2013 Mountain Bike World Championships – Athlete Profile - Nino Schurter
Olympics: Bronze medal – 2008 Beijing / Silver medal – 2012 London
Overall World Cup Titles: 2 (2010, 2012)
World Championships: 2 (2009, 2012)
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).
27-year-old Schurter enters the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Pietermaritzbug, South Africa as the defending cross-country world champion and the man to beat. He has won three of the four World Cup races this season, is the current World Cup points leader and ranked world number one.
Get to know the Nino in his own words:
Oakley: How has your season gone leading up to World Champs in South Africa?
Nino Schurter: I’m really happy about my season so far. I’ve won 3 out of 4 World Cups and I’m the current World Cup leader and world number one.
Oakley: Yes, you’ve had an amazing season so far. Congrats! Any special prep going into South Africa we should know about?
Nino Schurter: For the first time I did my whole preparation back home and quit high altitude training. That way I cane to see if I have really profited from high altitude training or not. That’s all experience for Rio 2016.
Oakley: Any superstitions going into South Africa? Do you keep the same routine as a normal MTB World Cup? Or are there any special rituals you keep for a special event like this?
Nino Schurter: For me, it’s important to keep the same routine as in other races. What works, works. What I’m trying to do, is to bring my bodyweight down to a minimum.
Oakley: What are your goals for 2013 Worlds in South Africa?
Nino Schurter: My goal is to defend the title with a third win in PMB (Pietermaritzburg).
Oakley: In your opinion, who is the man to beat? And what will it take to beat him?
Nino Schurter: Julien Absalon is back at his best and the man to beat. I try to break him in the technical sections. Jaroslav Kulhavy is also a dangerous man for the big races.
Oakley: What would it mean to you to repeat and become the 2013 World Champion?
Nino Schurter: To wear the world champion stripes is the biggest goal for every cyclist. I would be very proud to wear the stripes for another year.
Oakley: Pretend the person reading this knows NOTHING about professional mountain biking…what are a few quick essentials you could tell them about the sport?
Nino Schurter: It’s the greatest combination of endurance, power and action in nature. You can expect big fights between riders around the world.
Oakley: Now that they are prepped…what makes Worlds in South Africa such a big deal?
Nino Schurter: Great people, beautiful landscape and one of the best mountain bike courses in the world.
Oakley: What is your favorite memory/story from the 2013 season?
Nino Schurter: At the World Cup in Andorra I flatted my front wheel in the first lap and the chances of a win were far away. In the last lap I was able to catch the current leader, [Ondrej] Cink in the decent and to overtake him on the last meter. To win races in this way, makes it even better.
Oakley: Well we wish you the best of luck this year. Last question before we let you go: any special plans or ”must see’s” for South Africa when you’re not racing?
Nino Schurter: There must be some time for a safari to see the big 5!