Absalon and Carod Impress at Nove Mesto World Cup22. May 2017, Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
The technical and rooty course of Nove Mesto na Morave might not have offered much in terms of suspense, with race favorite Nino Schurter soloing to win as expected. But what did keep the crowds on edge, was the battle taking place behind him, with our two French riders fully involved.
The race started with a massive crash as one of the front-line riders snapped his chain and took dozens of riders down with him. Lars Forster unfortunately was one of them, and the Swiss rider restarted at the very back of the peloton with a damaged bike. His race ended a couple of laps later due to an injured hand sustained in the crash.
At the front, Indergand managed a great start and was in fourth position at the end of the start loop. A little crash on the first laps made him loose some time and he was joined by a group of eight riders with team mates Julien Absalon and Titouan Carod. The group worked well together but never managed to close the gap on Schurter and Valero who eventually took first and second place.
With a couple of laps to the finish, a group of three French riders – Marotte, Sarrou and Tempier – broke away, and it looked like they would complete the five-man podium. But taking Absalon’s presence into consideration. The 36-year old rider hasn’t been beaten by a French rider in a World Cup in 12 years (with the exception of a couple of races where he had a mechanical) and today wasn’t the day it would happen! He gave it his all in the last long, rooty uphill of the course, and overtook his fellow countrymen to cross the line in third place.
A minute behind, Titouan Carod crossed the line in seventh place with a large smile across his face. Last year’s U23 World Cup winner just delivered an incredible performance with a seventh place finish in his first ever Elite World Cup: “I was hoping for a top 16 which would guarantee a good start position next week in Albstadt so I’m more than happy with seventh place so I’ll be in the front row!” But the young Frenchman keeps realistic “It won’t put myself under too much pressure. This is my first year and I’m here to learn and gain experience.”
Reto Indergand and Lukas Flückiger finished in 14th and 18th places respectively and helped the team take the first team classification. Next week, the riders will start with yellow number plates as the leading team. Keeping them round after round until the World Cup finals is one of the key objectives of the BMC MTB Racing Team for the 2017 season.
- Nino Schurter (SUI) 1:27'35''
- David Valero Serrano (ESP) +0'46''
- Julien Absalon (FRA) +1'46''
7. Titouan Carod (FRA) +2'41''
14. Reto Indergand (SUI) +3'27''
18. Lukas Flückiger (SUI) +4'06''
DNF: Lars Forster
Full results here.
Photos: EGO Promotion