Julien Absalon Reigns at Home World Cup30. May 2016, La Bresse, France — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in La Bresse, France is like no other. This rings particularly true for Julien Absalon, the local hero who grew up just 15km from the little mountain resort in the Vosges region.
“The pressure was really high this week” explained Absalon straight after crossing the finish line “I really wanted to do well for all the spectators and the volunteers who worked hard for this event.” And so he did. On his full-suspension BMC Fourstroke 01, outfitted with a dropper seat post, Absalon took early control of the race after attacking Schurter in the second lap of the six-lap race. Increasingly confident with his downhill skills, Absalon pushed Schurter to his limits on the long downhill section of the course. As a consequence, the Swiss rider, winner of last week’s World Cup, got a puncture and never saw Absalon again. The Frenchman, boosted by thousands of spectators devoted to his cause, worked hard to increase the gap with his mind’s eye set firmly on the finish line to avoid mistakes. “The last time there was a World Cup here in La Bresse (4 years ago), I crashed in the last 500m (despite the crash, he won) and I didn’t want that to happen again.”
After much thinking in the last two days and hours before the race, Absalon decided to race with his full suspension bike and with bigger and heavier tires. “It was the right choice.There were a lot of mechanicals in the Under 23 race this morning and also quite a few in the men’s race today I heard, so I’m relieved it all went well for me.”
In the lead with a comfortable margin over two of his compatriots Maxime Marotte and Victor Koretsky, Absalon could enjoy the last lap and celebrate with style in the last hundreds meters.
“It’s such a great feeling to win here. It is definitely one of the biggest and most emotional wins of my career!” Absalon’s 31st World Cup victory was also a big boost of confidence for the second part of the season: “My first goal of the season is reached so I can now focus on the Olympics in Rio” he said, before adding that he might take an easy week to recover after this busy first part of the season.
New World Cup Best for Reto Indergand
A week after his tenth place in Albstadt, Reto Indergand established a new record for himself by taking ninth place. “I had a much better start position this week and had a great start, so I could quickly find a good position in the race. I didn’t have to go over my limit in the uphills which helped me a lot in the downhills. I could relax there and stay fresh for the next uphill.”
Indergand also chose to race with the Fourstroke which supported him well on the physically demanding, technical course at La Bresse.
Indergand and the three other Swiss riders of the BMC MTB Racing Team will be in Gränichen, Switzerland next weekend for the second round of the Swiss Cup.
- Julien Absalon 1:26'38''
- Maxime Marotte +1'00''
- Victor Koretsky +1'24''
9. Reto Indergand +3'09''
22. Martin Fanger +5'29''
27. Lukas Flückiger +6'48''
41. Lars Forster +8'13''
Photos: EGO Promotion