First race and first podium for Ralph Näf30. March 2015 — MTB Team
The Mountain Bike Cross-country season kicked off this Sunday. The BMC MTB Racing Cup was present on two fronts with the Swiss contingent in Monte Tamaro, Ticino and Julien Absalon at the first round of the French Cup in Marseille.
The four Swiss riders of the BMC MTB Racing Team ended up their last training camp with the well-attended race in Monte Tamaro. Aboard his TeamElite TE01 Ralph Näf achieved a third spot on the podium in his first race of the season, whereas his team mates Lukas Flückiger and Martin Fanger followed in fourth and fifth.
There was just one minor flaw in Ralph Näf’s performance. „Right in the middle of the race I suddenly had empty legs and lost my rhythm“ said Näf, trying to explain why he lost contact with Swiss champion Nino Schurter and world championships’ bronze medalist Marco Fontana (ITA). Apart from that, Näf was „very happy“ about his performance. His team mate Lukas Flückiger had temporarily ousted him from third place, but he finally managed to overcome his problems and regain a spot on the podium. „I am highly pleased with my performance. I wanted to have a good start to the season and I succeeded in doing that. After all, the level of racing was pretty high."
Losing a position in the final part of a race is rather atypical of Lukas Flückiger: „I was ill all week and things started to get better on Friday. Given these circumstances, I can't be anything but satisfied with the result“, explained Flückiger.
Martin Fanger was also quite happy about his level of performance. „I was not yet really able to keep up the rhythm, but it’s thumbs up in all other aspects and I look forward to the opening round of the BMC Swiss Cup in Schaan“, said Fanger.
After a good start, Reto Indergand faded and finished in 13th place.
Though day for Julien Absalon
The World Champion couldn’t do better than a seventh place at the opening round of the French Cup in Marseille. “I couldn’t breathe properly and couldn’t really push my heartrate over 140. It got better throughout the race but one thing is for sure, I didn’t expect such a result.” Luckily, the World Cup season starts in two months only which gives the French rider some time to get to his best level who added “Good news because there is a lot to do”.
The five riders of the BMC MTB Racing Team will be at the start of the BMC Racing Cup in Schaan on the 12th of April.
Photos: Maxime Schmid / EGO-Promotion