GMBN Mountain Bike Race News Show | Cross Country From Swiss Cup, 3 Nations & Soldier Hollow. We've got an amazing Cross Country round up this week from races including the Swiss Cup, 3 Countries Cup, Soldier Hollow in the States, Rye Bike Festival and the Copa Catalana. Phew!
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Round 3 of the Proffix Swiss Bike Cup took place at the Bike Days event in Solothurn over the weekend. Beautiful weather greeted the racers and a picturesque woodland trail awaited them. Firm packed soil, rooty descents and fast racing was assured. In the men’s elite you’d be forgiven for having the same assurance on the winner as World Champion Nino Schurter was on the start line. Nino hasn’t gotten used to losing during the last year or so and his win at round 2 of the Swiss Bike Cup in Schaan gave no hint of a drop in form. However Schurter was beaten in round 1 of the World Cup by Sam Gaze in that tense battle. And if you remember he didn’t get things all his own way at the Cape Epic after teammate Matthias Stirnemann was forced to retire. So are cracks starting to appear?
A truly World Class field of elites were ready to put the Olympic champion to the test with swiss talent in the form of Matthias Flueckiger, Reto Indergand and Lars Forster ready to grab important points in a championship where they have high hopes of a title. The line-up also included World Cup heavy hitters such as Silverback’s Martin Gluth, Cannondales’ Manuel Fumic, Trek Factory racing’s Kiwi racer Anton Cooper plus a welcome return to racing for Schurter’s teammate Matthias Stirnemann of Scott Sram racing of course.
Stirnemann would finish the day in a solid 10th place and after the draining events of the Cape Epic and the illness that ensued, he must be pleased to be healthy and back aboard his steed. Surprisingly Anton Cooper was behind Stirnemann in 11th but that was due to a first lap puncture and a frantic battle from there to get in the picture. Anton will have to wait until the Albstadt World Cup now to see if his good form is in touch with Schurter. Speaking of Nino… The rest of the field would have to once again admire the champs ability to seemingly win with ease. This week it wasn’t by a huge margin, just 20 seconds, but that gap over second place Matthias Flueckiger suggested a controlled day rather than his full force. Reto Indergand rounded out the top three, taking revenge on BMC Teammate Lars Forster for that round 2 hammering. These two guys are in a tussle for the Proffix Swiss Bike Cup now.
Current World Champion Jolanda Neff has not been having it all her own way in the Swiss bike Cup this year. Bad luck and the rising form and confidence of Alessandra Keller have denied her success so far this year. So who could blame the champ for making other plans this week.
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