Nino Schurter is an Olympic champion, 6-time World Champion, and 6-time World Cup champion. In addition, he has 30 World Cup wins to his name. But the Swiss star prefers to look forward not back, which is why on Saturday he'll be the favorite to win gold at the 2018 World Mountain Bike Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Besides the chance to claim rainbow jersey No. 7, winning in Lenzerheide would mean taking triumph on home soil, as the mountainous Swiss region has long been Schurter's primary training ground.
"Having the World Championships on home soil is going to be a true highlight of my career," said Schurter. "I hope I can deliver what everyone is expecting from me. All the preparation went 100% according to plan so far, which makes me confident to deliver on Saturday. But I know it will be tough since I am the one being hunted. But this is not a new situation for me. I have to have a perfect run and perform at my very best to keep guys like Mathieu van der Poel, Gerhard Kerschbaumer, and Jaroslav Kulhavy under control. Especially Jaroslav, he is someone I always have on my list at Worlds."
Aiding Schurter in that quest will be this custom painted Scott Spark RC 900, an ideal machine for the technical Lenzerheide track. "I'm super familiar with the track which I'm loving," added Schurter. "And my Scott Spark 900 RC World Cup is specifically tuned for this kind of conditions. Now having the World Cup champion title under my belt and winning Gold with the Swiss team in the Team Relay is already something significant in the books. From now it's all about defending my World Champion title."
The Men's Elite cross country race will take place Saturday at 9:30 am east coast time, and consist of 7 laps on a 4.2km circuit with 188m of climbing per lap. Lenzerheide race official are expecting upwards of 15,000 spectators.
Here's a closer look at the bike Schurter will be piloting in his quest for glory. Click the images to enlarge.
For the World Championships at Lenzerheide, Scott and SRAM's designers worked together on a Swiss Army Knife style race design with tons of nice details.
Schurter runs a 90mm stem-handle bar combo. The Fraser iC SL has a negative rise of -25° to keep the handlebars really low. The negative combo maximizes the advantages of his aggressive riding position.
The stem-handlebar combo Fraser iC SL Special Edition cockpit has a -25° rise, 90mm virtual stem length. Bars are cut to 680mm width, and have 6° backsweep and 9°upsweep. A smoothly integrated Syncros mount for his Garmin device tops off the overall look.
Frame weight is 1779g (including shock and hardware). This was utilizing Scott's lightest HMX carbon fiber and a sophisticated carbon lay-up process.
The frame is made of 752 single carbon layers, all put together by hand. The heart of the frame is the Trunnion mount. The shock body extends between the two lower mounting bolts which results in more stroke for the same eye to eye length. The shorter shock also enables a very compact frame and shock package, which integrates tightly to the seat tube.
Drivetrain is SRAM's XX1 Eagle Black Box 12-speed drivetrain. Schurter normally runs a massive 38-tooth chainring, depending on the course. Pedals are Ritchey's WCS V6.
Lightweight DT Swiss custom-painted XMC 1200 Spline Carbon 29er wheels are Schurter's choice for Worlds. Tires are Maxxis Aspen 29x2.25 170TPI EXO TR with 50ml of sealant.
Keeping the ride smooth is a 100mm RockShox SID World Cup Carbon RL3 Charger Black Box fork is paired with a custom 3-mode rear shock and proprietary TwinLoc suspension system.
To learn more about the Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup, head to www.scott-sports.com.