Posted by Editoress on 05/23/10
The men are just about to start.
It is a large field of 228 on the start list, with all the top riders in attendance. Ral Näf will not start, he has strep throat and decided not to start, but he is the only one of the top riders who will not be racing. They will do a start loop and then 7 full laps of the 5.1 km course for a total of 36.8 km
The sun is shining, but a brisk wind has come up, so in the open sectons will provide somewhat of a hindrance for lone riders
Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing), Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing), Jaroslav Kulhavy (Rubena - Birell - Specialize) at the front around the loop
Schurter and Fumic still leading as they head out onto the 1st lap
Kabush sitting 33rd, Zandstra 70th
Shurter leading with a couple seconds gap on Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Orbea) who are together. Jaroslav Kulhavy (Rubena - Birell - Specialize) is 4th at a couple more seconds. It is starting to string out now as teh lead riders are setting a very fast pace
Snake Pit: Absalon has caught Shurter. and they are together with a chaser Cueto? Kulhavy at a couple seconds
As they start the 2nd lap Absalon, Schurter and Kulhavy are all together. Stander in 4th chasing at 10 sec. Christoph Sauser (Specialized Factory Racing) 5th, Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing) 6th, Alexis Vuillermoz (Lapierre International) 7th, Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) 8th, Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Trek-Lorca Taller Del Tiempo) 9th, Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) 10th
World Cup leader José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team) 12th
Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) 20th, Samuel Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher) 24th, Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) 39th, Zandstra 76th
Absalon and Schurter have dropped Kulhavy, now ~ 12 sec back. Stander in 4th is chasing hard. A chase group of 4 is (Fluckiger, Sauser, Fontana, Ruzafa) a few more seconds back
Absalon and Schurter still leading. Kulhavy has lost ground and Stander is in danger of being caught by the chase group of now 9 riders: Sauser, Hermida, both Fluckiger bros, Fontana, Ruzafa and.....
Absalon and Schurter with Kulhavy at 32 sec. Stander at 48 sec. Then the chase group of now 7 at 57 sec.
Wells 23rd, Kabush 30th, Zandstra 67th
Partway through the lap and the chase group is getting bigger with Wolfram Kurschat (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) and Carlos Coloma (Msc Bikes) making their way onto the back of it
Absalon is putting the pressure on and has taken the lead on the descent at Northshore. The pace at the front has really increased and the chasers are getting further back
Absalon has dropped Nino - looks like Schurter has crashed or lost time at Wolfsdrop
Kulhavy still losing ground. Chasers now 6 with Sauser, 2 Fluckiger bros, Vogel, Hermida, Fontana
Absalon is away and has over 20 sec on Schurter
Heading out to start the 4th lap.
Absalon, Schurter at 35 sec, Kulhavy at 1:25, Hermida 4th at 1:33, Vogel at 1:34, Sauser s.t., Fontana s.t. , Fluckigers at 1:35
Kabush 28th now at 3:31 back, Wells 30th, JHK 49th, Zandstra 74th
Absalon really trying to stretch out his lead over Schurter, but it is holding at 35 sec
Kulhavy is at another 50 sec and is about to be caught by Sauser and Vogel. Then Fontana and the Fluckigers. Hermida has been dropped and is trying to make up the gap
Heading out to the 5th lap, Absalon, Schurter at 43. sec. Kulhavy, Vogel, Sauser, Fontana, and the Fluckiger bros at 55 sec. Hermida 9th at 1:05
Stander is fading fast 26th now and Kabush has passed him - sitting 23rd now - 3:56 back
Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet Cycling Team 27th, Wells 33rd, JHK 46th
Absalon has opened up another 15 sec on Schurter
Sauser has moved into the 3rd spot followed by Vogel and Kulhavy
Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing) 6th, José Hermida 6th
Absalon still leading, Schurter at 52 sec. Chase group of 3 at another 48 sec
Starting the 2nd last lap: Absalon leading Schurter by 59 sec
Kulhavy, Sauser and Vogel at another 45 sec. Flückiger 6th, Hermida 7th, Kurschat 8th, Fontana 9th,
Absalon has been riding the faster but more difficult line through the Snake Pit. Schurter and chase group has not .. and losing time?
Kabush and Fontana are the other top riders using the same line as Absalon.
Kabush now up to 16th position
Absalon still leading with Schurter at 1 min.
Sauser leading the chase group of Mathias Flückiger , Kulhavy and Vogel at another 40 sec
As they head to start the final lap, Absalon leading Schurter with a lead of 1:08
As the cross the line to start the final lap the gap from Absalon to Schurter is 56 sec. Chase group of 3: Kulhavy, Sauser and Vogel at 1:26. Mathias Flückiger 6th at 1:48, Hermida 7th at 2:31
Absalon, Schurter at 48 sec. Sauser and Kulhavy at 1:23 have dropped Vogel
Kulhavy has attacked and dropped Sauser to move into the 3rd spot
1 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea, 1:53:36
2 Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing, at 0:49
3 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized, 1:08
4 Christoph Sauser (Sui) Specialized Factory Racing, 1:24
5 Florian Vogel (Sui) Scott-Swisspower Mtb-Racing, 1:35
6 Mathias Flückiger * (Sui) Trek World Racing, 2:20
7 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Esp) Multivan Merida Biking Team, 2:25
8 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Esp) Orbea, 3:27
9 Wolfram Kurschat (Ger) Topeak Ergon Racing Team, 3:38
10 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Esp) Orbea, 3:46
15 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, 4:56
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