Litscher, Markt Shine at Euro MTB Races

Monday, June 18, 2012
Switzerland - After undergoing surgery in May, Thomas Litscher (pictured) of the Felt Ötztal X-Bionic Team showed that he’s back in peak form with a strong ride at last weekend’s Swiss Cup event in Gränichen.

A week after Litscher won a stage at Trans Germany stage race, the Under-23 world champion rode in the lead group with most of the top World Cup contenders in Switzerland, looking strong until he was slowed by technical problems late in the race.

“It was a great feeling to be back in world class competition and fighting against the best riders in the world,” said Litscher, who was battling for a podium spot on his Felt Edict before falling back to 30th. “I’m back at 100 percent mentally and physically.”

Litscher now heads to North America for the next World Cup in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec. “I’m really excited to race the overseas World Cups,” he said. “You can count on me!”

Meanwhile, Litscher’s teammate Charly Markt secured the overall series win at the Mountainbike Liga Austria with a victory at the C1 race in Windhaag. The Austrian national champion beat current Under-23 World Cup leader Alexander Gehbauer on a wet, slippery course under hot summer temperatures.

“Parts of the course were very muddy,” Markt said. “The conditions could not have been more difficult.”

Markt battled with Gehbauer for most of the race before eventually attacking and winning by just 56 seconds. The win gave Markt enough points to secure the overall series win.