Tough World Cup action with a happy end, but only for Nino Schurter – 20.000 spectators witnessed a heart beat final and the Olympic Champion’s 24th World Cup win.
Lenzerheide, Switzerland. An amazing crowd, a technical and muddy XC track, plus a very tight finish – the 4th event of the 2017 XCO UCI World Cup saw everything mountain bike enthusiasts want to see. The World Cup Lenzerheide is Nino Schurter’s home race, and the Olympic and World Champion didn’t let his fans down. It was Nino’s 24th XC World Cup win in total and the 31 year old Swiss again was the man to beat. Different to some of the previous races this season, Nino had to fight very, very hard to finally secure the win. “This was by far the toughest battle I fought this season, and also the closest one”, Nino said after the race.
After four consecutive World Cup wins this year and with two World Cup races left in the 2017 season, Nino Schurter needs a 23rd place to secure his 5th World Cup Champion title. Nino (1000 points) has a comfortable lead over Maxime Marotte (560 pts) and David Valero Serrano (552pts).
XC racing at its best – Whoever thought the 2017 World Cup season would not see any more exciting races due to Nino Schurter’s dominance has to think again after today’s race. The podium in Lenzerheide: Maxime Marotte (4th), Jaroslav Kulhavy (2nd), Nino Schurter (1st), Anton Sintsov (3rd), David Valero Serrano (5th).

Nino Schurter while, before and after the XC race in Lenzerheide.
Photography: Michal Cerveny, Jochen Haar

Lenzerheide is always a good place for exciting battles between the dominating Cross-Country riders. The course is not made for early brake-aways and that’s why spectators have always witnessed thrilling races. This year’s race without any doubt was one of the most exciting ones to date. Due to a storm and heavy rain the night before and another rain just before the race, the conditions were anything else than easy. All the teams had to change to mud tires which led to panic-like situations in the pits. The UCI decided to reduce the race to seven instead of eight laps.
20.000 spectators witnessed the Lenzerheide World Cup – great promotion for the MTB sport.
Nino Schurter as always set a high pace from the beginning with Matthieu van der Poel, Maxime Marotte following him. He couldn’t really get rid of them in the first half of the race, and when Nino saw that van der Poel dropped back he realized that Jaroslav Kulhavy gained more and more terrain. Only in the 6th of seven laps, Nino managed to put a gap in between Marotte and Russian Anton Sintsov. Already by then, Czech Jaroslav Kulhavy put down the hammer and chased Nino.
“I was lucky today that the UCI reduced the race to seven laps only. Jaroslav seemed to get stronger and stronger in the end of the Race”, Nino said, totally exhausted at the finish line. With a 3 second lead only, the Olympic Champion secured his 2nd consecutive win in Lenzerheide ahead of Jaroslav Kulhavy. “I am pretty sure the World Championships on this course in 2018 will see one of the most exciting ones in history”, Nino said looking at next year’s highlight on the circuit.

“The XC course was shortened by one lap – that was probably my luck. I had to give it all to win this really difficult race today. Physically, I was totally exhausted – only the enthusiasm of these incredible fans secured me this victory. It was amazing to race in front of this crowd – without all my local fans, I wouldn’t have won today.”

Nino Schurter
Olympic Champion

Nino was not the only winner today – SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing managed to defend the lead in the team ranking. Thanks to great racing of all the rest of the team, SCOTT-SRAM will head to the World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada with the yellow leader plates. With a 19th place, Michiel van der Heijden raced his best ever Elite XC race. Andri Frischknecht, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday two days ago, managed to finish in 21st. Matthias Stirnemann came in in 36th.

“I was glad the rain came- it made the track a very demanding one and quite a few riders suffered with the technical descents and single tracks”, van der Heijden stated. “Skilled riders definetly benefitted today. I already was in a good shape in Andorra last week and I hope I can even top my results in the remaining World Cups.”

“I am really happy with my 21st place. After good results in Nove Mesto and Albstadt plus the one here in Lenzerheide, I already achieved more than what I could ask for in my first elite year. It’s great fun racing with my team mates and we’ll do everything to keep the team leader plates in the two remianing World Cup races”, Andri Frischknecht said.

Michiel van der Heijden (19th) and Andri Frischknecht (21st) were in excellent shape and made sure that the team keeps leading the World Cup ranking as best team in 2017.

The Winner`s Bike- SCOTT Spark RC 900 Worldcup “GOLD EDITION”

SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing uses the multiple title and media award winning Spark 900. Nino & Co chose the 100% race dedicated RC 900 World Cup version. Its frame is the lightest full suspension race bike to date and packed with top-of-the-line specs. In Lenzerheide, winner Nino Schurter raced a very special edition, the “GOLD Edition”. With the one-of-a-kind frame, SCOTT honored the Olympic Gold medalist and designed a frame which not only shines bright in golden colors but also lists some of Nino`s greatest victories.

Since beginning of 2017, the team is on Rock Shox suspension, Maxxis tires, Syncros parts and SCOTT shoes. Check the Equipment page to learn more.