Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) outsprinted Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) to claim victory in the elite men’s cross country race at round four of the UCI World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada.
Schurter surged clear early in the race but a puncture on the penultimate lap allowed Hermida, who won the world title on the same course in 2010, to bridge the gap.
But Schurter had enough in reserve to win a thrilling sprint, while Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) finished one minute and 49 seconds back to complete the podium.
“I didn’t expect to have to sprint for it on a course like Mont-Sainte-Anne,” said Schurter. “It was a special finish and when it started to rain – the course was really tricky.”
Schurter now leads the World Cup standings on 950 points, with defending champion Kulhavy second on 785 points and Burry Stander (Specialized Racing) third on 688 points.
Meanwhile, Catharine Pendrel (Luna) claimed her second successive win on the Mont-Sainte-Anne track with victory ahead of team-mate Georgia Gould and Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain).
Annie Last, who will ride for Great Britain at the Olympic Games, continued her strong season with a ninth place finish, making the Milka Brentjens Mtb Racing Team rider the first under-23 home.