Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team) won the final World Cup round of the season in Val d’Isere, France, to claim the overall series title.
The former world champion started the race as series leader and, needing only to finish above Burry Stander (Specialized Racing), secured a second World Cup series crown in style.
The Swiss rider tamed muddy conditions to win the final race ahead of compatriot Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) and Italy’s Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing), while Stander finished seventh.
Schurter, who now turns his attention to the men’s Olympic cross-country race on Sunday August 12, finishes the campaign with a points total of 1,200, with Stander second on 1058 and defending champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) third with 865 points.
“It is awesome for me to win the World Cup in an Olympic year,” said Schurter. “It gives me a good feeling now for the upcoming Olympic Games. It was not my biggest target to win the World Cup, but now I am super happy. It is a bit of a surprise for me.”
Last secures best result of career with podium finish
Meanwhile, Annie Last honed her Olympic form with a podium finish in Val d’Isere, finishing third behind Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan-Merida) and Julie Bresset (BH-SR Suntour-Peisey Vallandry).
Last is the first British rider to qualify for the women’s Olympic cross-country race since the Sydney Games in 2000 and the 21-year-old recorded the best result of her career just weeks before the event at Hadleigh Farm on Saturday August 11.
Catharine Pendrel (Luna) won the overall World Cup title despite a ninth place finish on the day, ending the series with 1290 points to Dahle Flesjaa’s 1048.