CFR riders Manuel Fumic, Marco Fontana, Martin Gujan and Jeremiah Bishop proved they did their homework over the winter and started the season well.
The highlight of the day was Manuel Fumic's 3rd place finish, after being a dominant member of the three man leading group for the first two-thirds of the race. Teammate Fontana was back racing after he dislocated his shoulder two weeks ago at the Cannondale mtb team camp in Finale Ligure and finished a respectful ninth. Gujan finished the race in 27th and Bishop in 63rd, which brought the CFR team a respectful 2nd place in the team ranking.
"I was pretty nervous the last days, but this morning I was sure I could do good. I hoped to repeat last year's result, but half way in the race while in the leading group I saw the podium being possible. When Nino attacked, I could not go with them, but could keep riding my speed and lines for the last lap. I am super happy about the result and even more happy to have my Olympic ticket for sure. Now the team and myself can focus on the next races, and we are trying to confirm what we did today," a smiling Manuel Fumic said after the race.
"When I woke up in the hospital two weeks ago after dislocating my shoulder in Finale Ligure, I saw Pietermaritzburg in danger for me. But things developed well and I am happy I could race. I tried to play it safe and not take too many risks, just to make sure it heals up perfectly. I really look forward to the next races and for sure am excited for Manuel's third place and the team's second in the team ranking," said Fontana.
Fumic, Fontana and Bishop raced their Cannondale Flash 29ers and Martin Gujan was aboard his Flash 26.
The team’s next appearances will be in Buchs, Switzerland, Nalles, Italy and then in three week's time at World Cup #2 in Houffalize, Belgium.