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Enjoyment Nino Schurter in Val di Sole: but Luca Braidot is there

Ninth affirmation in Trentino for Nino Schurter. Italy is also smiling with Luca Braidot excellent fourth and Avondetto sixth: dreaming of Paris is now possible.

The joy of Nino Schurter on the finish line in Val di Sole (Credits: Michele Mondini)

In an Olympic season, in which five-ring ambitions influence the choices of an entire year, there always comes a moment in which the cards are revealed, in which those who dream big want and must demonstrate, to their opponents and to themselves, the its true value.

Source: press release

The public on special occasions accompanied the triumph of Nino Schurter (Credits: Giacomo Podetti)

There were many who thought that, for the protagonists of the Cross Country, this moment would arrive precisely in Val di Sole, six weeks from Paris, in a great classic on the world circuit: one of those days in which winning always counts for something more.

On Sunday 16 June, Daolasa di Commezzadura witnessed a show of absolute cycling nobility, and the names of the Val di Sole 2024 champions leave no room for doubt. Nino Schurter and Pauline Ferrand-Prèvot, the most successful athletes in the world of Mountain Bike, in Trentino wanted to set the record straight, showing up alone - and with a margin - to receive the roar of the Daolasa public at the finish line (20.000 entries into the weekend), spectacular as only Val di Sole can be.

For Schurter the tally of laurels in Val di Sole reaches nine, two World Cups and seven World Cups, Ferrand-Prèvot rises to three. For both it could have been the last time, with the Swiss motivated to crown an immense career with another Olympic medal, and the Frenchwoman destined to concentrate on the road from 2025, hopefully with the Paris gold around her neck, the last title that she lacks in off-road racing. If it really was the last dance in Val di Sole, it certainly would have been beautiful.

Ninth victory in Val di Sole for Nino Schurter (Credits: Giacomo Podetti)

But it was also a beautiful afternoon for the Azzurri, especially the men's team: after the most difficult start to the season in recent years, Luca Braidot returned to roar as he knows how, as he promised to do after the courageous Short Track on Friday. His fourth place, overtaken in a sprint by Azzaro for third place, has the flavor of a redemption, but above all it has all the air of a visa for the Olympic adventure, one that suddenly seemed like it might get out of hand.

With him in Paris there should be Simone Avondetto, the European Champion who overcame a nightmare start to climb, lap after lap, up to sixth position. In the event that symbolizes its movement on a global level, Italy has found its feet again: now you can dream of the podium in Paris.

In the career of every phenomenon there is an event, a place, a path in which he manages to raise the level to the point of becoming almost insurmountable.

Nino Schurter, the ring from Cross Country Val di Sole Bikeland is a bit like the Wimbledon center for his illustrious compatriot Roger Federer. From this year, perhaps, even something more.

If Federer wins at Wimbledon under eight, Nino Schurter today he played his ninth symphony from a legendary repertoire. It was clear from the start lap that the Swiss from Team Scott-SRAM was having one of those days where everything comes easy to him. Schurter was the author of a rocket start that immediately made a first selection: with him, Hatherly (Cannondale), Sarrou (BMC) and Vidaurre (Specialized).

Luca Braidot followed by the European Champion Simone Avondetto (Credits: Michele Mondini)

A leap of pride from Azzaro (Decathlon) and Colombo (Scott-SRAM) allowed a second group to return in the second lap, also including the Italian Champion jersey of Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz).

In the third lap, a new tear from Schurter made the hole again, taking only Hatherly with it. Behind them, the race for third place was played in a small group whose composition varied several times, and which at the end also saw the European Champion Simone Avondetto (Wilier-Vittoria) return, author of a notable comeback from the rear. At the beginning of the fifth round, Schurter took advantage of Hatherly's pass into the feed zone to give another acceleration, this time decisive.

Behind the first two, Braidot, Avondetto, Azzaro, Colombo, Guerrini, Forster and Sarrou fought for third place. Luca Braidot tried to impose the pace uphill on the last lap, finding only Colombo and Azzaro to respond. At the finish line, Schurter, at his 36th victory in the World Cup (the first of the season: he hadn't won since Val di Sole 2023) and his 80th podium, preceded Hatherly by 8" while the sprint for third position it was won by Mathis Azzaro ahead of Luca Braidot, fourth, and Filippo Colombo completing the top 5 at 46”.

Fourth place and great performance for the Italian Champion Luca Braidot (Credits: Daniele Molineris)

“I'm excited, I love Val di Sole,” said Schurter after crossing the finish line. – “The new route is interesting, very physical but at the same time tactical intelligence is needed. My plan was to make the race tough from the start: start strong and maintain a high pace. Towards the middle of the race I tried to manage to save some energy, but I realized that I had to persist in my action to get the upper hand. At 38, still being at the top here is a privilege."

For Luca Braidot, fourth place represents a step, perhaps a decisive one, towards Paris: “I am very happy with this result and the progress I am making, even if in the end I made a mistake in setting the sprint. I worked a lot to get into this state of form and I feel ready for the Olympics: even if I was the only one left who believed in it, they were and remain my main goal of the season.”

Sixth was the other Italian Simone Avondetto: “I started a little behind, but I felt good. When I rejoined the second group we fought it out, unfortunately I missed something in the final laps. It's a shame about the podium, but I'm confident for what will be, starting with the call-ups for the Games."

MEN'S ELITE RANKING

1.SCHURTER Nino (SCOTT-SRAM MTB RACING TEAM)1:18:25
2.HATHERLY Alan (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING)1:18:32
+7
3.AZZARO Mathis (DECATHLON FORD RACING TEAM)1:19:11
+46
4.BRAIDOT Luke (SANTA CRUZ ROCKSHOX PRO TEAM)1:19:11
+46
5.COLUMBUS Philip (SCOTT-SRAM MTB RACING TEAM)1:19:11
+46
6.AVONDETTO Simone (WILIER-VITTORIA FACTORY TEAM XCO)1:19:21
+56
7.GUERRINI Marcel (BIXS PERFORMANCE RACE TEAM)1:19:23
+58
8.FORSTER Lars (THOMUS MAXON)1:19:25
+ 1: 00
9.SARROU Jordan (TEAM BMC)1:19:28
+ 1: 03
10.SCHUERMANS Jens (GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM – XC)1:19:40
+ 1: 15
11.VIDAURRE KOSSMANN Martin (SPECIALIZED FACTORY RACING)1:19:54
+ 1: 29
12.FLÜCKIGER Mathias (THOMUS MAXON)1:20:22
+ 1: 57
13.SCHWARZBAUER Luke (CANYON CLLCTV XCO)1:20:25
+ 2: 00
14.BRAIDOT Daniel (CS CARABINIERI – OLYMPIA CYCLES)1:20:29
+ 2: 04
15.BLUMS Martins (KMC RIDLEY MTB RACING TEAM)1:20:34
+ 2: 09
16.SCHELB Julian (STOP&GO MARDERABWEHR MTB TEAM)1:20:40
+ 2: 15
17.COLLEDANI Nadir (SANTA CRUZ ROCKSHOX PRO TEAM)1:20:49
+ 2: 24
18.CULLELL ESTAPE Jofre (BH COLOMA TEAM)1:20:56
+ 2: 31
19.BERTOLINI Joel (KTM PROTEK ELECTROSYSTEM)1:20:57
+ 2: 32
20.VALERO SERRANO David (BH COLOMA TEAM)1:20:57
+ 2: 32
COMPLETE RANKING
GENERAL WORLD CUP


Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').

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