What happens when you take two riders at the top of their game but from opposite ends of the competitive spectrum, throwing them together in the dust and rocks of Finale Ligure? You may think that the specific requirements of DH and XC would produce riders with wildly different outlooks, but you would be surprised! When teammates Brendan Fairclough (Gstaad SCOTT DH Team) and Nino Schurter (SCOTT-ODLO MTB Racing Team) took to the dust of Finale it was clear to see how close DH and XC have become! Blurred lines indeed!
Brendan Fairclough is perhaps one of the most naturally gifted bike riders in the world, always happiest on the most technical of tracks he thrives on super steep terrain. Coming from the same mould as the likes of Sam Hill, Brendan is a true genius when it comes to creativity and bike handling. Plagued by injury Brendan has yet to find the form he is chasing, but is an ever present threat to the top spot. Some argue that DH bikes are so good now that raw power is more important that pure talent, and as such riders like Brendan struggle to dominate the DH podiums.
In contrast Swiss born Nino Schurter has dominated the XC World Championships taking victories in 2009, 2012 and 2013. His fitness, superhuman power and willingness to go through pain cannot be questioned, but many riders still believe that XC is the softer option. However, Nino is one of the new breed of XC riders, mixing supreme fitness with incredible bike skills, Nino can shred!
Both riders were entered into the Enduro World Series race and during practice Nino and Brendan took some time out to shred the dust of stage 4. With both riders shredding hard, whips were thrown and berms detonated, only the shoes and pedal choice gave away the riders origins . Here is a short photo series showing what went down when the two worlds collided.
Words: Trev Worsey Photos: Jochen Haar
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