"Bike Days" in Solothurn is Switzerland`s biggest bike show. Along with the BMC Racing Cup, the festival ensures that all the Cross Country stars are on hand. The cross country race was kind of the last chance for the athletes to test their form before the start of the world cup in two weeks. With Hermida, Schurter, Absalon, Sauser, Flückiger and Milatz, the start line saw this years strongest competition so far. Half way trough the race a four man lead group was formed by Julien Absalon and Christoph Sauser and the two SCOTT pilots, Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel. Sauser broke his chain to leave the trio to fight for the win- the same guys that battled for the podium in Heubach two weeks ago.
With two laps to go, Absalon's attack split up the trio. Again, it came down to a sprint finish between Absalon and Schurter. Florian Vogel's third place was not in doubt. Even though Absalon came in to the stadium in first place, Schurter passed him a few meters before the finish line to continue his great winning streak.
"For a moment I did not believe in winning again. Julien was very strong today and there was not much room for passing right before the finish. But when I saw the small gap I took my chance and tried!" So typical for Nino- whenever he smells blood, nothing holds him back.
All of the SCOTT-Swisspower riders can look optimistically to the start of the world cup in Albstadt, Germany two weeks from now. Nino has looked even more dominant this year than last year. Florian got in shape just in time and Marcel will take his chances in the Eliminator races (see report below). The youngsters will learn valuable lessons while hopefully also meeting their high expectations.
Marcel Wildhaber wins the Eliminator raceFriday's Eliminator sprint race was partly on cobble stone in the old town of Solothurn mixed with some muddy grass sections- slippery when wet! These were conditions that suited Swisspower Cyclocross specialist Marcel Wildhaber. This was less the case for Nino Schurter, who crashed in the final to finish in third place behind the German Martin Gluth. Marcel was the man of the night and everybody was so happy to see him winning. "I'm excited about this great victory! For sure my cross skills payed off in these conditions. Now I will try to get more of this at the following world cups," said Marcel. With a 3rd place in the Eliminator world cup in Nove Mesto last year he already showed that this is his discipline.