Nino Schurter added a tenth rainbow jersey to his collection on Sunday with victory in the cross-country event at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
The 36-year-old rider went toe-to-toe with David Valero Serrano in the final laps of the race, before accelerating ahead the Spaniard to take the win in Les Gets, France.
Speaking after the race, Schurter said: “This place is magic for me. I won my first title here and now again as the oldest rider ever and tenth title. It’s unbelievable.
“I couldn’t believe when I crossed the finish that I did it again. It was a tough race.”
Completing the podium in the men’s elite race were Valero Serrano at nine seconds and Luca Braidot at 29 seconds. Tom Pidcock rolled home in fourth place after crashing on the penultimate lap and being forced into a rear wheel change. The Olympic gold medallist fought hard in a bid to regain contact with the trio in front, but came unstuck again in a technical section on the final lap, ultimately finishing 1 minute and 29 seconds down on race winner Schurter.
Earlier in the day, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot claimed a comfortable victory in the women’s cross-country race, finishing over a minute and a half ahead of Swiss rider and Olympic gold medallist Jolanda Neff. The Frenchwoman, who held the cross-country, cyclocross and road world titles at the same time in 2015, crossed the line waving her country’s tricolour in front of the home crowds.
“Right now I can’t realise because it’s just like a dream,” she told the press after the race. “I really want to see my parents and my friends. I think it’s going to be a big party tonight.”
The win marked a fourth cross-country world title for Ferrand-Prévot, who also triumphed in Friday’s short track event, which took place on a 900m course and was first introduced to the Worlds last year. The 30-year-old is now the only rider to have won both the short track and the cross-country events at the same world championships.
Last year’s cross-country world champion, Evie Richards, finished 11th in the race.