Incredible scenario at UCI MTB World Cup in Cairns25. April 2016, Cairns, Australia — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
The first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup started like a nightmare for the BMC MTB Racing Team. With Julien Absalon and Lukas Flückiger forced to stop because of mechanical issues in the first technical zone, the team’s performance could have turned into a disaster. But it didn’t, thanks to the amazing performances of Absalon and Forster.
Julien Absalon suffered a flat tire in the first uphill and had to ride the entire downhill section with a complete flat. The wheel change wasn’t very efficient and Absalon started again in around the 40th place. Always composed and in control, he chased for six laps, ticking riders off his listone by one on the extremely narrow and technical course to cross the finish line in an incredible third position. “I am very disappointed because I felt great today. It was one of these days you only have a few of in your career. But third place isn’t bad at all considering what happened, so I’ll be flying back to Europe with a lot of confidence."
Newbie Lars Forster Bursts onto the World Scene
Twenty-three years old Lars Forster showed he is the next star of the international scene with an incredible performance to take 6th place in his very first Elite World Cup. Starting in the 5th row, Forster steadily made his way up to the top 10 to ride the fastest lap of the field and cross the line with a big small on his face. “It wasn’t easy to pass riders on the track because it was very narrow. So I jumped from one group to the other on the start and finish straight. I felt really good during the entire race, especially towards the end. I rode the fastest lap of the race (on the last lap) and I am very happy with my sixth place!”
Martin Fanger and Reto Indergand Disappointed
The two Swiss riders wanted to crack the top 15 but couldn’t do better than 24th and 34th. “I am disappointed with my race” explained Fanger. “I had a bad start position and it was hard to pass on this course. I couldn’t do better than 34th which is not where I wanted to be.” Same for Reto Indergand who was with Martin Fanger until he had a flat tire, which lead to him ending up in 34th place.
A day to forget for Lukas Flückiger
Although Lukas Flückiger was happy to even make the trip to Australia (he went under a minor surgery a few days before flying) he didn’t have a very good day. His rear derailleur got bent in a little collision in the start straight and he started last after a minutes-long pit stop. Taking risky line options to pass riders, he punctured no less than three times on the very edgy and sharp rocks of the rainforest.
Despite all these mechanical issues, the BMC MTB Racing Team managed to win the Team Classification and will therefore be using the yellow number plates (identifying the best UCI team) at the second round of the UCI MTB World Cup that takes place in Albstadt, Germany in four weeks.
- Nino Schurter 1:27'44''
- Maxime Marotte +3''
- Julien Absalon +27'' (...)
6. Lars Forster +52''
24. Martin Fanger +3.24''
34. Reto Indergand +4'55''
44. Lukas Flückiger +6'30''
Full results here.
Photos: Armin Kürstenbrück / EGO Promotion