SWISS CROSS NATIONALS
10 January 2012
At the Swiss national cross championships the SCOTT-Swisspower team got stuck in the mud. Florian Vogel was close to the medals finishing in 5th but Marcel Wildhaber was off the track in 8th place. Our juniors who went into the race as the favorites were also not able to fulfill our hopes.
Andri with silver and Dominic with bronce was OK- but the gold was missing!
Cyclo-cross means mud! This long time tradition was not seen in such an extreme for many years. Days of rain turned the course into a mud fest. Cold temperatures and wind made it tough not only for the riders, but also the staff who were busy cleaning bikes every lap. Conditions for true cyclo cross riders. The Swiss mountain bikers, who usually can ride on the same level as the cross specialists had trouble with these conditions.
Our chance for a medal was cut in half after one lap only. Florian Vogel crashed on a slippery descent and lost contact to the 8 men lead group. Marcel Wildhaber stayed in there till half way through, unfortunately he it wasn't his best day and he dropped back to 8th place. Towards the end, the race got exciting again.
Lukas Flückiger and Florian Vogel showed faster lap times than the three men lead group with Christian Heule, Simon Zahner and Julien Taramarcaz. Going into last lap they were only 10 seconds down. But it was too late. To almost everybodies suprise, Taramarcaz, a former U23 Swiss champion, showed the best finale. Heule, who will most likely end his career after this season, finished only in 3rd. Vogel finished in 5th behind Flückiger.
By winning 4 races in this cross season, Andri Frischknecht set himself as the favorite for the junior title. He set the pace throughout the race, but was not able to drop Dominic Grab off his wheel. Instead, his own team mate Dominic Zumstein got droped. A strong fighting Grab not only stayed with Andri, he even attacked him on the last lap with enough strength to get a little gap. This was enough to win. This disappointing lesson will stay in both Andri and Dominics head for a while.
At the world cup final in Hoogerheide (Jan 21st) and at the world championships in Koksijde (Jan. 28th) they will get the chance to straighten it out.