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BMC Racing Cup, 3rd Round, Solothurn

4. May 2013

Solothurn / CH

Nino Schurter Sprints to fourth Victory of the Season

On Saturday a large crowd was watching the third race of the BMC Racing Cup at the Bike Days in Solothurn. The spectators witnessed an exciting men's race, in which Nino Schurter outsprinted Julien Absalon again. In the women's race Esther Süss was victorious for the third time this season.

The final show-down very much suited the refined taste of the well-informed audience in Solothurn. The „Schanzen-Graben" was the scene of yet another exciting sprint duel between Julien Absalon (BMC Racing Team) and Nino Schurter (Scott-Swiss Power). This spectacle delighted the audience.

After 38.5 kilometers, about 150 meters from the finish line, World Champion Nino Schurter passed two-time Olympic champion Julien Absalon on muddy ground, cheered by the spectators. Schurter celebrated his third victory over the Frenchman this year. It was Schurter's fourth win of the season, three of them achieved at BMC Racing Cup events.

"I had the feeling that today he was stronger than me on the uphill sections. But in the last lap, he just did not ride away. I was still feeling a little tired from the Eliminator Sprint yesterday, but today in the final sprint my strength sufficed. This is an auspicious sign for the World Cup, "said Schurter (Chur), referring also to the advantage which had been supplied to him by his team-mate Florian Vogel.

Vogel as well as former World Champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized Racing) were part of the leading quartet. In the sixth lap (of seven) Sauser's chain broke. Thus three riders remained. Although Vogel was not able to stay with Absalon and Schurter on the climb, he managed to come close again on the long, flat asphalt passage.

"It was not easy to race against these two Scott riders," said Julien Absalon.
"I had to decide whether to accelerate or to wait. So I decided to speed up. That's why - in the end - there was a certain lack of energy. Well, it was good interval training today, and for me the build-up for the World Cup in two weeks was more important than the result, "said the 32-year-old. He crossed the line in second position, five seconds behind Schurter.
Florian Vogel (Rapperswil-Jona) was third (+0:30). He rated this as a good result. "In the climbs I'm not yet powerful enough, but generally I was feeling quite good," said Vogel.

BMC riders Lukas Flückiger and Moritz Milatz completed the five-member podium in positions four and five and thus highlighted a strong team performance.

Esther Süss (Wheeler iXS) dominated the women's race and celebrated her third victory in just as many BMC Racing Cup events in 2013. Clearly stronger than her three companions the 39-year-old from Kuettigen left them behind in the second lap (5.5 km). After five laps she won the race with a margin of 1:17 minutes.
"On this course, it is difficult to go ahead alone. If the others are in agreement behind you, then they can work together on the long asphalt stretch. But my legs worked fine and I never went to the limits of my capacity in order to have some strength left when they come from behind, "said Esther Süss. She knows everything about the secret of success in Solothurn: She has won the race four times in a row.

Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike, Graenichen) was second, just three seconds ahead of Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing). Stirnemann, winner of the Eliminator Sprint the day before, suffered from a sudden loss of power in the second lap. This was when Leumann got away from her.

But together with Junior World Champion Andrea Waldis (Colnago-Alto Adige, Morschach) Stirnemann managed to stay within ten to 15 seconds behind Leumann. And at the beginning of the last lap this duo was able to close up to Leumann again.

"I have tried to avoid that they catch up with me. Maybe I have lost too much energy trying to keep in front of them, "said Leumann. Nevertheless she managed to get a small advantage in the last downhill section, but on flat ground Kathrin Stirnemann had more power and caught up to Leumann again. Stirnemann reached the start-finish area „Schanzen-Graben" in front and secured second place. "When your mind is free, you will overcome all sorts of foibles," rejoiced Stirnemann.

Andrea Waldis was happy with fourth place (+1:43) in this elite field. The 18-year-old was convinced to have done an „incredible race" and was „very happy" about yet another strong performance in her first season in the women's class.

Swiss victories in juniors races
Dominic Grab (Grab-Credo, Ebmating) won the Juniors' race in the morning. After five rounds on the muddy Solothurn course, Grab celebrated his first victory of the season. He was 21 seconds ahead of Manuel Fasnacht (Scott-Swisspower, Gretzenbach). Third was the Dutchman Milan Vader, another six seconds back. Due to his success today, Grab took the overall lead from Simon Vitzthum (Bischibikes, Rheineck).

Alessandra Keller (Strüby MTB squad, Stans) won the junior women's race in superior manner after three uncontested rounds with a 2:34 minutes lead in front of USA's Kate Courtney. Chrystelle Baumann (Pro Raiffeisen, Montalchez) was third (+2:42 min.)