Best Team of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Once Again!27. August 2017, Val di Sole, Italy — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
The BMC MTB Racing Team won the Team Classification of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for the fifth time in a row.
With three teams only separated by ten points in the overall classification before the last round in Val di Sole, things had never been so tight. Both Julien Absalon and Lars Forster missed World Cups this season because of injuries which made the point collection a bit more difficult than in the past years. So before the final round in Val di Sole, Scott Sram Racing was leading the classification in front of Cannondale Racing and the BMC MTB Racing Team.
The five riders were in shape, motivated and ready to bite the bullet to get the trophy home and they didn’t disappoint. Titouan Carod was the best starter leading the field during the start loop. But the young Frenchman quickly realized he didn’t have the legs to keep much longer at the front with Schurter and Tempier so he waited for the chasing group made of five men including teammates Julien Absalon and Lars Forster (who started with number 50).
Absalon and Forster in the top five
The chasing group quickly understood that the first two steps of the podium were out of reach and focused on the third place. At this game, Julien Absalon proved to be the strongest: “I knew my only chance to beat the others was to start the second half of the last lap with a ten second-gap. I attacked at the bottom of the long climb and didn’t look back.” And it worked. He crossed the finish line 47’’ behind Nino Schurter, eventual winner of the race and of the overall classification.
It didn’t take long to see Lars Forster rolling through the finish line, in fifth place and with a large smile across his face. “I knew today would be a good day for me!” were his first words. A bit later he explained: “I had a good feeling before this race. The course suits me and I knew that I could do well if I had a good start. Luck was on my side this time; I started well and was quickly in the top 10. From then on, everything went perfect.”
Fourth Top 10 of the World Cup season for Carod
Despite not feeling at his best, Titouan Carod fought hard till the end to score precious points for the individual World Cup standings and for the Team standings. He crossed the finish line in 8th place scoring the fourth top 10 of his first Elite World Cup season to end up 6th in the overall classification. “Right now I am disappointed because a top 5 in the overall was very close. But I was told at the beginning of the season I would be sixth, of course I would have been more than happy with it.”
With Lukas Flückiger finishing 14th and Reto Indergand 22nd, the BMC MTB Racing Team managed its best World Cup of the season in Val di Sole; the best way to conclude the World Cup season and to be full of confidence for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships that will take place in Cairns, Australia in two weeks.
Results, Val di Sole:
- Nino Schurter (SUI) 1:24'30''
- Stéphane Tempier (FRA) +0'04''
- Julien Absalon (FRA) +0'47''
- Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) +0'53''
- Lars Forster (SUI) +0'54''
8. Titouan Carod (FRA) +1'35''
14. Lukas Fückiger (SUI) +2'28''
22. Reto Indergand (SUI) +3'02''
Results, Overall Standings:
1. Nino Schurter
6. Titouan Carod
8. Julien Absalon
16. Lukas Flückiger
20. Reto Indergand
23. Lars Forster
Results; Team Overall Standings:
1. BMC MTB Racing Team, 344 pts
2. Scott-Sram MTB Racing Team, 311 pts
3. Cannondale Factory Racing XC, 304 pts
Photos: EGO Promotion, Phil Gale and Emmie Collinge