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Only Milatz is happy

31. August 2013

Pietermaritzburg

BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
World Championships Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Cross-Country
Report

An ailing Julien Absalon and a happy Moritz Milatz have reaped the best results for team BMC at the world championships in South Africa with sixth and seventh place respectively. Lukas Flueckiger was struck by misfortune. He crashed heavily at the start and had to retire.

For the BMC equipe the world championship race truly did not turn out as was expected. Julien Absalon who was aiming at his fifth world champ title was injured on the ribs, knee and hip due to a heavy crash in training. However, the European champion from France showed his great athletic mentality and lined up at the start
"This was the hardest race of my life. The pain was very heavy, I have suffered a lot, but it was important to finish this race. For BMC, for the French national team and for the crew," said Absalon.

Together with his teammate Moritz Milatz the Frenchman stayed in the chasing group between fifth and seventh position. In the end it was sixth place for Absalon and seventh place for the German champion.
Milatz was the only BMC biker who was really happy that day. "Today I had no problems during the whole race. After the first half of the race I would have been able to go even faster, but with a whole series of negative experiences in my mind I lacked the confidence to do so. But I am completely happy with seventh place," said Milatz who recorded the best world championships result of his career.

For Lukas Flueckiger the worlds race was over after only 250 meters. A competitor pushed the Swiss rider into the barriers. Crashing hard he lost his consciousness briefly, bruised both his knees and quit the race due to a suspected rib fracture. Examinations later found two ribs broken.
„Of course, it is devastating, especially because I have invested so much for this race. But there's nothing to be done," said Flückiger afterwards.

Martin Fanger was twentieth and thus at least achieved his minimum objective. "I was not able to ride a really fast lap, but overall I had a pretty fast pace, "said Fanger.
For US teammate Stephen Ettinger 23rd place was within the scope of his expectations.
Ralph Naef was impeded at the start through the turmoil around Flueckiger's heavy fall. Naef then launched a comeback, but it was abruptly stopped after the second lap. "Suddenly I was no longer able to exert real pressure on the pedal. And later on also I suffered two flats.

I have put so many hopes on this race, actually since the beginning of March," he said, disappointed. In the race he had dropped from rank 20 to 52.

Results
Elite Men
1. Nino Schurter (Sui)
2. Manuel Fumic (Ger)
3. José Hermida (Esp)
4. Maxime Marotte (Fra)
5. Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)
6. Julien Absalon
7. Moritz Milatz
...
20. Martin Fanger
...
23. Stephen Ettinger
...
52. Ralph Näf