Absalon flies to the European Title
Nino Schurter finishes second
Julien Absalon has won everything multiple times, four Worldchampionship titles, two Olympic Gold Medals and 26 World Cup victories. Today he added his second European title to his palmares.
Absalon seems to feel very much at home on the Gurten, he has won the locally based Swiss-Trophy four times in his career and made it five wins on the Bernese mountain with his solo-win today. The french rider dominated the race, beating the Swiss favorite Nino Schurter by two minutes. Driven by 15’000 spectators Absalon and Schurter opened up a gap early in the race and it became clear at the end of the second lap that the title would be decided between the two.
Absalon was looking strong throughout the race but Nino Schurter seemed capable of keeping up with the Frenchman’s recurring attacks. The decision in the race came towards the end of the fifth lap, Absalon attacked on a steep climb, Schurter could not react. The Frenchman stated that he „had wanted to lead the race, dictate the tempo and try to ride a really fast pace to secure the win.“ Absalon was the best rider today said Nino Schurter: „He was in his own league today but I am thankful for the silver medal, the atmosphere around the track was fantastic.“
Marco Fontana from Italy secured third place and was pretty happy with the result: „After my injury I started to feel stronger in the last weeks so I really hoped I would be fit enough to win a medal. The difficult course with many technical sections definitely played to my strengths.“
Results XCO Elite Men
1. Julien Absalon (FRA) 1:32:21. 2. Nino Schurter (Chur) 1:34:14. 3. Marco Aurelio Fontana (ITA). 4. Lukas Flückiger ( Leimiswil) 1:34:39. 5. Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (ESP) 1:34:41. 6. Sven Nys (BEL) 1:34:48. 7. Ondrej Cink (CZE) 1:34:48. 8. Alexander Gehbauer (AUT) 1:35:11. 9. Jan Skarnitzl (CZE) 1:35:20. 10. Michal Lami (SVK) 1:35:26. Further: 14. Florian Vogel (Jona) 1:36:05. 18. Nicola Rohrbach (Oberägeri) 1:36:48 . 21. Fabian Giger (Rieden) 1:37:16. 23. Thomas Litscher (Thal). 30. Martin Fanger (Ennetmoos) 1:39:35. Did not finish: Mathias Flückiger (Ochlenberg)
Author: Martin Platter & Brian Ruchti / 23.06.2013
Interviews: Benjamin Blaser