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Rio: Schurter gets his Olympic gold

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, who took bronze in cross-country mountain biking in the Beijing Olympics and silver in London, struck gold in his third attempt Sunday in Rio.

The 30-year-old reigning world champion delivered a dominant performance on the course to take the convincing win. Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic was next across the line to nab silver, with Spanish rider Carlos Coloma finishing third.

Top 10

  • 1. Nino SCHURTER, Switzerland, in 1:33:28
  • 2. Jaroslav KULHAVY, Czech Republic, in 1:34:18
  • 3. Carlos COLOMA NICOLAS, Spain, in 1:34:51
  • 4. Maxime MAROTTE, France, in 1:35:01
  • 5. Jhonnatan BOTERO VILLEGAS, Colombia, in 1:35:44
  • 6. Mathias FLÜCKIGER, Switzerland, in 1:35:52
  • 7. Luca BRAIDOT, Italy, in 1:36:25
  • 8. Julien ABSALON, France, in 1:36:43
  • 9. David VALERO SERRANO, Spain, in 1:37:00
  • 10. Victor KORETZKY, France, in 1:37:27

Schurter, Kulhavy, and Coloma seized control by the end of the first lap with Schurter pulling clear in the sixth and final lap to seal a complete set of Olympic medals.

“I have been working four years for this gold,” Schurter said.

“If I am looking back, I needed silver in London to get back and be strong here. For me, it is the perfect story. I have bronze in Beijing, silver in London, and now gold in Rio.”

A rainy Rio morning on the final day of competition made for treacherous conditions and Kulhavy was happy to settle for silver under the circumstances.

“It was incredibly tough. It rained today, and the course was very different, and it was very slippery on the rocks, and the downhills were much more difficult today,” said Kulhavy.

“It was a different race in London, but today, I was with Nino again. I am very happy for both of us. Nino is the strongest rider this year.”

Coloma, meanwhile, was ecstatic to take his first major competition medal in 13 years.

“I knew it would be very complicated with such a high level of riders in this race. It is like a dream come true for me,” said the 34-year-old.

France’s Julien Absalon, Olympic champion in 2004 and 2008, finished eighth in his Olympic farewell.

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, the reigning road world champion but a former world junior mountain bike champion, returned to his roots hoping the mountain bike course would suit him more than the road course. Despite making the start in the very last position, Sagan quickly worked his way to the front of the race in a matter of minutes on the first lap — only to see his medal hopes crumble when he suffered a puncture in the second lap. He finished a lap down on the leaders.

“After seven years, I am back on the mountain bike, and I [am] happy to try,” Sagan said. “The start was very good. After the first lap, I was with the first guys. Then I had some technical problems.”

However, the charismatic Sagan insisted his immediate future was back on the road.

“Maybe I will try some other races, but for now, I have to go back on the road.”

Results

  • 1. Nino SCHURTER, Switzerland, in 1:33:28
  • 2. Jaroslav KULHAVY, Czech Republic, in 1:34:18
  • 3. Carlos COLOMA NICOLAS, Spain, in 1:34:51
  • 4. Maxime MAROTTE, France, in 1:35:01
  • 5. Jhonnatan BOTERO VILLEGAS, Colombia, in 1:35:44
  • 6. Mathias FLÜCKIGER, Switzerland, in 1:35:52
  • 7. Luca BRAIDOT, Italy, in 1:36:25
  • 8. Julien ABSALON, France, in 1:36:43
  • 9. David VALERO SERRANO, Spain, in 1:37:00
  • 10. Victor KORETZKY, France, in 1:37:27
  • 11. Ruben SCHEIRE, Belgium, in 1:37:36
  • 12. Anton SINTSOV, Russia, in 1:37:38
  • 13. Manuel FUMIC, Germany, in 1:37:39
  • 14. Ondrej CINK, Czech Republic, in 1:38:18
  • 15. José Antonio HERMIDA RAMOS, Spain, in 1:38:21
  • 16. Daniel MCCONNELL, Austria, in 1:38:42
  • 17. Grant FERGUSON, Great Britain, in 1:39:10
  • 18. Jens SCHUERMANS, Belgium, in 1:39:30
  • 19. Andrea TIBERI, Italy, in 1:39:33
  • 20. Marco Aurelio FONTANA, Italy, in 1:40:25
  • 21. Kohei YAMAMOTO, Japan, in 1:40:34
  • 22. Jan SKARNITZL, Czech Republic, in 1:41:11
  • 23. Henrique AVANCINI, Brazil, in 1:41:18
  • 24. Andras PARTI, Hungary, in 1:41:20
  • 25. Catriel Andres SOTO, Argentina, in 1:42:01
  • 26. Alan HATHERLY, South Africa, in 1:42:03
  • 27. Leandre BOUCHARD, Canada, in 1:42:43
  • 28. Moritz MILATZ, Germany, in 1:43:14
  • 29. Shlomi HAIMY, Israel, in 1:43:30
  • 30. Rubens DONIZETE VALERIANO, Brazil, in 1:44:01
  • 31. Dimitrios ANTONIADIS, Greece, in 1:44:17
  • 32. Chun Hing CHAN, Hong Kong, in 1:44:41
  • 33. Andrey FONSECA, Costa Rica, in 1:44:54
  • 34. Simon ANDREASSEN, Denmark, in 1:47:44
  • 35. Peter SAGAN, Slovakia
  • 36. Scott BOWDEN, Australia
  • 37. Samuel GAZE, New Zealand
  • 38. Howard GROTTS, United States of America
  • 39. Tiago Jorge Oliveira FERREIRA, Portugal
  • 40. Raphael GAGNE, Canada
  • 41. Nathan BYUKUSENGE, Rwanda
  • 42. James REID, South Africa
  • 43. Zhen WANG, China
  • 44. David Joao Serralheiro ROSA, Portugal
  • DNF Lars FORSTER, Switzerland
  • DNF Alexander GEHBAUER, Austria
  • DNF Peter LOMBARD II, Guam
  • DNF Rudi VAN HOUTS, Netherlands
  • DNF Phetetso MONESE, Lesotho

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