Cycling: The upcoming XC World Cup in Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic is being eagerly awaited by all fans. For the first time this year, the top favorites and winners of the past few years will meet. Nino Schurter, Julien Absalon and Jaroslav Kulhavy will certainly not only be fighting for important World Cup points.
Nove Mesto will be a showdown at the highest level. Although Julien Absalon is going into the race as the World Cup leader, this aspect may not carry too much weight. Because neither Schurter nor Kuhlahvy competed in the two previous World Cups. Schurter was in excellent form at the start of the World Cup, but was thrown back a long way by a flat tire. He skipped the second World Cup in Cairns because of the Tour de Romandie and gained his first experiences on the road. However, that shouldn't mean he's any less hungry for a win in Nove Mesto.
Jaroslav Kulhavy has fully recovered from his winter injury and started the season late in Cairns. He showed good form there with a solid ninth place but left a gap of 3:20 on winner Absalon. The statistics speak for Schurter. Two of the three races in Nove Mesto went to the fast Swiss, and Jaroslav Kulhavy won one. Absalon, however, will not be impressed. He has won all the big races so far this season and will try to continue his winning streak.
For Manuel Fumic, it's a matter of defending his current fifth place in the overall standings and, if possible, catching up. He decided not to start in front of his home crowd at the KMC MTB Bundesliga in Heubach for intensive training. With filled reserves and good preparation, he would like to build on his second place in Pietermaritzburg.
The last word has not yet been spoken for the women. Neither in Pietermaritzburg nor in Cairns was there a favorite for overall victory. None of the top 5 women from Pietermaritzburg made it onto the podium in Cairns and so the cards are still open. However, Jolanda Neff has been able to put on a strong show since the beginning of the season. With several victories, she is currently the most steadfast driver in the field.
But Eva Lechner, winner in Cairns, will also want to build on her success. Sabine Spitz, Alexandra Engen, Annika Langvad, However, Maja Wloszczowska and Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa should not go unmentioned. All of these riders are able to lead the field and be on top at the end of the day.
As always, the live stream for the race will be available www.redbull.tv to see.