Julien Absalon 1 : Nino Schurter 111. April 2016, Bad Säcklingen, Germany — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
Showing a return to form, Julien Absalon took the win over the weekend in Bad Säckingen, Germany in the last race rehearsal for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season. This victory brings the score between the riders to an even draw – no better way to begin the pre-Olympic season ahead!
With most of the big names at the start, the KMC MTB Bundesliga in Bad Säcklingen was considered by many as a “mini-World Cup”. It was at least the last test before the entire MTB peloton flies Down Under for the first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano.
Julien Absalon took a convincing win ahead of Nino Schurter, his hardest to beat competitor. He explained how the race went: “After just two of the eight laps, Nino and I were already together at the front of the race. I did most of the work and he kept on my wheel saying he couldn’t pass. But Nino is a smart racer so I decided to test him and attack mid-race. He tried to go with me but it only lasted a few meters then he sat back on the saddle, then I knew it was my chance so I kept pushing and opened up a 10 second gap. After this, I rode at my own rhythm” adding “I am very happy with this win today. It wasn’t necessarily my type of terrain so it makes it even better. I feel good, the team is doing great and we are all looking forward to racing in Cairns in two weeks!”
Fanger; a Force to be Reckoned With
Even though he didn’t make it to the podium last week at the Swiss Cup in Rivera, Martin Fanger produced one of the best performances that day. After a flat tire in the first lap he rode two of the fastest lap times to catch most of the peloton and end up in seventh place overall. With better luck this weekend, Fanger took fourth place, only 20 seconds only off second place. “After months of bad luck it feels great to be up there!” he said with a big smile on his face after coming down from the podium.
Indergand; Consistency is Key
Maybe Reto Indergand isn’t the podium-placing showman, one thing is for sure – he is nearly always right up there amongst the top riders. The young Swiss rider rode a very consistent race to take 8th place, just a minute behind his team mate Martin Fanger.
Bad luck for Flückiger and Forster
Both Lukas Flückiger and Lars Forster were unfortunately involved in a big crash at the start. Desipte this, they both had very different races. Flückiger managed to get quickly back up to speed and was even racing for third place. Unfortunately a flat tire ruined his chances of climbing the podium steps for the first time this season, and also took him out of the top 10. Forster, who spent a lot of time in the crash, never managed to find a rhythm again but is looking ahead already to the next race.
The four Swiss riders of the BMC MTB Racing Team will race at the second round of the Swiss Cup in Buchs, Liechtenstein again next weekend.
- Julien Absalon 1:34‘56‘‘
- Nino Schurter +0‘39‘‘
- Maxime Marotte +0‘45‘‘
- Martin Fanger +0‘57‘‘
- Victor Koretsky +1‘12‘‘
8. Reto Indergand +1‘58‘‘
11. Lukas Flückiger +2‘23‘‘
22. Lars Forster +5‘08‘‘
Photo: Armin Küstenbruck / EGO Promotion