February 19, 2014 – After winning three World Championships and three World Cup titles on the mountain bike in only five years, Nino Schurter is temporarily looking for a new challenge in 2014. He wants to switch part time to the road scene to compete in the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse, racing for the ORICA-GreenEDGE Pro Tour Team, which is also sponsored by SCOTT. This idea first had to get approval from the UCI and Swiss Cycling. Now they gave Nino and OGE a green light.
What’s the reason behind this switch? Nino Schurter tells us that, ”To do the Tour de Suisse once in my life has always been my dream. My heart is in mountain biking and will remain there. But if I ever wanted to ride a big stage race on the road, the 2014 season offers the perfect slot for it. To defend my World Championship title is still going to be my main goal for 2014 and furthermore I will 100% concentrate on mountain biking to hopefully add a missing Olympic medal to my collection. I believe that on my way there, I can gain a lot of knowledge and experience from racing on the road with ORICA-GreenEDGE this year.”
“Nino has always been looking for new ways to develop his skills. He is searching for improvements all the time- the opposite of a copy-paste athlete,” said Thomas Frischknecht, Team Manager, SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team.
SCOTT Sports, as Nino’s main sponsor welcomes this idea and Thomas Frischknecht as his team manager adds that, “Nino has always been looking for new ways to develop his skills. He is searching for improvements all the time- the opposite of a copy-paste athlete. That’s him and that’s why he is so good at what he is doing. I respect him for these characteristics and therefore support him with this idea. I’m pretty sure this experience will only make him stronger.”
Shayne Bannan, General Manager of ORICA GreenEDGE adds: ”It’s a really exciting project getting Nino on the road with us. He’s an extremely accomplished athlete and we look forward to seeing how he will perform on a road team on home soil.”
Nino will race the 2014 Cape Epic with SCOTT athlete Philipp Buys
Additionally, there is another highlight marked in red on Nino’s agenda- The Cape Epic in South Africa. It is going to be his first goal of the season. He will team up with South African rider Philip Buys.
Buys, also a SCOTT athlete, won the Cape Epic “best African team” classification in 2013. They look like a promising team for stage wins and contenders for the overall classification. Shortly thereafter, the World Cup season starts in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa where Schurter won the World Championship title last year. In order to race the Tour de Romandie he will skip the second World Cup stop in Cairns, Australia. This and the European Championships are the only big races Nino will miss for his road racing plans.
From June moving forward, it will be business as usual for Nino on his mountain bike.