Following two World Cup top tens in Albstadt and La Bresse, Reto Indergand confirmed that he is in very good form yesterday by taking third place at the Swiss Bike Cup in Gränichen.
The fourth round of the Swiss Bike Cup, the race in Gränichen is traditionally very well attended by the top international riders. Ranked as a HC (Hors Category) race by the UCI, it offers the possibility to collect precious points for UCI ranking. This year, it also counts for the selection for the World Championships which have been moved forward to the beginning of July because of the Olympic Games schedule, so the fastest Swiss riders were at the start with the exception of Lars Forster who had to withdraw because of stomach problems.
To spice it up even more, heavy rain started 10 minutes before the start making the course very muddy and slippery. Tires were switched last minute and the start gun went off under pouring rain. At the end of the first lap, Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel were leading the race a few seconds ahead of Reto Indergand who eventually spent the rest of the race in third position, just a few seconds behind the leading duo. Always composed and in control he managed to stay ahead of the chasing group led by Mathias Stirnemann and Thomas Litscher.
Covered in mud, Indergand crossed the finish line 38’’ behind winner Nino Schurter and 25’’ behind Florian Vogel. While cleaning-up for his first podium at HC level, Indergand explained how his race unfolded: “I had a pretty good start and was in fourth place at the top of the first climb. Schurter and Vogel were leading with Sam Gaze (U23 World Cup leader from New Zealand) on their wheels. I guess he gave it all on the climb then he kept making mistakes and crashing on the first descent. I couldn’t pass him though, it was too narrow. That’s how the gap (to the leaders) was created. It’s a pity because I spent the entire race 15 to 20 seconds behind the leaders…” Despite wondering what could have happened if that hadn’t happened, Indergand was very satisfied with his result: “I wanted to finish in the top 5, so I’m super happy with this third place. I could change tires when the rain started just before the start and that was definitely the right decision!”
With this result, Reto Indergand will most likely be part of the Swiss Team for the UCI MTB World Championships that will take place in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech republic on the 4th of July. The final selection will be announced by Swiss Cycling in the next few days.
1. Nino Schurter 1:23’19 »
2. Florian Vogel +12 »
3. Reto Indergand +38 »
8. Martin Fanger +3’20 »
10. Lukas Flückiger +4’28 »
Credits: BMC Switzerland
Photos: EGO Promotion