Nino Schurter becomes European Champion 2020 after an epic France vs Switzerland
Nino Schurter has been proclaimed the 2020 European Champion after a very tough race in which France and Switzerland have had all the leading roles.
Nino Schurter is proclaimed 2020 European Champion
For many this was the first race of a new era in which for the first time in five years, Nino Schurter was not wearing the rainbow jersey. But from the start we saw a very strong Schurter who took the lead from the first meters and tried to surprise everyone with a very high pace from the beginning.
On lap 1 a group of 3 was already formed in the head of the race where Schurter was leading with Titouan Carod behind and Filippo Colombo. Maxime Marotte with Jordan Sarrou were chasing them at about 6". Milan Vader, who had started very well, suffered a flat tyre in the rear which practically left him without options.
At the beginning of lap 2 it was already clear that this European Championship was a battle between Switzerland and France, the team that had dominated the XCO in the last years was trying to shorten positions with a French team that in the last week has won 4 rainbow jerseys (2 elite, 1 under 23 and the Team Relay).
Only the Italian Luca Braidot was able to slip into the top nine between the Swiss and the French. In the lead Filippo Colombo had relieved Schurter, but although the pace was very high there was no difference at the head of the race.
At the start of the third lap, out of seven, Schurter, Colombo, Litcher, Carod, Marotte, Flueckiger, Sarrou, Griot and Braidot were racing together less than 5" apart. And it was just then that the three Swiss launched an attack which was joined by Flueckiger and opened up a little gap with the French and the Italian. A gap that lasted very little and it was the Frenchman Titouan Carod who closed it and took the lead.
On lap 4 the race was broken and only Schurter, Carod, Flueckiger and Braidot were left in the lead, the fifth was already Sarrou at 20". Schurter's tactic of raising the pace until he began to drop opponents was paying off, but there was still a lot of racing left.
The high pace of the first group continued to have an effect and with two laps to go the large group was down to three, Flueckiger, Schurter and Carod. Braidot was running fourth at 10" and Sarrou fifth at half a minute.
The best Nino Schurter seemed to be back and at the sound of the last lap bell only Titouan Carod was still close to him.
The Frenchman tried many times to attack during the last lap but dropping Nino is not an easy task and on the downhill sections, the Swiss man reached Carod's wheel again.
In a final lap not suitable for cardiacs, Nino Schurter attacked in a technical downhill to achieve an epic victory and be proclaimed the 2020 European Champion. N1NO is back.
Titouan Carod was second and Mathias Flueckiger closed the podium.
Results 2020 XCO European Championships - Men
- Nino Schurter SUI 1:25:25
- Titouan CArod FRA +0:09
- Mathias Flueckiger SUI +0:48
- Luca Braidot ITA +0:56
- Jordan Sarrou +1:06