Three riders in top 7 at Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup3. August 2015, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada — MTB Team
While Mont-Sainte-Anne celebrated its 25th anniversary, the BMC MTB Racing Team celebrated an enormous team performance with three riders finishing in the top 7: Julien Absalon was second, Ralph Näf fourth and Lukas Flückiger 7th.
Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada is a special place for the entire MTB circus that has been travelling there for the past 25 years. It is also a very special one for Julien Absalon who won no less than five times there including his first World Champion title, as a Junior back in 1998. One man only could stop him on his way to another victory: Nino Schurter. The race quickly turned into another two-man battle between the French and the Swiss. In the last lap, Schurter placed an attack at the bottom of the longest climb of the technical 3.9km course. “I couldn’t respond” Julien explained. “Nino was too fast for me there but I am happy with my second place and with my technical performance. I decided to race with my Fourstroke and that was the right decision. Nino wasn’t faster than me in the technical sections.”
Ralph Näf was another happy man. With his fourth place, he achieved his goal of the season: standing on a World Cup podium. “I didn’t feel comfortable on this course at first so spent quite some time working on my lines yesterday (Saturday). I knew I had to have a good start. After one lap in the leading group I had to slow down a little and let a few riders pass. In the second half of the race I had consistent lap times and started catching one rider after another. This fourth place is great for me!” he said.
On his side, Lukas Flückiger was a bit frustrated with his seventh place. “I didn’t have a great start and was caught behind a rider in one of the technical sections in the first lap. I bent my wheel there and had to stop in the tech zone to get another one. I was out of the top 20 when I started again and spent the entire race catching riders” he explained.
The BMC MTB Racing Team went away with another win in the team classification and will be bearing the yellow bike plates next week-end in Windham, USA.
Photos: Armin Küsrtenbruck and Marius Maasewerd / EGO Promotion