Schurter out sprints Absalon to win World Cup opener

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) in an exciting finish manages to out sprint Julien Absalon in the season opening World Cup XC race in Dalby Forrest.

The Swiss rider won the men’s 43km race in a finish very similar to last year’s world championships, when he outsprinted Olympic champion Julien Absalon (Orbea). Again, it came down to a sprint between the two, with Schurter winning by less than a wheel length. Burry Stander (Specialized) of South Africa took third, 14 seconds behind the front two.

The six lap men’s race started very fast, with eight riders initially making the selection at the front, but by the fourth lap that was whittled down to just Schurter, Absalon and Stander. The South African looked to be the strongest, but he made a mistake on the last lap, allowing the other two to get away.

Burry takes the lead: Courtesy Rob Jones

Absalon took the lead, setting the pace, but could not shake Schurter, and when they turned onto the gravel finishing straight, the Swiss rider came up alongside his French rival and pulled ahead in the final 10 metres to take the win.

“This is an incredible victory, to win the World Cup and take the leader’s jersey is very special,” said Schurter. “I hoped to do well here, but there was a very, very strong field, so I was only looking to make the podium. I was dying out there, to stay with Julien, but I knew that if it came to a sprint I was a little bit faster.”

Absalon, for his part, revealed that he was quite content with second. “I have been sick this week, so I didn’t know if I could race in the middle of the week. But each day I got a little bit better, and by Saturday I was okay again. I didn’t know how strong I was going to be, and I was just hoping to get on the podium.”

“But it was good for me when the three of us went away, because I was able to rest a bit at the back. I think Stander was the strongest, but maybe he did too much work, and then made a little mistake that allowed Nino and I to get away. At the finish I tried to control it, but Nino was just to strong.”

Final Results:

1 Nino Schurter (Swi) Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing 1:54:52
2 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea 0:00:01
3 Burry Stander (RSA) Specialized Factory Racing 0:00:14
4 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena – Birell – Specialized Cycling Team 0:00:28
5 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:00:41
6 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:00:52
7 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea 0:00:55
8 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 0:01:19
9 José Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:01:37
10 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:01:45
11 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team 0:01:54
12 Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing 0:02:17
13 Mathias Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 0:02:32
14 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spa) Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo 0:02:42
15 Stéphane Tempier (Fra) Tx Active Bianchi 0:02:48
16 Christoph Soukup (Aut) Merida Biking Team 0:02:54
17 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:03:03
18 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea 0:03:24
19 Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing 0:03:49
20 Roel Paulissen (Bel) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:03:53
21 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 0:04:18
22 Marek Konwa (Pol) Elettroveneta-Corratec 0:04:23
23 Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing 0:04:25
24 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team 0:04:32
25 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) 0:04:45
26 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Lapierre International 0:05:04
27 François Bailly Maitre (Fra) Scott Les Saisies 0:05:06
28 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain 0:05:28
29 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) MSC Bikes 0:05:29
30 Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 0:05:43
31 Maxime Marotte (Fra) Bh-Suntour 0:06:03
32 Jochen Kass (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 0:06:30
33 Tony Longo (Ita) 0:06:37
34 Derek Zandstra (Can) Canadian National Team 0:06:44
35 Robert Mennen (Ger) 0:07:04
36 Martin Fanger (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
37 Oliver Beckingsale (GBr) Giant Factory Team 0:07:06
38 Fabian Giger (Swi) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 0:07:16
39 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 0:07:25
40 Martino Fruet (Ita) 0:07:38
41 Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 0:07:45
42 Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (Fra) Team New Cycling 0:07:49
43 Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team 0:07:50
44 Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Tx Active Bianchi 0:07:53
45 Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) Hard Rock Frw A.S.D. 0:07:57
46 Marc Colom (Fra) 0:08:01
47 Patrik Gallati (Swi) Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing 0:08:05
48 Matous Ulman (Cze) S&H Superior Mtb Team 0:08:07
49 Hannes Metzler (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team 0:08:14
50 Liam Killeen (GBr) 0:08:18
51 Piotr Brzozka (Pol) Jbg-2 Professional Mtb Team 0:08:19
52 Bas Peters (Ned) Team Merida Combee 0:08:34
53 Karl Markt (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team 0:08:35
54 Marek Galinski (Pol) Jbg-2 Professional Mtb Team 0:08:36
55 Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team 0:08:37
56 Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) 0:08:42
57 Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition 0:08:57
58 Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Lapierre International 0:09:07
59 Markus Bauer (Ger) 0:09:20
60 Irjan Luttenberg (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team 0:09:44
61 Andrea Tiberi (Ita) Surfing Shop 0:09:55
62 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) 0:10:00
63 Guillaume Vinit (Fra) Bh-Suntour 0:10:04
64 Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team 0:10:06
65 Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team 0:10:08
66 Thomas Litscher (Swi) M.I.G. Team 0:10:21
67 Niels Wubben (Ned) Team Merida Combee 0:10:27
68 Johnny Cattaneo (Ita) 0:10:42
69 Lachlan Norris (Aus) 0:10:50
70 Nicolas Vermeulen (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team 0:10:54
71 Diego Rosa (Ita) Giant Italia Team 0:10:58
72 Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior Mtb Team 0:11:04
73 Andy Eyring (Ger) 0:11:05
74 Anders Hovdenes (Nor) Team United Bakeries, Hoydahl Mtb Racing 0:11:09
75 Andrew Watson (Can) Canadian National Team 0:11:15
76 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team 0:11:28
77 Yader Zoli (Ita) Surfing Shop 0:11:34
78 Pascal Meyer (Swi) M.I.G. Team 0:11:40
79 David Fletcher (GBr)
80 Fabien Canal (Fra) Keops Itwo 0:12:10
81 Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team 0:12:13
82 Adrian Brzozka (Pol) Jbg-2 Professional Mtb Team 0:12:21
83 Erik Groen (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 0:12:29
84 Torsten Marx (Ger) 0:12:34
85 Benjamin Buchi (Swi) 0:12:50
86 Klaus Nielsen (Den) 0:13:01
87 Magnus Darvell (Swe) 0:13:14
88 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Lingier-Versluys Team 0:13:15
89 Kornel Osicki (Pol) Jbg-2 Professional Mtb Team 0:13:18
90 Mattias Nilsson (Swe) 0:13:35
91 Silvio Bundi (Swi) 0:13:42
92 Fabian Strecker (Ger) 0:13:43
93 Kristian Hynek (Cze) S&H Superior Mtb Team 0:13:44
94 Manfred Reis (Ger) Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team 0:13:46
95 Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) Giant Swiss Team 0:13:54
96 Marcel Fleschhut (Ger) 0:14:06
97 Balz Weber (Swi) 0:14:08
98 Tim Lemmers (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 0:14:11
99 Alessandro Gambino (Ita) Gt Brondello Team 0:14:15
100 Dries Govaerts (Bel) Team Saeco 0:14:25
101 Matthew Hadley (Can) Canadian National Team 0:14:32
102 Rene Tann (Ger) 0:14:36
103 Konny Looser (Swi) 0:14:37
104 Mattias Wengelin (Swe) Team Firebike-Droessiger 0:14:52
105 Jelmer Jubbega (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team 0:14:56
106 Michael Broderick (USA) 0:14:59
107 Paul Oldham (GBr) 0:15:02
108 Ondrej Cink (Cze) Merida Biking Team 0:15:04
109 Pierre Lebreton (Fra) Bh-Suntour
110 Sebastian Szraucner (Ger) 0:15:13
111 Ricardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro (Por) Tx Active Bianchi 0:15:21
112 Tiago Jorge Oliveira Ferreira (Por) 0:15:25
113 Jiri Hudecek (Cze) 0:15:31
114 Patxi Cia Apezteguia (Spa) MSC Bikes 0:15:43
115 Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) 0:15:47
116 Matej Nepustil (Cze) Merida Biking Team 0:16:09
117 Joris Massaer (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche Mtb Racing Team 0:16:11
118 Robert Gehbauer (Aut) 0:16:31
119 Marco Schätzing (Ger) Team Firebike-Droessiger 0:16:40
120 Severin Disch (Swi) Giant Swiss Team 0:16:52
121 Christopher Maletz (Ger) 0:17:57
122 Jakub Magnusek (Cze) S&H Superior Mtb Team 0:18:08
123 Freddy Betremieux (Fra) 0:18:35
124 Michele Casagrande (Ita) Elettroveneta-Corratec 0:19:22
125 Nicolas Jeantet (Ita) Isd Cycling Team 0:19:37
126 Laurent Mineur (Bel) -1lap
127 Daniel Eymann (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
128 Alexander Gehbauer (Aut)
129 Wolfgang Krenn (Aut) Muskelkater Genesis Team
130 Marco Arnold (Swi) Giant Swiss Team
131 Tim Dunford (GBr) Torq Performance Nutrition
132 Sebastian Batchelor (GBr) Infotre – Leecougan
133 Florian Thie (Swi)
134 Thomas Lapeyrie (Fra) Scott Les Saisies
135 Jonas De Backer (Bel) Team Saeco
136 Andrew Blair (Aus) Torq Performance Nutrition
137 Dave Henderson (GBr)
138 Ben Thomas (GBr) Torq Performance Nutrition
139 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team -2laps
140 Robin Roelofs (Ned) Stappenbelt Specialized Mtb Team
141 Cody Canning (Can)
142 Amaury Gernez Aurenge (Fra) Keops Itwo
143 Dror Pekatch (Isr) Subaru-Gary Fisher
144 Billy Joe Whenman (GBr)
145 Rob Vangenechten (Bel) Team Saeco
146 Chris Andrews (GBr)
147 Travis Frisby (Aus)
148 Richard Felle (Irl) -3laps
149 Pascal Hossay (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche Mtb Racing Team
150 Allan Clark (GBr) -4laps
DNF Moritz Milatz (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team
DNF Jiri Friedl (Cze) Merida Biking Team
DNF Ludovic Dubau (Fra) Team New Cycling
DNF Umberto Corti (Ita) Team Cbe Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
DNF Bjorn Brems (Bel) G-Skin-Deforche Mtb Racing Team
DNF Alban Lakata (Aut) Topeak Ergon Racing Team
DNF Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Saeco
DNF Lee Williams (GBr)
DNF Ryan Sherlock (Irl)
DNF Julien Fillion (Can)
DNF Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (Crc) Gt Brondello Team
DNF Tim Wynants (Bel) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
DNF Frank Beemer (Ned) Trek-Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team
DNF Anthony O’boyle (GBr) Torq Performance Nutrition
DNF John Whittington (GBr)