Mathias Flueckiger to Skip Snowshoe & Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup Races

Jul 26, 2022
by Alicia Leggett  
Matthias Fluckiger lining up for battle.

Mathias Flueckiger shared in an update on his website that he will miss the Snowshoe, USA, and Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada World Cup rounds.

He explained that after his midrace crash with Nino Schurter in Lenzerheide, he's been the target of an overwhelming amount of internet hate that has felt shocking and hurtful to him. Luckily, he wrote, his team and training environment helped him to focus on the task at hand and he was able to win the short track race in Vallnord before becoming ill and testing positive for Covid.

Although he is feeling better, he wrote, he has decided to skip the two North American rounds of the World Cup to reset and recover before the end of the season.

bigquotesWhat hurt me particularly (besides the missed victory) was that I was accused of intention, frustration, bad character and much more. Anyone who has ever raced or can put themselves in the situation of a biker knows: you have to make decisions in fractions of a second, intuitively. And intuition is based on experience. I would never cause a fall on purpose or out of frustration.

But what happened next got me thinking. I was shocked by how many people online are fueling frustration, aggression, anger and hatred - and all this just because of a fall of two mountain bikers. For the first time I have personally experienced how anger, frustration or even hatred is expressed online. This to a person you don't even know personally and because of something that really doesn't matter all that much in this world.

Perhaps the comparison is a bit off, but this behavior was also observed during the corona pandemic. You can do or say whatever you want. Certain people have an insatiable urge to take someone down. An elephant is made from a mosquito and this is done without any decency. This statement bothers and worries me to this day. Because it is something that affects all of us, yes, our entire society.

Thanks to my environment, I was ultimately able to concentrate on my job in the following week. Winning the short track in Vallnord (Andorra) meant a lot to me. It showed me that I am stronger than ever. It showed me that my joy as a professional biker is undiminished and that I continue to go my own way together with my team and those around me. That includes winning, but it also includes losing.

I was reminded of this just two days later. I had to forego a start in the cross-country race. Already on Saturday I didn't feel so good. Unfortunately, the situation didn't improve during the night on Sunday and so we decided together to focus on the rest of the season and not to start. Unfortunately, the severe cold symptoms were subsequently confirmed by test results as a Covid-19 infection.

I'm feeling better now. However, I have decided to skip the two overseas World Cups in Snowshoe and Mount-Sainte-Anne.
Mathias Flueckiger (translated from German and edited for brevity)

We hope to see Flueckiger back on his bike at full strength soon.

Read the full update here.

Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
729 articles

  • 163 6
 Can you imagine being such a giant piece of shit that you send hateful messages to a guy racing bikes that you have never met because he crashed into another rider..... Fucking losers.
  • 58 11
 Welcome to Earth, you must be new here haha
  • 7 1
 @ctd07: as per user name, he was in hibernation, might be his first day on the internet
  • 1 0
 So true!
  • 7 1
 True, but honestly that's not why he's really skipping. All focus on Worlds. He wants revenge for last year.

Loana Lecomte just announced she will also extend her break and skip Snowshoe/Mont Sainte Anne.

Until the UCI figures out a way to either benefit participants or penalize those who don't, this trend of skipping races is only going to continue to get worse as training methodology evolves.
  • 2 0
 @Jamminator: Yup, I was thinking about driving up to Mont Sainte Anne to watch the races (about 5 hrs drive), but it sure is a lot less attractive when so many top names are skipping it. Bad for the UCI brand, I'd say.
  • 1 2
 @Jamminator: 100% agree this has to stop or at least if you don't do all of the races ( except for health issues ) you shouldn't be able to ride in the Worlds .. total joke UCI
  • 4 0
 @scottty: really? If that scenario ensued you'd have very sparse fields at World Champs. As an example... I personally coach 4 riders who are doing World Cup/World Championship level racing this year. All of them are entirely self-funded, so only make a few World Cup's. On your suggestion, then none of them would be allowed to represent their country at World Champs, despite being amongst their countries best?
  • 1 0
 @Cabin: well at least there should be a % scale or laps completed, its totally unfair on both ends of the spectrum
  • 91 10
 As he said about the crash, "That's racing". Here, "This is the internet."
  • 20 7
 Nailed it. If he thinks that’s bad he should see the comments section when Marvin Musquin T boned Eli Tomac in Salt Lake City supercross a few years ago.
  • 28 14
 @jray152: He can be all sad boi about it if he wants, but I'm still planning on watching Nino secure a record win this year.
  • 34 5
 @jray152: keep your whataboutism to yourself. Everyone has a different threshold of backlash they can take and decide what is too much for them.

Just because someone else received even more backlash then Fluckiger, doesnt mean he has to 'man up' and take it.
  • 11 29
flag Kevindhansen (Jul 27, 2022 at 4:06) (Below Threshold)
 @waldo-jpg: yes it does. It's not nice but it's part of being a professional athlete. No one is forcing him to do this job. Quit and go work in an office with an HR department if the juice ain't worth the squeeze.
  • 10 1
 "This is the internet". Understood. But that isn't a blanket pass for people to be a*sholes just because that's how a lot of people act. In line with what @TheBearDen mentioned, people need to grab some perspective and try to have a positive impact. And sometimes that can be done just by keeping your mouth shut.

In many cases society has decided that murderers don't deserve capital punishment. Surely...surely...we can decide that a mountain bike racer doesn't need hate and threats lobbed at him from across the globe.

It seems to me that dust-up was between Nino and MF and Nino had his say after the race. UCI applied some "rules". Case should be closed.
  • 2 0
 @iammarkstewart: Watch the race again in 5 years, at which point I think you will see what he is being accused of was true, he was a poor sport. We didn't see the crash, and maybe we never will, but riding like and a-hole will get the a-holes on the internet worked up and venting at you.

I don't think we should being bashing him too harshly, but like a good dad "We are disappointed in you Mathias!"
  • 62 6
 Oh for Flueck's sake, seriously??
  • 12 3
  • 8 25
flag CantClimb (Jul 26, 2022 at 16:14) (Below Threshold)
 He'll be in Andorra doing high altitude training for world championship. Nino is a true racer.
  • 1 5
flag danielfloyd (Jul 27, 2022 at 6:40) (Below Threshold)
  • 56 10
 Never, ever read the comments section. Especially after you crash into the biggest star in the sport but can't bring yourself to hold up your hand and say "my bad".
  • 5 4
 "Especially after you crash into the biggest star in the sport "

Well, now I want to see with my eyes. Do you have a video of what happened?
  • 8 1
 @nilswalk: Damn, can't believe that footage! I mean come on... you know the rules and so do I! You wouldn't get this from any other guy.
  • 6 2
 @nilswalk: got me you SOB
  • 4 2
 @nilswalk: i refuse to click a link that ends in XcQ
  • 3 0
 @nilswalk: wow thats so agressive!
  • 25 4
 Social media only affects you if you look at it and take the comments from complete strangers seriously in any way. Switch the shit off and end of problem. And why on earth do we think everyone in this world only has positives perspective of us in the first place? The people that matter to us is all that matters and even they might think and say things we would rather not hear but in the end, sometimes, we need to hear those things from them.
  • 12 4
 Easier said than done. Other thank PB I am not on social media(no FB etc..). Found out that someone was slandering my family on FB and soon the small community were all turning their noses up at us and contractors refused us service. These comments hurt people in real life. Not just in internet land.
  • 25 3
 So many comments in here showing the wrong attitude. So easy to sink to the lowest common denominator and jump on the hate bandwagon.
  • 8 0
 Beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression…the dark side of the Force are they, easily they flow… If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will.
  • 27 7
 He's not wrong.
  • 22 2
 He is absolutely right.
  • 21 1
 Agreed. Mob mentality of social media and the internet is as ugly as it is consistent
  • 17 16
 The internet can be rough but its always been that way, for better or worse. That being said, everything indicates that it was likely his fault i.e Nino's reaction, his lack of explanation for what happened ("its racing") etc. Its not hard to come to the conclusion that it was likely his fault.'re gonna attract some negative attention and vitriol, especially when you're fighting for what could have been a record breaking win in Nino's case.
  • 7 16
flag Trail6 (Jul 26, 2022 at 15:13) (Below Threshold)
 @wilsonians: exactly the fact he says it’s not that important makes me think he’s guilty. It’s a record on the line for the most winning person ever in xc.
  • 20 1
 @Trail6: Guilty isn't the right word here. He didn't intentionally take Nino out. He miscalculated and messed up, unfortunately Nino got caught up in it. He is right, that IS racing. As much as it sucked for Nino and his fans (of which I am one).
  • 4 1
 @Trail6: Compared to many global events happening right now, xc racing means little. It brings joy, which is great, but is a privilege regardless.
  • 6 0
 @mi-bike many of the above comments here instantly prove MF's point. It's sadly ironic.
  • 1 0
 @Trail6: which is totally unimportant
  • 15 1
 Still no video of the crash?
  • 39 1
 gotta subscribe to outside+ for that
  • 135 15
 Yeah, it got posted on the last round of comments about this
  • 27 1
 @jeffrocx: Thanks! Finally.
  • 10 11
 @jeffrocx: haha, got me
  • 18 0
 @jeffrocx: THANK YOU, we can finally see who's at fault in this case
  • 14 0
 @jeffrocx: WOW! That's a gnarly crash. Judge for yourself.
  • 23 0
 @jeffrocx: I don’t see how you couldn’t be pissed off after watching that
  • 20 0
 the look Nino gives when he looks straight into the camera is hard to forgot... skip to 0:42 seconds
  • 4 6
 @jeffrocx: hahah, it had been years, thanks for the chuckle
  • 2 4
 @jeffrocx: damn you Smile
  • 2 4
 @jeffrocx: F-ing got me!
  • 2 5
 @jeffrocx: Oh that's good. Very well played.
  • 5 35
flag uweb250 (Jul 26, 2022 at 22:51) (Below Threshold)
 @jeffrocx: Whats the name of the video? The link leads me to a Rick Astley music video
  • 17 1
 @uweb250: It had to be a german remaining completely serious and taking it literally haha Smile
  • 1 5
flag dtheio (Jul 27, 2022 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 @uweb250: welcome to the internet. fyi
  • 10 1
 Elephants are made from mosquitos?!
  • 12 1
 Damn Switzerland is fuckin crazy
  • 3 0
 Evolution continues...
  • 4 0
 Of course, did you miss biology courses? Here, this will hopefully refresh your memory:
  • 11 0
 American: "Make a mountain out of a molehill"

Switzerland: "That's not a mountain, that's still a molehill"
  • 1 3
 @hellanorcal: Typical insular European, there are about 50 mountains in the US that are higher than the highest in Switzerland.
  • 2 1
 @OnTheRivet: It was a joke, referencing the language differences between native speaking Swiss colloquialisms, and native speaking American colloquialisms.

I'm sure there is a "gotcha" thread about mountains somewhere on the roadie forums . Perhaps you could comment there. Bonus: They might even talk in meters!
  • 1 0
 @OnTheRivet: Can't edit my comment. Didn't mean to sound harsh.
  • 1 0
 @hellanorcal: No worries I was joking too. Sounded funnier in my head.
  • 5 0
 Uh, a little overly dramatic, maybe? A simple "I got caught up in the heat of the race and attempted a pass that in hindsight I shouldn't have and it ended up taking us both out of the race, which clearly was not my intention" would have prevented this from taking on a life of its own.
  • 10 1
 Be Best
  • 7 3
 I’m not sure what to think about his statement. Maybe there is some translation issues and some context issues as the quote shows it’s been edited, but how hard is it to say I made a mistake or a bad decision and move on?
  • 1 0
 Did Nino ever admited mistakes after pushing riders out of his way?
  • 8 6
 "Target of hate" seems a little hyperbolic. I mean look at ANY forum or social media comment section. One should just move on and forget it. What would one expect when Nino was leading, then crashes with Mathias trying to pass him, and then Nino's super pissed at the finish line? *not saying Mathias was at fault.
  • 4 0
 Huge Nino fan here. Lenzerheide was rough, but Math is one of the best and doesn't deserve to be defined by a split-second mistake. Wish him the best.
  • 1 0
 Didn't read all the comments here, so...I believe I hear what he is trying to say. The internet can be brutal and feelings can/do get hurt. I would much rather know your side of the story about the crash that occurred with Nino. Heck, tell me rubbing is racing and crap happens. I'll respect that forever.

Be the apex predator of an athlete that you are and just tell your side of the story of that crash with Nino.
  • 1 0
 Hey Mathias ,it’s obvious that nino didn’t enjoy the crash ,and it is alright he’s attitude in you ,and yes you have to listen to it and understand it ,but like you say it’s racing your heart and mind it is on a different level when racing ,and sometimes ,shit happens,but nino has other worries in his life that I bet are bigger than all the rest of this small things ,that yes in sport career it is tough,but comparing to the rest of is life it is just minor things ,and I know he is a tough mother f*cker ,but YOU can’t be distracted from what you want ,you made a mistake,like the one that made you fly to the bushes some years back ,being to cocky,but that is you ,so tell them all f*ck off ,and ride on ,you are a very very good athlete,as a person I do not know ,but it feels like you are ,so get your head in the game and do what you love ,cause nino is gonna get is most winning events ,even if he is 50 years old :-))))
  • 5 2
 But is he getting as much internet hate as this lady is?

she is still racing...
  • 4 0
 Yes, unfortunately the armchair experts are well and truly out for that crash.
  • 12 12
 Maybe I am from a different generation but he is a world cup racer and he is not racing because of some social media comments??!!
Well heres mine.
I have no idea about the crash but a case of ‘man up’ needs to occur. Top flight sport is brutal more so multi participant events. Thats life. No body gets to that level without stepping on quite a few toes.
  • 6 3
 Mental health is underestimated and misunderstood. Man up yourself with knowledge and simpathy. He's also taking precautions about his body health, because covid is a bitch.
  • 4 1
 Your time will come where, for whatever reason, your mind and/or body can't manage to "man up". Then come back to your "internet" and "comment section" for support and see what happens...

Whatever the sport, step on all the toes you like. All those toes are on the field and track. MF did nothing to us, and Nino and the UCI had their say. @Notmeatall is definitely on the right track. You sound like the same generation my dad was from...let me tell you he could have used a hand understanding himself and working on his mental health.
  • 1 2
 @Notmeatall: no idea why I find myself back here but I have had covid twice this year, once pretty bad that has left me with an inhaler. Its been a bugger to get back to it but such is life. I did not die. Life goes on. Equally I have also done (another) sport at a good level. You have to dig deep and get dirty. Thats the nature of the beast. The difference here is that you actually dont have to give a crap about social media. Its what happens on the course that counts.
We will always see things differently but social media is just one of lifes trivial nonsenses. If you put yourself on it, expect opposing comments. As is the case here.
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: oh yeah, the old "pull yourself up bt your bootstraps".

Glad to hear you don't suffer from depression or other mental health problems. But don't expect other to do the same just because your experience was different.

If we create a good enviroment that people won't be judgemental about mental health issues, we will have less Chester Charles Bennington or Kurt Cobain cases.
  • 2 0
 As was said in one of my all-time favorite movies: "...I don't have an ulcer, because I know when to say "I don't give a f***."
  • 2 0
 He is a very dynamic rider. Fun to watch. Will miss seeing him here in North America.
  • 3 2
 ignore the hate, nino only in with a chance to win while Pidcock and MVDP busy on the road
  • 1 0
 Nino has 2 reasons MF should stay away till things cool down, Righty and Lefty
  • 1 0
 Matthias' hurt feelings report helps Nino to win again!
  • 1 0
  • 11 12
 So, he was new to the internet?
  • 6 7
 Yeah, the internet can be brutal, so does passing Nino.
  • 5 23
flag mi-bike (Jul 26, 2022 at 14:00) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, passing Nino can be brutal, so does your grammar Wink
  • 16 1
 @mi-bike: yeah, so does my grandma Wink
  • 1 0

  • 2 5
 @mi-bike: so IS your grammar. so how is your grammar, brah?
  • 2 3
 @mi-bike: what's mine say?!
  • 1 2
 @Rainozeros: mine too
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