Nino Schurter enters Olympus in style with his 34th XCO World Cup victory
Nino Schurter wins the XCO World Cup in Lenzerheide with an impressive performance and becomes the cyclist with the most victories in the history of the competition. The Swiss rider signed the 34th in one of the most beautiful pages of his career. Even the rain that some predicted did not want to spoil such a special day, even more so when he achieved the feat in his homeland.
Schurter takes the coveted 34th in a race to remember
The race began with a start marked by a melee involving several riders from the middle of the grid. After the incident, Schwarzbauer was the first to go. Schurter, Albin, Sarrou and Cooper rode behind him as a few badly counted drops stained the camera and contrasted with the sun shining on Lenzerheide.
With his trademark fast pace, Schwarzbauer closed the start loop and started the first of the six full laps ahead of him. Schurter overtook the German and changed the pace. An early move that forced everyone else to do the same. Something that for the moment only Albin, Schwarzbauer, Sarrou, Fluckiger -who injured his thumb on Thursday- and De Froidmont did.
The negative note was taken by Vlad Dascalu, who had a crash and was taken to the medical service.
The next few minutes proved that Schurter was not an unconscious outburst, but a well-executed move that lasted the entire lap. The group of six remained intact, while behind Hatherly and Braidot were 7 seconds behind.
Schurter opened the door for someone else to take the baton and pull ahead. First Albin and then Sarrou took over the lead.
Even so, Albin and De Froidmont lost ground with the leading group, while Braidot caught the wheel of the first ones and Valero started his particular comeback and got into the top10.
Another pass through the finish line and a new change of pace by Schurter on the asphalt climb. Moments of agitation that culminated in a touch between Braidot and Sarrou for which they lost a few seconds with Schurter and Fluckiger. Hatherly, who was last in the line, also lost time.
And Schurter flew. Fluckiger dropped off his compatriot's wheel and sank to fifth, leaving Schurter alone at the controls of the race with a 7-second margin over Sarrou, then in second.
For his part, Valero was already seventh, half a minute behind and with his sights set on Fluckiger.
Fifth lap and Schurter still had enough fuel to make more ground on Sarrou. 11 seconds with the Frenchman. Behind, Gaze, Hatherly and Braidot were riding together 20 seconds behind the leader, while Griot and Valero were fighting to catch them.
Penultimate lap. Schurter continued to brighten up the day for his fans with lap times to match his own. Sarrou was soon 24 seconds behind and Hatherly was threatening his second place on the podium. Valero fought back and managed to get to Gaze's wheel, 8 seconds behind the fourth.
Hatherly finally exhausted his strength, lost steam and was overtaken by a Griot who came with everything. He overtook the South African and got on the wheel of Sarrou who, despite losing time steadily with Schurter, kept second place.
Schurter took the victory to the delight of his supporters, who embraced the Swiss rider, who as of today is the cyclist with the most XCO World Cup victories.
Hatherly came back to eat the toast of the two Frenchmen, who were in the middle of the fight for second place. Sarrou was third and Griot had to settle for fourth.
Results World Cup XCO Lenzerheide 2023 - Men
- Nino Schurter 1:24'04"
- Alan Hatherly +15"
- Jordan Sarrou +16"
- Thomas Griot +16"
- David valero +40"
- Daniele Braidot +55"
- Samuel Gaze +1'18"
- Martin Blums +1'22"
- Thomas Litscher +1'37"
- Ondrej Cink +1'50"