N1NO wins record-matching 33rd World Cup
Nino Schurter equals Julien Absalon’s record with a dramatic 33rd World Cup race win, amongst the historic crowds in Petropolis, Brazil.
N1NO has been waiting for 3 years to add another World Cup win to his palmares, though this win is not just another one for the books. It’s the one that equalizes the total World Cup victories with current record-holder Julien Absalon. But to be able to fully understand the importance of this win, we have to rewind two weeks back.
Last month in South Africa, the team went into the Cape Epic better prepared than ever. An unfortunate streak of bad luck with mechanicals, crashes, and sending riders to hospital meant the race didn’t end as planned. If the bad luck at Cape Epic was not enough, Nino and Lars both got ill with Covid after their return from South Africa. Luckily they recovered in time to travel to Brazil, but this was not so for Andri Frischknecht, and some of the team staff, who were unable to travel. Totally understaffed and dealing with difficulties getting ready for the first round of the World Cup, things were not looking very promising for the team.
As challenging as things looked at the beginning, the team found themselves supported by SCOTT Brazil. The race track looked great and the Brazilian crowd was bringing an energy the team had never experienced before. 42,000 tickets were sold for the season opener! As crazy as this crowd was, the team enjoyed their support and the enthusiasm for mountain bike racing.
The Brazilian conditions were a challenge for all riders and teams. Whoever adapted the best to a new World Cup world had an advantage. Kate Courtney raced successfully on the World Cup track the week prior and N1NO, having a special relationship with Brazil after winning his Olympic champion title in Rio 2016, helped the team embrace this special event, rather than looking at the difficulties this event brought along.
“This win means a lot to me. Not only because I couldn’t have picked a better place for this win, but especially because the crazy Brazilian crowd also made me be at my best today.”
9x World Champion, World Cup Leader 2022
The race unfolded like a thrilling story book. After many of the favorites faded throughout the race, it was down to three men to battle for the win. Vlad Dascalu from Romania, Maxime Marotte from France and the Swiss World Champion. Starting into the final sprint with a small gap, N1NO had it perfectly timed to overcome Maxime Marotte on the last few centimeters to the finish line. Besides a lot of power and determination, it was also the wise choice of equipment that made the difference. With a 38 chain ring in the front, N1NO had the bigger gear. On top of that, the super fast-rolling MAXXIS Aspen also helped to keep his chance of winning.
Thanks to the incredible crowd, the enormous atmosphere and the fact it was N1NO’s 33rd World Cup victory, this race will remain a very special one. Not just for N1NO, but for the whole SCOTT-SRAM team.
World Cup Brazil
Hats off to the team who created a World Cup event unlike any other in the 30-year history of World Cup racing. Local hero Henrique Avancini and his crew really pulled off something that can only be described as #nextlevel! A perfectly balanced race track and outstanding start/finish area in the middle of a jungle! Something the circuit has never seen before.
This place, and the incredible crowd alongside the track, immediately delivered a positive vibe for the team to be at their best.