Manuel Fumic is in top form just a week before the World Cup opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. At the Marlene Sunshine Race in Nals he was able to repeat last year's victory and can start the season with confidence. Initially, however, it looked like his teammate Marco Fontana would win. Fumic took the lead together with Fontana and the U23 world champion Alexander Gehbauer. At half-time, Fontana was able to pull away from his pursuers by up to 30 seconds, but Fumic attacked. Two laps before the end he was able to catch up with Fontana and turned the tables. While Gehbauer was unable to follow the two Cannondale drivers, Fumic opened up a gap and ended up winning by almost 40 seconds.
The German juniors also showed good form in Nalles. Luca Schwarzbauer from the Lexware MTB Team drove a strong race right from the start. After a good start, he was consistently in the top 5 and was able to move into second position on lap four. “I saw that I'm not that far from the French in second place. Suddenly I had a good feeling and it flipped the switch' said Schwarzbauer. His teammate, David Horvath, was just behind the leading group until he crashed through no fault of his own. After the fall, he was able to keep in touch with his compatriot Robin Hoffmann and finished in 9th place. “Without the fall, we could have done better. But after that everything cramped up. But I can be satisfied for the second cross-country race this season,” said Horvath. With their results, Schwarzbauer have already fulfilled the World Cup norm and Horvath and Hoffman the European Championship norm.
1. Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Team) 1:38.04,07
2. Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Team) +40,43
3. Alexander Gehbauer (Idro Drain Bianchi) +2.45,97
4.Gerhard Kerschbaumer (I.Idro Drain Bianchi) +2.47,06
5. Andrea Tiberi (FRM Factory Racing) +2.48,24
1. Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing Team) 1:26.04,57
2. Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing Team) +18,22
3. Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) +19,60
4. Eva Lechner (Team Colnago South Tyrol) +46,80
5. Elisabeth Osl (Ghost Factory Racing Team) +1.03,86