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Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California USA

16. April 2013

Monterey, California USA

BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California USA

April 16, 2013. Lukas Flückiger and Stephen Ettinger will represent the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team at the famous Sea Otter Classic festival in Monterey, California. They will participate in the short race on Thursday and in the cross country race on Saturday.

For World Champion runner-up, Lukas Flückiger, the races at the Sea Otter Classic are the next steps in building up his physical fitness for the first highlight of the season. There are only four weeks to go before the World Cup opener in Albstadt, and Flückiger plans to be in splendid shape by then.

„My first and foremost focus is the World Cup races. The European Championships in Bern, Switzerland is also of importance, of course. But since the Championships are placed within the first set of World Cup races, there is no need to worry about my shape," says Flückiger.

However, he also seems to have this year's World Championships already on his mind, and these will take place in Pietermaritzburg (RSA) at the end of August. In 2012, the 29-year-old Swiss racer was able to celebrate the greatest success of his career, when after a brillant fight he finished second at the World Championships in Austria. Flückiger is also a strong Cyclo-cross racer, but - just like this spring - he usually has some problems in the first mountainbike competitions of the year. This may be due to the break which the avid ski tourer has to take after the Cyclo-cross season. But at the World Cup opener in Pietermaritzburg last year he nevertheless managed to have a brilliant start to the season.

„It would be great for my self-confidence if I could get a good result before the World Cup," said Flückiger. This is exactly what may happen at the 23rd edition of the Sea Otter Classic. Last weekend he took sixth place at the second round of the Swiss national series (BMC Racing Cup) in Lugano, although he had been hampered by a flat tire in the first lap. „I guess I am in good shape," said a self-confident Lukas Flückiger before his departure.

His teammate, Stephen Ettinger, would of course like to present himself in good shape on home soil. The 24-year-old racer has recently shown in Europe that he has taken a step forward. „In 2013 I would like to improve based on what learned in 2012." Ettinger has been selected for the Olympic Long Team of the U.S. cycling federation. He was a sucessful nordic skiing athlete before he finally opted for mountain biking. At last year's Sea Otter Classic he was tenth in the cross country race and eleventh in the short race.