“After a tough and cruel Cape Epic it took to weeks to recover”, said Florian Vogel whohas not raced since this stage race. Even though they did not go full gas every day, both still felt tired from the long days at the office down in South Africa. Tough, it was a good preparation for the world cup season, which starts this weekend at Dalby Forest, UK.
To give the preparation a final tune, Nino and Florian raced successfully at the Sunshine Race in northern Italy last weekend. The Sunshine Race in Nalles, close to Merano is part of the Italian racing series. Besides the good food and beautiful area its the ideal place for world champion Nino Schurter and his teammate Florian Vogel to have a last test before the World Cup starts.
Soon a lead group was formed which contained Tony Longo (Full Dynamix), Stephan Tempier (Bianchi), Flo and Nino. Frenchmen Tempier showed tough competition to the favorites Schurter /Vogel. Finally the SCOTT-Swisspower duo got away on the last climb and it looked like a double victory of our team. To the surprise of the many spectators Nino Schurter crossed the line solo, while Florian disappeared. It was then Tempier 12 seconds later who finished second. Finally after waiting for another four minutes, Flo crossed the line running in 5th place. In the very last descent he got too close to a security mat ripping of his rear derailleur. Tough luck, but Florian stated: “More important than loosing first or second place is the confirmation that I’m in good shape and ready for the world cup”. Another guy that seems to be more than ready is Nino. He looked very confident and is hungry to win more.
Besides Nino and Florian we had Andri Frischknecht racing in the U17 race. More than 100 riders competed in his category. Frischi junior had a hard fight with the Italian U17 champion Alberto Rossi. Rossi was strong uphill, Andri faster downhill. They stayed together till the very last descent, where Andri turned the race to his favor, finishing 17 seconds ahead of Rossi and 1:05 minutes ahead of Michael Mayer of Austria. It was Andri’s first XC win in the U17 category. Good start in 2010 Also the rest of the team is going well. Patrik Gallati and Marcel Wildhaber scored a double victory at the local race in Schwendi, Switzerland. Roger Walder won the juniors race at the Racer Bikes Cup in Lugano the week before. All in all a good ride into the 2010 season. Now we hope to get to Dalby Forest in time. The travel to England becomes hard due to the Volcano situation a major problem.
Results Sunshine Race Nalles, Italy
1. NINO SCHURTER (CH) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing 1:48.53
2. STEPHANE TEMPIER (F) TX Active Bianchi +12.6
3. IVAN ALVAREZ GUTIERREZ (SPA) Giant Italia Team +2:52
4. MIKE FELDERER (ITA) Full Dynamix +3:50
5. FLORIAN VOGEL (CH) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing +4:15
6. JOHHNY CATTANEO (ITA) Full Dynamix +4:43
Courtesy Thomas Frischknecht