Schurter repeats World Cup success in South Africa

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

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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-3RoxracingRow 28 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
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)Row 81 - Cell 2
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)Row 89 - Cell 2
-1lapMarc Bassingthwaighte (Nam)Row 90 - Cell 2
-1lapCameron Jette (Can) Scott-3RoxracingRow 91 - Cell 2
-1lapDaniel Geismayr (Aut)Row 92 - Cell 2
-1lapSeverin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
-1lapAndy Eyring (Ger)Row 94 - Cell 2
-1lapSimon Gegenheimer (Ger)Row 95 - Cell 2
-1lapMarc Colom (Fra) Team NewcyclingRow 96 - Cell 2
-1lapMichael Broderick (USA)Row 97 - Cell 2
-1lapDaniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
-1lapChris Jongewaard (Aus) Milka-Superior MTB Racing TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
-1lapAndrew Warr (RSA)Row 100 - Cell 2
-2lapsLouis-Bresler Knipe (RSA)Row 101 - Cell 2
-2lapsOliver Munnik (RSA)Row 102 - Cell 2
-2lapsStuart Marais (RSA)Row 103 - Cell 2
-3lapsAdam Morka (Can)Row 104 - Cell 2
-3lapsMatthias Waldhart (Aut)Row 105 - Cell 2
-3lapsKyosuke Takei (Jpn)Row 106 - Cell 2
-3lapsPhetetso Monese (Les)Row 107 - Cell 2
-4lapsChristopher Wolhuter (RSA)Row 108 - Cell 2
-4lapsSzilard Buruczki (Hun)Row 109 - Cell 2
DNFHector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) TX Active BianchiRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFKlaus Nielsen (Den)Row 111 - Cell 2
DNFJiri Friedl (Cze) Rubena Auto-Mencik SpecializedRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFMatthys Beukes (RSA)Row 113 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
DNSTodd Wells (USA) Specialized RacingRow 115 - Cell 2
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Specialized Racing79pts
2Cannondale Factory Racing58Row 1 - Cell 3
3Multivan Merida Biking Team56Row 2 - Cell 3
4Orbea Racing Team44Row 3 - Cell 3
5Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team40Row 4 - Cell 3
6Trek World Racing39Row 5 - Cell 3
7Rabobank Giant Offroad Team28Row 6 - Cell 3
8TX Active Bianchi23Row 7 - Cell 3
9Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing23Row 8 - Cell 3
10BMC Mountainbike Racing Team20Row 9 - Cell 3
11BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry18Row 10 - Cell 3
12Elettroveneta - Corratec15Row 11 - Cell 3
13Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team15Row 12 - Cell 3
14S&H Superior MTB Team5Row 13 - Cell 3
15Scott-3Roxracing2Row 14 - Cell 3
16Giant Swiss SR - Suntour1Row 15 - Cell 3
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World Cup individual standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Nino Schurter (Swi) 77Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team250pts
2Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Racing200Row 1 - Cell 3
3Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing160Row 2 - Cell 3
4Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea Racing Team150Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing140Row 4 - Cell 3
6Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing130Row 5 - Cell 3
7José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team120Row 6 - Cell 3
8Stéphane Tempier (Fra) TX Active Bianchi110Row 7 - Cell 3
9Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing100Row 8 - Cell 3
10Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team95Row 9 - Cell 3
11Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team90Row 10 - Cell 3
12Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team85Row 11 - Cell 3
13Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry80Row 12 - Cell 3
14Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing78Row 13 - Cell 3
15Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Racing76Row 14 - Cell 3
16Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta - Corratec74Row 15 - Cell 3
17Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea Racing Team72Row 16 - Cell 3
18Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing70Row 17 - Cell 3
19Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team68Row 18 - Cell 3
20Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team66Row 19 - Cell 3
21Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team64Row 20 - Cell 3
22Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team62Row 21 - Cell 3
23Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing60Row 22 - Cell 3
24Daniel Mcconnell (Aus)58Row 23 - Cell 3
25Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing56Row 24 - Cell 3
26Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team54Row 25 - Cell 3
27Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing52Row 26 - Cell 3
28Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team50Row 27 - Cell 3
29Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing48Row 28 - Cell 3
30Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour46Row 29 - Cell 3
31Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team44Row 30 - Cell 3
32Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing42Row 31 - Cell 3
33Cédric Ravanel (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix40Row 32 - Cell 3
34Fabien Canal (Fra) GT Skoda Chamonix38Row 33 - Cell 3
35Tony Longo (Ita) TX Active Bianchi36Row 34 - Cell 3
36Liam Killeen (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team34Row 35 - Cell 3
37Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing32Row 36 - Cell 3
38Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team30Row 37 - Cell 3
39Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)29Row 38 - Cell 3
40Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta - Corratec28Row 39 - Cell 3
41Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team27Row 40 - Cell 3
42Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru - Trek26Row 41 - Cell 3
43Max Plaxton (Can)25Row 42 - Cell 3
44Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International24Row 43 - Cell 3
45Piotr Brzozka (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team23Row 44 - Cell 3
46Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team22Row 45 - Cell 3
47Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team21Row 46 - Cell 3
48Marek Galinski (Pol) JBG - 2 Professional MTB Team20Row 47 - Cell 3
49Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team19Row 48 - Cell 3
50Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team18Row 49 - Cell 3
51Philip Buys (RSA)17Row 50 - Cell 3
52Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team16Row 51 - Cell 3
53Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team15Row 52 - Cell 3
54Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop14Row 53 - Cell 3
55Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team13Row 54 - Cell 3
56Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)12Row 55 - Cell 3
57Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team11Row 56 - Cell 3
58Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Versluys Team10Row 57 - Cell 3
59Patrik Gallati (Swi) BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team9Row 58 - Cell 3
60Jürg Graf (Swi) Bskgraf Rollmat-Koba MTB Team8Row 59 - Cell 3
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World Cup team standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Specialized Racing79pts
2Cannondale Factory Racing58Row 1 - Cell 3
3Multivan Merida Biking Team56Row 2 - Cell 3
4Orbea Racing Team44Row 3 - Cell 3
577Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team40Row 4 - Cell 3
6Trek World Racing39Row 5 - Cell 3
7Rabobank Giant Offroad Team28Row 6 - Cell 3
8TX Active Bianchi23Row 7 - Cell 3
9Wildwolf - Trek Pro Racing23Row 8 - Cell 3
10BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team20Row 9 - Cell 3
11BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry18Row 10 - Cell 3
12Elettroveneta - Corratec15Row 11 - Cell 3
13Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team15Row 12 - Cell 3
14S&H Superior MTB Team5Row 13 - Cell 3
15Scott-3Roxracing2Row 14 - Cell 3
16Giant Swiss SR - Suntour1Row 15 - Cell 3

 

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