Swiss National Cyclo-cross title goes to Forster14. January 2018 — MTB Team
It was a jubilant finish for BMC MTB Racing Team’s Lars Forster as he claimed yet another national cyclo-cross title, taking the team’s total tally to five.
It wasn’t just any old January weekend for the world’s cyclo-cross contingent, as the majority of major countries held their National Championships simultaneously. Switzerland was no different, with the country’s best riders descending on the historic location of Steinmaur, a witness to no fewer than 5 National Championships since becoming a venue in 1971.
Given his recent form, Forster was on a quest to become Swiss Champion and repeat his gold medal from 2016; a title run blighted by a bittersweet second place in 2017. “I wanted to get the jersey back,” he explained afterwards, “Everything went exactly how I wanted today. I got a great start so I could sit in comfortably in second and watch how the other riders were going. It was a really physical and technical course today with deep mud and fast corners.”
Tactically astute in the cold conditions, the 24-year-old gave a fine demonstration of world-class talent with a gutsy ride that saw a race-sealing gap open on rival Simon Zahner with three laps to go. “The gap opened up quite quickly and I was able to pace myself well until the end,” continued Forster, eventually finishing with a 22-second advantage.
It was a certainly a moment of elation for Forster as he crossed the line with his arms raised, mirroring his U23 title win in 2013 in the same location.
From here, Forster has one more World Cup in Nommay next week before the World Championships in Valkenburg on 2/3 February. In an unusual calendar proposition, there’s then only five weeks until the 2018’s first MTB World Cup, which should play into the hands on the in-form Forster. Teammate Reto Indergand had a fine race to round out the top 10 in what was his final ever cyclo-cross race.
Forster’s victory means it is now the fifth time that the title lands in the hands of BMC MTB Racing Team: 2x with Julien Taramarcaz, 1x with Lukas Flückiger and 2x with Lars Forster.
- Lars Forster
- Simon Zahner
- Severin Sägesser
10. Reto Indergand
Photo: Elisa Haumesser