A stellar performance by Forster in the storm at the Flückiger Cross13. November 2017, Mädiswil, Switzerland — MTB Team
This weekend saw the cyclo-cross season continue with a stop at the Flückiger Cross in Madiswil, Switzerland. Despite being marred by treacherous weather, the sixth edition of this event can still be hailed as a storming success by BMC MTB Racing Team’s standards. An eponymously run event by the team’s Lukas Flückiger and brother Mathias, the crowd of onlookers sheltering from the incessant downpours cheered on BMC MTB Racing Team’s Lars Forster to a triumphant victory as he led from the third lap.
In its muddiest iteration to date, Forster battled hard for the win while Lukas rounded out the top ten with a solid ninth-placed finish in his role as organiser.
Proudly bearing its elevated status as a UCI C1 event, the Flückiger Cross had plenty of UCI points up for grabs – and the level was reflected in the starting grids. Yet despite its elite credentials, the Flückiger Cross encompassed a string of events that catered for all ages and abilities before culminating in the elite men’s race on Sunday afternoon. It kicked off mid-week with well-attended skills workshops for around 100 toddlers and young children. Driven by Lukas and brother Mathias, there’s a strong focus on nurturing young cyclo-cross riders and instilling an excitement for this discipline.
By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, the course was incredibly muddy and weather conditions only got worse as the laps ticked off. Several riders failed to finish as the storms lashed down in the latter part of the race. By lap three Forster had gained a lead, which he continued to extend for the remainder of the race. “It went really well for me,” he began once he’d warmed up. “I managed to get a warm shower within a minute of finishing the race,” he said with a grin. Known as a rider that likes the mud, it wasn’t surprising to see him excel in these conditions. “I overtook the leader, Nicola Rohrbach, on the third lap and was able to keep extending my lead. It was fun riding in the mud but then a huge storm hit us and it became more a matter of survival.”
The rest of the top ten were battling hard behind Forster, and Flückiger managed a very credible ninth place despite weariness from all his efforts organising the event. Speaking afterwards, it was clear that the work he’d invested into the organisation had taken a toll on his result. “It was a really tough one,” he admitted, explaining he was somewhat disappointed with a below par performance but was really satisfied with the overall outcome of this event and especially pleased that Lars was able to win against such a strong field. Lars agreed, adding: “The course and organisation were absolutely great.”
- Lars Forster (SUI) 59'24''
- Nicola Rohrbach (SUI) +1'02''
- Andri Frischknecht (SUI) +1'16''
9. Lukas Flückiger (SUI) +2'22''
Photo: Elisa Haumesser