Dirk Peters (Rotorua) and Richard Anderson (Blenheim) tackled the seventh round of the high profile Racer Bikes Cup in Flims, Switzerland yesterday. Anderson claimed an 8th in the Junior (Under 19) category, while Peters finished in outright 16th in the Elite/Under 23 race - and 8th of the Under 23 athletes competing.The two cross country mountainbike athletes have raced five high class events since travelling to Europe at the end of May, and have been making steady gains against the world's best at each.
Both athletes were up against form athletes in their respective categories. Anderson had Switzerland's Junior World Cup podium winner Roger Walder to contend with, while Peters lined up against 2009 World Champion Nino Schurter on his home track and with a large and loud crowd of local support behind him. Neither was fazed however - Anderson maintaining touch with the leader during his six lap race to complete the Flims race as part of a four man group sprinting for position right to the line.
Peters was impressed with the race course which suited his strong technical riding skills - and he employed an aggressive race strategy to suit. From the gun Peters pushed the pace hard, attacking whenever he had the chance to come through at the end of the first lap in 13th. He then rode the majority of the race in 12th position before dropping a few spots in the 7th and 8th laps, to capture his best result of his 2010 European campaign. Peters is happy with progress so far: "Five races in consecutive weekends has been very full on but also an amazing experience. Racing such high quality events can only be a good thing and I have learnt so much. It will be good to have a bit of a break."
Peters and Anderson now plan to head to France to see some of the Tour de France and to continue their build-ups for the next UCI World Cup events in Champery (Switzerland) and Val di Sole Italy) at the end of July and start of August.
Brief Results, Racer Bikes Cup Flims Elite/U23 1 Nino Schurter (SUI) 1:42:15; 2 Lukas Fluckiger (GER) +00:12; 3 Mathias Fluckiger (GER) +2:37; 16 Dirk Peters (NZL) +12:02 Junior 1 Roger Walder (SUI) 1:23:07; 2 Michael Stunzi (GER) +1:35; 3 Tobias Spescha (SUI) +1:55; 8 Richard Anderson (NZL) +2:37