Nino Schurter made it a 35th Mountain Bike World Cup victory in the elite men’s cross-country race at Val di Sole, carving out the building blocks of his sixth win at the Italian round when he put the pressure on early pulling a group of four off the front.
However, it was a solo victory for the 37-year-old Swiss rider in the end with compatriot Mathias Flückiger (Thömus maxon) pulling himself back toward the front to take second, even after missing the move of four in the first lap. It was the same story for European champion Vlad Dascalu (Trek Factory Racing), who sprinted to third 38 seconds behind Schurter, beating Joshua Dabau in the process.
“In Lenzerheide I realised that I am in really great shape, and I know I really have a great setup now on my bike, and that on difficult tracks like here in Val di Sole it’s so important,” said Schurter in a race media release. “From the start, I felt I was strong on the climbs as well, I went smooth through those sections, and it was another insane ride in Val di Sole, I love it here in Italy.”
“The first part of the lap is key, it’s really technical, with plenty of ups and downs, and you need to find a good line where you can recover and get the momentum through, and I managed quite well to get a good flow in this downhill to recover, and push hard on the steep uphills. That’s what made it.”
Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing) was then the first of the remaining riders from Schurter’s original break of four – which had also included Sam Gaze (Alpecin Deceuninck) and short track winner Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CCLCTV). The rider from South Africa who had held firm with Schurter for the longest before slipping back through the field, crossed the line in fifth.
The next round of the World Cup will be held on August 24 to 27 in Pal Arinsal Andorra.