BMC MTB Racing Team: It's a Wrap! 2016 in Review11. October 2016, Grenchen, Switzerland — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
Now that the dust has settled on the Roc d’Azur, the racing season for our cross-country riders is officially over. 2016 was entertaining, it yielded both big successes and disappointments. Let’s have a look back at the past few months and see what the actors have to say about the year.
Julien Absalon: “2016 will remain a great season for me”
“I’m very happy that I was able to defend my French and European titles. I won three World Cup rounds, including one at home in La Bresse, out of six and the overall classification as well. I ended the season as the UCI Number 1 ranked rider, so 2016 will remain a great season, despite the disappointment of the Olympics. An 8th place is definitely not what I was going there for. One-day races are cruel but that’s why they’re also sometimes wonderful.”
Lars Forster: „Mixed feelings“
“I have mixed feelings about the 2016 season. It started with great debuts at the World Cup with a sixth place in Cairns and a fifth place in Albstadt for my first Elite season. Thanks to these results I qualified for the Olympics. The combination of all of this was simply incredible! Unfortunately after that, I had my share of bad luck with a crash during the warm-up of the World Championships and another in the last lap of the Olympic race. I couldn’t even cross the finish line and this is definitely the big disappointment of my season. Now, I want to stop crashing!”
Reto Indergand: “My best season so far”
“I reached all of my goals for the season and even surpassed them sometimes…so 2016 is definitely my best season so far. I cracked the World Cup top-10 in three occasions, and won a round of the Swiss Bike Cup and the overall classification, and the Swiss Epic with Lukas. The latest will remain as my best memory. Riding trails for an entire week with a team partner is different and not easy but we did well there. My only regret is the knee injury I had after crashing a few days before the World Championships. I couldn’t prepare it as much as I wanted to.”
Lukas Flückiger: “Not what I expected”
“My season didn’t look at all like how I imagined it to be. I’m still looking for reasons why it didn’t work out like I expected it to. At the beginning of the season, I didn’t find the shape I needed to have in order to qualify for the Olympics and that was a big disappointment for me. Luckily I ended the season with two major wins: the final of the Swiss Bike Cup in Muttenz and the Swiss Epic with Reto. It gave me the proof I can still win big races and gave me the confidence I need to prepare for the 2017 season. I’m super proud to be part of the best team, to ride the best bikes and the best equipment, to work with great people who believe in me despite the results.”
Martin Fanger: “My best World Cup result”
“All in all, 2016 was a pretty good season for me. I achieved my best World Cup result ever with a sixth place at the finals in Andorra (similar rank to Albstadt in 2013). I found a new balance this season; I gained fitness and lost weight this season thanks to complementary training methods and nutritional adaptations. That gives me a new sense of motivation.”
Alex Moos, Team Manager:
“2016 was a great season. It started very early with a win at the cyclo-cross Swiss Championships with Lars Forster. We won three rounds of the World Cup and the overall individual classification, and the French and European Championships with Julien Absalon. We also won the World Cup team classification for the fourth time in a row and we finished the season with a win at the Swiss Epic with Reto Indergand and Lukas Flückiger. It was full of emotions with its share of surprises, of satisfaction and disappointments.
I’ll keep three main memories of this season, the 6th season of the BMC MTB Racing Team. The first of them is Lars’s win at the cyclo-cross Nationals. I love this discipline and the perfect tactics and running of the race by the newcomer to the team gave me great satisfaction. Later in the season, the World Cup finals in Andorra were very emotional. We got there and could have lost everything. Julien’s morale was very low after the Olympic Games but he showed he’s a great champion by winning and helping the team to win the team classification. What a day it was! Finally, the victory of Reto and Lukas at the Swiss Epic was a great moment. They were strong and very cohesive together. We also worked together on the tactics; it was a win gained with the legs and with the heads.
To resume the 2016 season I would say that I’m very proud of our performance as a group. The World Cup team classification is very important to me. It shows that we’re a solid group with great team spirit and not only strong individual riders.”
Photos: EGO Promotion