What a year for Nino Schurter! After World Cup Champion now World Champion as well! N1NO is at his best ever. Andorra, in an exciting World Championship race against Julien Absalon, N1NO takes the rainbow jersey back to his shoulders. It's his 4th elite World Champion title- his 10th victory this season. What an incredible way to finish his best season ever. [caption id="attachment_3762" align="aligncenter" width="585"]At the finish line where he wanted to be: N1NO At the finish line where he wanted to be: N1NO[/caption] The pressure was tremendous. Coming to World Championships after winning three World Cup races in a row made N1NO the clear favorite for the Worlds title. Though, his experience of last year was still in best memories. Also coming of a winning strike from the World Cups, it was Julien Absalon to take the World Championship title in Hafjell 2014. N1NO did not want to have this happen again. The race unfolded in a perfect way for N1NO. First lap he managed to get down the technical section in first place while Julien Absalon was held back by some fast starting riders. After two days of rain the sun was out, but in some sections the track was still very slippery. Race deciding technically actually. Non of the racers got trough without little mistakes or crashes. Even N1NO had to get off the bike few times. But less than the rest of the field. He demonstrated once again: When it comes down to tricky sections, nobody can keep up with him. nino-2015-world-champ-7After first lap Julien Absalon closed the gap. While Jaroslav Kulhavy was out of contention with a broken rib, his country men Ondrej Cink showed an awesome day. He was the only one staying close to the leading duo and eventually won the well deserved bronze medal. At the front N1NO was playing yoyo with his big rival Absalon. Always gaining some seconds on the descents, to after let him close the gap again. Mid trough the race it started to look a bit different. N1NO made a mistake on a technical uphill and immediately Absalon launched an attack. [caption id="attachment_3765" align="aligncenter" width="585"]One of the few times Absalon was able to put pressure on N1NO One of the few times Absalon was able to put pressure on N1NO[/caption] Absalon was with no success. N1NO got back on and soon took the lead again. One and a half laps to go it was this one travers in the woods- full of slippery rocks and roots that made the race deciding difference between Julien and N1NO. Even N1NO gained only 4-5 seconds there, it added up to be 10 seconds at the end of the descent. [caption id="attachment_3763" align="aligncenter" width="585"]A race deciding moment: N1NO looks back and than keeps going. A race deciding moment: N1NO looks back and than keeps going.[/caption] From this moment on it was a race full out all to the finish. Sometimes Julien got closer to like 5 seconds, then N1NO would gain a bit again. One little mistake and the race would be totally open again. N1NO resisted the strong pressure of Julien bringing the 10 second lead to the finish line. The emotions were high, the pressure released and N1NO enjoyed the biggest moment of his #huntforglory campaign 2015. [caption id="attachment_3766" align="aligncenter" width="585"]At the finish of his dreams. At the finish of his dreams.[/caption] The neo World Champion stated: "This was one big battle all the way to the end. Some moments during the race I was not sure if I can actually win this one. This makes this 4th title a special one to me. It is awesome to win the World Cup but even better to win the worlds. So stoked to be back in the rainbow jersey." nino-2015-world-champ-1 "It is awesome to win the World Cup but even better to win the worlds. So stoked to be back in the rainbow jersey." Nino Schurter, World Champion- World Cup Champion 2015 SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team Once again the two protagonist ruled the world of cross country racing this season. Even N1NO was ahead of Julien the last four races, we have to give lot's of credit to the best rider in history for still racing at such a high level against N1NO. And it does look like we are going to see more of this great racing next year in the Olympic season, even it is going to be Julien's last one. [caption id="attachment_3764" align="alignleft" width="585"]Top: Julien Absalon (silver)- Nino Schurter (gold) Ondrej Cink (bronze). Top: Julien Absalon (silver)- Nino Schurter (gold) Ondrej Cink (bronze).[/caption]
After a difficult last month our flying Dutchman Michiel van der Heijden went into the race with little ambitions. His shoulder is ok again, but after not seeing the finish line for quite some time his confidence was not very high. He managed to get trough in ok 34th place. This season in general leaves him room to improve for next year. We have all the confidence in him that he will be back on track in 2016. One big thank you goes to our two mechanics Yanick Gyger and Richard Nieuwhuis who worked day and night on N1NO's winning weapon: The SCOTT Spark 700. Also huge thanx to SCOTT, DT Swiss, SRAM and Ritchey and the rest of our sponsors for delivering the World Champion winning parts needed to make such an success possible.