Mountain biking and cross-country in particular consist of fleeting moments. Races won and lost in just a few moments. From very fast sprints, climbs from a few hundred meters and very narrow straits. But like any sport, there are moments and images that last forever, so much so that they are the true emblems of the sport.
We have selected some of the most famous sprint races that represented the decisive battles and real clashes between titans, and that hide indelible stories. Five shots that some of you will cause true flashbacks that will make you relive the same feelings that once existed in the iconic races. Five fast races, with a high emotional charge and just an expression of extreme power, plus a bonus.
The king gives the crown
On the right is the MTB king, Julian Absalon In the shirt of a European champion, he runs with the same fierceness as usual against his opponent Nino Shorter. Two giants hold the entire tent upright. However, this is the beginning of the French player’s real decline, the last season at the highest level, in which he will win the last World Cup.
and the 2016 and advertising dispersionsOne of the simplest tracks in the entire circus, Nino Schurter has yet to win. In the trophy leader’s red and white jersey, he tried throughout the race to shut down Absalon’s attacks on the road that made him prefer him above all else on the long climbs. There he was trying to sink the blade. The end is fleeting as Shorter and Absalon enter the final straight pair. Nino beats Julian. He wins for the first time in Albashtat. But over the course of the season he will have to leave the leader’s shirt at Le Roi. To commemorate the back, photographer Alessandro Di Donato.
Sam Jazz doesn’t believe in it, he beats an idol
Stellenbosch, one of the most impressive stadiums for the World Cup, and an almost direct heir to the Pietermaritzburg and Rio de Janeiro tracks. Dust and logs are constant. Terrain that is sometimes loose, sometimes compact, and contains many artificial parts. However, one thing remains in everyone’s memory, and that is the New Zealander Sam Geez Burn in the enemy Nino Shorter.
The last course was thrilling, with very high speeds, and obstacles that seemed to dodge under the force of Geez and Schurter. Behind the brave Maxime Marot is trying to return to the two. The sprint is so long, Gaze wants to stay ahead at all costs, take every corner before Nino, smash the bike onto the iron bridge to get more speed and save every available watt.
Nino, who leads the New Zealand giant, stays on the slope until the last corner. The last fifty meters are all in this photo, Nino is betrayed by a pedal tripping. Staring with clenched fists leaves himself in an echoing cry of joy. His first World Cup victory was achieved by defeating Nino Schurter.
The Swiss behind him hits his fists on the handlebars. He wanted that victory in South Africa which he loves so much. Photo © Stellenbosch – Epic World Cup.
Surprise: the first Mexican to win the cup
Mexico long live! Stormy weather, a lobby filled with favorites and instead comes out: Gerardo Jose Ulloa Arrivalo. The Mexican, born in 1996, has only one podium among the underdogs in the World Cup. Coming out of a very wet lane mud new city And like lightning ripping through the sky above the Czech path, who would have expected that? Nobody. Especially if we consider that Ulua has shown itself in the past in suitable tracks for climbers.
Photo © Bartek Wolinski – Red Bull Media
On the short track, the greats have shown that you have to be as fast as the springs in all stages. Nino tries in the first laps, then Avancini, but they are victims of mechanical problems and a fall. The short track taught us that anyone could try, with a blitzkrieg, then disband after a while, or withdraw to the rectum. Ulua stayed there, studying, first Colombo, then Marut and Koretzky, and on straight asphalt, coming out very fast and outsmarting everyone. Thus Mexico earns a place in the history of this specialty.
Evie Weeks twice, represented by Pauline
Sprint twice in less than 4 days, branded Evie Richards And someone starts to bother. In 2020, a new city Two rounds are run in the same week. Short paths anticipate their XCOs. In the mud battling to stay ahead and among the shouts of the Nove Mesto track, in her first elites engagement, Evie Richards bested them all. The bell rings.
Photo © Bartek Wolinski – Red Bull Media
Pauline Ferran Prevot She is beaten but looks at her opponent with an expression of defiance and a desire for revenge. The second short track of the week isn’t long and with it is Richards’ strength display, who falls head over heels after a fall. The enemy is too tall, head down, cog on fire, and the English lady who crosses the finish line first. two of two.
© Ruspel Photo – Trek Factory Racing
It doesn’t end there, two-wheeler Pauline Ferrand-Prefoot has been hit twice and complains to the Brilliant English for holding on, very aggressive in reference to the strong comeback that led Richards to victory. After the race, the Englishwoman responded with her calmness and respect, saying that she had never raced on the road and was not used to being in a group. We all know that without fury, a race like this can’t be won, and we think outings with your country riders, starting at 20 minutes at high speeds, have served you well. She’s the reigning world champion after all…
© Ruspel Photo – Trek Factory Racing
Final image of hands in hair
new city It is a spectacle of challenges destined to survive in history because of its authenticity. Anton Cooper, who was currently injured after an incident we talked about here, was one of those wrestlers he tried to challenge N1NO Shorter.
It’s 2018, and Matthew van der Poel runs the first races with a nail in the comb, but he’s playing Nove Mesto at the helm with Nino, the true constant of a storm that sees constant reversals. Only the kiwi, Anton Cooper, managed to stay with him until the end, and on the last asphalt he goes head-to-head with the world champion who has retained first place until that moment.
Straight, along at insane speeds, reboot with gritty teeth and finish off the action on the finish line with a massive kick of the kidneys. Judgment is not immediate, photo termination is required. A millimeter difference could result in Nino winning and Cooper’s disappointment.
For the New Zealander, winning the cup was the first indication that Nino could be defeated and that New Zealand was not only dangerous with the Geez. Someone would have liked to see Nino defeated, the absolute star who leaves nothing for others but crumbs, but even in 2018, he took four Tests at the Cup and the World Championships at his home, Lenzerheide.
Unexpected fall, epic head with bitterness in the mouth
Fifth stage of Cape Epic 2019 It represents a classic story with an unexpected ending and in this case, unfortunately also very sad. It’s the stage where two men called Damiano Ferraro e Samuel BoroughRecord one of the most exciting redemptions in MTB history. After several failures, they rebounded to 15th, then gave vent to their all-important V8 under the hood and snatched third place at the finish line at Stellenbosch University.
The same straight grass was the trap for the second team of Trek San Marco at the time. Michele Casagrande e Fabian Rabinsteiner They quickly proceeded toward confirming the growing form that was going to secure the top 10. Instead, upon their arrival, a connection between the two shattered the entire head saga. For Michel Casagrande, the result was a broken collarbone and an epic abandonment of the head.
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