Silver for Colombo, 4th place for Carod
UCI MTB World Champs Mont-Sainte-Anne
The task was not an easy one and it was by no means certain as Colombo struggled with sickness in the last couple of days before the race. But the U23 Swiss Champion left it out all there to conquer silver at the 2019 UCI MTB World Championships.
"I am stoked with second place!" Colombo said after the finish line. "This morning I didn't think a medal was possible..."
The Ticinese rider struggled with a persistent cold lately and didn't feel 100% when rolling to the start line. He had to dig deep to keep in the chasing group behind Vlad Dascalu, current World Cup leader, who took an early lead. In the third lap, Colombo make a little mistake in La Béatrice, one of the most technical features of the track, and started loosing air in his back tire. After a quick wheel change, he re-entered the race in 8th place a long time behind Simon Andreassen from Denmark and fellow rider Vital Albin who were battling for silver and bronze.
Colombo started feeeling better and found the legs and power to overtake a few riders and start fighting for a podium position. Albin and Andreassen also suffered a flat tire and Colombo took his chance to grab second place.
"I couldn't do better than second today. Vlad was very strong as always and I can only compete when I am at my very best. Today wasn't the case so considering the situation, I can only be happy with silver."
All season long, in its highs and lows, Carod always had Mont-Sainte-Anne in mind. He has always been successful there – he scored two podium finishes in the last two seasons (4th in 2017 and 3rd in 2018) as an Elite and won the U23 races in 2015 and 2016. He knew the track suits him really well and that the aggressive geometry of the Fourstroke would also help him overcome the different features of the track.
Known for his fast starts, Carod had to work hard this time to get to the forefront of the race. Crossing the line in 18th place only after the start loop, the Frenchman decided to smooth his move towards the front as much as possible.
In the meantime, Schurter had attacked and was already flying towards an eight World Champion title. Neither Kerschbaumer, nor Flückiger and Tempier could follow his pace. They had to settle for podium positions. The Italian rider was the strongest and the silver medal was promised to him until the last meters of the race where he flatted and had to let Flückiger, Tempier and Carod overtake him.
“Even though I tried to ride in a consistent way to avoid blowing up, I had to pay for it at the end of the race” Carod explained. “I could be disappointed to finish so close to the podium but in reality I am very happy with the way I rode and managed my race today. I was never really in the situation of winning a medal so I take this fourth place. They’ll be more opportunities in the future!”
Starting from the 5th row, Reto Indergand rode a very consistent race to cross the line in 23rd place. “It wasn’t easy to be here when thinking about my last two races which didn’t go well. I would have signed for this result if you had offered it to me before the start!”
Also starting from the back, Julie Bresset had a very strong start and was riding in a strong 16th place when she flatted in La Beatrice, one of the most technical sections of the course. “I had to ride half a lap (including a long uphill and a technical downhill) on the rim. I reentered the race in 39th and was about to stop… but people around the track were cheering hard and I managed to get into race mode again.”
She eventually finished 24th. In tears on the finish line, the 2012 Olympic Champion was extremely disappointed. “I had the best feelings of the season today. I’m so gutted this happened…”
The Austrian Elite riders Max Foidl and Lisi Osli (jb BRUNEX Felt Team) finish 25th and 26th, Swiss team-mate Fabio Püntener 15th in the U23 race.
Source: BMC MTB Racing Team
Photo: The Attention Builders