The Swiss Cross Country Championships in Crans Montana (VS) turned into a great celebration for Thömus Maxon. Gold for Alessandra Keller and Mathias Flückiger, who successfully defended their titles from the previous year. With silver for Lars Forster and bronze for Vital Albin, all three medals in the Elite Men’s category went to Thömus Maxon. With U23 rider Luke Wiedmann also finishing third and making it onto the podium, Thömus Maxon achieved the maximum of five medals.
In the women’s race, Alessandra Keller left no doubt throughout the race about who would wear the red jersey with the white cross for the next 365 days. The rider from Nidwalden took the lead already in the first lap and defended her title from the previous year convincingly. After winning gold in the Short Track on Friday, Keller is now a double Swiss champion.
Keller’s dominance and control
“This title means a lot to me today. We are a Swiss team, embodying absolute Swissness, and now I can start races with the Swiss cross on my chest all over the world. It was a perfect day for me because thanks to my substantial lead, I could control the race well, manage the risk, and even save energy in the last two laps in preparation for the upcoming competitions with the home World Cup in Lenzerheide,” the Swiss champion expressed her joy.
Mathias Flückiger also lived up to his role as the favorite. Already after the starting lap, he had a 15-second lead, which he continuously expanded. Behind him, Lars Forster and Vital Albin also showed that they are in excellent form. While Flückiger won with a lead of around two and a half minutes, Forster and Albin secured the silver and bronze medals.
“This jersey simply belongs to me,”
said Flückiger, who clinched his third consecutive title and fourth overall. A very important victory, as he said at the finish: “It means a lot to me that I was able to defend this title today. I love this jersey, it simply belongs to me. Although I didn’t feel really good at the beginning of the race, I was able to deliver a great race afterward and maintain my rhythm. I had a lot of fun on the new course in Crans Montana today and I am looking forward to competing in a World Cup here in 2024 and the World Championships in 2025.”
Medals for Forster, Albin, and Wiedmann too
Thanks to the extremely strong performances of Lars Forster and Vital Albin, Thömus Maxon even achieved a clean sweep in the Elite Men’s race! In addition, Luke Wiedmann fought his way to a bronze medal in a close U23 race.
Team manager Ralph Näf expressed his joy, saying, “It’s never easy to go into a race as the favorites and win in such a dominant manner. The fact that the entire team delivered such an impressive performance makes me proud. We are ready and looking forward to the World Cup in Lenzerheide next weekend.”