July 30th, 2012

Lukas Flueckiger Takes Career Best 2nd Place at World Cup Finals

After having the form for the last 3 World Cup races, bad luck finally evaded Luk Flueckiger as he ran a smart race in the French resort town of Val d’Isere, site of the 2012 World Cup finals. After the crash in Mont-Sainte-Anne and the difficult recovery from the resulting neck injury, Luk was out to show the world class field exactly what he was capable of.

Sitting in the top 5 for close to the entire race, there were many opportunities for Luk to consider trying to bridge the gap to the leaders, but at this high altitude venue, the price for such a surge in effort could have resulted in disaster. Instead, Luk rode to his own pace and rhythm, never letting the leaders out of his site. When he’d moved up to 3rd place on the 4th of 6 laps, he could see the leaders Nino Schurter (SUI) and Marco Fontana (ITA) less than 20 seconds away on the switchback climbs. Schurter attacked Fontana who tried to stay with him, but the effort to get the lead was taking its toll and Fontana fell into Luk’s clutches. With 1 lap to go, Luk closed the gap down to just 12 seconds on the final climb, a gap that remained until the end.

The quality field featured all the top riders heading to the Olympics in 2 weeks, so Luk was especially proud of the result.

Unfortunately an equally in-form Math Flueckiger suffered a broken chain off the start line and had to run 3km to the tech zone, before eventually having to retire.

Luk said: “This was my best ever World Cup race in my career. It’s funny, I was watching the Opening Ceremony in London and that gave me a special motivation to race to my full potential today. The altitude didn’t affect me as I came in very late to the venue, and that always works best for me. It was so tantalizing to see Nino so close, but it was a matter of managing my energy levels and not blow myself to pieces chasing him down. Who knows, one lap more maybe? I’m super happy to have this great podium and thankful to Trek and all our sponsors and team for the support and belief this season.”

Luk’s moved up 5 places in the overall to take 10th for the season.

Full results: http://www.uci.ch/templates/BUILTIN-NOFRAMES/Template1/layout.asp?MenuId=MTYzODg&LangId=1

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