Because of Corona holidays. Nino Schurter has hardly been lazy in the last few weeks and months. For two or three weeks, the mountain bike star took it easy. The rest of the time he let his irrepressible will to win behind the wheel.
«I actually trained very intensively most of the time. I was on the bike even more hours per hour than in other years, ”reveals Schurter. The 34-year-old was also more on the racing bike and did more running training. Because the competitions were canceled, the associated recovery phases were also not needed. So Schurter just kept on exercising. Everything for his big goal. “I really want to defend gold in Tokyo next year. And I had the feeling that I have to use this time now. “
The Olympic champion and eight-time world champion has found that he has to eradicate his weaknesses. On the one hand because of the course in Japan. This offers many short but steep climbs. “So that I could cope with this more explosively, I tried to build muscle mass,” says Schurter.
On the other hand, Schurter has also adapted his training to his biggest opponent. “There are younger drivers who are more explosive than me,” says Schurter. “Mathieu van der Poel, for example.” Nino describes the Dutchman as extremely strong in sprints. In a short effort he has more power. The last duels always went to the cycling all-rounder. “He’s definitely one of my main opponents at the Olympics next year. If everything goes well with him, then it will be extremely difficult to beat him. “
Schurter deliberately used the Corona break to make up for this disadvantage against the 25-year-old. Corona could therefore become a gold trump card for Schurter.
Schurter at the Swiss Epic
He can show his new power for the first time on Tuesday. Schurter competes at the Swiss Epic. Five stages lead over 320 kilometers and 12,250 vertical meters through the Graubünden mountains around Laax, Arosa and Davos.
For Schurter it will be the first international race outing this year. And here too his will to win is evident. Because the Swiss Epic is one of the few races that the longtime mountain bike dominator has not yet won. That should change this week.
In training, Schurter completed three of the five stages exactly, the others can be put together mentally. He knows all the climbs, knows how long they are. He knows where the dangerous descents are and how much risk he can take. He knows which material to use where. “That is extremely beneficial in terms of mental health.”
The Swiss Epic is of great importance to Schurter. After a few national races, he can’t wait to face top international people like Jaroslav Kulhavy again. «The season is pretty neutered. There are only two World Cup races, the World Cup and the European Championship. ” But Schurter is someone who ultimately needs the big racing stage. «The smaller races have been okay so far, but aren’t that fun anymore. When it comes to the World Cup, medals or other international races, the fire burns in me to give everything. “