Posted by Editoress on 08/20/11
The men are on the line for their 6 lap race, with 121 riders taking the start in the heat - high 20's
They will do a short start loop and 6 full laps
The start is fast with Absalon getting the holeshot, but being quickly swarmed by a large bunch.
Just after the start a crash takes down 2 riders and causes a break in the bunch. Looks like Kabush and Zandstra both affected. Also Burry Stander who has had a lot of bad luck this year. 2nd place at the London Test Event, Karl Markt (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) went down hard
As they head out it is World Cup leader Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) leading Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing), Florian Vogel (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing), Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing), Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)
Schurter and Kulhavy leading with a small chase group forming behind. Vogel and Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Wildwolf - Trek Racing), followed by Fontana
Now 4 at the front: Schurter, Kulhavy, Volgel and Mantecon. Fontana working hard to close the gap
Kulhavy goes through at the front of the group of 4. Absalon now up to 5th at 20 sec. Fumic in 6th, Fontana 7th, Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) 8th, Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) 9th, Thomas Litscher (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) 10th all at 21 sec
Sam Schultz (Subaru - Trek) 17th
Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain) 37th
Derek Zandstra (3Rox Racing) 78th
Adam Morka (Trek Canada) 94th
Burry Stander (Specialized Racing) in 95th
Schurter at teh front doing a lot of work. Vogel on his wheel, Kulavy getting a bit gapped. Mantecon has lost contact
Absalon has caught and passed Mantecon.
Schurter and Vogel charge down the long dusty descent. Kulhavy looks a bit tentative and is losing ground. NOT that he has to worry about much. His lock on the World Cup overall secure. So he may be just taking it easy with the World Champs 2 weeks away.
Fontana has moved back up to 4th spot? seems unlikely
Lap 3 - 8:29 am
Heading out onto the 3rd lap and it is back together again with Schurter leading, Vogel on his wheel and Kulhavy bringing up the rear.
Absalon 4th, Mantecon 5th both same time at 26 sec back
Fontana 6th at 42 sec
José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team) 7th at 51 sec leading a group Litcher, Wells all s.t.
Sam Schultz 22nd at 1:22
Top 15 all within 1 min
Kabush 34th at 2:33
Bike of choice today is a hardtail, due to the amount of climbing.
3 leaders still away. Absalon alone in 4th
8 together chasing fighting for 5th
Lap 4 8:43 am
Heading out onto lap 4. Vogel and Schurter leading with Kulhavy at 1 sec. Absalon 4th at 32 sec.
Wells 5th at 1:05, Mantecon 6th at 1:06, Hemida 7th at 1:08, Fontana 8th at s.t., L. Fluckiger, Litcher, M. FLuckiger, Sauser all together at 1:10
Schultz 24th and Craig 25th
3 leaders all together on the climb
Absalon alone in 3rd
Group of 8 still fighting for 5th spot on podium
Lap 5 8:57 am
Starting the 5th lap: Schurter, Vogel and Kulhavy at 1 sec
Absalon 4th at 26 sec
M. Fluckiger 5th. L Flickiger 6th, Sasuer 7th, Fontana 8th all s.t. 1:24
Stéphane Tempier (TX Active Bianchi) 10th at 1:25, Hermida, Litcher, together at s.t.
Wells 12th at 1:29
Sam Schultz 23rd at 3:21
Vogel is starting to flag and has dropped of the back on the clmb.
Vogel now 8 sec off the pace of the leaders. Absalon continues to eat into the leaders' gap
Kulhavy has attacked near the end of the lap, but Schurter is still on his wheel.
Last lap - 9:12 am
Kulhavy and Schurter set out on the final lap at the same time
Vogel still 2nd , but 28 sec back. Absalon 4th at 58 sec
Group of 4 fighting for 5th
Hermida, Tempier, L. Fluckiger and Sauser all at 2:03
6 Swiss riders in the top 10. The Swiss team has not been selected yet for the World Champs, So a lot of the riders will be looking for a good results to boost their chances of selection.
Schurter atacks on the first climb and gets past Schurter to lead through the first bit of singletrack
Kulhavy leading Schurter as they head up the final climb.
Some riders are really suffering in teh heat. Absalon collapsed here last year when temp were up over 30C
1 km to go and no change. Leaders still together. Sprint finish?
Kulhavy leads out early and powers to take the win
1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing), 1:28:08
2 Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing)
3 Florian Vogel (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing), 1:21
4 Julien Absalon (Orbea), 2:05
5 Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing), 2:37
Course Profile (this is the 2010 course which has been shortened a bit, but the profile remains basically the same)
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