Mountain: Lukas Flueckiger Scores First World Cup XC Podium for Trek World Racing

04/08/2009

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25-year old Lukas Flueckiger made history for Trek World Racing today by completing the set of World Cup podiums. His 5th place here at Bromont, Canada, at Round 6 of the UCI World Cup, means that TWR has now had a rider on a World Cup podium in all three disciplines that the team is contesting in season one; firstly in Women's and Men's Downhill and now in Men's XC. Teammate Liam Killeen completed the race and finished in 21st place after finding the unseasonal cold conditions a little tougher than anticipated.

Just prior to the start of the six-lap, 30km race, the heavens opened up and the rain came down in sheets. Lukas opted to run the Bontrager Mud X tires on his Top Fuel 9.9 SSL, and received praise from many of the top riders for his descending skills throughout the race. US rider Adam Craig said "Luk passed me on the downhill as if he was on a downhill bike!" But it wasn't smooth sailing all the way. On the opening climb, after starting strong and sitting with Ralp Naef, Lukas was pushed off the track by another competitor who was trying to muscle his way past. Lukas went off a steep section and it took him time over a minute to get back onto the course, fighting mid bunch for track position. He finished the first lap well outside the top 40. The same rider did a similar thing later in the event, impeding Luk's progress through the field. By the end of third lap though, Luk was back into the top 10 and continued his charge through the field for a well deserved podium. His lap times were comparable to eventual race winner Geoff Kabush (CAN), twice having the 2nd fastest lap of the field, and twice having the 3rd fastest lap.

Lukas said: "I'm a little bit angry about this rough riding from another competitor who should know better, but I'm super happy to get this World Cup podium. I have been so close at nearly every race but had bad luck in many. This week felt perfect, my preparation was excellent, the Top Fuel is amazing. This is my first podium ever with a fully [full suspension bike] and on this course it was more than great. If I had a clean start with the top guys, well who knows, but now I am much more relaxed to get this result and I'm super happy for the team. The Downhill riders were cheering me on and I know when the conditions are warmer for Liam, and Mathias rejoins us after his Worlds training camp, all three of will be very strong, like South Africa".

Liam said: "I'm quite happy with that. The cold got to me a little. It's been so hot and humid this week in the lead up, and that's what I like to race in, it suits me more, so the cold and heavy rain was not expected or ideal. I did better than I have in similar races in such conditions, so in general not a bad day but obviously I'd like to get a little higher. I'm excited about the World Championship in Canberra and feel I'm getting where I need to be."