British flight of fancy in Chur
One day after the coronation of King Charles III, the mountain bikers from the British Isles are flying high in Chur, in the kingdom of Nino Schurter. Evie Richards, mountain bike world champion in 2021, won the women's race and Olympic champion Tom Pidcock took the day's victory in the men's race. 16,000 fans followed the mountain bike races live on-site.
Pure spectacle in Chur, the capital of Graubünden. The city centre was transformed into a mountain bike mecca as part of the ÖKK BIKE REVOLUTION. One week before the start of the World Cup in Nove Mesto, athletes from 24 nations came to Chur. Among them were mountain bikers from China, Japan, Australia, Iran and Namibia.
But it was the Europeans who set the tone, especially the British. As if they had been inspired by the coronation of King Charles III the day before, Evie Richards and Thomas Pidcock showed how strong they are.
In the women's race, Richards took the lead already in the third of eight laps, extended it continuously and celebrated an unchallenged victory in the end. She was a proud 1 minute and 45 seconds ahead of world champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) and Sina Frei (Switzerland). The two took second and third place.
The race of the elite men was more dramatic. In the centre of Chur, the mountain bike fans stood shoulder to shoulder to see their favourites. First and foremost, of course, local hero and world champion Nino Schurter. They all enjoyed a great city spectacle. On the fast circuit, small groups formed again and again, taking turns in the lead, creating short gaps and then being placed again at the end. Thomas Pidcock, the English Olympic champion, was always there but never in the lead. That changed in lap six of nine. With a spirited attack, he broke away from the leading group and was immediately able to pull away a few metres. Behind him, it was not clear for a while whether and how to react to the attack. The preliminary decision? No, because Mathias Flückiger from Bern, who already won the opening race of the ÖKK BIKE REVOLUTION in Rivera, was the first to take heart and chase Pidcock alone. Flückiger was able to catch up in the seventh lap. In the last three laps, the two riders did not give each other a chance. In the end, Pidcock had the most reserves and celebrated, in honour of his new king, the first big victory of the season. Behind Flückiger, Nino Schurter finished third to deafening fan cheers.
The second round of the ÖKK BIKE REVOLUTION was a magnificent mountain bike festival. In addition to the elite races, over 700 bikers took part in various races and age groups over the whole weekend in Chur. The third round of the popular Swiss mountain bike series will take place on 27/28 May in Engelberg.
Ranking elite men
1. Thomas PIDCOCK , GBR, 1:21:31.0
2. Mathias FLÜCKIGER, SUI + 8.9
3. Nino SCHURTER, SUI, + 46.8
4. Jordan SARROU, FRA, + 50.7
5. Marcel GUERRINI, SUI, + 50.9
Ranking elite women
1. Evie RICHARDS, GBR, 1:24:41.6
2. Pauline FERRAND PREVOT, FRA, + 1:45.3
3. Sina FREI, SUI, + 1:45.3
4. Alessandra KELLER, SUI, + 1:53.2
5. Laura STIGGER, AUT, + 1:58.0
The complete rankings can be found at https://velocorner.ch/en/oekkbikerevolution/chur/results.