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April 15/12 7:23 am - Mountain Bike World Cup Houffalize: Men XC UPDATES

Posted by Editoress on 04/15/12

Welcome to our coverage of the Elite men's race in Houffalize


The large Men's field(160)  is on course after a huge effort from the line as they head out onto the start loop after which they will go 5 full laps


Start loop

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) hit the top of the first climb leading a long LONG line of riders.

Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team), Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team), Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) were on his wheel


8:06 am

Kulhavy now leading Shurter, Absalon, Fumic and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking Team)


There is a group of 15 forming at the front, but it is taking a lot of power and determintation to do it.  This is an almost all power on course, with very little place to get a rest.


8:10 am

Schurter has taken the lead now with Kulhavy struggloing to keep on his wheel


Lap 1 starting  - 5 to go

Schurter leading with Kulhavy 2nd, Fumic 3rd, Absalon 4th, Burry Stander (Specialized Racing) 5th at 9 sec

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Roxracing) 16th at 36 sec back

Zandstra (Scott-3Roxracing) 53rd

Plaxton (Team Canada) 60th


8:16 am

Schurter still leading with Absalon, Fumic and Kulhavy bringing up the rear.  They are starting to get a gap on the chasers Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Stander.


8:20 am

Absalon now leading with Schurter on his wheel, Kulavy 3rd and Fumic 4th at 4 sec


8:22 am

leaders are now 6 with Stander at the back at 7 sec

Then a chase group of 3: Tempier, Lindgren and Vogel at 20 to 25 sec

José Hermida (Multivan Merida Biking Team) 10th at 34 sec

Kabush sitting 15th at 47 sec


8:24 am

Absalon and Schurter are really hitting it hard on the climb after the 1/2 way point.  They have opened a gap on Kulhavy and Fumic

Fontana 3rd out of the saddle and chasing hard



8:27 heading to the end of lap 1 and Schurter is very aggressive


Lap 2  starts

Schurter with Absalon at 2 sec, Fontana 3rd at 8 sec, Stander 4th at 20 sec, Kulhavy 5th at 22 sec, Fumic 6th at s.t.

Kabush 15th at 1:05


8:33 am

Absalon and Schurter are keeping the pressure on


8:36 am 1/2 way through lap 2

Fontana 3rd at 13 sec, Stander 4th at 24 sec, Fumic 5th at s.t., Kulhavy 6th at 42 sec

Kabush up to 11th at 1:14 back


Zandstra 50th and Plaxton 52nd at 3:32


8:43 am

Down the descent heading for the line, Schurter is obviously the better descender


Lap 3 starting

Schurter, with Absalon at 1 sec,  Fontana 3rd at 20 sec

Stander and Fumic 4th and 5th at 39 sec

Florian Vogel (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team) 6th at 1:07

Kulhavy 7th at 1:08

Stéphane Tempier (TX Active Bianchi) 8th at s.t.

Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R la Mondiale) 9th at 1:22

Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) 10th at 1:23

Kabush 12th at s.t.


Zandstra 47th

Plaxton 52nd


8: 52 am 1/2 way point on lap 3

Absalon and Schurter

3rd is Fontana at 19 sec

4th Fumic at 36 sec, 5th Stander at 38 sec

Vogel 6th at 1:17

Tempier 7th at 1:18

Kulhavy 8th at 1:19

Peraud 9th at 1:25

Kabush 10th at 1:37


Schurter starting to up the pressure on the descent


Lap 4 start

Schurter with Absalon at 2 sec

Fontana 3frd at 24 sec

Fumic 4th at 44 sec

Stander 5th at 47 sec

Tempier 6th at 1:28

Vogel 7th at 1:29

Kulhavy 8th at 1:31

Peraud 9th at 1:34

Kabush 10th at 1:47


Todd Wells (Specialized) 44th at 4:46

Zandstra 45th at s.t.

Plaxton 56th

Cameron Jette (Scott - 3Rox) 93rd


9:03 am

Schurter is really starting the push the pace, trying to force Absalon onto the rivet


9:07 am

1/2 way through the 4th lap

Absalon and Schurter

Fontana 3rd at 21 sed

Fumic 4th at 39 sec

Stander 5th at 41 sec

Tempier 6th at 1:33

Kabush 10th at 1:52


9:13 am

Stander has caught Fumic and is starting to challenge for 4th spot


9:14 am

Heading to the finish line and Schurter leading Absalon


Lap 5 - Last lap

Schurter leading with a gap of 3 sec on Absalon

Fontana at 33 sec

Fumic 4th at 51 sec

Stander 5th at 53 sec

Kulhavy 6th at 1:51

Vogel 7th at 1:52

Tempier 8th at 1:53

Peraud 9th

Hermida 10th


Kabush 12th at 2:18



9:16 am

Absalon attacks on the climb


9:18 am

Absalon has a gap, Schurter does not seem to be able to match the pace


9:23 am 1/2 way point on final lap

Absalon, Schurter at 21 sec

Fontana 3rd at 57 sec

Fumic 4th  at 1:18

Stander 5th at 1:19

Kulhavy 6th at 2:04


Kabush 12th at 2:51


9:26 am

Stander attacks, forcing Fumic to chase.  Up the last big climb he has a gap


9:29 am

Absalon on the final descent with a good gap on Schurter




1 Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team)

2 Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team)

3 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing)

4 Burry Stander (Specialized Racing)

5 Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)













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