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SCOTT Media News, May 2016

N1NO Finally Victorious in Albstadt!

1st place Men's Elite, 2nd place Women's Elite, 2nd place Men's U23- World Cup Stop #2 in Albstadt, Germany saw SCOTT riders performing in World Class shape. 

Download images here.

Albstadt, Germany. SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team's two stars this season have delivered highlights again and again with most recently a first and second place at World Cup round 2 in Albstadt, Germany. 
Yesterday's fastest. Defense of the World Cup Leader's Jersey? Check. 
Equally strong but a few centimeters ahead at the finish line. Nino Schurter just edges out Julien Absalon.
N1NO's victory was no surprise, but it was the result from some very hard work up until the last meter. No less exciting was a great performance from Jenny Rissveds. In only her second World Cup race in the elite category, she showed where she wants to be seen in the future- on the podium!
The outdoor arena of Albstadt- a great experience for riders and spectators.
Someone just following results would likely say cross-country racing is boring, because the same two guys always win. Who ever follows the races live on RedBull TV or even better live on site will agree, as long as Julien Absalon and Nino Schurter- the two icons of the sport- can deliver such high level entertainment, we'll stick to it. The Albstadt World Cup is great proof that cross-country racing is better and more alive than ever! Thanks to good organizers, exciting coverage and last but not least great athletes, spectators in Albstadt and worldwide were treated to something special yesterday.
Up and down equally strong - Schurter in front of Absalon
For the first few laps the lead group was quite big. The third of the protagonists of past years showed that he is back after his injury. Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy looked strong finishing in 4th place. It would not be a surprise if at the World Championship in Nove Mesto he is back with the two others battling it out. But for now it was the usual Absalon/Schurter train that was riding away from the rest of the field. As if they had made an agreement, they usually ride at very high pace together, not attacking each other, until the finale where the rivalry heats up!
What a finale! Albstadt saw more than 15,000 spectators cheering at the riders.
From than on it was no joking around. Absalon was the first to try to escape on the long climb. Schurter stayed on and did not wait long with his counter attack. As they were equally strong on the uphills and downhills, a sprint finish had to decide between first and second. Julien got to the finish straight in first position and immediately launched the sprint. While this is usually an advantage for Schurter, the finish straight was quite short and it looked like Nino was going to run out of time to overtake Julien. Somehow N1NO managed to get around his rival in the very last meters to win by very few centimeters. What a finale!
N1NO makes not secret that Albstadt is not his favorite track. The climbs are quite long and the descents are not technical enough to really make a difference. The fact that N1NO had never before won in Albstadt makes this victory even sweeter. He stated: "Winning in a sprint finish is always extra excitement because you don't know the outcome until you cross the line. To finally win here means a lot to me. Who knows if maybe my brand new SCOTT hardtail made the difference at the end. This bike certainly gave me some extra motivation and confidence."
"Winning in a sprint finish is always extra excitement because you don't know the outcome until you cross the line. To finally win here means a lot to me. Who knows if maybe my brand new SCOTT hardtail made the difference at the end. This bike certainly gave me some extra motivation and confidence."

Nino Schurter, World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team
Jaroslav Kulhavy (4.)-Julien Absalon (2.)- N1NO (1.)- Maxime Marotte (3.)- Lars Forster (5.)
First Podium for Jenny Rissveds in the Women's Elite Class
Regarding a participation at Olympics in Rio, Albstadt was perhaps the most important race for the Swedish champion. In order to secure a spot for Sweden, she had to collect points wherever she could to get higher in the nations ranking. Pretty much left on her own collecting points there was extra pressure on her in the last race of this selection procedure. Not an easy situation to handle!
Double pressure on Jenny Rissveds shoulders
After her crash on the start loop in Cairns, Jenny Rissveds tried to avoid the same thing by taking of from the start like a missile. In only her second Elite World Cup race she's already gotten the taste of leading such a high level race. Soon after on second lap a crash at pretty high speed did not only cause some pain and loss of the rhythm, it also knocked her out of the top ten. 
Jenny on track to her first podium. the 22 year old Swede left not less than three World Champions behind her in her last lap!
This was a big bummer that first needed to be digested. This is exactly where Jenny showed her class. After a mind set change she got going again and picked the race apart, one rider after another. Going into the last lap she was in 5th position knowing every UCI point would count towards the Olympics in Rio.
Except when crashing on her knee Jenny had everything under control during the whole race.
Her last lap, which was the fastest of all riders, was something that even impressed experts who know what this girl is capable of. She moved all the way up into second place having only World Cup leader Anika Langvad ahead of her. What a ride!
Top: Happy face crossing the liner in second
Bottom: Five women on the podium, four of them World Champions. The fifth, our 22 year old rookie Jenny Rissveds. Congrats on 2nd place, Jenny! Sabine Spitz (4.)- Jenny Rissveds (2.)- Annika Langvad (1.)- Catharina
Pendrel (3.)- Gunn-Rita Dahle (5.)
The cuts on her knee are pretty deep and her finger also took some abuse from the crash, but the excitement about her awesome finish was bigger than the pain. "This was almost a perfect day, despite my crash I felt very good today. I really hope this helps now to secure a spot for Sweden, because more than anything I want to participate at the Olympic games in Rio."
"This was an almost perfect day, despite my crash I felt very good today. I really hope this helps now to secure a spot for Sweden, because more than anything I want to participate at the Olympic games in Rio."

Jenny Rissveds, U23 World Cup Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team
2nd Place for Titouan Carod in the Men's U23 Category
French Titouan Carod of SCOTT CREUSE OXYGENE GUERET delivered a great race and finished in the 2nd place just behind Samuel Gaze.
Andri Frischknecht who was racing in the U23 race had a similarly good last lap like Jenny, only he made it from 13th up to 8th place in the finale. In his third race of this season he showed that after his injury he is not only back on track but also has the ability to fight until the very end. 
Making his way back to top ten- Andri Frischknecht.
Watch the replay of the races live on RedBull TV http://beta.redbull.tv/live/AP-1KR6HRJW11W11/uci-mountain-bike-world-cup.

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Photography: Armin M. Küstenbrück, Jochen Haar
For more info, please contact:
PR & Communication Manager
SCOTT Sports
Copyright © 2016 SCOTT Sports SA, All rights reserved.



Forest 2 Falls Race Report

Team Valencia dominate at Forest 2 Falls

The 11th edition of the popular local MTB race, Forest2Falls was held at an all new venue in Graskop. Max Knox bravely took on the challenge of organising his first event.

The route provided riders with spectacular views over God’s window and the mountains, valleys, waterfalls and lush forests of Graskop and Sabie. Riders however had to earn their view with 65 km of mainly district roads and 1300m of climbing. Our team Valencia out performed the rest as they achieved podiums across age categories and race distances.

In the 65km, Hein Engelbregt showed his consistently growing calibre as an elite racer when he came 2nd in a time of 02:29:24, 3 minutes behind winner Ben Melt Swannepoel. “The start was fast and flat. We were a bunch until about 20km in. Ben Melt made the pace hard up the first big climb and we managed to break away. I knew the route quite well and was saving a lot for the last 30km. Up the final climb, Ben made life hard again. I tried to hang on as long as I could but he managed to get a gap on me and maintained it until the finish.”

Amy McDougall won the ladies’ race and came 7th overall in a time of 02:48:11. “I was happy to take the win in Valencia’s colours! I was pleasantly surprised with my result my legs did not feel great after the Joberg2C legs and the course was not really suited to me. The views were mind-blowing and made me nostalgic about living in the Lowveld!”  Yolandi Du Toit crossed the line in second and our Emily Clarke in 3rd.

The 35 km was a nail biter with only 12 seconds separating the top 4, amongst the sprint finishers was Armand Lomard who narrowly missed bronze as he crossed the line in 4th and 3rd in his age category, still a stellar performance for this youngster. “It was an extremely fun race, I enjoyed it so much that when I saw it was almost the end of the race it surprised me because I thought there was at least 10km left! The view from God’s window almost made me stop to take a picture, the race was nicely marked and I’ll definitely do it again!”

In the ladies’ race, 15 year old Zandri Strydom took the overall and youth category honours in a time of 1:29:51 “The last 15 km was the best because of the climbs and the views. I enjoyed it a lot, it just needed more single track. I was happy to win the overall ladies race!” Teammate Monique Swart 6th lady and 2nd in the youth category. “It was a fun race but my legs weren’t there so I just tried to push my hardest to the end.”

There was a strong contingent of up and coming youngsters in the 15km with podiums in almost all age categories.

It is great to see such a diverse range of riders achieving goals and performing to the best of their ability under the wing of Valencia Cycles.

Next up team members will be conquering the National XCO in PE and Sani2C begins tomorrow for Sam Sanders!



Mopani, Sani and XCO race report

Inaugural race of Local Lowveld Mopani Series, Sani2C, and XCO Success all round.

Last weekend the local Mopani Series based in White River kicked off with a bang. With a network of newly built trails in White River, riders were treated to miles of quality single track. The smiles on the faces crossing the finish line were testament to the success of the event!

In the 50km, which consisted of 2 laps of the 25km loop, Emily Clarke cleaned up the ladies race in a time of just 2:05:45 and bruised a few male egos coming 16th overall. “Being a past pupi of Uplands made this race particularly special for me. It was the ground and trails on which my passion for the sport was ignited. I am delighted that so many more MTBers are able to share my enjoyment through the series! Massive thanks to Francois Lourens and sunshine events for the incredible trails and fast flowing single track. I think my high might last me until the next race of the series! As always thanks to V-Bike for continuously according me the opportunities to race bikes and feed my soul.”

Armand Lombard blitzed the 25km, winning in a time of 56:28 one minute ahead of his nearest rival, Ryan Terry. “It was a well-planned event with a lot of single track and a few technical sections that made it extremely fun! The prizes were also great.”

Despite getting terribly lost due to some tape being removed by some local forest workers, Monique Swart managed to fight her way into second lady overall and 1st in her age category. Swart enjoyed the trails and is looking forward to round #2.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Samantha Sanders was competing in the Sani2C with partner Theresa Ralph. The course was more compact than ever due to some rain earlier on in the week and +- 3000 riders having ridden the course in in the adventure and trail races. The conditions made for extremely fast times and tight racing. The pair rode consistently, coming in 3rd each day and 3rd overall after the 3 days. “The competition was strong and the course was amazing! I tried my best to win. Thanks endlessly to Valencia for their support and commitment.” – Samantha Sanders

On another far reach of the country, the 4th leg of the national XCO series was being held in PE. In Valencia colours we had Amy Beth McDougall competing in the Elite Ladies category and Zandri Strydom in the Youth ladies’ category.
The challenging 4.2km course started with a gnarly loose descent which claimed its share of victims in the preliminary practice days. It was soon established that slower is better in this case! Riders were then faced with a steep loose rocky climb which put technical climbing skills to test. Some fun fast and flowing sections led into a dubious stair drop, then a long drag followed by a muddy section which slippery roots caused many a foot-dab or get-off-and-run. A short rock garden was the only respite in the final climb which was also loose and required focus.

The Elite ladies had 5 laps plus a 1.5km start loop. Amy McDougall sat consistently in 3rd for most of the race. Mariska Strauss took top honours with Cherie Redecker in 2nd. “I knew I still had Joberg2C lingering in my legs so I had no high expectations except to get my best result, sharpen up the skills and get some intensity training in! I loved the challenging course and despite tired legs and a too-heavy gear, it wasn’t a bad performance. I was happy to represent Valencia in XCO again and in a completely new part of the country!”
Zandri Strydom continued her winning streak, completing her 2 lap race 4 minutes ahead of her competition! “It was fun! I really enjoyed the technical stuff. I think this is one of the best XCO routes in South Africa and one of my favourites.”

Once again we are super proud of our riders for continuously flying the V-Team flag high.



Guided MTB Tour

Two days of amazing Mpumulanga riding.

How does it work?

Day 1. The group will meet up & pull away from Mankele at 7:30. We will head off to one of the most beautiful waterfalls. We will have lunch at the waterfall. After our lunch break, we will climb up to Misty Mountain lodge. (Dinner, bed & breakfast).

Day 2. After breakfast we will take on our journey back home. The hard work was all done on day 1, so plenty of fun sections all the way back to Mankele. We will have a half way stop for Lunch and drinks. We should be back at Mankele by 14:00. This will give you time to travel back home.


What can we expect on the trails?

This is a tour, so we will be riding untamed trails. Plenty Jeep track, cattle trails & what ever we find on the way!!

Extra Costs?

Drinks at Misty Mountain is for your account + bring sum CASH if you want to bribe the driver for a lift!

No need for a Shuttle: Your vehicle stays at Mankele. A vehicle will follow the group. The vehicle will carry all the riders luggage, cold drinks, meals and basic spares.

Accommodation & meals are included from the time we start riding. You are welcome to book accommodation at Mankele for the night before & after the tour.