolin0:08:36
46Andrea Tiberi (Ita) FRM Factory Racing Team0:08:44
47Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team0:09:11
48Christian Pfaffle (Ger)0:09:15
49Emilien Barben (Swi)0:09:32
50Miguel Martinez (Fra)0:09:41
51Bart De Vocht (Bel) Versluys Team0:09:49
52Emil Lindgren (Swe) Serneke Allebike MTB Team0:09:53
53Alexander Gehbauer (Aut)0:10:12
54Fabio Hernando Castaneda Monsalve (Col)0:10:16
55Daniele Braidot (Ita)0:10:24
56Michele Casagrande (Ita)0:10:29
57Jeff Luyten (Bel)0:10:44
58Evan Mcneely (Can)0:10:47
59Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col)0:10:50
60Frank Beemer (Ned) Habitat Mountainbike Team0:11:00
61Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing0:11:06
62Maximilian Vieider (Ita)0:11:15
63Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) SCOTT ODLO MTB Racing Team0:11:23
64Cameron Ivory (Aus)0:11:40
65Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Novus OMX Pro Team0:11:54
66Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:12:02
67Keegan Swenson (USA)0:12:16
68Rotem Ishay (Isr)0:12:20
69Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Factory Team XC0:12:54
70Steffen Thum (Ger) Rose Vaujany Fueled By Ultrasports0:13:07
71Russell Finsterwald (USA) SRAM/TLD Racing0:13:37
72Michael Stunzi (Swi)- 1 Lap
73Phillip Pearce (GBr)
74Fabian Paumann (Swi) Wheeler Pro Team
75Moritz Milatz (Ger)
76Martin Gluth (Ger) Novus OMX Pro Team
77Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing XC
78Evan Guthrie (Can)
79Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Expres CZ-Merida Team Kolin
80Gregor Raggl (Aut) Haibike Oetztal Pro Team
81Maximilian Holz (Ger)
82Brendan Johnston (Aus)
83Pieter Geluykens (Bel) Focus Rotor G-Skin Racing Team
84Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)
85Florian Chenaux (Swi)
86Simon Gegenheimer (Ger) Rose Vaujany Fueled By Ultrasports
87Tobias Rotermund (Ger)
88Andrew L'esperance (Can)
89Diyer Rincon (Col)
90Lysander Kiesel (Ger)- 2 Laps
91Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned)
92Thomas Sampson (USA)
93Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)
94Matthias Grick (Aut)
95Chris Baddick (GBr)
96Erik Groen (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized MTB Team
97Jorgen Flion (Bel)
98Russell Nankervis (Aus)
99Louis Wolf (Ger)
100Jan Withaar (RSA)
101Tudor Oprea Ovidiu (Rom)
102Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Koch Engineering / Muesing Racing Team
103Roger Jenny (Swi)
104Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi) FRM Factory Racing Team
105Stuart Marais (RSA)- 3 Laps
106Zhen Wang (Chn) China Jiangsu ZGL MTB Team
107Maximilian Maier (Ger)
108Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra) Focus Rotor G-Skin Racing Team
109Guy Diaz Grollier (And)
110Andras Parti (Hun) Waberer's Evopro MTB Team
111Nathan Byukusenge (Rwa)
112Lucian Logigan (Rom)
113Kirill Kazantsev (Kaz) Fastos Development Team
114Jan Schaer (Swi)
115Cristian Correa (Chi)- 4 Laps
116Jason Bouttell (GBr)
DNFGrant Ferguson (GBr) Cst Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFHugo Drechou (Fra) Calvisson VTT
DNFDidier Bats (Bel)
DNFIvan Seledkov (Rus)
DNFLuiz Cocuzzi (Bra)
DNFStephane Tempier (Fra) Bianchi Countervail
DNFAndrea Righettini (Ita)
DNFSascha Weber (Ger)
DNFJens Schuermans (Bel) Versluys Team
DNFOndrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team
DNFHans Becking (Ned) Cst Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFNicola Rohrbach (Swi)
DNFMarkus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team
DNSAnton Cooper (NZl) Cannondale Factory Racing XC
DNSSebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team
DNSMarc Stutzmann (Swi)
DNSSakari Lehtinen (Fin)

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