Nino Schurter wins tenth MTB World Championship in France - no medals for SA

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With his tenth world championship win, it is assured that there will never be a rider like Nino Schurter again. (Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)
With his tenth world championship win, it is assured that there will never be a rider like Nino Schurter again. (Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)
  • History is made in Les Gets, with Switzerland’s greatest rider showing his class.
  • A tough weekend for South Africa, with medal contenders falling short of podiums.
  • French riders dominated in many of the categories.

Despite the threat of rain, ideal conditions prevailed for the UCI mountain bike World Championships in Les Gets, France.

Home advantage was a theme of the event weekend, with French riders taking many of the gold medals on Saturday and Sunday.

For team South Africa it was an indifferent weekend. Last year’s downhill world championship, Greg Minnaar, qualified well but finished 11th.

French riders took the first three positions in the men’s downhill event, with Loïc Bruni winning his fifth world championship.

mountain bike
Loic Bruni, being embraced by the massive French crowd, in Les Gets. (Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Ferrand-Prevot wins a fourth MTB XCO gold medal 

Fulfilling the potential she showed as a teenager, Austria's 20-year old Vali Höll won the first of what promises to be many downhill world championships in the women’s race.

Sunday’s XCO event saw exhilarating racing. In the women’s race, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot showed why she is one of the greatest riders in history, winning her fourth XCO gold medal.

With her victory, Ferrand-Prevot has now won world championships in cyclocross, road cycling and mountain biking.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot has won everything you can, on a road or off-road bike. (Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Not a happy day for Pidcock 

The men’s XCO race was billed as a battle of youth against experience. Olympic mountain bike gold medallist and Tour de France stage winner, Tom Pidcock, was expected to undo the destiny of Nino Schurter winning a tenth world championship.

Pidcock started unfavourably, falling way behind the leaders on the first lap. Despite valiantly charging through the field, Pidcock then suffered a flat tyre, requiring him to swap a wheel in the technical zone, on lap five.

mountain bike
Despite a challenging year, battling Swiss rivals, Schurter’s steely resolve, has prevailed. (Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Nino now the greatest 

Despite a tremendous riding effort, Pidcock could not threaten the leaders, suffering a minor crash on the penultimate lap and eventually finishing fourth.

Switzerland’s Nino Schurter took his tenth world championship title with a tremendous performance in Les Gets. This win inarguably settles any debate about his status as the best XCO mountain bike racer of all time. 

Having won the Cape Epic and regularly using Stellenbosch as his off-season training base, Schurter is well known to South African mountain biking fans.

South Africa’s Alan Hatherly, a podium favourite, experienced a frustrating Sunday afternoon in Les Gets, not gaining the podium finish he expected. 

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