May 26, 2013 (Nove Mesto, Czech Republic) – The fans are here in droves as the rain is holding off for the Elite Men’s race is soon underway in Nove Mesto at round #2 with the heavy hitters back including last weekend’s winner Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing along with Julian Absalon (Fra) BMC who had a tough technical at round #1 in Germany that forced him out – plus local favourite Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized and Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott Swisspower. For Canada it’s Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing), Max Plaxton (ShoAir-Cannondale), Derek Zanstra (Scott-3Rox Racing), Raphael Gagne (Team Canada) and Cameron Jette (Scott-3Rox Racing). There are 122 riders on the start line – the men will complete 1 start loop (3.2km) + 7 laps (4.2km) for 32.6km…
Fabian Giger (Sui) Giant Pro XC Team and Schurter are leading… Lukas Flückiger (Sui) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team is up there.
The pace is fast… Schurter is leading Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Esp) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing is second and Kulhavy is 3rd.
Absalon is 6th…
Schurter leads thru the BMX section… Kulhavy is now second.
Mantecon is back in second… Kabush is in the teens as the riders are strung out behind.
Schurter is leading at 7:37… a group of 5 is close behind lead by Mantecon, Giger, Kulhavy and Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro Xc Team with Thomas Litscher (Sui) Multivan Merida Biking Team.
Plaxton is 27th and Kabush is 30…
Schurter and Kulhavy have a small gap thru the rock garden.
Lukas Flückiger is now in third…Lindgren is 4th, Absalon 5th and Litscher is 6th.
It’s Schurter, Flückiger and Kulhavy gapping the chasers.
Absalon has moved up and taken over 3rd from Kulhavy
Schurter and Flückiger are leading… there are 8-9 riders at the front.
Schurter, Flückiger come thru at 20:42… followed closely by Absalon and Kulhavy a few seconds back.
Lindgren, Litscher, Giger, Cink, Tempier are the lead chasers at 10s.
Plaxton has moved up to 18th at 1-min – Kabush is in the low 20s
Hermida leads the next chase group…
Kulhavy is being passed by Cink and Litscher.
Absalon is now second on Schurter’s wheel.
Absalon takes over the lead – then it’s Schurter 2nd, Flückiger 3rd and Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team 4th.
Stéphane Tempier (Fra) BH – SR Suntour – KMC passes Kulhavy as well.
The sun is out… the crowds are here in droves cheering for Cink and Kulhavy
Schurter is now leading – Absalon is 2nd and Cink is third.
Schurter and Absalon start the third lap in 33:44… close behind are Cink and Flückiger in 3rd and 4th at 7s.
Tempier is 5th at 10s… then it’s Litscher 6th, Lindgren 7th and Kulhavy is 8th, Giger is 9th at 30s.
Plaxton is now 14th at 1:14… Kabush is just behind.
Mantecon who was second last week is out with a crash that injured his knee.
Kulhavy crashes in the rock garden…
Schurter leads Absalon with Flückiger in 3rd and Tempier in 4th… Cink and Litscher are 14s behind in 5th and 6th.
Giger and Lindgren are the next chasers in 7th and 8th.
Schurter is trying to make a break… but Absalon is marking him
The four leaders are together at 46:52…Absalon, Schurter, Flückiger and Tempier.
Then it’s Cink and Litscher at 14s – Giger is with Lindgren at 50s.
Plaxton is 12th with 3 other riders including Van Houts and Fontana at 1:26
Tempier is down – he crashed on some small rollers and is out.
Schurter pushes the pace up the climb…
The three leaders have extended their lead to 22s over Giger and Lindgren.
Kulhavy is suffering…
Schurter continues to lead… the lap is soon ending.
Absalon leads Schurter and Lukas Flückiger thru to start the fifth lap at 1:00:08.
Cink and Litscher have closed the gap to 18s… Giger is alone in 6th at 1:04.
Then it’s Swedish National champ Lindgren in 7th at 1:14
Plaxton is now 8th at 1:21 – Kabush is 14th at 1:51
Absalon now takes over the lead…
Absalon and Schurter have dropped Flückiger… Cink is gaining on him – no it’s Litscher
Absalon and Schurter come thru in 1:13:12… in third is Flückiger at 21s.
Litscher is 4th at 31s and local fans are cheering strong for Cink in 5th at 55s – he’s a U23 world champ.
Plaxton has caught Giger – they’re together in 6th and 7th at 1:41.
Kabush is now 10th with three other riders at 1:50
Schurter attacks and tries to drop Absalon… he’s hanging in.
Kulhavy is in 25th… his crash in the rock garden is taking its toll.
Schurter leads Absalon with Flückiger at 35s with Litscher at 40s…
The sun is out….it’s a 2-rider race.
Litscher passes Flückiger to take over 3rd.
Plaxton is now 6th… Schurter attacks
Lap 7 FINAL
Schurter moves to the left and lets Absalon take the lead at 1:26:30…
Flückiger regains 3rd at 27s… Litscher is 4th at 33s.
Cink is 5th at 1:25 with Plaxton not far behind in 6th at 1:48…
Kabush is 8th at 2:10 with Mathias Flückiger in 7th.
Schurter attacks again… Absalon is hanging on.
Plaxton is now in 5th as he passes Cink.
Schurter and Absalon are together at the halfway point.
Flückiger hangs on to 3rd with Litscher at 10s behind.
Schurter attacks on the climb… Absalon is not with him.
Schurter has a healthy gap on the AC-DC downhill section…
Plaxton remains in 5th.
The rain is back…
Plaxton is 5th and Kabush is 7th – is this the first WCup men’s race w/two Canucks in the top 10…?
1. Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team 1:39:33
2. Julian Absalon (Fra) BMC 0:03
3. Lukas Flückiger (Sui) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team 0:45
4. Thomas Litscher (Sui) Multivan Merida Biking Team 1:02
5. Max Plaxton (Can) ShoAir-Cannondale 2:02
6. Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team 2:11
7. Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing 2:12
8. Mathias Flückiger (Sui) Stöckli Pro Team 2:36
9. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing 3:00
10. Maxime Marotte (Fra) BH – SR Suntour – KMC 3:05
31. Derek Zanstra (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing 7:21
48. Raphael Gagne (Can) Team Canada 9:27
62. Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing 12:49