June 15, 2013 (Val di Sole, Italy) – The sun is still out for the start of the Elite Men’s race now underway with 110 men taking the start line. The heavy hitters are back with Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott Swisspower, Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC, and Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized… Max Plaxton (ShoAir-Cannondale) is the lone Canuck hoping to improve on his 5th place finish in Nove Mesto, CZE – the men will complete 1 start loop + 7 laps for 29.86km… it’s hot day at 30 degrees.
Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Esp) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing is off the front with Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing… there was a crash forcing Absalon to the outside – Fabian Giger’s bike is broken he’s out.
Mantecon starts the first lap with Schurter and Kulhavy there… Plaxton is 17th
Schurter jumps out front with Kulhavy on his wheel up the climb… Fontana and Absalon are just behind.
Schurter and Kulhavy have a gap… four chasers led by Absalon.
Schurter attacks on the climb… Absalon passed Kulhavy and takes over 2nd.
The pace is fast on the descent.
Absalon is now leading at 14:22 with Schurter in second and Kulhavy 3rd… Fontana is 4th at 7s – Plaxton is 13th.
Kulhavy looks to be suffering…
Schurter takes over the lead as they drop Kulhavy.
The gap widens as Schurter and Abaslon keep the pace high – Kulhavy is 22s at the split.
Plaxton is 15th at 1:22
Fontana is in 4th gaining on Kuhavy… Mathias Flückiger (Sui) Stöckli Pro Team is 5th, Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team is 6th… and Lukas Flückiger (Sui) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team is 7th
Absalon takes over the lead from Schurter at lap three in 27:19… Kulhavy has moved up a bit and is now 18s back.
Fontana is 4th at 28s… then it’s M Flückiger with bro Lukas and Thomas Litscher (Sui) Multivan Merida Biking Team together.
Absalon and Schurter forge ahead on their own.
Fontana is going to be caught by Mathias and Lukas Flückiger.
Schurter is now in front again before the descent… Kulhavy is struggling.
At the split it’s Schurter andAbsalon with 59s over Kulhavy – Fontana is 4th at 1:08, M Flückiger is 5th, Lukas Flückiger is 6th.
Van Houts is 7th, Hermida is 8th, Cink is 9th at 1:32 and McConnell is 10th at 1:54.
It’s Schurter and Absalon at 40:14…Kulhavy is 3rd at 50s.
Then it’s the Flückigers w/Fontana together at 1:07 – the Multivan Merida group is next w/Van Houts, Hermida and Cink
Schurter keeps the pave high… we’ve not seen Plaxton who was 15th
Fontana is dropped…
The Flückigers are gaining on Kulhavy
Absalon is back leading Schurter as they start the 5th lap in 53:22.
Kulhavy is alone in 3rd at 1:01 – not far behind are the Flückigers at 1:12
Fontana is in 6th at 1:36 and he’s under attack by the three Merida riders at 1:49
Schurter is trying to break Absalon on the next climb.
McConnell has caught and passed the three Merida riders… he sees Fontana.
Schurter has a gap on Absalon now 4s at the split – Kulhavy is in danger of being caught by Mathias Flückiger.
McConnell passes Fontana…
Schurter and Absalon are back together at 1:06:22 starting the penultimate lap.
Kulhavy has regained some space in 3rd at 1:27 followed by the Flückigers at 1:43.
Schurter is back in front as the leaders are on the descent.
It’s hot day at 30 degrees.
McConnell is now alone in 6th and is trying to close on Flückigers.
Lap 7 FINAL
Schurter and Absalon are together starting the final lap in 1:19:53
Kulhavy is 3rd at 1:29… the Flückigers are 4th and 5th at 1:49
McConnell is 6th at 2:23 – can he catch the Flückigers…?
Schurter attacks on the climb but Absalon is still with him
Absalon takes over the lead on the descent…
At the split Absalon is out front with Schurter on his wheel
Kulhavy is in third at 1:45
Schurter is now leading around the final corner…
Final sprint – Schurter takes it.
1. Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team 1:32:47
2. Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC
3. Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized Racing XC 1:57
4. Mathias Flückiger (Sui) Stöckli Pro Team 2:28
5. Lukas Flückiger (Sui) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team
6. Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing 2:32
7. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing 3:31
8. José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Esp) Multivan Merida Biking Team
9. Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team 4:19
10. Ondrej Cink (Cze) Multivan Merida Biking Team 4:40
DNF Max Plaxton (Can) Sho-AIr Cannondale