Conditions make the World Cup in Champéry a challenge for athletes and equipment.

Following heavy rainfall the World Cup in Champéry was not one for the light hearted.  Fehler! Kontakt nicht definiert. and Robert Mennen suffered, while Alban Lakata found himself a little better mastering the conditions.

With rainfall measuring over 40 litres per square meter on the Friday before the race, the course at Champéry literally drowned.  Pre-riding of the course saw a swamp opening up.  For the Team Topeak Ergon riders who were planning an assault there, it was not the best conditions, a situation reflected in the results.

Alban Lakata had chosen the race as his final preparation before the marathon World Championships in two weeks.  It was him who had the best performance on the day given the conditions.  “I started way back in 84th position.  I made up over 40 places to finish 41st.  It is a positive reflection of my form and I am now looking forward to the Worlds” Lakata said, during his warm-down.

On the Sunday morning Fehler! Kontakt nicht definiert. took to the start line.  It had been a long journey from the Russian national championships last weekend to Switzerland, and she arrived tired.  Following the race she said “In the first few laps I actually felt good, however I couldn’t find a rhythm.  The travelling and then the conditions weren’t a good combination.  I am disappointed with 14th position, it is motivation to do better at the next World Cup though.”

It was a dark day for Robert Mennen as well.  The 25 year old started out well, and was on his was to a top 30 finish.  The second lap was however an example of how quickly a dream can be over.  A spectacular jump followed by a sub-optimal landing saw him crashing into a tree.  “Fortunately nothing happened to me, but my rhythm was now gone.  I just couldn’t pull out anything higher than 52nd place though”.

Injured Wolfram Kurschat cancelled his race, leaving his ribs to heal.


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