Another second place for Julien Absalon at Windham World Cup10. August 2015, Windham, USA — MTB Team
A week after Mont-Sainte-Anne, the World Cup continued its North American tour and stopped in Windham, USA. The XC course lacked excitement (one big climb and descent, more typical of ‘old-school’ XC races from a decade ago) but the battle on the field between the riders certainly made up for it. It was a very exciting race that stayed undecided until the very end. Julien Absalon eventually took another second place behind his biggest competitor, Nino Schurter.
“My BMC Fourstroke performed perfectly!” was Julien’s Absalon’s first comment after he crossed the finish line. In the longest downhill of the entire World Cup series, racing on a full-suspension bike was the only way to stay at the front. Although the long uphill weaned the strongest from the pack lap after lap, the downhills were where the true leaders would emerge. Manuel Fumic (GER) was clearly the fastest on those segments, so Julien Absalon attacked in the penultimate climb to get rid of him. Once again, Schurter was the only one able to follow the pace of the World Champion. One lap later, Absalon was the first over the head of the last downhill in the race, Swiss rider passed him on the descent bravely taking a new line he hadn’t ridden in the previous laps.
At the bottom, Schurter crossed the line four seconds before Julien Absalon. “It is another second place but I am coming closer to the win. I wasn’t smooth enough in the last downhill unfortunately. To beat Nino, everything has to be perfect.” he explained.
A little over 2 minutes later, Lukas Flückiger crossed the line in 7th: “I am very disappointed. I was really hoping for more here in Windham. The first two laps were crazy with all this dust and after that I never found the power to get to the front. I really have to work on my start.” Ralph Näf finished 13th and Reto Indergand 36th.
With one round left in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series, Julien Absalon is second in the overall classification, Ralph Näf 7th, Lukas Flückiger 10th and the BMC MTB Racing Team again leads the Team classification.
The last round of the World Cup will take place in Val di Sole, Italy on the 23rd of August.
Photos: Armin Küstenbrück / EGO Promotion