Switzerland's Patrick Lüthi started his World Cup career in the best possible way - winning the third round of the eliminator World Cup in La Bresse, France. Held in the streets of the host village, the French community embraced the event, with spectators lining the course that took riders along narrow footpaths, through a church yard and down a set of stairs that proved to be the most serious obstacle of the day, causing a number of crashes.
Round one winner Brian Lopes was one of the strong favourites for the men's race, since the tight, technical course suited the skills of the former four cross world champion. Lopes qualified second, behind Miha Halzer (Energijateam.com), with Lüthi qualifying fourth. They were joined in the final by Stefan Peter (MTB Kader Zentralschweiz).
Peter got the hole shot at the first corner, when Lopes and Halzer both had poor starts. The American moved up to third, behind Lüthi, but was thwarted in his attempt to move up to second in the corner following the stair descent. However, Lüthi was successful in overtaking Peter just before the ramp descent and held on for the win ahead of Peter, with Lopes rolling in third. Paul van der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic) was the top Australian, finishing 12th.
"It is just unbelievable to win my first World Cup," said Lüthi. "I never thought I would be in this place. I thought it might be difficult to qualify and now I am here ... just unbelievable. I think it is very hard, this race. The winner could have been anyone. It is just great to be the one."
|1||Patrick Lüthi (Swi)|
|2||Stefan Peter (Swi) MTB Kader Zentralschweiz|
|3||Brian Lopes (USA)|
|4||Miha Halzer (Slo) Energijateam.com|
|5||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International|
|6||Heiko Gutmann (Ger)|
|DNS||Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Notebooksbilliger.de Team|
|8||Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)|
|9||Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour|
|10||Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra)|
|11||Gregor Raggl (Aut)|
|12||Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team|
|13||Jeremy Arnould (Fra)|
|14||Dennis Ebert (Ned)|
|15||Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team|
|16||Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team|
|17||Lukas Loretz (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour|
|18||Martin Gluth (Ger)|
|19||Pascal Schmutz (Swi)|
|20||Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)|
|21||Fabrice Mels (Bel) Salcano Factory Team|
|22||Philip Buys (RSA)|
|23||Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team|
|24||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team|
|25||Lars Forster (Swi)|
|26||Jürg Graf (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team|
|27||Daniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team|
|28||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team|
|29||Johan Widen (Swe)|
|30||Robbert De Nijs (Ned) Giant Dealerteams|
|31||Javier Eduardo Puschel (Chi)|
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