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Schurter outsprints Hermida for Mont-Sainte-Anne victory

Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) outsprinted Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) for the win in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada on Saturday afternoon. No one was expecting the World Cup race to end in a sprint after Schurter went to the front from the start and stayed there solo for most of the race. But a flat tire on the second last lap let a surging Hermida catch Schurter.

"No, I didn't expect to have to sprint for it on a course like Mont-Sainte-Anne," said Schurter. "It was a special finish and when it started to rain - the course was really tricky."

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) raced to third place. Carlos Coloma (Wildwolf Trek) and Max Plaxton (Specialized) rode career best World Cup performances to fourth and fifth respectively.

Schurter blew apart the field of favorites at the start and jumped into the lead on the first lap. Behind him, Kulhavy, Marco Fontana (Cannondale), Florian Vogel (Scott Swisspower) and Hermida chased together. Coloma was just behind them.

By the second lap, Hermida emerged as lead chaser, 20 seconds off Schurter.

"It's always difficult if you're on the front if you have just 15 seconds, but it's just the same when you are trying to catch a leader who's 15 seconds in front," said Schurter. "Today, I was thinking I have to race my race. It's such a technical track if you go too hard, you make mistakes and you might have to run a section or two. I decided to do my race and not focus too much on Hermida."

Fontana chased after the two leaders at just over 30 seconds while Vogel and Kulhavy worked together at 45 seconds.

Hermida continued his pursuit, keeping Schurter in sight on some sections of the course. His riding was reminiscent of the race he did at Mont-Sainte-Anne in 2010, when he won the world championships. After a tough spring, Hermida was also sending the message that he was back competing amongst the fastest.

Rain started on the second to last lap and the course was suddenly much slicker. When Schurter flatted and Hermida passed him, it was just like the 2010 Worlds all over again.

"With two laps to go, he had the flat tire. I thought maybe I could make my pace alone in front for the last lap, but it was impossible," said Hermida.

"I thought I could manage those two laps alone, but I was missing some speed," said Hermida. "It was like the train was running all season and I just jumped on it this season. When it started raining on the last lap, I thought it was my chance to use more technique and not so much power. Everyone was struggling on the last lap."

Schurter caught back up but today, he didn't flat a second time and the two stayed together until the finish, with Schurter leading Hermida into the final straight and holding him off.

"I like the course here - it's a technical one. I felt comfortable on the course. A flat tire can happen anywhere," said Schurter. "I'm happy I could win even with a flat. I hope it was the only one for this season."

Hermida gave it a good effort, but wasn't fast to come around Schurter in the final dash to the line.

"I'm happy. After a hard season and struggling the first part with physical problems, it's a good feeling to be back, especially in a race like this fighting with Nino," said Hermida. "Right now, he's the best guy in mountain biking so sprinting with him is not so easy. I tried my best in the end with him."

Behind the leaders, Fontana dropped back and Kulhavy stepped up into third, where he would stay alone the rest of the race.

"It was a nice race, but I was a bit like a diesel engine," said Kulhavy. "I did not have the dynamic speed - that was my biggest problem for today. I'm glad for the podium, but I would like to win the next race. I had an amazing season last year and this one is not so good, but I think it will get better and better leading up to the Olympic Games.

"I need more speed. I'm in training for the Olympics, but I need more time."

Coloma moved up steadily into fourth place. "For me, Mont-Sainte-Anne is the best race in the World Cup for the past two years. I was sixth at Worlds. I'm happy to be sitting here with three world champions - Nino, Hermida and Kulhavy."

Freshly crowned Canadian National Champion Plaxton made a huge final lap surge to jump from seventh to fifth. It was Plaxton's first World Cup podium.

"I felt great after winning nationals last weekend and building on my ninth in La Bresse. It was my first World Cup podium and it's in Canada. Maybe I'll get some attention now. It's hard being a Canadian - we don't get as much exposure as some of the other guys."

"It is special to make my first World Cup podium in Canada. There aren't that many guys missing. Maybe Absalon and one other so it's a pretty legit podium. It's a huge confidence builder. Not that there was ever a lack of confidence, but the extra can't hurt."

Plaxton's ride showed a maturity in his approach to racing. "Back in my earlier days, I'd blow up a lot. That's something I try to avoid now. I didn't have the best start - losing 45 seconds on the first lap. I think if I could not lose so much on the first lap, I could finish even higher."

Schurter retained his lead in the World Cup standings, now with 950 points. Kulhavy moved up one spot to second place (785 points) as did Burry Stander into third (688 points). The absent Absalon dropped from second to fourth with 650 points while Hermida advanced from eighth to fifth with 605 points.

Race note

Luk Flueckiger crashed heavily in one of the technical woods sections and suffered a neck injury, which turned out to be a form of whiplash. He retired from the event bitterly disappointed after bring in touch with the podium group. He didn't need hospital care but does need an icepack on his neck for awhile.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team1:41:24
2José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team
3Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing0:01:49
4Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing0:02:28
5Max Plaxton (Can)0:02:39
6Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing0:02:45
7Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing0:02:58
8Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:03:07
9Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:09
10Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:10
11Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:45
12Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:57
13Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:04:09
14Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry0:04:44
15Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team0:05:35
16Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:06:44
17Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:06:54
18Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:06:55
19Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)0:07:01
20Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek0:07:11
21Raphael Gagne (Can)0:07:28
22Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing0:07:47
23Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:07:55
24Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:08:04
25Severin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team0:08:10
26Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour0:08:29
27Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing0:08:43
28Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing0:08:45
29Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:09:44
30Fabien Canal (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix0:09:51
31Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:09:56
32Martin Loo (Est) Hard Rock Canossa Merida0:09:57
33Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:10:34
34Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:11:08
35Andrew Watson (Can)0:11:21
36Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:11:39
37Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team
38Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team0:12:04
39Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea Racing Team0:12:05
40Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour0:12:27
41Andy Eyring (Ger)0:13:07
42Neal Kindree (Can)0:13:24
43Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team0:13:33
44Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona0:13:34
45Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:14:52
46Adam Morka (Can)0:15:35
47Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:15:37
-1lapMichael Broderick (USA)
-1lapRudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team
-1lapDaniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-1lapMitchell Hoke (USA)
-1lapDavid Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey-Cannondale
-1lapMatthew Hadley (Can)
-1lapPeter Glassford (Can)
-1lapPete Ostroski (USA)
-1lapSid Taberlay (Aus)
-1lapAlex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing
-1lapCraig Richey (Can)
-2lapsJulien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
-2lapsDave Henderson (GBr)
-2lapsKris Sneddon (Can) Kona
-2lapsLee Williams (GBr)
-2lapsJeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru - Trek
-3lapsLuciano Caraccioli (Arg)
-3lapsMarc-Andre Daigle (Can)
-3lapsNathan Guerra (USA)
-4lapsFilippo Barbieri (Bra)
DNFChristoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing
DNFAndras Parti (Hun)
DNFLukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Multivan Merida Biking Team68pts
2Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team65
3Specialized Racing65
4Cannondale Factory Racing62
5Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing60
6Rabobank Giant Offroad Team29
7Trek World Racing18
8BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry17
9Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team16
11Subaru - Trek11
12Thoemus Racing Team6
13Giant Swiss SR - Suntour5
14GT Skoda Chamonix1

Elite men individual World Cup standings after round 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi)950pts
2Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)785
3Burry Stander (RSA)688
4Julien Absalon (Fra)650
5José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa)605
6Manuel Fumic (Ger)565
7Fabian Giger (Swi)512
8Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)510
9Florian Vogel (Swi)500
10Ralph Naef (Swi)485
11Stéphane Tempier (Fra)404
12Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa)402
13Maxime Marotte (Fra)392
14Lukas Flückiger (Swi)385
15Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa)377
16Martin Gujan (Swi)365
17Christoph Sauser (Swi)364
18Max Plaxton (Can)352
19Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)331
20Mathias Flückiger (Swi)316
21Rudi Van Houts (Ned)303
22Emil Lindgren (Swe)302
23Moritz Milatz (Ger)290
24Jochen Kass (Ger)282
25Geoff Kabush (Can)266
26Liam Killeen (GBr)238
27Samuel Schultz (USA)228
28Thomas Litscher (Swi)224
29Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)220
30Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn)216
31Karl Markt (Aut)214
32Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa)190
33Wolfram Kurschat (Ger)187
34Henk Jaap Moorlag* (Ned)171
35Catriel Andres Soto (Arg)166
36Martin Fanger (Swi)162
37Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa)160
38Fabien Canal (Fra)149
39Todd Wells (USA)145
40Marek* Konwa (Pol)143
41Michele Casagrande (Ita)135
42Milan Spesny (Cze)124
43Tony Longo (Ita)111
44Stephen Ettinger (USA)111
45Derek Zandstra (Can)110
46Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra)105
47Jan Skarnitzl (Cze)104
48Sven Nys (Bel)100
49Martino Fruet (Ita)98
50Jürg Graf (Swi)98
51Jiri Novak (Cze)91
52Jeremiah Bishop (USA)90
53Adam Craig (USA)87
54Chris Jongewaard (Aus)82
55Andrea Tiberi (Ita)70
56Matous Ulman (Cze)68
57Raphael Gagne (Can)64
58Andras Parti (Hun)63
59Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)62
60Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)60
61Severin Disch (Swi)56
62Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut)56
63Cédric Ravanel (Fra)53
64Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)53
65Piotr Brzozka (Pol)51
66Martin Loo (Est)50
67Julien Taramarcaz (Swi)49
68Jérémy Huguenin (Swi)48
69Umberto Corti (Ita)48
70Lukas Sablik (Cze)42
71Lachlan Norris (Aus)41
72David Fletcher (GBr)40
73Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA)40
74Marek Galinski (Pol)37
75Andrew Watson (Can)36
76Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)34
77Robert Mennen (Ger)30
78Philip Buys (RSA)30
79Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa)29
80Alban Lakata (Aut)29
81Andy Eyring (Ger)27
82Periklis Ilias (Gre)27
83Neal Kindree (Can)26
84Spencer Paxson (USA)24
85Patrik Gallati (Swi)24
86Cameron Jette (Can)23
87Adam Morka (Can)22
88Michael Broderick (USA)20
89Kristian Hynek (Cze)20
90Alexis Chenevier (Fra)19
91Daniel Eymann (Swi)18
92Mitchell Hoke (USA)17
93Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)16
94Matthew Hadley (Can)15
95Sergji Rysenko (Ukr)15
96Peter Glassford (Can)14
97Pete Ostroski (USA)13
98Ruben Almeida (Por)13
99Sid Taberlay (Aus)12
100Hannes Metzler (Aut)12
101Alex Grant (USA)11
102Kevin Pauwels (Bel)11
103Craig Richey (Can)10
104Michal Lami (Svk)10
105David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)10
106Sebastien Carabin (Bel)10
107Marc Bassingthwaighte (Nam)9
108Dave Henderson (GBr)8

World Cup team standings after round 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Racing360pts
2Cannondale Factory Racing300
3Multivan Merida Biking Team295
4Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team259
5Rabobank Giant Offroad Team160
6Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing143
7Trek World Racing137
8Orbea Racing Team134
9BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry76
10TX Active Bianchi74
11Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team59
12Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team55
14Elettroveneta - Corratec24
15Subaru - Trek22
16Giant Factory Off-Road Team20
17Topeak Ergon Racing Team17
18Giant Swiss SR - Suntour15
19Rubena Auto-Mencik Specialized8
20Thoemus Racing Team6
21Lapierre International6
22S&H Superior MTB Team5
23Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team3
24GT Skoda Chamonix1
25Euroone-Waberer's-Cube MTB Team1


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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

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