Stellar Performance of Forster at Nove Mesto World Cup28. May 2018, Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
Lars Forster took fourth place at the third round of the UCI MTB World Cup, his best result at this level so far.
Forster’s smile after crossing the finish line today could barely contrast more with his disappointment of last year in Nove Mesto na Morave. The young Swiss rider had crashed a few seconds after the start and broken his scaphoid pulling him out of racing for a few weeks. Despite such bad memories, Forster loves the Czech course – he won a round of the U23 World Cup there in 2015 – and was keen to do well this year.
His weekend started on a good note with a fifth place in the short track event which also meant a start from the front row in the XCO race. Mathieu Van der Poel and Samuel Gaze were first in action and both riders pulled the large bunch into the Czech woods for the start loop. The kiwi rider, winner of the short track on Friday, was the first victim of his high tempo. He crashed heavily a few minutes into the race and couldn’t finish it.
At the end of the first real lap, Lars Forster and Titouan Carod were part of the small leading group with Nino Schurter and Mathieu Van der Poel. Unfortunately, the ideal scenario didn’t last very long. Bad luck hit Carod; the French had to stop in the tech zone to fix a flat tire. “I had to change line in a technical section to avoid a rider in front of me; I flatted there and fell back to 30th position after the wheel change.” Worthy a suspense thriller, the race also saw Van der Poel crash. As a consequence, Forster was the only rider left at the front with World Champion Schurter.
A few minutes later, Anton Cooper of New Zealand and Maxime Marotte of France joined the leading duo to form a new four-man leading group. Forster was first to loose contact while Cooper could challenge Schurter until the finish line where the race was decided by less than half a wheel length.
“I’m super happy with today’s result, my best at this level so far” said Forster after the finish line. Thanks to his fourth place, the Swiss rider moved up to 6th place in the overall classification.
Bad luck for Carod and Indergand
Titouan Carod rode a very strong race to come back to 14th place which didn’t solace him: “I was feeling very strong and the start of the race was ideal with Lars and me in the leading group. The puncture couldn’t occur at a worse moment… I am very disappointed. Without this technical problem I think a top five was possible today.”
While the team mechanics were fixing Carod’s flat, they also saw Reto Indergand entering the tech zone with a puncture. “It was a bad day for me all in all. I didn’t have the legs to follow the top guys at the start and flatted haf way through the race. It’s definitely not what I was aiming for especially after starting from the front row for the very first time.” Despite their counter performances Carod and Indergand are now 10th and 12th in the overall classification.
The team is also second in the team ranking and will kick the second half of the World Cup with the yellow plate of best team as a goal. The next round of the Mercedez-Benz UCI MTB World Cup will take place in Val di Sole, Italy at the beginning of July.
- Nino Schurter (SUI) 1:21'31''
- Anton Cooper (NZL) +0'00''
- Maxime Marotte (FRA) +0'08''
- Lars Forster (SUI) +0'44''
14. Titouan Carod (FRA) +1'54''
21. Reto Indergand (SUI) +2'24''
Photos: Phil Gale