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NZ mountain bikers off pace in Switzerland

New Zealand riders struggled to cope with the conditions at the UCI MTB at Crans Montana
Sam Gaze tries to stay on his bike on the difficult course at Crans Montana Switzerland PHOTO: CYCLING NZ

A tough ride for the kiwis as they found the slippery and demanding course at high altitude challenging in the latest round of the UCI MTB World Cup cross-country in Crans Montana, Switzerland.

The best result came from national women’s champion Samara Maxwell who was 10th in the elite women’s race, six minutes behind the winner, Loana Lecomte from France.


Meanwhile Sam Gaze, nursing a knee injury suffered in last week’s world cup race, finishing 34th in the elite men, eight minutes behind winner, Tom Pidcock.

Gaze said conditions were difficult, coming down three times on the slippery and steep surfaces, and not wanting to further damage his knee, he rode to finish without further risk.

“It was a disjointed week, having spent two days in Belgium getting my knee checked out, and with limited time at altitude. In the conditions, after coming off, I decided to just make sure I finished safely.

“I know it is no indication of my form, so now I focus on a training camp ahead of the next world cup in Les Gets in France.”

Gaze is now eighth overall in the World Cup rankings.

Canterbury’s Ethan Rose (Trek Future) had his best world cup finish, in 17th in the under-23 men, and is now in 17th overall in the rankings, with Maria Laurie 51st in the under-23 females.

Male elite: Tom Pidcock (GBR) 1:26.28, 1; Mathias Fluckiger (SUI) at 1:10, 2; Luca Braidot (ITA) at 2:05. 3. Also Sam Gaze (NZL, Alpecin-Deceuninck) at 8:08, 34.

Female elite: Loana Lecomte (FRA) 1:17.22, 1; Alessandra Keller (SUI) at 46s, 2; Puck Pieterse (NED) at 1:33, 3. Also: Samara Maxwell (NZL, Decathlon Ford) at 6:09, 10.


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