The first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup started like a nightmare for the BMC MTB Racing Team. With Julien Absalon and Lukas Flückiger forced to stop because of mechanical issues in the first technical zone, the team’s performance could have turned into a disaster. But it didn’t, thanks to the amazing performances of Absalon and Forster.
Julien Absalon suffered a flat tire in the first uphill and had to ride the entire downhill section with a complete flat. The wheel change wasn’t very efficient and Absalon started again in around the 40th place. Always composed and in control, he chased for six laps, ticking riders off his listone by one on the extremely narrow and technical course to cross the finish line in an incredible third position. “I am very disappointed because I felt great today. It was one of these days you only have a few of in your career. But third place isn’t bad at all considering what happened, so I’ll be flying back to Europe with a lot of confidence.”
Newbie Lars Forster Bursts onto the World Scene
Twenty-three years old Lars Forster showed he is the next star of the international scene with an incredible performance to take 6th place in his very first Elite World Cup. Starting in the 5th row, Forster steadily made his way up to the top 10 to ride the fastest lap of the field and cross the line with a big smile on his face. “It wasn’t easy to pass riders on the track because it was very narrow. So I jumped from one group to the other on the start and finish straight. I felt really good during the entire race, especially towards the end. I rode the fastest lap of the race (on the last lap) and I am very happy with my sixth place!”
Despite all these mechanical issues, the BMC MTB Racing Team managed to win the Team Classification and will therefore be using the yellow number plates (identifying the best UCI team) at the second round of the UCI MTB World Cup that takes place in Albstadt, Germany in four weeks.
1. Nino Schurter 1:27’44”
2. Maxime Marotte +3”
3. Julien Absalon +27′
6. Lars Forster +52”
24. Martin Fanger +3.24”
34. Reto Indergand +4’55”
44. Lukas Flückiger +6’30”
Credits: Team BMC
Photos: Armin Kürstenbrück / EGO Promotion