Swiss champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) came into the Mont Ste Anne round of the Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday with three consecutive second places, and was hungry to end his drought on the course where he won last year. After a race-long battle with perrenial rival Julien Absalon (BMC), Schurter broke his losing streak and took the overall lead in the standings.
This year, Mont Ste Anne is celebrating its 25th anniversary, an impressive run that goes back to the very start of the World Cup in 1991. MSA has held a World Cup every year of the series except for the two occasions when it hosted the world championships in 1998 and 2010.
The cross-country at MSA is classic mountain biking, with steep climbs, rocks and roots. The XC racers were spared the rain that hit the Downhill event, but forested sections were still muddy and slippery.
Schurter attacked on the opening lap with six riders joining him at the front, including Absalon, Florian Vogel (Focus XC), Ralph Naef (BMC), Andrea Tiberi (FRM Factory), Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida) and Mathias Fluckiger (Stoeckli Pro Team). Missing from the front group was Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized), winner of the first and third rounds, and World Cup leader heading into MSA.
When Schurter surged again, Absalon was right with him, and the pair steadily pulled away from the splintering chase group. Fluckiger hung on for half a lap, but then faded, while Vogel came up behind after riding his own pace. Entering the final lap Absalon and Schurter were still together, despite attacks and counterattacks, but when Schurter went again on one of the climbs Absalon was unable to respond, finishing 14 seconds down on his rival. Vogel took third, just ahead of Naef.
"Yah, I knew I had good legs," revealed Schurter, "but I didn't know how strong he [Absalon] was. I took my chance and I got away a bit, and now I have my first win of the season."
"I am really happy [to get the first win of the season]. I worked hard this season but always got second, but now everything came together and also a bit of luck, you need it to win. I'm really happy to win this race and also to take the overall lead."
"It is a really important results now. You need to win races if you want to win the overall. I saw that Jaroslav finished 13th, so I won a bit of points over him, so it was probably quite an important race for the overall."
Absalon said "Yes I am happy [with second place]. It was not possible to do better than this. It was a really nice fight with Nino, but in the last lap when he attacked, my legs were already really hard and it was not possible to follow him. I am really happy because I was tired during this week and I did not really good training the last two days, with the storm; with the wet conditions I had some trouble on the track. Today the feeling was really good, even in the technical sections I was good, I was able to follow Nino."
"It is always a pleasure to be here. I won my first World title here in 1998; I won as Junior at 18 years old, so lots of souvenirs and memories, and it is always a pleasure to be here."
Schurter takes the overall lead from Kulhavy with 850 points to Kulhavy's 740. Absalon is just behind at 710 points.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Nino Schurter (Swi)||1:27:19|
|2||Julien Absalon (Fra)||0:00:14|
|3||Florian Vogel (Swi)||0:01:35|
|4||Ralph Naef (Swi)||0:01:44|
|5||Stéphane Tempier (Fra)||0:01:57|
|6||Mathias Flückiger (Swi)||0:02:46|
|7||Lukas Flückiger (Swi)||0:02:47|
|8||Manuel Fumic (Ger)||0:02:58|
|9||Ondrej Cink (Cze)||0:03:09|
|10||Andrea Tiberi (Ita)||0:03:21|
|11||Maxime Marotte (Fra)||0:03:24|
|12||Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa)||0:03:27|
|13||Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)||0:03:28|
|14||Raphael Gagne (Can)||0:03:48|
|15||Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa)||0:04:00|
|16||José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa)||0:04:08|
|17||Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)||0:04:41|
|18||Luca Braidot (Ita)||0:04:53|
|19||Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)||0:05:00|
|20||Thomas Litscher (Swi)||0:05:11|
|21||Rudi Van Houts (Ned)||0:05:20|
|22||Matthias Stirnemann (Swi)||0:05:35|
|23||Alexander Gehbauer (Aut)||0:05:41|
|24||Catriel Andres Soto (Arg)||0:05:59|
|25||Reto Indergand (Swi)||0:06:20|
|26||David Valero (Spa)||0:06:25|
|27||Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)||0:07:00|
|28||Martin Gujan (Swi)||0:07:06|
|29||Jan Nesvadba (Cze)||0:07:31|
|30||Karl Markt (Aut)||0:07:34|
|31||Stephen Ettinger (USA)||0:07:35|
|32||Fabian Giger (Swi)||0:07:46|
|33||Geoff Kabush (Can)|
|34||Leandre Bouchard (Can)||0:07:56|
|35||Gregor Raggl (Aut)||0:08:12|
|36||Hugo Drechou (Fra)||0:08:13|
|37||Sebastien Carabin (Bel)||0:08:14|
|38||Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)||0:08:15|
|39||Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita)|
|40||Martin Gluth (Ger)||0:08:36|
|41||Derek Zandstra (Can)||0:08:58|
|42||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)||0:09:11|
|43||Markus Bauer (Ger)||0:09:37|
|44||Cameron Jette (Can)|
|45||Evan Guthrie (Can)||0:09:38|
|46||Miguel Martinez (Fra)||0:10:14|
|47||Michal Lami (Svk)||0:10:31|
|48||Julian Schelb (Ger)||0:10:32|
|49||Daniele Braidot (Ita)||0:10:40|
|50||Andras Parti (Hun)||0:10:48|
|51||Alex Grant (USA)||0:10:52|
|52||Sherman Trezza (Bra)||0:11:03|
|53||Spencer Paxson (USA)||0:11:21|
|54||Henrique Avancini (Bra)||0:11:50|
|55||Hector Riveros (Col)||0:12:00|
|56||Nicholas Pettina (Ita)||0:12:27|
|57||Bart De Vocht (Bel)||0:12:50|
|58||Zsolt Juhasz (Hun)||0:12:57|
|59||Steffen Thum (Ger)||0:13:23|
|60||Andrew Watson (Can)||0:13:58|
|61||Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)|
|62||Benjamin Sonntag (Ger)|
|63||Cameron Ivory (Aus)|
|64||Andrew L'esperance (Can)|
|65||Dario Alejandro Gasco (Arg)|
|66||Thomas Sampson (USA)|
|67||Martin Loo (Est)|
|68||Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra)|
|69||Evan Mcneely (Can)|
|70||Brendan Johnston (Aus)|
|71||Brian Matter (USA)|
|72||David Fletcher (GBr)|
|73||Ernie Watenpaugh (USA)|
|74||Francisc Ramos Sanzana (Chi)|
|75||Christopher Hamlin (USA)|
|76||Noah Tautfest (USA)|
|77||Elliot Reinecke (USA)|
|78||Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger)|
|79||David Flaten (USA)|
|DNF||Jordan Sarrou (Fra)|
|DNF||Jeremy Martin (Can)|
|DNF||Ruben Scheire (Bel)|
|DNF||Moritz Milatz (Ger)|
|DNF||Antoine Caron (Can)|
|DNF||Russell Finsterwald (USA)|
|DNF||Frederico Mariano (Bra)|
|DNS||Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned)|
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