Podium pairings for Forster and Flückiger at the Red Bull Velodux4. novembre 2017, Red Bull Velodux, Switzerland — MTB Team
On the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, Red Bull staged the 4th edition of the Velodux. Lars Forster and Lukas Flückiger were keen to compete, pairing up with Nicola Rohrbach and brother Mathias Flückiger respectively in a bid to claim glory. And: they took the win with Forster/Rohrbach and second place with Flückiger/Flückiger!
Red Bull Velodux is a hotly fought cyclo-cross race with a number of unconventional twists. A two-rider team race with a Le Mans-style start and numerous creative obstacles, Red Bull bill the race as unlike any cyclo-cross course you’ve seen before.
Racing over an hour plus one lap, the course took the riders up and into a chateau, with wall rides, rock gardens, 100-step staircases, and sandy stretches to counter. As a Red Bull-branded event, it welcomed all sorts of riders, including fixed gear BMC Ride Crew member Patrick Seabase and BMC Racing Team’s Danilo Wyss, thereby broadening the scope of cyclo-cross to a new audience. For BMC MTB Racing Team riders, the Velodux may have fallen into their off-season but they were hungry for the win in this surprisingly competitive race.
Forster and Flückiger have both reached the podium at previous editions of this urban cyclo-cross event, so were prepared for onslaught of this technical and tactical race. Attacks came right from the gun, and the Flückiger brothers were able to create a solid gap after the first few laps, which Forster and Rohrbach gradually reeled back in. “We had a good battle against the Flückiger brothers,” explained Forster, who was clearly in good form and keen to repeat his 2014 victory. Having arrived earlier that morning to support his girlfriend, he was able to soak up the event’s unique atmosphere. “You could call it cyclo-cross 101%. I had fun riding my Crossmachine here, and it was great that we could come back from behind and overtake them on the penultimate lap for the win.”
Teamed with brother Mathias, Lukas Flückiger took second place on the day, bettering his third-place finish from 2015. “It was really fun battling against Nicola and Lars; it was really close right until the end. I felt really strong all the way but in the end, the better team won. For an off-season race there was a really high level of competition here,” commented Flückiger. He expressed the same admiration for the unusual approach to designing a cyclo-cross course, and added: “I hope there’ll be a repeat edition next year.”
- Forster Lars / Rohrbach Nicola (SUI) 1:07'38''
- Lukas Flückiger / Mathias Flückiger (SUI) +0'06''
- Matthias Stirnemann / Andri Frischknecht (SUI) +1'04''
Photo: Elisa Haumesser