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BMC Mountainbike Racing Team - World Cup #1

18. May 2013

Albstadt, Germany

At the World Cup kick-off in Albstadt (Germany) the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team presented a strong overall performance. But since Absalon had to quit the race due to a mechanical problem, the team missed its first World Cup victory of the year. Lukas Flückiger was fifth, Martin Fanger's sixth place was a very welcome surprise.

Albstadt was set to be the stage for a great Absalon show. Unfortunately the show came to a sudden end after five out of seven rounds. The two-time Olympic champion from France delivered a great performance and outclassed his competitors. He was 1:45 minutes in the lead when - due to the muddy and sticky conditions - suddenly the rear derailleur of his bike was torn off. Since there was no chance to get it fixed, Absalon had to quit the race.
"I completely controlled the race. Honestly, it's been four years since I last was in such a position. Right before it came to the incident, I was already dreaming of my first win for BMC, the leader's jersey and my 26th World Cup victory. It's so frustrating, for me and for the whole team. Now I have to make the dream come true in Nove Mesto," said Julien Absalon. Due to his bad luck the team also missed to get first place in the team standings.

Lukas Flückiger was the best BMC biker of the day. However, he was a bit angry about his fifth place. "If Julien has to quit it is my duty to win a race in such conditions. My legs were fine, but today I got weird breathing problems: I simply was not able to pump enough air into my lungs. Therefore I was not able to achieve more than high basic speed," said Flückiger, who, on the penultimate lap, had still been within striking distance of Daniel McConnell, the later surprise winner.

Martin Fanger also managed to achieve a big surprise. He had a good start into the race and was ranked between ten and 15. In the last third of the race he still had enough energy left to catapult himself into sixth position. Sixth place is his best World Cup result so far. "I am very, very happy. On Wednesday I had a very good training session. Therefore I knew that I'm in good shape. Top 15 was my goal, but sixth is fantastic," said Fanger.

European champion Moritz Milatz could not start due to an infection. After his hand surgery, sprint world champion Ralph Naef is on the way to recovery, but he is not yet ready for World Cup racing.

World Cup results Albstadt
1. Daniel McConnell (Aus)
5. Lukas Flückiger
6. Martin Fanger

1. Markus Schulte-Lünzum (Ger)
8. Reto Indergand
13. Matthias Stirnemann