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It was another outstanding weekend for the Trek World Racing team with two top tens by the Flueckiger brothers and younger brother Mathias retaining his Under 23 Leader jersey.

 

Taking place at the historic mountain bike capital of Houffalize, Belgium, the brothers put in a stunning performance despite the tough conditions on this challenging track. Famous for its savagely steep climbs, the wet weather conditions made riding treacherous in both the Men's and Women's Elite races but an incredible start by Mathias, positioned him in the top ten overall right from the start.

Almost immediately Mathias worked his way up to 2nd overall in the 1st lap, never dropping below 3rd place until the final lap where he came home 6th overall and 1st in the Under 23 category – over 2 minutes ahead of 2nd place Under 23 rider, Alexis Vuillermoz.

Amidst a full complement of 211 elite men riders, it was an amazing performance by both brothers with older sibling, Lukas, storming into an impressive 5th place in the 1st lap despite the perilously wet and muddy descents that witnessed hoards of riders crashing throughout the weekend. Lukas battled hard throughout the race, never dropping below 6th until the final lap where he ended up 10th.

In the Women’s Elite race held earlier in the day, things proved a bit tougher for TWR’s Under 23 rider, Emily Batty. The steep climbs of this classic track, ideal for lighter, more powerful riders, meant Emily was hoping to build on last week’s success at Dalby Forest. A strong start saw her in 3rd place in the Under 23s but rain eventually dampened her day. Dropping one place overall in lap 1, she held her position of 3rd in the Under 23s and fought hard in laps 2 and 3 to maintain her position of 25th overall before a mechanical meant she fell a further three places, ending the race positioned 5th in the Under 23s and 28th overall in a field of 119 riders.

Mathias Fleuckiger said: "There were a lot of up-hills – not too long but very steep. The start here is normally too long for me – last year was very hard. Today I was surprised – I had a very good start and was in the top ten. It was a good start, also in the downhill sections of the start loop. In the last lap I wasn't so good, concentration was hard and I was a bit tired – 2 hours for me is a bit long but I’m very happy!"

Lukas Flueckiger said: "I worked really hard and I'm disappointed. I haven't got the legs like last weekend. On the first downhill there were a lot of crashes and I crashed avoiding someone else's crash. My legs felt closed and a lot of riders passed by me and I had big problems for the 1st lap. Then it got better and better and I came back but overall I'm disappointed. I want to be better".

Emily Batty said: "It was a tough race. The start climb was quite good and I was in a decent position at the top. Then half way down the first downhill it went crazy with so many riders crashing, including me - it was like a grease pit out there. I lost a lot of positions and for the first two laps I didn't feel I was riding my greatest. Then in the second half the sun came out and it began to dry up which made it even more slippery and greasy. It wasn't my best but I'm heading home tomorrow and plan to train hard and get ready for a better ride at Offenburg in three weeks".

Media seeking our hi-res images from Houffaliize, contact Jess at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Team website: http://www.trekbikes.com/twr

Results:

Women's Elite:

1: Eva Lechner (ITA) 1 hour 40 mins 30 secs
2: Willow Koerber (USA) @ 5 secs
3: Elisabeth Osl (AUT) @ 36 secs

28: Emily Batty (Trek World Racing) @ 10mins 42 secs

Men's Elite:

1: Jose Hermida (ESP) 1hr 44mins 19 secs
2: Manuel Fumic (GER) @ 57 secs
3: Wolfram Kurschat (GER) @1 min 25 secs
6: Mathias Flueckiger (Trek World Racing) @ 1 min 57 secs
10: Lukas Flueckiger (Trek World Racing) @ 3 mins 14 secs

Women's Overall Standings:

1: Willow Koerber (USA) – 400pts
2: Eva Lechner (ITA) – 335pts
3: Irina Kalentieva (RUS) – 330pts
19: Emily Batty (Trek World Racing) – 126pts

Men's Overall Standings:

1: Jose Hermida (ESP) – 350pts
2: Manuel Fumic (GER) – 330pts
3: Nino Schurter (SUI) – 326pts
9: Mathias Flueckiger (Trek World Racing) – 210 points
11: Lukas Flueckiger (Trek World Racing) – 205 points

Then riders take a few weeks off from World Cup racing and return to Offenburg, Germany, for Round 3 on May 23.