Written by Thomas Frischknecht
Tough luck took away the world champion jersey off Nino Schurters shoulders.
Both Nino and Florian kept flat tires from performing the way they wanted. The whole year Nino had not one flat tire during racing. At the most important race of the year he got two. Same for Florian, he got his flat tire on the start loop and was out of contention early.
Too many flat tires
Both SCOTT riders started out well. But already in early into the race some of the top favorites were struggling due to problems. Vogel and Sauser had a flat tire; Absalon crashed hard and hurt his hand. At the front it was Schurter who than set the pace. Jaroslav Kuhlavy (CZE), Ralph Näf (SUI), Burry Stander (RSA) and Jose Antonio were the riders on his wheel. Second lap a flat tire moved him back to 5th. But within a lap he made it back to the front and was actually leading again. But unfortunately his bad luck was not at the end yet. A second flat tire cost him 45 seconds. Again he was on his way back, fighting like a lion. He got as close as 20 seconds to the leaders, but than they shifted up before Nino made it back to the lead group. If it was just tough luck, bad choice of tubulars or a too aggressive riding style that kept Nino away from winning a medal is hard to tell. But one thing is for sure. He was fighting like a lion from the start to the end. To not loose focus after having such tough luck is not easy. He sure was riding like a champion.
Jose Antonio Hermida tried very hard to get away from Kuhlavy. For the last two laps only seconds splitted them apart. Finally Hermida came true to win his first world champion title as a pro. Kuhlavy came in second, last years U23 champion Stander in 3rd. Florian Vogel was in a pretty hopeless spot after one lap, tough he fighted his way up throughout the race, eventually finishing in 9th place.
Everyone in the mountain bike racing scene is happy for Hermida, even the losers. The 32 year old Spanish rider more than deserves this title after finishing many times second behind Absalon. It’s kind of like with Steve Peat last year, finally winning the world championships.
Jose was out feeding Frischi the day before at the “race of the legends” He is always good for a joke. Ned Overend, Brian Lopes Greg Herbold amongst others all took part of this race of the past.
Pictures of worlds can be found here:
1. José Hermida (ESP) 1.52.26 +0.00
2. Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 1.52.55 +0.29
3. Burry Stander (RSA) 1.53.36 +1.10
4. Nino Schurter (SUI) 1.54.29 +2.03
5. Julien Absalon (FRA) 1.54.49 +2.23
6. Carlos Coloma (ESP) 1.55.09 +2.43 7.
7.Liam Killeen (GBR) 1.55.17 +2.51
8. Geoff Kabush (CAN) 1.56.24 +3.58
9. Florian Vogel (SUI) 1.56.40 +4.14
10. Ivan Alvarez (ESP) 1.56.56 +4.30
11. Ralph Näf (SUI) 1.57.01 +4.35