Schurter claims Lenzerheide World Cup win

Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) extended his perfect season with his fourth straight World Cup win on Sunday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

The Lenzerheide circuit, while not at as high an altitude as Andorra last weekend, is still nearly 1500 metres above sea level. The 4.2 kilometre circuit has one longer opening climb and a series of short steep climbs, combined with numerous rough and rooty forest sections. Heavy rain the night before made the wooded sections almost unrideable in places, and the UCI made the unusual decision of cutting a lap from the Men's and Women's races.

In the Elite Men's race, the continuing absence of Schurter's usual rival Julien Absalon (BMC) due to a broken collarbone has opened the door to multiple rivals, although Schurter has thus far proven untouchable. Former cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel pushed Schurter in the first two rounds, but struggled in the altitude at Andorra, and it proved to be the same situation here, with the Dutch rider starting strong and taking the race to Schurter before fading in the latter half of the race to finish tenth.

"It's amazing to win back home," said Schurter. "The crowd was amazing ... there were so many people out there. I was really struggling with the conditions at the beginning, it was super slippery and I didn't have the best tires on. So I struggled to follow Mathieu [van der Poel], who's used to the mud. Then it dried out a bit and I got better, but it was really tough and I suffered all the way through the race. I saw Jaro coming up on the second last lap, and he was coming very quick ... I was lucky it was one lap shorter!"

Maxime Marotte (Cannondale Factory) was the most consistent rival to Schurter for most of the race, but a couple of others made their way up to the leaders in the final laps. Russian Anton Sintsov (JBG-2 Pro) joined Schurter and Marotte at the midway mark, and even attacked on the fifth lap, eventually finishing third, the best result ever for a Russian man.

However, 2012 Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized), who has suffered injury and illness in the first part of the season, started from back in the third row and stormed up through the field, setting the fastest splits for the final four laps. Starting the last lap, he was in fourth and 24 seconds back. He went straight by Marotte and Sintsov on the first main climb and was only 9 seconds back of Schurter with half a lap to go, eventually coming across the finish line only three seconds down.

"It was an incredible race," agreed Kulhavy. "I had a bad start - after the start there was a big crash and I lost a lot of time. So I went step by step to fight back. I like this course, I like the technical sections with the roots and the rocks. Maybe I just needed eight laps! This World Cup season has been really bad for me until now, because I had crash before Nove Mesto and a problem with my back and wrist so I couldn't race normally, and in Andorra I was sick, so I'm happy to have a great race today finally."

In the overall standings, Schurter has a perfect 1000 points, with Marotte a distant second at 560 points. Schurter needs only to finish 22nd or better in one of the two remaining rounds to lock up the title. 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team1:29:48
2Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing0:00:03
3Anton Sintsov (Rus) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team0:00:15
4Maxime Marotte (Fra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:00:33
5David Valero Serrano (Spa) MMR Factory Racing Team0:00:46
6Jordan Sarrou (Fra) BH-Srsuntour-KMC0:00:52
7Titouan Carod (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:01
8Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) Torpado Gabogas0:01:39
9Stephane Tempier (Fra) Bianchi Countervail0:01:51
10Mathieu van der Poel (Ned)0:01:52
11Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:02:06
12Lukas Flueckiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Daniele Braidot (Ita)0:02:34
14Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) SRAM Mitas Trek0:02:47
15Mathias Flueckiger (Swi) Radon Factory XC TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Anton Cooper (NZl) Trek Factory Racing XC0:02:48
17Luca Braidot (Ita)0:02:58
18Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Primaflor Mondraker0:03:10
19Michiel van der Heijden (Ned) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team0:03:16
20Kevin Panhuyzen (Bel) Habitat Mountainbike Team0:03:44
21Andri Frischknecht (Swi) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team0:03:51
22Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:03:54
23Florian Vogel (Swi) Focus XC Team0:04:04
24Reto Indergand (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:04:05
25Jens Schuermans (Bel) Scott Creuse Oxygene GueretRow 24 - Cell 2
26Howard Grotts (USA)0:04:06
27Catriel Soto (Arg) Primaflor Mondraker0:04:18
28Marek Konwa (Pol) Volkswagen Samochody Uzytkowe MTB Team0:04:21
29Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Bianchi Countervail0:04:33
30Hugo Drechou (Fra) MassiRow 29 - Cell 2
31Jhonnatan Botero Villegas (Col)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek Factory Racing XC0:04:44
33Bartlomiej Wawak (Pol) Kross Racing Team0:04:51
34Grant Ferguson (GBr) CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team0:05:07
35Andrea Righettini (Ita)0:05:12
36Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team0:05:23
37Leandre Bouchard (Can) BH-Srsuntour-KMC0:05:32
38Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:05:49
39Karl Markt (Aut) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:05:58
40Bart De Vocht (Bel) KTM Bike Vision0:06:16
41Martin Fanger (Swi)0:06:17
42Fabian Giger (Swi) Kross Racing TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Thomas Litscher (Swi) JB Brunex Felt Team0:06:30
44Victor Koretzky (Fra) BH-Srsuntour-KMCRow 43 - Cell 2
45Timofei Ivanov (Rus) Format-Udmurtia0:06:35
46Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team0:06:44
47Thomas Griot (Fra) Materiel-Velo.com0:06:53
48Daniel McConnell (Aus)0:07:17
49Ben Zwiehoff (Ger)0:07:20
50Florian Trigo (Fra) Massi0:07:27
51Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Team Nob Selle Italia0:07:32
52Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spa) MMR Factory Racing Team0:07:35
53Ruben Scheire (Bel) Habitat Mountainbike Team0:07:36
54Martin Loo (Est)Row 53 - Cell 2
55Lars Forster (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:07:51
56Denis Fumarola (Ita)0:07:58
57Michele Casagrande (Ita)0:08:00
58Mario Costa (Por) Primaflor Mondraker0:08:12
59Arthur Tropardy (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise0:08:21
60Andrew L'Esperance (Can)0:08:32
61Marcel Guerrini (Swi) Focus XC Team0:08:45
62Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) BH-Srsuntour-KMC0:08:51
63Martin Gluth (Ger) OMX Pro Team0:09:10
64Sascha Weber (Ger)0:09:25
65Christian Pfaffle (Ger) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:09:39
66Shlomi Haimy (Isr)0:09:48
67Gregor Raggl (Aut) Moebel Maerki MTB Pro Team0:10:37
68Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Merida Wallonie MTB Team0:10:39
69Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Kurschat Consulting Racing Team0:10:45
70Phillip Pearce (GBr)0:11:26
71Markus Bauer (Ger)0:11:42
72Philipp Hediger (Swi) Fischer-BMC0:11:48
73Edoardo Bonetto (Ita) Elios-Srsuntour Pro Team0:12:15
74Wietse Bosmans (Bel)0:12:29
75Arnis Petersons (Lat) ZZK0:12:42
76Octavien Maillard (Fra)0:13:04
77Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)0:14:13
78Julian Schelb (Ger)Row 77 - Cell 2
79Maximilian Holz (Ger) German Technology RacingRow 78 - Cell 2
80Nicolas Bazin (Fra)Row 79 - Cell 2
81Martin Frey (Ger) Team BullsRow 80 - Cell 2
82Severin Sagesser (Swi)Row 81 - Cell 2
83Robin Vanden Abeele (Bel) Cube Pro Fermetures SeficRow 82 - Cell 2
84Cameron Ivory (Aus)Row 83 - Cell 2
85Fabian Paumann (Swi) Fischer-BMCRow 84 - Cell 2
86Simon Gegenheimer (Ger) Rose Vaujany Fueled By UltrasportsRow 85 - Cell 2
87Didier Bats (Bel) CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)Row 87 - Cell 2
89Lysander Kiesel (Ger) German Technology RacingRow 88 - Cell 2
90Faraz Shokri (IRI)Row 89 - Cell 2
91Tobias Rotermund (Ger)Row 90 - Cell 2
92Chris Baddick (GBr)Row 91 - Cell 2
93Sebastian Jayne (Aus)Row 92 - Cell 2
94Fabian Obrist (Swi)Row 93 - Cell 2
95Martin Stosek (Cze)Row 94 - Cell 2
96Russell Nankervis (Aus)Row 95 - Cell 2
97Robert Schwenk (Ger)Row 96 - Cell 2
98Mathias Alig (Swi)Row 97 - Cell 2
99Jan Schar (Swi)Row 98 - Cell 2
100Frank Beemer (Ned) Habitat Mountainbike TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFHans Becking (Ned) CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFNicola Rohrbach (Swi)Row 101 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Chenaux (Swi)Row 102 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Gaze (NZl) Specialized RacingRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger)Row 104 - Cell 2
DNSMurray Spink (Aus)Row 105 - Cell 2

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