Lars Forster to Miss Nove Mesto World Cup After Albstadt Crashes

May 20, 2019 at 13:37
by James Smurthwaite  

European XC champion, Lars Forster, has pulled out of this weekend's Nove Mesto XC World Cup after three crashes he suffered in Albstadt. Forster was leading when he first slid out on the grassy turns before the tech zone, his second crash is shown above on the single track section and his final, race-ending crash came in the woods.

Forster came second in the Short Track on Friday and was in a leading pair with team mate Nino Schurter before crashes spoiled his race. After confirming nothing was broken, Lars was flown to a hospital in Switzerland for an MRI which showed bruising and swelling on his foot and knee. He will miss Nove Mesto but hopefully be back on the bike for the third round in Vallnord in July.

Lars Forster leads the men out of the start.
Lars taking the hole shot in the XCC

bigquotesSlippery when wet... Maybe would have been better to pull out of the race after this one, but as you can see I wasn’t at 100% anymore. The aftermath: bone bruise at knee/ foot and both have big swelling. The worst part of it: I won’t be able to start at next weeks World Cup in Nove Mesto.

A full recovery is needed to get back to the strong shape like I showed in the first two laps.
Lars Forster

We're hoping Lars makes a speedy recovery and that we see him back on the bike soon.


41 Comments

  • + 14
 Last year there were some crashes, this year there were a few more, and reading through social media there were many more crashes which we didn't see on RedBull TV (Eva Lechner, Ondřej Cink, etc).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxqN6PboUsZ/

I'm starting to fear for what will be the response of the organizer for next year (for better or for worse).
  • + 11
 their "north shore" sidewalks were not very effective watching the womens race. Lame that the worlds will be there next year
  • + 14
 @RentalBike: There have always been many crashes per race every single year (2013-2019); in 2011 the race was held in Offenburg.

From my point of view is because only a handful of athletes can stay strong during the entire race (~90 min). The track is physically demanding; twice per lap they have to put a lot of effort on those climbs, so they start to crack (physically), hence the crashes on the downhills.

They could even pave the entire track and the result would be the same, they would go faster and only a few would be able to stay focus the entire race. So when some say that a EWS or DH athlete could do the track blindfolded, they are not considering how hard those climbs are.
  • + 3
 @RentalBike: And they used metal grid fencing nailed down as a means of grip on top... I don't know about you, but metal is pretty freaking slick in wet! Wonder whose idea that was. Asphalt shingles would be far better, albeit maybe not as widely/cheaply available in Germany.
  • + 1
 @Jamminator: Very true. Metal when wet, is just as slippery (if not more) than wood when wet.
  • + 8
 @Chribi - it is irrelevant. Those who rebuilt the track had no fkng clue what they were doing. It’s been said just before the race that this track is more dangerous than the last years one because it allows for much higher speeds. And here you have the proof. In the very same way bike parks claim most victims on flow trails. My friend just broke his back, collarbone and ribs on a silly little jump, after riding all day on gnarly natural steep single tracks infested with boulders. It is simple, it is fundamental primary school physics: speed means more kinetic energy. If you crash into baby head sized rocks at 15km/h you may have a bad luck and fall on one of them with your head, knee or elbow, but in most cases you will be fine. If your front wheel washes out at 30+ km/h on a totally unpredictable surface you may suffer serious injury.

The fact that they don’t use dropper posts, relying purely on line choice and tyre grip should also give them something to think about.

Not to mention how ajunior girl died on wooden bridge not so long ago. Just because something like rocks and roots on steep looks dangerous, doesn’t mean it is. And just because you pave it doesn’t mean you made it safer.

This course was a disgrace and organizers should be ashamed of themselves
  • + 1
 Idea: mud tyres? It’s possible to use them, I think. But oké I can be wrong.
  • + 16
 dazed and confused.. would be ruled out of UCI DH until medically cleared wouldn't he following that vid?
  • + 10
 He looks concussed to me
  • + 2
 I agree. Doesn't look right just after the crash. They probably didn't pull him as the marshals are not probably not trained in concussion protocol. Also when you crash in DH, your race is effectively over, but in XCO there's always a chance to recover lost time. For this reason they may not be brave enough to pull someone from the race.
  • + 5
 full gas, heart rate above normal, breathing heavy, then a sudden stop... That's what you will feel... dazed and confussed and people may think that you're drunk. In addition to that, more pain that you have to endure from that crash! Pain can increase blood pressure...
  • + 1
 @weetabix-man: not if you're Sam Hill
  • + 9
 This crash indeed explains why he went down again, looks dazed. Glad to hear it's not that serious, as it looked quite bad when he was walking assisted out of the woods.
  • + 7
 He had so many issues with those bars. And that was after he stopped and had them cranked down. Not that they were any match for that stake pounded into the ground. There MUST of be a better place in Germany to hold a WC. Or at least build a new course there. It's time.
  • + 1
 Offenburg was, and is still, pretty awesome. But will never see a XCO again on this one.
  • + 5
 He was lucky to only have his bike hit that post! Not that it mattered to the final result but I'm surprised he jumped back on to the course further down the track, I thought there would have been strict rules like there are in DH
  • + 1
 Yep, the post seemed very solid. There might be rules but he was shakey and might not have been following them.
  • + 5
 @Injuredhippo: If you look at the course preview, you can see all those metal posts sticking out of the ground everywhere. www.pinkbike.com/news/course-preview-smooth-sailing-albstadt-world-cup-xc-2019.html
This could end very badly if someone had hit one of those at speed and from a different angle.
  • + 2
 @Nicksen: These actually do look like strong metal pipes. Who thought that would be a good idea.
  • + 3
 @colincolin: same lame idiot who thought that smoothing it out is a good idea. Possibly thought it will drawfamilies with children to ride that course. Oh you zon’t needz zu drive funf hundranzich kilometah zu Garda, kom und ride uiv uz has im Albstadt. Shopen zie ein direkt zendung fahrad und ride next to zin hauze on ze welt kupen bahn.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I appreciate zhis comment. waki du kan rolig kommentare makera
  • + 5
 Holy shit! I can’t believe those are metal posts! I build trail and would never leave anything remotely protruding anywhere close to a trail (tree stumps / etc. ). Wow. I see the pics of the track preview totally different now.
  • + 6
 4.2.026 The sections of a cross-country course that involve steep or potentially dangerous slopes must be marked and protected using non-metallic, preferably PVC, stakes (slalom stakes), 1.5 to 2 meters high.

Yeah, sure:

Image 1 - Image 2 - Image 3 - Image 4

UCI Cycling Regulations HERE
  • + 6
 @chribi: wow, metal stakes on a race course is a recipe for disaster
  • + 3
 @chribi: Are those metal? Look like grey pvc?

No way are those metal? Realy??!!! Take a big core sample out of someone if they were. No... I think they're pvc. Even so they look a bit stout. Not exactly breakaway.

Dude should have been yanked from the race in any case. No surprise that he kept crashing.
  • + 2
 @captaingrumpy: dunno but in the video above the stake doesn't move as his bike crashes into it. PVC would possibly break. Even if it was PVC and is that strong it would pretty much be the same result as metal, no?
  • + 3
 @chribi: I was there to watch the race and like you, I was shocked in first place by looking at those stakes. After checking by myself I can confirm that they are grey PCV and are pretty flexible.
  • + 1
 @captaingrumpy: No bro... they are indeed metal. I was at this race and couldn't believe it myself.
  • + 2
 So who of the two comments above me is right now? I need to know.
Metal pipes would be shockingly stupid
  • + 2
 @colincolin: hahaha. well, I can go through some of my pics and see what I can find. I was posted up on the Gonso climb during much of the race. Wouldn't surprise me if we were both right, given the course construction of Albstadt.
  • + 6
 Holy moly that was a hit. Could've been so much worse.
  • + 4
 Seems everyone is ironically quiet about the dumbed down track now...
  • + 1
 Damn! That crash didn't look at all bad in the race feed. He was hauling when he went down. Respect for the XC folks. Taking hits in yoga gear.
  • + 1
 I was there. The poles were a hard plastic. The turn was slick mud with roots and loose rocks. Rides were sliding out even before the rain.
  • - 2
 I still wonder why no one on the XCO circuit wears lightweight padding a la G-Force, etc. I mean the crashes those guys have and no protection, why wouldn't you if that stops you from having a bruise on the knee bone and missing out on the next race?
  • + 9
 Pedaling generates a lot of heat. They already struggle to get rid of it; adding more clothing is going to make things a lot worse.
  • + 1
 Are these XC boys allowed to just enter the course downstream? Is that not a DQ?
  • + 7
 Official rule is between the poles where you exited like DH, but if there's no actual time or place advantage, no one is going to say anything...and I doubt any racer or team would protest someone who has just crashed hard.
  • - 3
 Wypłaszczenie trasy przyniosło odwrotny skutek. Trasa stała się szybsza a mniej techniczna. Upadki przy duzej prędkości są gorsze w skutkach niż przy mniejszej i ewentualnym zachwianiu sie przy krętym czy wyboistym zjeździe.
  • + 2
 Ya 100% right. Nino was robbed!
  • + 1
 love the xc updates!

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