Nino Schurter is one of the best MTB riders in the history of this discipline. He won the 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2015 World Championships and is the 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 UCI World Cup winner.
The only major goal that Schurter hasn’t achieved yet is the gold medal on the Olympic Games, but he has a big chance to do that this year in Rio.
Cycling Today: How is going the training for the new season?
Nino Schruter: All on track! We had a very mild winter in Switzerland that allowed me to train the way I wanted, except I would like to have a few more snow days on skies….
So far I got healthy trough the winter and hope it will stay like this for the remaining time.
CT: How you combine technique and endurance in your training?
NS: I live in the heart of the Swiss Alps. It is not hard to find demanding trails around my hometown that help me work on my technique while I do my endurance ride at the same time.
CT: What bike you’ll ride this season? There are any updates on your bike for 2016?
NS: As every year in an Olympic season we try to come up with something new.
But you understand that at this time and point I can not communicate anything. This year it will actually be a few things that will be brand new. The upcoming things are exciting and it gives me a lot of motivation to know riding a super fast bike in Rio.
CT: You won so many times the World Cup and World Championships, but you don’t have a gold medal at Olympic Games. Is Rio the big goal this season for you?
NS: Yes this is the remaining big goal I’m aiming for. The big deal for 2016!
CT: You checked the route for the Olympics? What are your thoughts about it?
NS: I won the test event in Rio last October which is a good thing for my self confidence. I like the course, it’s fun to ride on it. Lot’s of jumps and a pretty fast track will make it an interesting race.
CT: Your rivalry with Julien Absalon it is already legendary, what is your relationship with him, it’s only about races and out of the competition you two are friends?
NS: I fell we both have a lot of respect for each other. We get along good also after the finish line. But to say we are friends is a bit too much to say.
CT: You won so many races in your career, so what keeps you motivated to race with the same enthusiasm?
NS: I love my sport and I love competition. I focus on staying where I am and this is on the top of the MTB sport. Once you loose the enthusiasm things will change fast. But I feel I have another good five years in me. This is why I signed recently a contract with SCOTT-Odlo team until 2020.
CT: You raced on road in Romandie and Suisse in 2014, have you ever thought about trying a full season in road cycling?
NS: Sure I thought about it. Even it would be an interesting new path I feel I have my roots in MTB and I’m not willing to give this up a 100%. Most likely it would not be enough to just switch one year to the road and be successful immediately. It takes time and experience.
CT: What gives you the mountain biking that road cycling can’t offer you?
N.S.: Freedom! I’m more independent in training and racing. I race as an individual and most important in MTB is that I’m my own boss and don’t have to do what others tell me to do.
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cross-country interview MTB Nino Schurter RIO 2016 scott-odlo World Championships MTB World cup mtb