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Schurter repeats World Cup success in South Africa

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Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team) wins the opening World Cup in Pietermaritzburg

Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team) wins the opening World Cup in Pietermaritzburg (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The lead of the elite men's cross country race swayed to and fro throughout the six-race affair with Swiss rider Nino Schurter once again emerging victorious ahead of local hero Burry Stander

The lead of the elite men's cross country race swayed to and fro throughout the six-race affair with Swiss rider Nino Schurter once again emerging victorious ahead of local hero Burry Stander (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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2012 first World Cup leader Nino Schurter

2012 first World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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It was a very fast start in the elite men's race in Pietermaritzburg.

It was a very fast start in the elite men's race in Pietermaritzburg. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The leaders enter the Ampitheatre

The leaders enter the Ampitheatre (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Lukas Fl

Lukas Fl (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Samuel Schultz (Subaru - Trek) was the top American

Samuel Schultz (Subaru - Trek) was the top American (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Up close ... and nearly personal with Liam Killeen (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)

Up close ... and nearly personal with Liam Killeen (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Burry Stander (Specialized Racing)

Burry Stander (Specialized Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team)

Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) could not keep up to the pace being set by the leaders

World Champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) could not keep up to the pace being set by the leaders (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Christoph Sauser (Specialized Racing)

Christoph Sauser (Specialized Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru - Trek)

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru - Trek) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Sven Nys took the 'B' line through the log drop

Sven Nys took the 'B' line through the log drop (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Adam Craig (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team)

Adam Craig (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Roxracing) was the top North American

Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Roxracing) was the top North American (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Beijing Silver medalist, turned road pro, Jean-Christophe Peraud hopes to make 2012 Olympic MTB selection

Beijing Silver medalist, turned road pro, Jean-Christophe Peraud hopes to make 2012 Olympic MTB selection (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team)

Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jos

Jos (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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(Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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Mountain bike enthusiasts turned out in their numbers to support Burry Stander and the rest of the elite men's cross country field

Mountain bike enthusiasts turned out in their numbers to support Burry Stander and the rest of the elite men's cross country field (Image credit: Darren Goddard / cycho.co.za)
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Elite men's podium in Pietermaritzburg: Julien Absalon, Burry Stander, Nino Schurter, Manuel Fumic, Jaroslav Kulhavy

Elite men's podium in Pietermaritzburg: Julien Absalon, Burry Stander, Nino Schurter, Manuel Fumic, Jaroslav Kulhavy (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

While the elite women had hot and sunny conditions for their opening round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the men's race was literally a race against time to finish before the rain hit. Just as Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) successfully defended his title against home favourite Burry Stander (Specialized), the rain began to fall, and was torrential by the time the awards ceremony took place.

In the men's six-lap race, Schurter and Stander made their move almost immediately, with Schurter setting the pace and Stander hanging on. World champion and 2011 World Cup champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) joined the duo for the first lap, but the pace was too high for him, and he had to back off, eventually finishing fifth, just ahead of Olympic champion Julien Absalon (Orbea).

Manual Fumic (Cannondale Factory) bridged up to the two leaders on the second lap, and the first three places on the podium were decided, with only the order to be determined. Fumic was dropped on the fourth lap, and then Schurter made his move in the final lap, to win by 11 seconds.

"It was an awesome race," said Schurter. "I like Pietermaritzburg, it is really a course for me, really technical. It was awesome in front of the crowd, I really like South Africa. I'm very happy with such an early victory. Last year I won this race too, but then I wasn't super the rest of the year. I hope this year is different."

"It was a nice fight with Burry, he did a great job, and he was very good to ride with. I was quicker than him through the rocks and I used that to get an advantage, forcing him to close the gap each time."

Despite having the crowd behind him, Stander conceded that Schurter was just too strong: "It was a tough race from the beginning. The speed just never slowed down. We sprinted off the start line and just kept sprinting the whole way. In the end, I could feel Nino was a little bit stronger through the rock garden, and it was tough to hold onto him. The crowd kept supporting me and I kept trying to fight back. In the end he had a few seconds, but it was a good race, no big mistakes, no problems."

"It has been a while for me, being on the podium. Last year I had a lot of bad luck and did not have the best season, so I am very happy with the race today. Hopefully, this will build my confidence going forward."

Race Notes

- There was much buzz over the fact that Schurter raced a prototype 650B wheel-sized Scott. the 650B is a new/old size that has been introduced to a few brands, and it fits between the older 26" and the new "standard" 29er. Schurter said afterwards, "It's a prototype bike which I have been trying for a couple of months. I raced it last weekend on this course and again today. Both times I won. I think it suits me. I'm not so tall, but the bigger wheels roll better over the rocks than 26-inch wheels."

- The USA was missing the firepower of its usual top rider: national champion Todd Wells (Specialized). Wells crashed earlier in the week, injuring his ankle. He had hoped to ride, but the team said that the injury had not responded to treatment, so Wells was forced to sit out the race, and now the question is whether he will recover in time to race the Cape Epic stage race starting next weekend. Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was the top American man, finishing 42nd.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team1:30:38
2Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing0:00:11
3Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:00:59
4Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea Racing Team0:01:41
5Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing0:02:21
6Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:02:28
7José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:02:51
8Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi0:03:01
9Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:03:22
10Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:44
11Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:59
12Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:04:19
13Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry0:04:22
14Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing0:04:40
15Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing0:04:48
16Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta - Corratec0:04:51
17Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea Racing Team0:04:54
18Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing0:05:01
19Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team0:05:08
20Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:05:22
21Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:05:32
22Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:05:34
23Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing0:05:42
24Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)0:05:46
25Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing0:06:02
26Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:06:18
27Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:06:39
28Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team0:06:40
29Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing
30Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour0:06:57
31Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team0:07:06
32Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing0:07:15
33Cédric Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix0:07:17
34Fabien Canal (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix0:07:32
35Tony Longo (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:07:35
36Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:07:41
37Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:08:06
38Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team0:08:15
39Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)0:08:20
40Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec0:08:21
41Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team
42Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek0:08:23
43Max Plaxton (Can)0:08:46
44Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International0:08:47
45Piotr Brzozka (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team0:08:57
46Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:08:58
47Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:09:06
48Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team0:09:07
49Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team
50Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
51Philip Buys (RSA)0:09:08
52Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team0:09:15
53Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:09:33
54Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:09:36
55Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:09:37
56Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)0:09:39
57Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:10:00
58Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Versluys Team0:10:02
59Patrik Gallati (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:10:11
60Jürg Graf (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team0:10:14
61Hannes Metzler (Aut)0:10:44
62Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rubena Auto-Mencik Specialized0:11:20
63Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing0:11:49
64Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Team Newcycling0:11:55
65Karl Platt (Ger) Team Bulls0:11:57
66David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey-Cannondale0:11:58
67Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) Team Fujibikes Rockets0:12:00
68Tim Lemmers (Ned) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:12:14
69Andras Parti (Hun)0:12:27
70Lachlan Norris (Aus) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:12:38
71Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona0:12:53
72Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru - Trek0:13:23
73Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea Racing Team0:14:12
74Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet0:14:23
75Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team0:14:32
76Umberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.0:15:03
77Lee Williams (GBr)0:15:29
78Renay Groustra (RSA)0:15:48
79David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)0:15:50
80Kazuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn)0:15:52
81Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:16:32
82Robert Gehbauer (Aut)
83Sven Nys (Bel)0:16:34
84Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Lapierre International0:16:59
85Dariusz Batek (Pol)0:17:49
86Markus Bauer (Ger)0:18:11
87Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour0:18:30
88Steffen Thum (Ger)0:21:44
89Sid Taberlay (Aus)0:22:01
-1lapRuben Almeida (Por)
-1lapMarc Bassingthwaighte (Nam)
-1lapCameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Roxracing
-1lapDaniel Geismayr (Aut)
-1lapSeverin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-1lapAndy Eyring (Ger)
-1lapSimon Gegenheimer (Ger)
-1lapMarc Colom (Fra) Team Newcycling
-1lapMichael Broderick (USA)
-1lapDaniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
-1lapChris Jongewaard (Aus) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team
-1lapAndrew Warr (RSA)
-2lapsLouis-Bresler Knipe (RSA)
-2lapsOliver Munnik (RSA)
-2lapsStuart Marais (RSA)
-3lapsAdam Morka (Can)
-3lapsMatthias Waldhart (Aut)
-3lapsKyosuke Takei (Jpn)
-3lapsPhetetso Monese (Les)
-4lapsChristopher Wolhuter (RSA)
-4lapsSzilard Buruczki (Hun)
DNFHector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) TX Active Bianchi
DNFKlaus Nielsen (Den)
DNFJiri Friedl (Cze) Rubena Auto-Mencik Specialized
DNFMatthys Beukes (RSA)
DNFFlorian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team
DNSTodd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Racing79pts
2Cannondale Factory Racing58
3Multivan Merida Biking Team56
4Orbea Racing Team44
5Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team40
6Trek World Racing39
7Rabobank Giant Offroad Team28
8TX Active Bianchi23
9Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing23
10BMC Mountainbike Racing Team20
11BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry18
12Elettroveneta - Corratec15
13Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team15
14S&H Superior MTB Team5
15Scott-3Roxracing2
16Giant Swiss SR - Suntour1

World Cup individual standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) 77Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team250pts
2Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing200
3Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing160
4Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea Racing Team150
5Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing140
6Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing130
7José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team120
8Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi110
9Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing100
10Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team95
11Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team90
12Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team85
13Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry80
14Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing78
15Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing76
16Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta - Corratec74
17Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea Racing Team72
18Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing70
19Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team68
20Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team66
21Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team64
22Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team62
23Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing60
24Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)58
25Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing56
26Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team54
27Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing52
28Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team50
29Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing48
30Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour46
31Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team44
32Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing42
33Cédric Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix40
34Fabien Canal (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix38
35Tony Longo (Ita) TX Active Bianchi36
36Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team34
37Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing32
38Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team30
39Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)29
40Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec28
41Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team27
42Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek26
43Max Plaxton (Can)25
44Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International24
45Piotr Brzozka (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team23
46Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team22
47Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team21
48Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team20
49Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team19
50Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team18
51Philip Buys (RSA)17
52Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team16
53Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team15
54Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop14
55Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team13
56Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)12
57Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team11
58Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Versluys Team10
59Patrik Gallati (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team9
60Jürg Graf (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team8

World Cup team standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Racing79pts
2Cannondale Factory Racing58
3Multivan Merida Biking Team56
4Orbea Racing Team44
577Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team40
6Trek World Racing39
7Rabobank Giant Offroad Team28
8TX Active Bianchi23
9Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing23
10BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team20
11BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry18
12Elettroveneta - Corratec15
13Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team15
14S&H Superior MTB Team5
15Scott-3Roxracing2
16Giant Swiss SR - Suntour1

 

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