Video: Crashes & a Sprint Finish at a Dramatic XCO Race in Lenzerheide

Jul 13, 2022
by Alicia Leggett  

bigquotesThe beautiful setting of Lenzerheide in the Swiss Alps hosted the fifth round of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Cup. Italy’s Luca Braidot managed to hold off South African Alan Hatherly in a sprint finish to take his first World Cup win. A sprint finish is exciting enough though this doesn’t quite tell the story of the dramatic sixth and final lap that had seen Braidot, Hatherly, Mathias Flückiger and Nino Schurter racing as a lead group on that lap.

The group's lead was exchanged several times between Braidot, Flückiger and Schurter as the lap progressed, and it seemed that Flückiger and Schurter had broken away from the other two and would fight it out for the win. However, unseen by the TV cameras covering the event, Flückiger and Schurter had a coming together. When the group came back into view of the cameras, Braidot and Hatherly were ahead of Flückiger and Schurter.

There were chaotic scenes in the finish area at the end of the race. Braidot was overcome with the emotion of his win, as was Schurter, who had come in fourth. Schurter was visibly upset at how the race had ended. Everyone wanted to know what happened between Flückiger and Schurter and tried to make sense of what had just gone on in the last few minutes of the race.
Red Bull Bike

Find more coverage of the Lenzerheide XC World Cup here.

Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
729 articles

  • 99 12
 I finally found a video of the crash, at least parts of it. I think it's clear whose fault it is, but have a look yourself first:
  • 26 1
 Wow, thanks for that. Finally know what happened there.
  • 18 1
 Angry upvote
  • 10 1
 Unbelievable! UCI needs to start dishing out some suspensions for this sort of stuff
  • 5 1
 Yep, just rolled right into him.
  • 31 0
 What happens in the trees stays in the trees.
  • 17 0
 Nino has asserted his line hard more than once-and had it work out. It was a matter of time before someone could match his watts and did match his aggression. I don't think he was wrong, but I do think he was going to get the door shut on him hard enough to deck out eventually. Looking forward to the Swiss rivalry the rest of the season!!
  • 12 1
 I good bit of evidence that a pass is bad is if it takes out both riders. I've watched every XCO World Cup since 2016 and can't think of an incident close to this.
  • 7 1
 Well, he might have passed others at places where they didn't expect him to pass. BUT he passed them without making them crash. Not sure it's aggression, rather smart riding and great analysis of their lines. The way he passed the other riders and the spots picked, there was no way the other rider can just hop 2 meters over and be in his way. And yes I haven't seen any footage, but from what the unicorns tell, this was more likely to be a T-boning incident.
  • 9 3
 @fourcross: Without them crash is a bit of a stretch. A clean pass is one that the other doesn't have to brake or crash. Nino made a lot of those. Like, a LOT. In a climb he saw Ulloa going for the pass and he suddenly took his line and Ulloas front wheel too, leaving him on the ground.
Nino did a lot of passes where others needed to brake so both wouldn't be on the ground. So yeah, that's not sportsmanship. Just like yealling and shouting slurs right at the end line.
  • 7 0
 @Notmeatall: a pass is only clean if the passed rider doesn't have to brake??? That's just silly. Avoiding other riders is part of XC racing. So is positioning yourself to close down lines where other riders can pass you... sometimes it takes aggressive moves to get around people. Didn't see the Ulloa incident so I can't comment on that.

@nattyd agreed, I can't think of any other incidents like this since I've been watching XCO (2013ish?)... and it's not like there haven't been more than a handful of races that were close all the way to the finish.
  • 3 0
 I see what you're saying - other riders are totally within their rights to ride as aggressively as Nino does. But it's one thing to get the door closed on you (ie. while passing) and have to put a foot down. I'm sure there are exceptions, but getting taken out by someone behind you trying to pass is *generally* just some bullshit.
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: I am fully with you on the yelling part, still not so on the passing one. There were close calls, but I still see a difference in forcing the rider he passes to hit the brakes hart to the T-boning (still no video around I know).

And the yelling should not have happened, but there are some pretty bad translations around to what Nino sad.
  • 1 0
 @fourcross: just out of curiosity, what's a decent translation of what he said?
  • 4 0
 @fourcross: I guess we will never know what really happened, but I have seen plenty of Schurter's overtaking, where at least one of riders (Schurter or the guy who he was overtaking) would end up on ground if the other rider wouldn't brake and let Schurter go. I guess this time, there were two of guys who didn't have any intention to break and let other one with right to go. If those rider's Schurter was overtaking similar way would have same attitude, there would be plenty of crashes before already. But you can hardly say he was overtaking them clearly if they were forced to brake if they wanted to avoid crash. Just last year's Lenzerheide when Schurter was overtaking Fluckiger and Fluckiger needed to brake pretty hard to avoid being forced off the track is one sample... obviously this one was payback, except contrary to last year, when Fluckiger was braking to avoid crash, Schurter didn't this year and they ended in crash.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: Well, if Nino had braked, both wouldn't be passed by Alan and Braidot.
  • 3 0
 @primozj: If you look at it that way I cannot argue against it. And we just don't know what really happened in between the trees compared to the moments you mentioned. So let's just enjoy the show and hope they keep racing hard, but without these incidents.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: If sb calls me "not normal" I'd take it as "I went to far" or "it was clear this would not work as intended".
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: don't see how you can possibly know that.

My point is *generally* the overtaker is the one with the greatest ability to avoid a collision... much easier to react to something in front of you than something behind you. If the leader decides to hold their line, *normally* the overtaker can just tap the brakes to avoid a crash. OTOH, it's not always possible for a leader to avoid getting T-boned by someone coming in hot from behind. Yes there are definitely cases when the leader gets forced outside or has to brake, but that's usually after the overtaker has come alongside.
  • 1 0
 @fourcross: thanks. Idk, Nino definitely could have handled it better but I'm kinda surprised he got fined if that's all that was said. And the "slap" looked more like an aggressive tap on the shoulder to me.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: I am absolutely with you! And even so a softy "slap" it was, he shouldn't have done it. The fine came at no surprise to me. Might keep it from happening again, ain't soccer, right?
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: only those 2 know what happend, and they will tell their side of the story.

Lots of nino's passes were terribly timed, endangering the passed riders, with moves that deflected passed riders from their line, and passes that would take out the front wheel of the other rider.
nino is cut throat, there is no half term. That's why both of them went to the dirt.
  • 5 0
 And still no video of the incident, although you can MF dive to the inside right before it happened
  • 2 1
 Have you seen a video clue that hasn't been black-holed by the Swiss Mafia ?
  • 5 0
 Nino is cut throat - now he has trained others how to ride.
  • 3 0
 Nino just learned his lesson back in London, when he lost the olympics because Kulhavy overtook him on the inside on one of the last corners before the finish line.
  • 2 1
 Braidot and Hatherly know exactly what happened, i can speculate as to why the won't say Fluck should get the 'black flag'. I wonder if Nino will be rocking the rear facing gopro again?
  • 1 0
 Damn how good these Red Bull edits are.....Even I had a blast watching XC though I usually only watch the DH races. Way to go Discovery.
  • 2 0
 Still a piece of the puzzle missing..... but what a race!!!
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