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Schurter triumphs in men's cross country at Vallnord World Cup

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Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team) wins in Vallnord

Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team) wins in Vallnord
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The start of the elite men's cross country race in Andorra

The start of the elite men's cross country race in Andorra
(Image credit: Marius Maasewerd)
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World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower)

World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Top team Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team

Top team Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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A very disappointed Julien Absalon (BMC) left the finish immediately

A very disappointed Julien Absalon (BMC) left the finish immediately
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Maxime Marotte (BH - SR Suntour - KMC)

Maxime Marotte (BH - SR Suntour - KMC)
(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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Top North American Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Roxracing)

Top North American Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Roxracing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Lukas Flückiger (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) blew in the final laps

Lukas Flückiger (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) blew in the final laps
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)

Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon (BMC) catches another group and immediately starts to pass

Julien Absalon (BMC) catches another group and immediately starts to pass
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Stéphane Tempier (BH - SR Suntour - KMC)

Stéphane Tempier (BH - SR Suntour - KMC)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX Active Bianchi)

Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX Active Bianchi)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ralph Näf (BMC)

Ralph Näf (BMC)
(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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Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing XC) has yet to find his form in 2013

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing XC) has yet to find his form in 2013
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Miguel Martinez ( Factory FRM ISD)

Miguel Martinez ( Factory FRM ISD)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Lukas Fluckiger (BMC) attacks on the opening lap

Lukas Fluckiger (BMC) attacks on the opening lap
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon (BMC) starts to chase after his mechanical

Julien Absalon (BMC) starts to chase after his mechanical
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team) and Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)

Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team) and Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The start of the elite men's World Cup race in Vallnord, Andorra

The start of the elite men's World Cup race in Vallnord, Andorra
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's cross country World Cup podium in Andorra

Elite men's cross country World Cup podium in Andorra
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida) celebrates a second place finish in Andorra

Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida) celebrates a second place finish in Andorra
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida)

Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida)
(Image credit: Marius Maasewerd)
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Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida)

Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida)
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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The winning bike of Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower)

The winning bike of Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower)
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins the World Cup in Andorra despite a flat tire

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins the World Cup in Andorra despite a flat tire
(Image credit: Marius Maasewerd)
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Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower)

Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower)
(Image credit: Marius Maasewerd)
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Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) on a climb

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) on a climb
(Image credit: Marius Maasewerd)
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Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower)

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower)
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Florian Vogel (Scott Swisspower)

Florian Vogel (Scott Swisspower)
(Image credit: Marius Maasewerd)
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Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins in Andorra

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins in Andorra
(Image credit: Eduard Aguilera)
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Men's XC podium in Vallnord (L-R): Maxime Marotte, Ondrej Cink, Nino Schurter, Stéphane Tempier, Gerhard Kerschbaumer

Men's XC podium in Vallnord (L-R): Maxime Marotte, Ondrej Cink, Nino Schurter, Stéphane Tempier, Gerhard Kerschbaumer
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) made a last lap surge to win his third straight UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup of the season at round 4 in Vallnord, Andorra. Altitude, heat and strong winds all played a factor in making this one of the hardest races of the season.

The men's six-lap race started out explosively fast, with a group of 10 riders forming at the front. The pace was being driven by Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida), the under 23 world champion, who is now in his first year racing at the elite level. Schurter was one of the big names that missed the move, and had to claw his way back up after flatting on the first lap. Another absentee was Julien Absalon (BMC), who dropped his chain in the opening 300 metres of the race, falling to last place, and making an impressive effort over the remainder of the race to finally finish eighth; truly a magnificent performance.

At the front, Cink wasn't happy with the pace of the front group, and rode away solo on the second lap.

"On the second lap everyone was going slowly," said Cink, "and no one wanted to take the lead, so I went my own pace and by the top of the climb I had a good gap."

Schurter had finally joined the chase group by the end of the second lap, but Cink was now 20 seconds up on Maxime Marotte (BH-SR Suntour-KMC) and Gerhard Kerschbaumer (TX Active Bianchi), with the Schurter-led group a further 14 seconds in arrears.

By lap four, the Schurter group was six - Marotte, Kerschbaumer, Stephane Tempier (BH-SR Suntour-KMC), Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC), Florian Vogel (Scott Swisspower) and Schurter himself. However, Cink had increased his lead to 40 seconds, and time was running out.

In the next lap, the Czech rider began to tire, and Schurter started to up his tempo, pulling to within 29 seconds as they started the final lap. The world champion then turned in the only sub-14 minute lap of the day on the final lap to finally reel in his young rival in the final kilometre. Cink tried an attack, but Schurter covered it, and then broke clear to win by six seconds, with Tempier also close to catching Cink at the line but having to settle for third.

"This is more than I could have hoped for," said Cink. "I would have been happy with a top-10. By the last lap I was beginning to believe I could win it, but then Nino came up to me. I attacked, but he came back, and got by me in the final singletrack. This result means more to me than winning the [under 23] world championships last year."

"It was a crazy race," said Schurter. "I had a bit of bad luck in the first loop, I flatted in the first descent. I needed quite a lot of power to close that gap to the chase group and then Cink was already 20, 30 seconds in the front of them. Then in the last lap I was able to catch Cink; it was a crazy battle. A really hard last lap.

"On the first lap I focused on getting back to the top five, then I saw Julien was coming quite strong from the back and I was more focused on that. Then on the last lap I saw maybe there is a chance to win the race ... and it was unbelievable race today.

"It is really tough for us athletes [the altitude]; if you want to go over your limit, you feel it for the next whole lap. It is different from racing at sea level definitely, and you have to be careful to not go too long in your red zone.

"This is a great victory, my tenth World Cup victory and now a big step to the World Cup win for the season. I am really lucky for this victory."

Schurter extended his lead significantly in the overall World Cup standings, since none of the other top contenders made the top five at Vallnord. At 820 points with two races remaining, Schurter leads round one winner Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) by 280 points, with Absalon another 30 points back, tied with Cink.

Full results

Elite men cross country
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team1:27:07
2Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:00:06
3Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:00:11
4Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC0:00:31
5Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) Tx Active Bianchi0:00:45
6Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team0:00:51
7Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:01:15
8Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:19
9Miguel Martinez (Fra)0:01:25
10Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing0:01:36
11Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:02:01
12Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team0:02:11
13Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing0:02:16
14Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:02:22
15Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) SRAM Rubena Trek0:02:28
16Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team0:02:35
17Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:55
18Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) Tx Active Bianchi0:02:56
19Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta-Corratec0:03:00
20Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Controltech Nevi0:03:07
21José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:15
22Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:19
23Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC0:03:22
24Martin Loo (Est) Merida Italia Team0:03:32
25Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:03:40
26Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team0:04:03
27Martin Gujan (Swi) Tx Active Bianchi0:04:18
28Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team0:04:29
29Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:04:42
30Andras Parti (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team0:04:47
31David Valero (Spa)0:04:50
32Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team0:04:59
33Patrik Gallati (Swi) Focus XC Team0:05:10
34Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC0:05:18
35Zsolt Juhasz (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team0:05:23
36David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)0:05:33
37Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra)0:05:35
38Alexis Chenevier (Fra) Scott La Clusaz0:05:48
39Jiri Novak (Cze) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:05:55
40Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)0:06:18
41Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:06:25
42Daniel Eymann (Swi)0:06:30
43Markus Bauer (Ger)0:06:41
44David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team0:06:42
45Hans Becking (Ned) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team0:07:38
46Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing0:08:07
47Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:08:25
48Robby De Bock (Bel) Feenstra Felt Powered By Kenda0:08:45
49Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Giant Pro XC Team0:09:08
50Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB0:09:14
51Cristofer Bosque Ruano (Spa)0:09:36
52Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls0:09:51
53Francesc Guerra (Spa)0:09:55
54Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team0:10:02
55Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)0:10:09
56Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing0:10:17
57Pavel Priadein (Rus)0:10:36
58Pascal Meyer (Swi) JB Felt Team0:10:50
59Kornel Osicki (Pol)0:11:02
60Lucien Besancon (Swi)0:11:12
61David Escolar Ballesteros (Spa)0:11:51
62Andy Eyring (Ger)0:12:14
63Fabian Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Italy Team0:12:48
64Renay Groustra (RSA)0:13:06
65Gareth Montgomerie (GBr)0:13:34
66Ivan Diaz (Spa)0:13:56
67Philip Buys (RSA)-1lap
68Franco Molina (Arg)
69Javier Altamirano Rodrigo (Arg)-2laps
70Alejo Moya (Spa)
71Mario Matijevic (Bel)
72Sang Hoon Na (Kor) Calvisson VTT
73Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)
DNFFabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec
DNFMoritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFNicola Rohrbach (Swi) Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli
DNFSimon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
DNFDaniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
DNFMarek Konwa (Pol) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
DNFFabio Hernando Castaneda Monsalve (Col)
DNFMirko Tabacchi (Ita)
DNFGuy Diaz Groiller (And)
DNFCarlos Portilla Parrilla (Spa)
DNFDario Alejandro Gasco (Arg)
DNSMartin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

Teams
1Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team64pts
2BH - SR Suntour - KMC62
3Multivan Merida Biking Team51
4BMC Mountainbike Racing Team49
5Tx Active Bianchi45
6Cannondale Factory Racing35
7Giant Pro XC Team26
8Trek Factory Racing20
9Stöckli Pro Team19
10Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing18
11SRAM Rubena Trek16
12Versluys Team15
13Elettroveneta-Corratec12
14Controltech Nevi11
15Specialized Racing XC8
16Merida Italia Team7
17Topeak Ergon Racing Team5
18Focus XC Team3
19Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team1

Elite men cross country World Cup individual standings
1Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team820pts
2Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing540
3Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team510
4Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team510
5Lukas Flückiger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team502
6Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC412
7Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC405
8Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team403
9Thomas Litscher (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team374
10Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing366
11Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing340
12Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team330
13Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team310
14Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) Tx Active Bianchi293
15Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) Tx Active Bianchi282
16José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team264
17Max Plaxton (Can)260
18Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH - SR Suntour - KMC255
19Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team251
20Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team248
21Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Controltech Nevi226
22Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team226
23Martin Loo (Est) Merida Italia Team222
24Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Roxracing217
25Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Giant Pro XC Team215
26Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team210
27Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) Specialized Racing XC206
28Miguel Martinez (Fra)205
29Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Focus XC Team198
30Martin Gujan (Swi) Tx Active Bianchi193
31Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team173
32Marek Konwa (Pol) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team171
33Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) SRAM Rubena Trek171
34Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli166
35Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team158
36Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Elettroveneta-Corratec150
37Andras Parti (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team134
38Jiri Novak (Cze) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team129
39Ralph Naef (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team116
40Sergji Rysenko (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team116
41Jürg Graf (Swi) BSK Graf-Rollmat-Koba MTB Team106
42Fabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec104
43Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing95
44Patrik Gallati (Swi) Focus XC Team94
45Michal Lami (Svk)92
46Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Roxracing90
47Hans Becking (Ned) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team85
48Karl Markt (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team78
49David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por)70
50Anton Sintsov (Rus) Titici Lgl International Team66
51Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team66
52Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Team Merida Wallonie MTB66
53Zsolt Juhasz (Hun) Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team62
54Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec61
55Shlomi Haimy (Isr) Focus XC Team59
56Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls59
57Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)55
58Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra)51
59Daniel Eymann (Swi)51
60Fabio Hernando Castaneda Monsalve (Col)50
61Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team50
62Oleksandr Gerashchenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team48
63Jochen Kass (Ger)46
64Giancarlo Sax (Swi)46
65David Valero (Spa)44
66Henrique Avancini (Bra) Caloi44
67Pascal Meyer (Swi) JB Felt Team43
68Raphael Gagne (Can)43
69Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing43
70Umberto Corti (Ita) Controltech Nevi42
71Lucien Besancon (Swi)42
72Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)40
73Robby De Bock (Bel) Feenstra Felt Powered By Kenda36
74Filip Eberl (Cze)35
75Jonas De Backer (Bel)32
76Kornel Osicki (Pol)32
77Alexis Chenevier (Fra) Scott La Clusaz30
78Matous Ulman (Cze)30
79Philip Buys (RSA)30
80Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)28
81Mitchell Hoke (USA)26
82Markus Bauer (Ger)25
83David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey Pro Team24
84Matthias Wengelin (Swe)24
85Frank Beemer (Ned) Mpl Specialized MTB Team20
86Pavel Priadein (Rus)19
87Pavel Boudny (Cze)18
88Cristofer Bosque Ruano (Spa)17
89Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing XC17
90Andy Eyring (Ger)17
91Simon Scheiber (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team16
92Francesc Guerra (Spa)15
93Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukr) Cycling Club Roma MTB Team14
94Carl Jones (NZl)14
95Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)12
96Ismael Ventura Sanchez (Spa)12
97Marcel Fleschhut (Ger)11
98Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Newcycling10
99Tim Wynants (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team10
100Kristian Hynek (Cze) Elettroveneta-Corratec9
101Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Roxracing9
102Dmytro Titarenko (Ukr) ISD MTB Team8

Elite men World Cup team standings
1BMC Mountainbike Racing Team252pts
2Multivan Merida Biking Team249
3Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team193
4Giant Pro XC Team141
5BH - SR Suntour - KMC134
6Tx Active Bianchi115
7Specialized Racing XC106
8Trek Factory Racing99
9Cannondale Factory Racing96
10Stöckli Pro Team79
11Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing61
12Scott-3Roxracing40
13Controltech Nevi38
14Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team35
15Merida Italia Team28
16SRAM Rubena Trek27
17Versluys Team27
18Topeak Ergon Racing Team21
19Goldwurst-Power / Stöckli17
20Cycling Club Roma MTB Team14
21Elettroveneta-Corratec12
22Titici Lgl International Team11
23Focus XC Team11
24BSK Graf-Rollmat-Koba MTB Team9
25Asptt Definitive Tec8
26Waberer's Areus Cube MTB Team3
27ISD MTB Team2

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