Title Defense: Nino Schurter and Julie Bresset Retain Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships in South Africa
They’re called heavy favorites for a reason. Over the years, especially in those recent, Switzerland’s Nino Schurter and France’s Julie Bresset have proven why they are two of the most dominant riders in UCI Cross Country Mountain Biking. Schurter entered Saturday’s Men’s Elite race as the defending UCI MTB World Champion, 2012 London Olympic silver medalist, two time World Champion, three-time World Cup Overall Winner. To say he was expected to be one of the main contenders would be the understatement of the year. Bresset was also in South Africa as the reigning World Champion, but also the 2012 London Olympic Champion. Both riders would look to put the pace on their respective fields, and that they did.
If given the challenge, you’d have a harder time finding a race that Nino Schurter HASN’T won in his professional mountain biking career, rather than the alternative. The Swiss cross-country specialist has two Olympic medals to his name (bronze in 2008 in Beijing and silver in 2012 in London), two UCI Mountain Bike World Championships (2009, 2012), double digit career UCI Mountain Bike World Cup victories as well as two overall World Cup titles (2010, 2012).
Jaroslav Kulhavy Tops London Mountain Bike Podium; Nino Schurter, Marco Aurelio Fontana Take Second, Third
The Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Kulhavy was far from the favorite in the men’s mountain bike competition this year in London. The world champion had yet to collect a world cup win during the season. He entered the race in England quiet and poised to surprise the world-class field. He did just that, sprinting to the victory during the final 200 meters, beating out Switzerland’s Nino Schurter for the top prize, by just one second. Almost as remarkable was the third place ride by Italy’s Marco Aurelio Fontana. Fontana lost his seat and seat post during the final lap of the course and finished just 25 seconds behind the second place finisher, with nothing to sit on.