The SCOTT-Swisspower Mountain Bike Racing Team had a successful second round of the 2010 Maremma Cup in Massa Marittima, Tuscany with Florian Vogel and Nino Schurter earning second and third spots on the podium respectively.
As a stop on the World Cup calendar this year, Maremma attracted the world’s elite riders including Italian Champion Marco Aurelio Fontana, European Champion Ralph Näf, Olympic Champion Julien Absalon, Spanish Champion Jose Antonio Hermida, World Champion Nino Schurter, and Swiss Champion Florian Vogel.
A lead group containing Fontana, Näf and Vogel formed early in the race. The trio had soon managed to build an eighteen second advantage over their pursuers. Not far behind, Schurter kept the pressure on trying to bridge his way up to the leaders. Despite his best efforts he was neither able to cross the gap to the leaders, nor drop his chase companions, including perennial strongman Absalon.
The blistering pace set by Vogel and Fontana left Näf struggling to maintain contact before he eventually faded back into the pack. Seeing the revitalized potential for a podium finish, Schurter renewed his attacking strategy. The fight for third place turned into a reenactment of the 2009 XC World Championship in Canberra with Absalon and Schurter going head to head.
Out front, the two protagonists seemed evenly matched until Vogel started experiencing mechanical problems. Fontana took full advantage by attacking and stealing the victory. In spite of the technical difficulties, Vogel finished a solid second place, less than thirty seconds, back and showed that he will indeed be a force with which to be reckoned for the 2010 season. Schurter crossed the line in third, having again out battled Absalon.
Ranking Open Men
1) FONTANA Marco Aurelio (CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING) 1.43.35
2) VOGEL Florian (SCOTT-SWISSPOWER MTB-Racing) 1.44.04
3) SCHURTER Nino (SCOTT-SWISSPOWER MTB-Racing) 1.44.37
source: Adrian Montgomery