Nino Schurter and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot on top at European Championships

Schurter returned to form on home soil in Monte Tamaro as Ferrand-Prevot backed up her world title triumph from last weekend.

By Ken Browne

Reigning MTB cross country Olympic champion Nino Schurter bounced back from World Championship disappointment a week ago by winning the European title at home in Monte Tamaro, Switzerland.

Having failed in his bid for a sixth consecutive XCO world title last weekend, Schurter won a thrilling duel with France's Titouan Carod to take gold with another Swiss, Mathias Flueckiger, third.

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot backed up her XCO triumph at last weekend's World Championships with victory in the women's race by 41 seconds from Dutch rider Anne Terpstra.

Ukraine's two-time Olympian Yana Belomoyna was third.

Schurter bounces back

An early lead group of 12 was gradually whittled down to three on lap six of seven.

Schurter and Carod then broke away from Flueckiger who had enough of a lead on Italy's Luca Braidot to be safe in the bronze medal position.

Early on the final lap, Carod - who took bronze at last week's Worlds - made a break for glory but Switzerland's three-time Olympic medallist and 11-time world champion stayed with him.

And in the closing stages, the 34-year-old went through on the inside just before a descent and quickly went into a decisive lead.

He crossed the line in 1:27:25, 10 seconds ahead of the Frenchman with Fleuckiger a further 39 seconds back making it gold and bronze for the hosts.

Braidot was fourth with last week's world champion Jordan Sarrou in fifth place, 1:07 off the pace.

Ferrand-Prevot on top again

Just seven days after securing the first half of a French double at the MTB World Championships in Leogang, Austria, Ferrand-Prevot was again a class above her rivals.

The 28-year-old had a tougher ride than her runaway victory last week but still finished in 1:13:24, 41 seconds ahead of Anne Terpstra.

She attacked midway through the first lap and, much like last week, never looked like being caught.

While not as dominant as in Leogang where she won by a massive three minutes, the 28-year-old was able to extend her advantage gradually - 13 seconds clear at end of lap one, 25 seconds ahead after lap two, and 41 seconds at the finish line.

Ferrand-Prevot, who has three individual cross-country and three team relay world titles to her name, claimed her first senior cross-country European title and showed why she is the clear favourite for gold at Tokyo 2020.

Belomoyna took bronze ahead of Britain's Evie Richards with Sina Frei the best of the home contingent in fifth place.