France won the Cross country team relay
By: Karl Erik Andresen
This years winners are France (52.02min) represented by Jordan Sarrou, Hugo Pigeon, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Maxime Marotte.
Second place was Switzerland (52.47min), Andri Frichknecht, Filippo Colombo, Jolanda Neff and Nino Schurter
Third place Czech Republic (52.57), Krystof Bogar, Jan Rajchart, Katerina Nash and Max Wiklund-Hellstadius.
The favourite, Italy, had a flat tire on the first lap, and was too far behind to be able to contend for a medal the rest of the race. It was very obvious during the competition that the most experienced teams had a tactic to save their strongest riders to finish.
France as one of the favorites managed to stay among the first five throughout the race, Maxime Marotte took the last leg and left all the other riders in his dust before he crossed the finish line 45 seconds before the rest.
The three strongest riders in the last stage all completed with the strong time 12.06, which bodes well for fridays events.
The last riders for Switzerland (Nino Schurter) and Czech Republic (Jaroslav Kulhavy) which is one of the biggest favorites in the cross-country event put on a show and climbed from 6th and 7th place to the top three during their lap.
France’s Maxime Marotte opened the press conference and said that he was very afraid to get a flat tire.
– I was thinking very much about how not to damage the bike or get a flat tire. I saw many other riders struggling at the rocky sections of the trail. During the training I got a flat tire twice, and I felt I had to be careful during the race.
His team gave him a good starting advantage, he felt that he could control the victory and focus on riding safe and securely to the finish line.
Switzerland’s Nino Schurter praised his young team, which had a clear ambition to win despite their lack of experience.
– Now we have 106 medals in mountain biking, and we will certainly try to get more.
He also confirms that the choice of tactic was essential, and it will probably be a trend in future relays to open and close with the strongest riders.
Katerina Nash from the Czech Republic was not surprised that they ended in the top three.
– We have a strong team on paper and we had a clear plan on how to get results. Run hard, was our slogan during the team meeting earlier today.