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MTB World Championships - CM

Livigno, Italy, August 31-September 4, 2005

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Race 3 - September 2: U23 Cross Country,  43 km

Trofimov triumph is Russia's first

By Rob Jones in Livigno

Yury Trofimov (Russia)
Photo ©: Marek Lazarski
Click for larger image

Today Yury Trofimov became the first Russian to win a world title in mountain biking, when he took the Espoir men's cross-country rainbow jersey. Trofimov took the win after Nino Schurter (Switzerland), who had led the race almost from the start, double flatted in the final kilometres.

The Espoir men faced three and a half laps of the 12.1 kilometre circuit for a total of 43 kilometres, and Trofimov's winning time of 2:17:30 put him significantly over the UCI time limit for Espoirs of one hour and 45 minutes to two hours. One rider finished after over three hours - more of a marathon time than a cross country.

Schurter, the Junior World Champion last year, had the fastest splits for the opening short lap and the first full one, and was only six seconds slower than Trofimov on the second full lap (when Trofimov had the fastest lap of the race). As the riders began their final lap, Schurter was a comfortable 1:03 ahead of Trofimov and his Swiss teammate Lukas Fluckiger, and looked set to cruise in for the rainbow jersey. However, misfortune struck in the final four kilometres, when he suffered a slowly deflating front tire.

"I had serious mechanical problems," said Schurter. "My front wheel was losing pressure, so I was trying to keep the weight on the back wheel, but then it began to go flat also, so I had to stop and replace both wheels in the technical assistance zone."

Lukas Fluckiger (Switzerland)
Photo ©: Marek Lazarski
Click for larger image

A brief rain shower didn't help matters, making the trail slick, and Schurter was having difficulty controlling his bike in the corners. Behind, Trofimov could see Schurter was moving slowly, and put a surge on, bringing up Fluckiger with him. The pair passed Schurter, who could not stay with them.


Trofimov admitted that prior to catching sight of Schurter he did not think much of his chances of winning.

"At the beginning of the race there were five riders at the front, and then it separated and I was third. I felt good at that point, and thought that maybe I could be second, but not first, that was not possible. But then I saw that something was happening to the rider in front, and I realized that I could catch him.

"Our team had problems with the radios, so I had no information during the race. I had thought, after riding the Team Relay, that if it rained it could be good for me. I am not acclimatized to the altitude, like riders from Switzerland, Austria or France, so I thought that the rain could maybe compensate."

Nino Schurter (Switzerland)
Photo ©: Marek Lazarski
Click for larger image

When the duo caught Schurter, Trofimov did not hesitate. He and Fluckiger drove on through the rain along the final flat two and half kilometre flat section into a headwind. Fluckiger took the lead initially, but then sat up and began massaging his right thigh, letting Trofimov take the lead. This proved to be a fatal mistake, since there was no where to pass before the final corner and double bump section in the last 100 metres.

"I was suffering from cramps," admitted Fluckiger. "So I had to try and control them and save energy. They mostly went away, but not completely, so I had difficulty when I tried to sprint."

Trofimov has been competing on the road and on mountain bike for the past few years, and is a former Russian national road champion. His most recent road results include third in the Tour of Serbia and fourth in the Tour Saint Ciers on the road, and he represented Russia at the Athens Olympics for mountain bike, finishing 26th. When the question was put to him - are you a mountain biker or a road racer, he smiled and said:

The podium
Photo ©: Marek Lazarski
Click for larger image

"Last year I was mainly road (before the Olympics), but now I am only a mountain biker, and the road will be for a hobby. The Gold has changed my mind!"

Race Notes

Canadian Max Plaxton also double flatted on the second lap, while in the group riding for fifth place (and less than a minute out of third). An interesting point is that Plaxton is using Stan's (a tire sealant) with regular tires and no tubes. The technique is used by a number of top riders (including Alison Sydor), and provides for very light wheels; considerably lighter than a normal tubeless system, or regular tire and tube. However, it appears to be more prone to flatting on the rocky trails in Livigno. Canadian Neal Kindree was running the same setup in the Junior men's race yesterday and his tire blew off the rim in a small crash, slowing him at a point when he was only 25 seconds out of second place. It is unknown whether Cedric Ravanel was also running this setup when he flatted while in the lead of the Team Relay. Canadian team manager Sean O'Donnell commented "the riders may have to re-evaluate that setup for the elite races on Sunday."

- UCI Mountain Bike president Daniel Baal admitted that the Livigno course is too long, and said that it will not happen again. "The cross-country course is too long, but for spectators it is not too bad. For next year the decision has been made that the length will be 5.6 kilometres, and for future championships we will be careful that the course is not longer than 6.5 kilometres. In the rules we also have it that the minimum distance is 5 kilometres."

The UCI also said that they are trying to cut down on the requirement for qualifying races in the men's field at World Cups by strictly instituting an 80% cutoff rule, that will see riders pulled from the course as early as after the first lap if they are more than 80% slower than the lap time estimated by the commissaires. They will be ranked in the results according to when they are pulled. However, this means there could be huge starting fields, possibly as many as 300 riders.

In other world championship changes, quotas will be retained for men's categories in cross-country and downhill, based on results at the preceding world championships. The Marathon Worlds will remain open to both national squads and individual entrants.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Rob Jones/www.canadiancyclist.com

Images by Marek Lazarski/ www.lazarskiphoto.com

Images by David Olle


1 Yury Trofimov (Russian Federation)          2.17.30
2 Lukas Fluckiger (Switzerland)                  0.01
3 Nino Schurter (Switzerland)                    1.55
4 Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (Denmark)                2.41
5 Philip Spencer (Great Britain)                 3.09
6 Rudi Van Houts (Netherlands)                   3.10
7 Benjamin Rudiger (Germany)                     3.28
8 Daniel Mcconnell (Australia)                   4.35
9 Tony Longo (Italy)                             4.49
10 Gion Manetsch (Switzerland)                   5.48
11 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy)                 6.47
12 Dariusz Batek (Poland)                        7.14
13 Jurg Graf (Switzerland)                       7.48
14 Frank Lehmann (Germany)                       8.24
15 Jan Skarnitzl (Czech Republic)                9.13
16 Franšois Bailly Maitre (France)               9.22
17 Samuel Schultz (United States Of America)     9.23
18 Till Marx (Switzerland)                       9.32
19 Jiri Friedl (Czech Republic)                 10.13
20 Denis Vorontsov (Russian Federation)         10.15
21 Kryspin Pyrgies (Poland)                     10.48
22 Thomas Paccagnella (Italy)                   11.05
23 Andras Melts (Hungary)                       11.10
24 Andrea Tiberi (Italy)                        11.43
25 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain)            12.04
26 Andrew Watson (Canada)                       12.27
27 Nicolas Bazin (France)                       12.33
28 Nick Waite (United States Of America)        12.53
29 Robert Odink (Switzerland)                   12.54
30 StÚphane Tempier (France)                    13.18
31 Andi Weinhold (Germany)                      13.27
32 Ivan Seledkov (Russian Federation)           13.49
33 Romain Dewaele (France)                      15.15
34 Tiago Dias (Portugal)                        16.03
35 Shaun Lewis (Australia)                      16.16
36 Luka Kodra (Slovenia)                        16.17
37 Robert Mennen (Germany)                      16.33
38 Rene Tann (Germany)                          16.34
39 Anze Bizjak (Slovenia)                       17.03
40 Frederic Bussieres (Canada)                  17.39
41 Martin Lazarski (Canada)                     18.09
42 Trent Lowe (Australia)                       18.10
43 Bjorn Brems (Belgium)                        18.35
44 Hubert Pollinger (Italy)                     18.54
45 Mike Felderer (Italy)                        19.23
46 Aaron Barry Tuckerman (New Zealand)          20.00
47 Hans Becking (Netherlands)                   21.25
48 Ruud Rentmeester (Netherlands)               21.33
49 Taavi Selder (Estonia)                       21.37
50 Lukas Hanus (Slovakia)                       22.29
51 Sebastian Luciano Blanco (Argentina)         23.33
52 Joris Boillat (Switzerland)                  23.49
53 Matthew Hadley (Canada)                           
54 Marcus Roy (New Zealand)                     24.05
55 Jamie Lamb (Canada)                          25.05
56 Periklis Ilias (Greece)                      26.01
57 Nicholas Ranno (United States Of America)    26.13
58 Gonšalo Pereira (Portugal)                   26.32
59 Jochen Concocelli (Germany)                  26.45
60 Kohei Yamamoto (Japan)                       26.59
61 Niall Davis (Ireland)                        27.01
62 Alessandro Peretto (Italy)                   27.04
63 Marc Bassingthwaighte (Namibia)              27.19
64 Sam Jurekovic (United States Of America)     29.00
65 Martin Kostelnicak (Slovakia)                29.17
66 Renay Groustra (South Africa)                29.29
67 J. Hernandez Fernande (Mexico)               30.10
68 Zoltan Tatrai (Hungary)                      30.16
69 Evgueni Pechenine (Russian Federation)       31.25
70 Frank Schotman (Netherlands)                 31.42
71 Andy Schultz (United States Of America)      32.55
72 Adam Gulyas (Hungary)                        34.40
73 Ken Onodera (Japan)                          34.53
74 Ioan Tudor Radu (Romania)                    38.10
75 Gonšalo Brito (Portugal)                     41.46
76 Georgios Pattes-Toumanis (Greece)            46.53
1 lap behind
77 Dani Simcic (Croatia)                             
78 Bojan Djurdjic (Serbia And Montenegro)            
79 Theodoros Bougioukos (Greece)                     
80 Balint Nagy (Hungary)                             
81 Ivan Majdevac (Serbia And Montenegro)             
DNF I˝aki Lejarreta Errasti (Spain)                  
DNF Emil Lindgren (Sweden)                           
DNF Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spain)                       
DNF Oleksandr Yakymenko (Ukraine)                    
DNF Max Plaxton (Canada)                             
DNF Marios Athanasiades (Cyprus)                     
DNF Giorgos Fattas (Cyprus)                          
DNF Bostjan Pahovnik (Slovenia)                      
DNF Lewis Ferguson (Ireland)                         
DNF Alexey Medvedev (Russian Federation)             
DNF Alexey Belokrylov (Russian Federation)           

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