Three gold, one silver and four bronze medals. And a collection of the top 10 in all disciplines. Once again, the Mountain Bike World Championships ended with a victory for Switzerland (only France was the best in the medal table). A swag on top of it is clearly the ninth greatest world title of all-time: Nino Schurter. On the contrary, the men’s cross-country race is almost identical to the women’s Olympic race, because if the Swiss Neff, Frey and Inergand scored a historic triple in Tokyo, in Val de Sole the boys responded with a victory for Graubünden and second place for Mathias Flückiger, who got in the three years He won three silver and one Olympic medal. The main weekend featured a double in the men’s, but also bronze from Sean Frye among women (Jolanda Neff’s fourth, in a race dominated by British Evie Richards) and an unexpected bronze by Camille Balanche in the women’s downhill component. However, it was the dominance in the male realm that caused such a stir. Schurter and Flückiger immediately cleared things up on the second of the scheduled six laps and left as a couple. Graubünden managed to surprise the Bernese, always looking for their first world title (and in tears on arrival), with incredible braking at the penultimate corner… “It was the last chance to try to overtake and it worked – commented Schurter -. It was a perfect race. “I admit that I had doubts about my chances at the end of a difficult season. Seeing that I can still win is important, and also for planning my career.”
Colombo: I didn’t stand up. Like 90…”
Until the moment of Schurter and Flückiger’s attack, Filippo Colombo was also in the leading group, and was initially good to follow his countrymen, Cinque, Advene and Koretzky… “I was there – the Ticino biker commented – but like ninety other riders could not keep up with the imposed pace ».
In the end, he finished ninth, but in the same sixth-seeded group, New Zealander Samuel Geese … «Overall I am very happy. I was hoping to get better from 7th a year ago in Leogang and still 6th, so arguably I ran even with 2020. I have nothing to dream about myself, I had good legs and I played. That’s right, on the last lap, when it came to running in the flat section to go for the last singles track, I was the victim of some cramps and couldn’t really play up the possibility of getting sixth, center on which, given the events, I had fully prepared my race. After the bronze medal at the European Championships, I needed another race capable of confirming my growth and I found it.”
For once, it wasn’t the start that punished the Ticinese, as it did at the Olympics and in the short track test on Thursday… “I knew how important it was to start well. After the short track I was so angry with myself that I didn’t want to repeat the mistake. I focused a lot on the start and it went well, also thanks to a little luck, because often the start is a lottery, you just have to choose the wrong path and you will find yourself cramped and overtaken by dozens of opponents. This time it went well and I easily entered the leading group.”
The cramps in the final could have been caused by fatigue due to the short track race, as Colombo had to recover from 25th to eighth. In hindsight, Schurter and Flückiger may have seen right that the short race had ignored him…I can imagine. True, I put a little extra effort into my legs, but in a balanced way, they responded well throughout the cross-country race, so I don’t think being on the short track has anything to do with that. conditional in some way the main test.”
When Nino and Matthias took off, Colombo was with them and could not stand it. Clearly something is still missing in Ticino… ‘It’s hard to say what. However, we are talking about two heroes and even Nino is a phenomenon. Compared to them, I lack muscle, physique and experience. However, I know I can still put many hours of training into my legs and have a lot of room for improvement. Schurter is a special case, but Flückiger reached the absolute top at the age of 28, so I still have plenty of time. Of course, I like to be able to compete with the best right away and that’s why I take every date as an opportunity to reduce the gap that separates me from them. Starting next week in Linzerheide, at a stage in the World Cup I am particularly interested in.”
Needless to say, Filippo Colombo’s season was marked by the disastrous fall of Albstadt in early May. Before the well-deserved rest, there are two phases of Cdm, in Lenzerheide and Snowshoe, in the United States, but the first balance, however, can already be drawn … «I have a lot of experience with my legs. I don’t deny that the main goal for 2021 was to participate in the Olympics, and even if it was because the lid was broken, I achieved it. Unfortunately, I had quite a few opportunities to prove to myself that I was the best: In mountain biking there are not many competitive events and I lost half the World Cup due to injury. This is my second season in the elite, but it looks as if it was the first, as I had very few chances to compete in the first category: 2020 devastated by Covid-19, 2021 wrecked myself with fall … ».
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