September 6, 2008 (Bern, Switzerland) – The Swisspower Cup series finale takes place tomorrow on “The Gurten” – a mountain on the outskirts of the country’s capital city, Bern. The UCI HC-ranked race offers big points, thereby attracting big names, like Olympic women’s champion Sabine Spitz (Ger) Ghost and Elite men’s World Champion Christoph Sauser (Sui) Specialized. The overall series rankings will also be decided, with riders’ four best results, including the final, counting towards the standings.
The women take off at 11:30 a.m. local time / 5:30 a.m. EST with a start loop followed by 5-6 laps of the 4km course (depending on the conditions). It is currently raining, and it’s expected to continue through tomorrow morning, which will make the loop sloppy and slick, especially on the many grassy sections. Points of interest include numerous overpasses, a steep chute descent, a jaunt on the mountain’s downhill-specific trail, and several short, but demanding climbs.
Besides Spitz, the field is stacked with top Europeans, like Olympic bronze medalist, Irina Kalentieva (Rus) Topeak-Ergon, Petra Henzi (Sui) Fischer-BMC, Nathalie Schneitter (Sui) Colnago, Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago, and Elisabeth Osl (Aut) Ghost. Canada’s Sandra Walter (Can) X.O-Felt will be aiming to defend her fourth place overall series ranking – or better yet – move into the top three.
The men’s race starts at 2:00 p.m. local time / 8:00 a.m. EST, with an equally stacked field. They will complete three 0.8km start loops, plus seven (7) full laps (also depending on conditions). Vying for the win will be the likes of Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Full Dynamix, Florian Vogel (Sui) Swisspower, Olympic bronze medalist Nino Schurter (Sui) Swisspower, Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Hard Rock, and Manuel Fumic (Ger) Fumic Brothers.