On the podium despite some setbacks.
Even with team leader Julie Bresset out of the race due to an injury, the riders of the BH-SR Suntour-KMC team managed to ride into the spotlight at the first two rounds of the crosscountry worldcup: In Albstadt, Maxime Marotte even made it to the podium finishing in fourth.
In Central Europe, spring is still in low gear. So it was not all that surprising that the first round of the worldcup in Albstadt, Southern Germany was being ridden in cold and wet weather. The BH-SR Suntour-KMC team had to do without its leader Julie Bresset as she had broken her collarbone a few weeks earlier in a pile-up right after the start of a national race in Germany. In her stead, Maxime Marotte and the new signing of the team for this season Stéphane Tempier were scoring the top results in Albstadt.
Marotte fared surprisingly well in the tough conditions encountered in Albstadt, and at times he seemed to be on track to finish in third. In the end all that separated him as fourth-place finisher from surprise winner Daniel McConnell were 17 seconds. After a bad start, Stéphane Tempier showed a strong catch-up race that made him move up to a 10th place in the end. As Tempier had been struggling with some health issues before the first worldcup round, this was much more than he had been expecting himself. Spain's Pablo Rodriguez Guede on the other hand never got up to speed in the under23 race however, so he had to settle for a 21st place.
One week later, an attractive course and large crowds were waiting for the worldcup circus in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Due to a cold Maxime Marotte had no chance to keep up with the fastest riders. As a proof of his class he still finished in 10th. Instead, Stéphane Tempier was competing at the front of the race in Nove Mesto: After three of seven laps, he had made his way to the leading group. But then he misjudged a couple of rollers that had been built for the sprint race and crashed heavily. Tempier had to abandon the race and got checked for injuries at the local hospital.
In the under23 race, Pablo Rodriguez Guede was riding in the first ten positions at the beginning, but then he faded slightly. Thus he could not repeat his spectacular performance of the year before when he had finished in seventh in the Czech Republic. In the end, the Spaniard crossed the finish line in 15th. The third round of the crosscountry worldcup is going to be held in the middle of June in Val di Sole, Italy. Until then Julie Bresset should have recovered entirely from her injury.
- Axon Werx
- Epixon TR