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Lüthi triumphs in men's eliminator cross country

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This looks painful

This looks painful
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The start of the Big Final in the eliminator in La Bresse

The start of the Big Final in the eliminator in La Bresse
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Brian Lopes (Ibis) collapsed after the finish

Brian Lopes (Ibis) collapsed after the finish
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Brian Lopes (Ibis) out front in early heats

Brian Lopes (Ibis) out front in early heats
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Daniel Federspiel (Notebooksbilliger.de Team) won an early heat

Daniel Federspiel (Notebooksbilliger.de Team) won an early heat
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Stefan Peter (MTB Kader Zentralschweiz) leads Brian Lopes (Ibis) in a heat

Stefan Peter (MTB Kader Zentralschweiz) leads Brian Lopes (Ibis) in a heat
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Patrick Lüthi wins the elite men's eliminator in La Bresse, France

Patrick Lüthi wins the elite men's eliminator in La Bresse, France
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's La Bresse eliminator podium: Miha Halzer, Stefan Peter, Patrick Lüthi, Brian Lopes, Alexis Vuillermoz

Elite men's La Bresse eliminator podium: Miha Halzer, Stefan Peter, Patrick Lüthi, Brian Lopes, Alexis Vuillermoz
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The stone steps at the church ruined many hopes

The stone steps at the church ruined many hopes
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

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."

Full results

Big Final
1Patrick Lüthi (Swi)
2Stefan Peter (Swi) MTB Kader Zentralschweiz
3Brian Lopes (USA)
4Miha Halzer (Slo) Energijateam.com

Small Final
5Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International
6Heiko Gutmann (Ger)
DNSDaniel Federspiel (Aut) Notebooksbilliger.de Team

Semi-Final
8Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)

1/4 Finals
9Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour
10Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra)
11Gregor Raggl (Aut)
12Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team
13Jeremy Arnould (Fra)
14Dennis Ebert (Ned)
15Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team
16Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team

1/8 Finals
17Lukas Loretz (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour
18Martin Gluth (Ger)
19Pascal Schmutz (Swi)
20Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)
21Fabrice Mels (Bel) Salcano Factory Team
22Philip Buys (RSA)
23Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team
24Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team
25Lars Forster (Swi)
26Jürg Graf (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team
27Daniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
28Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team
29Johan Widen (Swe)
30Robbert De Nijs (Ned) Giant Dealerteams
31Javier Eduardo Puschel (Chi)

 

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