Admittedly race coverage on Mtbr is sporadic. We’re a product focused website. But some athletic achievements simply demand attention — and this is one of those cases. With his win at the World Cup finals this past weekend in Val di Sole, Italy, Nino Schurter completed a 6-for-6 sweep of the season series, a feat never before achieved in men’s XC racing.
The reigning Olympic champion now turns his attention to this year’s last remaining goal, defend his World Champion jersey in Cairns, Australia in two weeks.
Schurter says the six-race sweep was not a target at the beginning of the season. But after the first four consecutive World Cup wins, he saw the challenge of achieving something nobody else had done before.
“I’m stoked but would like to point out that apart from my performance, it takes a good portion of luck and a reliable team and equipment,” said Schurter. “A special thank goes to my mechanic Yanick Gyger and my Scott Spark 900. A whole World Cup season without one mechanical — that’s not a coincidence. It’s an essential prerequisite for success.”
The World Cup overall title was already secured after five rounds. The final round in Val di Sole could have just been ceremonial. But of course Schurter wanted to prove to himself and to his competitors that he is in best shape ever and is ready to defend his World Champion title.
It didn’t take long for Schurter to place an early attack to spread out the field. Frenchman Stephane Tempier was the only one able to close the gap. They worked together well, with Schurter having a bit of an advantage on the descents. Behind the leading duo a group of five riders along with Julien Absalon, Jaroslav Kulhavy and Florian Vogel chased the leaders, but never closed the gap.
It came down to the same finale as two years ago against Julien Absalon. At the exact same spot only a minute before the finish line, Schurter launched an attack to ride to his 26th career World Cup victory.
The win served to further cement Schurter’s status as arguably the greatest men’s XC racer of all time. The Swiss rider now has three Olympic medals (gold, silver, bronze), five World Championship titles, and now five World Cup overall titles.