Jaroslav Kulhavy Second, Stander Third at XC World Championships

Specialized Factory Racing | September 6, 2010

Specialized had a successful weekend in the men’s cross country with Specialized Czech rider Jaroslav Kulhavy producing an excellent silver medal, while Specialized Factory Racing Team member Burry Stander won a bronze medal.

A week of clear skies and warm temperatures left a fast dusty cross country track, but as the weekend loamed the weather forecasts lived up to predictions, with temperatures dropping into the mid twenties and rain arriving. In the morning, during the women’s race, although the sky was dark, rain did not fall, but as the men’s race loamed it was difficult to predict what would happen. “A lot of rain was forecasted and everyone was kind of nervous before the race as to what the weather would do” commented Stander. “Similar to last years’ conditions, it did dry out. The roots and rocks were a little slippery. I had planned to ride the mud tire Specialized has developed for the 29er, but in the final minutes before kick off I put the fast rolling renegade on the rear, with the mud tire up front”.

Burry & Jaroslav managed to avoid the crash in the opening stages, but Christoph Sauser and Todd Wells were not so lucky. “I had a pretty good start even though I was in the start crash, working well with Julien and Hermida to get to the front” said Sauser. Mechanicals were in abundance today. Christoph Sauser punctured just after the feed zone at the end of lap one, meaning he had to run for almost half a lap before he got going again. “After last weekend in Windham I was super confident that I could even win here” said a clearly disappointed Sauser. The puncture pushed Sauser 7 minutes out of contention.

Todd Wells produced another consistent World Championship Result on board his Specialized S Works Epic 29er. Wells started well and was battling for the top 15 until the final lap, where he lost a little momentum and dipped just outside the top 20.

Nino Schuter set a monstrous pace at the front, with only Jaroslav able to follow. Burry Stander was always a few seconds back, while Absalon, Ralf Naef and Hermida traded positions a further ways back. Burry managed to bridge up and as he did, Schurter punctured, but a very quick change left Schurter only 15 seconds back. As the two Specialized riders chased hard, Nino pursued as did Jose Hermida, while Absalon although riding well in the top five, was clearly not himself. It did not take Nino long to regain control at the front, this time trading blows with the young Czech, Kulhavy and South African Stander.

Nino was dealt a second blow with puncture number two and although another quick change left him still in contention, he would have a hard chase. As Nino faltered the character of the mountain biking scene, ever popular Jose Hermida took control. The pace was a little hot for Stander. “Jaroslav and Hermida were a little bit stronger than me and kept pulling a little bit, so I just rode within myself, my S Works Stumpjumper 29er Hard Tail went great, I didn’t make any mistakes and had the perfect race” said a very happy Stander, who earned his second senior mountain bike medal to his collection.

When Hermida gets that serious look in his eyes it’s very hard to stop him. The pace was relentless and over the final lap Hermida distanced himself from Kulhavy, while Stander maintained third position with Schurter and Absalon just out of the medals. Jose Hermida deservingly won and earned a World Championship title that eluded him for many years.

1 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain) 1:52:26

2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 0:00:29

3 Burry Stander (South Africa) 0:01:10

4 Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 0:02:03

5 Julien Absalon (France) 0:02:23

6 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spain) 0:02:43

7 Liam Killeen (Great Britain) 0:02:51

8 Geoff Kabush (Canada) 0:03:58

9 Florian Vogel (Switzerland) 0:04:14

10 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spain) 0:04:30

21 Todd Wells (United States Of America) 0:08:32

32 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 0:11:23