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Schurter outsprints Absalon at BMC Racing Cup in Lugano

14. April 2013


Agreat racing atmosphere, smooth organisation, and glorious spring weather made for a thrilling second round of the BMC Racing Cup in Lugano/Tesserete. 720 participants in all race categories enjoyed the 6.1-km-course, which is well-known and well-liked for its many technical sections. The spectators witnessed enthralling races, culminating in the anticipated battle between two giants of mountain biking: Julien Absalon (BMC Racing) and Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower).

Once again the two competitors showed no mercy in their fight for victory. As in so many of their highly dramatic duels on the World Cup level, they would onlyfind out in a final sprint who would be the day's champion. Only for a short period after the start did the two tolerate companions: Lukas Flückiger was hampered by a flat tire, and last year's winner, Moritz Milatz, suffered from the rather hot weather. Martin Fanger, who eventually finished third, was the last to lose contact with Schurter and Absalon.

The two race favorites set a blistering pace and fought a hard battle to the finish line. A critical situation arose when Schurter overtook Absalon in a somewhat risky way in the final U-turn just before the finish line. But this scuffle was deemed to be within the limits of permissible body contact.

However, Absalon did not waste much time to grieve over the lost victory. He found solace in what he had experienced on the race course, riding his brand new BMC teameliteTE01 29: "I am delighted that with this awesome new bike I managed to keep up with Nino in the descents. In the past he was faster than I am in the downhills. Now this experience gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming big races. And I know now that I am in good shape." Schurter was also impressed by Absalon's performance in the downhill sections: „He came so close, he even pushed me," the Swiss rider said.

All in all, in the top positions the elite men's race was a fight between two big teams, both located in Switzerland: With only one exception, all riders up to eighth place were either members of team BMC Racing or of Scott Swisspower. Whereas Schurter scored the elite victory for Scott Swisspower, Matthias Stirnemann won the Under-23 competition (4th place) for BMC Racing.

In the women's event Esther Süss (Wheeler-IXS) found the right rhythm from the beginning. Very early in the race she broke away from her competitors and remained virtually unchallenged till she crossed the finish line after five laps in 1:17:49,9. Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing) was second almost one minute back. Last year's champion Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team) snatched the third spot on the podium.

Full results: