Bike Check: Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark RC 900

Nino’s Scott Spark RC 900 is a real beauty, with amazing finishing touches and attention to detail everywhere you look.

We’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Medium frame Scott Spark RC 900, the ultra-light 29er XC race bike with 100mm of travel controlled by the Twinloc remote lever.
Nino in the rocks of Nove Mesto. Photo – Armin Kuestenbrueck/Red Bull.
The Champion alright…
Nino doing his thing in the final World Cup of the 2018 season, Val di Sole, Italy. Photo – Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull.
A 38 tooth SRAM Eagle chainring would be too hard to push for you, or I.
A neat touch, the little Nino character tucked away behind the seat tube.
That is right, only 9.38kg as seen here.
Nino swapped to a 29″ wheel Spark and Scale mid last year ahead of the Rio Olympics, which he won. He’s never raced a 27.5″ Spark since. A 90mm stem with massive negative rise helps the position he needs.
Slammed enough?
The move from DT Swiss to a complete SRAM bike meant RockShox for the champ.

The Twinloc lever toggles the rear shock travel amount, lock and also the fork compression adjustment with one lever.
A de-stickered FOX Nude shock is not an ideal scenario for the SRAM rider, though RockShox would surely be developing a shock to suit the bike.
DT Swiss carbon wheels with gold spoke nipples, so trick.

Gold SRAM XX1 drivetrain, of course.
2.1″ Maxxis Aspen tyres.

World Cup XCO: Highlights Video & Results from Lenzerheide 2017

Great Britain’s Annie Last and Switzerland’s Nino Schurter both won their respective races at round four of the UCI XCO World Cup in front of a capacity crowd.

For Last, it was the realisation of a long-held dream but it wasn’t easy. The early pace of the elite women’s race was determined by the winner of round three, Yana Belomoina and the veteran Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå.

Annie Last claims her first World Cup win

Heavy thunderstorms the night before had taken their toll on the relatively flat and technical Swiss track leaving conditions were tricky.

As the battle wore on, it was Last who was on the move up at the sharp end and she held on to secure the first British World Cup XCO win for over two decades with Dahle Flesjå and Belomoina finishing behind.

Canadian Emily Batty finished 7th, 1:33 behind Annie Last

Last said, “I have had a tough couple of years, so even to be racing at the front felt incredible. It has not sunk in yet. Unbelievable, so happy.

“An hour and a half race was perfect and having that one lap shorter meant I could get going properly. Today I said to myself, ‘Ride your race, ride your race’ and it paid off.”

Dahle Flesjå added, “Very happy for Annie winning her first World Cup race ever. I told her she has a lot of years to look forward to. I am happy with second place.”

Wet and slippery conditions challenged the Elite racers

The elite men’s race got underway shortly after thunder and torrential rain had further ravaged the track with home favourite Schurter under the biggest pressure.

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and France’s Maxime Marrotte kept him honest early on, however his old sparring partner Jaroslav Kulhavy was the man who produced the biggest move late on.

The Czech powerhouse produced an incredible last lap, but he could not overhaul Schurter who held on for a three-second victory that keeps his unbeaten 2017 run intact with Russian Anton Sintsov third.

Schurter said, “It is amazing to win back home with so many people cheering for me. I didn’t have the best feeling at the beginning. Super slippery and I didn’t have the best tyres on.

“I saw Jaroslav coming second last lap and I was lucky that it was one lap shorter than it was supposed to be.”

Jordan Sarrou finished 6th, less than one minute behind Schurter

Kulhavy added, “Incredible race after that start. I like the technical sections of this track. I couldn’t race normally before, but today was a normal race and I am really happy with a podium.”

The series moves next to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada for the penultimate round on August 5-6.


Elite Women’s result:

1. Annie Last GBR
2. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå NOR
3. Yana Belomoina UKR
4. Jolanda Neff SWI
5. Helen Grobert GER

29. Bec Henderson AUS
61. Kathryn McIncerney AUS
65. Sarah Riley AUS

Jolanda Neff, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå , Annie Last, Yana Belomoina, Helen Grobert – Elite Women’s podium

Elite Men’s result:

1. Nino Schurter SWI
2. Jaroslav Kulhavy CZE
3. Anton Sintsov RUS
4. Maxime Marotte FRA
5. David Valero Serrano SPN

84. Cam Ivory AUS
93. Sebastian Jayne AUS
96. Russell Nankervis AUS

Maxime Marotte, Jaroslav Kulhavý, Nino Schurter, Anton Sintsov, David Valero Serrano stand on the podium at UCI XCO World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland

U23 Women’s result:

1. Kate Courtney USA
2. Sina Frei SUI
3. Evie Richards GBR

41. Holly Harris AUS

U23 Men’s result:

1. Martins Blums LAT
2. Maximilian Brandl GER
3. Nadir Collendani ITA

59. Callum Carson AUS
75. Tasman Nankervis AUS
93. Reece Tucknott AUS

Nino Schurter, another win toward a potential ‘perfect season’

Success For Schurter, Stirnemann, Suss And Stenerhag at Absa Cape Epic

Nino Schurter and ... took the win in the mens category.
Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann took the win in the mens category.

Watch highlights video below.


Swiss duo Schurter and Stirnemann (SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing) were first time winners of the men’s race, while Süss and Stenerhag (Meerendal CBC) claimed the Hansgrohe Women’s category.

It was Stenerhag’s first win in her fourth attempt, while for Süss it was a third title after winning the Mixed in 2011 and the Women’s category in 2012.

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Stirnemann wins the Absa Cape Epic in his first attempt, while for Schurter, a bronze, silver and gold Olympic medal winner in cross-country racing, the win comes in his fourth Cape Epic – his previous best had been a fifth place in 2014.

The current Olympic and world champion, cool and calm as ever at the end, admitted that the strategy was always to come and win the Absa Cape Epic, but only in 2018.

“The plan was to come here in 2018 and win, but we are a year early!” said Schurter. “This is very special. To win the Olympics and then come to South Africa and win the Absa Cape Epic, that is great. After Rio it was always my intention to come and win the race, but this has taken us by surprise. I thought next year would be our year. We are ahead of schedule.”

Stirnemann called the moment ‘unreal’ and said only tonight or tomorrow will he be able to let it all sink in. “This is amazing, just amazing. I really can’t believe it.”

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In the Hansgrohe Women’s category, there were emotional scenes at the finish. A year after having heart surgery Swede Jennie Stenerhag wept on Sunday as she and Esther Süss won the Absa Cape Epic in their first effort as a team.

“Since that day my biggest goal was to try and come back to win this race,” said Stenerhag. “To pull it off is something completely unreal. I cannot believe that I am standing here as the winner. I think we won by keeping everything smooth and consistent. We just kept calm and never thought we could win until now when we crossed the line.”

Experience and consistency were key to that win when Süss from Switzerland and Stenerhag crossed the line as third women’s team at the final stage to Val de Vie Estate near Paarl, but having done enough to claim a convincing victory overall in the Hansgrohe Women’s category.

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Süss was ecstatic about the win.

“I am only happy, happy, happy!” said the 2010 Marathon World Champion. “It was quite tough and fast and you had to really be focused because something can happen so fast. I am only happy.”

In the race for the Absa African special jersey, presented to the best all-African team at the Cape Epic, there was only going to be one winner after a strong week of riding from PYGA Euro Steel. Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys were in command of the jersey all week, and finished strongly yet again to claim seventh overall at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic.

“It was a great Absa Cape Epic!” said Buys. “It’s a pity we missed out on a stage win, but we really put everything out there today and we are really happy with the red jersey. We learned a lot this Epic, so I’m sure we will come back smarter.”

In the Virgin Active Mixed race the Scott-Sram Nextlevel duo of 22-year-old Rio Olympic Champion and 1996 world champion Jenny Rissveds of Sweden and 47-year-old Thomas Frischknecht of Switzerland were in a class of their own.

On Sunday they finished off a clean sweep of eight victories in eight days as they cruised to a massive 65-minute win overall over South Africans Grant Usher and Amy Beth McDougall (joBerg2c-Valencia), with Johan Labuschagne and Briton Catherine Williamson (RBI Tech – Mitas) a further 45 minutes a back in third.

In the Dimension Data Masters category, Australian Cadel Evans and American George Hincapie (BMC Absa Racing Team), riding in their first Cape Epic, got stronger with each day of the event. Starting the final day almost three minutes behind the category leaders Tomi Misser and Ibon Zugasti (Orbea Factory) of Spain, Evans and Hincapie cycled like demons to overtake Orbea Factory.

Cadel Evans made a return to racing, taking our the masters category with fellow road racer George Hincappie.
Cadel Evans made a return to racing, taking our the masters category with fellow road racer George Hincapie.

They eventually won the category comfortably, ending the day five minutes ahead of the team that had lead the category for most of the Absa Cape Epic. Evans and Hincapie finished 20th overall.

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“I didn’t know it was this hard, but fortunately I got in shape as the race went on,” said Hincapie. “I stay relatively fit at home but not by any means for this kind of effort. I’d love to be back next year and race again.”

There was no such drama in the Grand Masters category, with Swiss/Austrian duo Barti Bucher and Heinz Zoerweg (Meerendal CBC 3) leading from start to finish. They finishing 34th overall and won their category by an extravagantly comfortable two-and-a-half hours.

Diepsloot MTB Academy riders William Mokgopo and Philimon Sebona crossed the finish line in high spirits yet again, and after an impressive week of riding, claimed the Exxaro special jersey and finished the event in 42nd place overall. As they crossed the line, a delighted crowd clapped and cheered as the pair exchanged high fives and hugs with their team managers.

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William Mokgopo and Philimon Sebona claimed the Exxaro special jersey.

“It was difficult stuff today,” said Mokgopo. “I’m not a flat terrain type of person, I prefer it up and down and that’s the type of rider I am. I just try relax more when it comes to flats and really push it in the undulations. But today we didn’t need to do any work, we just enjoyed ourselves.”

N1NO – The Hunt for Glory – Chapter 14 “The Glorious Chapter”

On August 21st 2016, N1NO Schurter completed his collection of Olympic medals by winning Gold in Rio de Janeiro, after winning the Bronze medal in Beijing in 2008, and Silver in London in 2012.

The 5x UCI MTB World Champion had not only set himself the biggest goal, but also put himself under tremendous pressure to succeed in his Hunt for Glory. Now that the hunt has ended in glory, N1NO breaks down the last few years for us.

Flow’s First Bite: 2017 Scott Scale

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The Scale RC SL is the flagship model in the Scale lineup, the challenge to find a lighter bike off the shelf is set.

Check out the Scott Spark too, and our first impressions of the dual suspension brother to the Scale here: 2017 Scott Spark.


New Scott Scale

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This thing is incredibly fast, the responsiveness is superb.

Dropping weight at the same time improving the comfort and handling of a new bike must be quite a tall task to pull off, but from what we’ve seen it’s all about the small gains from every section of the frame, adding up to a final product that leaves the big name brands behind in the race of the lightest hardtail frame.

Nino Schurter raced this bike at the Albstadt World Cup.
Nino Schurter raced this bike at the Albstadt World Cup, he won it too.

“In today’s market it’s getting easier for anyone to go to Asia and release a mediocre carbon hardtail frame and call it good. That’s where we are different. Focussing passionately on every little detail, no matter how small the gain is really sets us apart from everybody else, and puts the new Scale firmly ahead of the competition.” Dan Roberts, Scott Scale Engineer.

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Skinny and bow-legged like an old salty cowboy.

Using a new carbon layup procedure in the frame Scott’s carbon engineers are able to make the most of their latest HMX-SL composite material (found on their high end road bikes) to reduce mass around the larger sections of the frame. Boost hub spacing comes into the Scott range for 2017 allowing for more freedom to push sections of the frame outwards, the wider hub, chain line and the single-ring specific drivetrain version and use of the new Shimano side swing front derailleur arrangement lets the Scale engineers get serious on creating big shapes where they need them. But its the rear end of the frame that most of the weight loss is, er, gained.

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Slenderness meets brawn. The down tube are beefy but the top tube and seat stays are slim.
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Good looking stuff.

SDS2 Shock Damping System: The Scale even looks comfortable just standing there with its wafer-thin seat stays and curvy seat tube, can’t say that we’ve haven’t seen such a slender rear on a mountain bike before. Claiming a 35% increase in seated comfort than the previous Scale, and 27% more comfort when standing, there’s a lot of focus on this area for the new frame. The new frame shapes are said to allow 6mm of flex in the frame at the seat tub and the dropouts can move 2.5mm in the event of a hard impact.

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Two distinct regions of the frame give the Scale its comfort and stiffness.
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The beefy downtube swoops into fat chain stays, while the upper part of the frame remains reactive to impacts.

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Brake Mount: The new Scott Spark and Scale share the clever new brake mount which attaches to the chain stay and rear hub axle, this allows the seat stays to flex more freely, and results in a cleaner and lighter dropout on that side.Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 3.19.32 PM

Note how the brake mount doesn't attach to the seat stays.
Note how the brake mount doesn’t attach to the seat stays.

SW Dropout: The new sandwich dropout is also an area of weight saving, on the Spark also. Available for both Shimano Direct Mount and SRAM it integrates into the thu-axle for a leaner and stiffer section.

New vs old dropouts.
New vs old dropouts.

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Geometry: You may have seen on RedBull TV that the World Cup courses are becoming increasingly gnarly, the technicality of racing has come a long way in the last few years and it is more than just a climbers race. Hence the evolution of frame geometry, and the changes in the new Scale. The 29er is 13mm shorter in the stays on 29er and combines that with a steeper seat angle and a longer reach.

Longer reach, shorter stays and slacker head angles on the new Scale.
Longer reach, shorter stays and slacker head angles on the new Scale.

Three versions of the Scale

Scale RC 700 / Scale 700:

The bike of choice of World Champ Nino Schurter, the 27.5″ wheel version of the Spark is the lightest in the whole class, and combine that with the inherently quick acceleration from the smaller wheels you have a race bike for the punchier and faster courses, or simply a more lively and agile race bike than its bigger wheel brother in the 900 series.

SCALE RC 700 / SCALE 700
Scale RC 700 / Scale 700

Scale RC 900 / Scale 900:

29er hardtail for the longer races, or for riders enjoying the confidence and stability of a 29er wheel. We may even see Nino racing the Rio Olympics on this bike, as the rolling course favours a 29″ wheel.

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Scale RC 900 / Scale 900
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This is the ultimate race bike, no stone left unturned in the quest for the lightest and most efficient bike in the XC/marathon scene.

Scale Plus:

While it may not score all the delicious carbon details of the bikes above, the aluminium frame Scale Plus is the only hardtail you should ride if racing is not on the agenda. This thing is so capable, with laid-back geometry, 120mm travel forks, a dropper post and monster 2.8″ tyres it can handle anything you throw at it.

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Scale Plus
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The new Scale Plus is right on the money with spec for 2017, we’d love to have this bike on test again.

We’ll be getting our grubby mitts on these bikes for a proper review as soon as possible, stay tuned for more ridiculously light carbon from Scott.

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N1NO – The Hunt for Glory – Hittin’ the Gym with the Champ

The reasons behind Nino Schurter being one of the most iconic mountain bikers of all time is ever growing. One thing that sets him apart from the rest is the atypical way he trains and prepares for the season.

Nino decided to reject traditional training methods and to re-think mountain bike training from the ground up. What does a mountain bike racer actually need?

What do Cross-Country races require from a rider?

The first part of “Hitting the Gym with Nino Schurter” dives into Nino’s coordination and balance workout, which Nino and his coach have built specifically for the needs of mountain bike racers. It combines power, coordination and regeneration exercises, replicating a race environment.

Get a look at some never before seen cycling workouts that could very well change the way you ride a bike.

N1NO – The Hunt for Glory – Chapter 8 “Nino Bike Days”

We all know that Nino Schurter has a big bag of tricks- we see some of them in most World Cup races. In Chapter 8 of #HUNTFORGLORY, N1NO takes us to “Nino Bike Days”, an event where Nino gets to give back to his massive fan base teaching them a few tricks of their own.

Every year at the end of the season, the 4 time XC World Champion puts his coaching hat on and spends time with mountain bikers of all ability levels. It’s a way for Nino to give others some of his MTB knowledge that he has accumulated over his career.

The “Nino Bike Days” were held this year in Flims Laax, one of the many progressive mountain bike resorts in Switzerland, located just in Nino’s backyard.

N1NO – The Hunt for Glory – Chapter 6: Making History

In one of the most exciting XCO Racing seasons in history, N1NO Schurter took back the coveted rainbow jersey.

It is the 4th Elite World Championship title of his career. His 10th victory this year marked the 29 year old SCOTT athlete’s best ever season.

Coming to World Championships after winning three World Cup races in a row made N1NO the clear favourite for the Worlds title.

Check out N1NO´s season recap and learn more how this World Championship title was brought back home.

N1NO – #huntforglory Chapter 5 – In Search of the Beginning

N1NO`s 5th chapter of his #huntforglory webisode is all about a journey to the roots of Mountain biking. The 3x MTB World Champion meets one of the Godfathers of Mountain biking, Tom Ritchey, at his home in Skyline, Northern California.

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Tom Ritchey is the guy who was already racing bicycles, which we call “Mountain bikes” today, back in the 1970s on his backyard trails in the hills of Skyline and Santa Cruz. He built the first Mountain bike frame, and since those early days, every new invention has been chased by another.

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Over the years Tom’s focus has shifted from frame building to component design, but his obsession with functional, lightweight and reliable equipment has not wavered. Many Ritchey designs and manufacturing methods have become industry standards.

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Mountain bike racing has always been something Tom Ritchey has been passionate about. 3x World Champion Thomas Frischknecht was part of Ritchey`s Racing team in the 1990’s. Still today, Tom creates World Championship winning parts for the top guys like N1NO. As a Co-Sponsor of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing, Tom contributes to the Team`s success with innovative products and his experience.

“Tom Ritchey is a pretty down-to-earth guy. It`s amazing to meet and ride with this legend, and it`s a privilege to have him on our side. Check out Chapter 5 and watch how we treated the trails, of which Tom stated, “That`s where it all started”. ”

Nino Schurter.

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N1NO – THE HUNT FOR GLORY – Chapter 4 “There is no place like home”

There is no place like home. Chapter 4 of Nino Schurter`s #HUNTFORGLORY shows the 3x World Champion in his familiar surroundings.

Nino is known for being a professional mountain bike athlete, always on the run, and always busy. Yet Chapter 4 is all about Nino’s roots, where it all started, and what he is doing when not surrounded by cameras but rather by his family and friends. Check out where Nino takes you on a very private tour.

N1NO – the Hunt for Glory – Chapter 2 – On the Go

Being on a professional MTB team, there is a lot of travelling involved- before and during race time. Nino Schurter and SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing spent a decent amount of time in South Africa and California preparing for the upcoming World Cup season, which starts this coming weekend in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic..

South Africa is where the team heads every year to start their season. Unlike recent years, Nino Schurter kicked-off the pre-olympic race season at the Bonelli US CUP and the Sea Otter Classic in California. “At Sea Otter, my team mate Jenny Rissveds and I competed in four races, and it resulted in 4 podiums. It was a very cool experience to race in California and definitely felt good to bike where MTB was born,” Nino says.

Chapter 2 gives an inside view into the team`s life and all the preparation professional racing requires. “Everything we do in 2015 has just one goal: to be the most fit possible for the Olympic Race in Rio in 2016.”

The Cross Country Boys Who Are a Class Apart

Will 2015 see another World Cup duel between perennial favourites Julian Absalon and Nino Schurter?

It was fitting that the two men that have dominated the men’s cross-country circuit in the last decade, France’s Julien Absalon and Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, fought out an epic 2014 edition of the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Cup.

Absalon and Schurter went into the seventh and round of last season, at Méribel, locked on three race wins each following a World Cup series dominated by the pair. Schurter finished the French race in first but behind him in second was Absalon, and with that finish the Frenchman secured the overall World Cup title for a sixth time.

There is no doubt that these two will continue to be right in front of the competition for the 2015 edition of World Cup. Younger by six years, Nino Schurter remains the hot favourite for the overall but given last season’s form you can’t rule out the 34-year-old Absalon springing more surprises.

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Will Kulhavy have a better year than 2014?
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Nino missed Cairns World Cup to attend a few road races, we hope we’ll see him all year this time.
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Going for his 30th World Cup win, Absalon is dominant.
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Dan’s 2014 season wasn’t as standout as 2013 with a win in Germany, but still finished high up in the overall series with a consistent performance.
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Man machine, Julien Absalon.

The rest of the field has very much been left in the shadow of these two greats in recent years with no one really emerging as a consistent challenger. Australia’s Daniel McConnell, a winner in Albstadt in 2013 and a man who has finished second and third in the overall in 2013 and 2014 respectively, could be the one to break the Absalon-Schurter hegemony, while other names worth looking out for with an eye to a World Cup win are Germany’s Manuel Fumicand his Cannondale team-mate Marco Fontana.

Check the video above for a quick recap of the 2014 season as a teaser for this year’s World Cup.

Tune in on May 24 to watch live coverage of the women’s XCO race from Nové Město na Moravě. Watch the UCI World Cup LIVE on Red Bull TV – available online and on mobile via Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

N1NO – The Hunt for Glory – Chapter 1 Work Hard Play Hard

Nino Schurter belongs on the list of the most successful mountain bike athletes in history. The 3 time World Champion is the leader of SCOTT Odlo MTB Racing, the international XC team run by bike legend Thomas Frischknecht.

“N1NO – The Hunt for Glory” is Nino Schurter`s first set of “webisodes.” The new video series features various chapters illustrating Nino`s colourful life as a professional mountain bike athlete during the pre-olympic year. It´s not only about how Nino prepares for the biggest goal of his career, the golden medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, but it‘s also about shredding trails, travelling around the world, and all the fun that mountain biking brings.

 

XCO World Cup Highlights and Replay from Nové Město na Moravě

Third win for Schurter in Nove Mesto – he attacks from outset.

The men’s race was expected to be a showdown between Julien Absalon (BMC), winner of the first two rounds, and World Champion Schurter, who flatted in the first round and skipped the second for a stint on the road. Schurter threw the gauntlet down by attacking immediately, and was in the lead by the first lap.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano returned to Europe for Round 3 of the cross-country series under almost perfect weather conditions in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, and the riders responded with superb racing. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Liv Pro XC) took the first Elite victory of her career in the women’s race.

Ferrand Prevot, an Under-23 rider who is competing in the Elite category, charged to the front on the opening start loop from back on the fifth row in the start order, and had a slight gap on Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida), World Cup leader Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) and Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory) as they started the first of five laps. Her gap steadily increased through the race, as she consistently laid down the fastest lap times on every lap.

Click this link for the full replay.

Nino Schurter: Master of the Trail

World Cross-Country MTB Champ Nino Schurter roams the legendary trails of Southern Utah’s Gooseberry Mesa and Guacamole aboard his Scott Genius LT.

Schurter is much more than your typical World Cup XC racer; his love for speed and style while discovering and exploring challenging lines help him Master the Trail.