Julien Absalon defends his French Championship Title20. July 2014 — MTB Team
On Saturday Julien Absalon set another record by winning the French National XCO Championships for the 12th time in a row. Martin Fanger (SUI) and Stephen Ettinger (USA) were both crowned XC Eliminator Champions.
Julien Absalon continues to create his own legend. On Saturday he pulled off a one-man-show for the spectators in Les Menuires in the French Alps. „It is always an honour for me to wear the jersey of the French champion," said 33-year-old Absalon, commenting his new entry in the history books of French cycling.
In Switzerland, the nationals weekend started with a blast for BMC when Martin Fanger won the XCE (short track) competition. At the US Nationals short race Stephen Ettinger was also able to slip over the national jersey - compensating for the dissapointment at the XC race the day before when he suffered a mechanical and had to make do with 7th place.It is always an honour for me to wear the jersey of the French champion.
On Sunday Lukas Flückiger, Ralph Näf, Martin Fanger and Reto Indergand lined up to fight for the Swiss Championship jersey. Having chosen the wrong tyres (heavy rainshowers were forecased), Lukas Flückiger had no chance to win a medal. He changed his wheels mid race and was able to close up to Reto Indergand. Flückiger had to be satisfied with fourth place, however. „That was bad luck but I am not discouraged by it; I‘m in good shape," said Flückiger. Reto Indergand was in the breakaway group with World Champion Nino Schurter, Florian Vogel and Fabian Giger in the first two laps and finished his first Swiss Championship race in the elite category in fifth position. His teammate Ralph Näf was just ahead of the chasing bunch but had stomach issues. He finished in sixth position, ahead of Martin Fanger who supported Näf in the chase group during the final phase of the race when Näf regained his power.
At the same time in Bad Säckingen (Germany), Moritz Milatz was bitterly disappointed. The defending champion had been right on track for victory when one of the shifter levers on his bike broke off in a minor crash. After that he had to quit the race.