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Swiss specialists sweep Mountain Bike medals

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The best Mountain Bike images of Baku 2015

Mountain Bike | Best of Baku 2015
Jolanda Neff of Switzerland celebrates as she crosses the line to win gold in Baku. Michael Steele/Getty Images
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: (L-R) Silver medalist Lukas Fluckiger of Switzerland, gold medalist Nino Schurter of Switzerland and bronze medalist Fabian Giger of Switzerland celebrate during the medal ceremony after the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Yana Belomoina of Ukraine competes in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Jolanda Neff of Switzerland competes in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Jolanda Neff of Switzerland (1) leads the field in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Cyclists make a climb as they compete in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Jolanda Neff of Switzerland (1) leads the field in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Kathrin Stirnemann of Switzerland competes in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Jolanda Neff of Switzerland leads the field in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Jolanda Neff of Switzerland competes in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Jolanda Neff of Switzerland competes in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Riders compete in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Riders compete in the Women's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: (L-R) Silver medalist Lukas Fluckiger of Switzerland, gold medalist Nino Schurter of Switzerland and bronze medalist Fabian Giger of Switzerland celebrate after the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy competes in the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Nino Schurter of Switzerland competes in the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: (L-R) Silver medalist Kathrin Stirnemann of Switzerland, Gold medalist Jolanda Neff of Switzerland and Bronze medalist Maja Wloszczowska of Poland celebrate with their medals following the Womens' Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Lukas Fluckiger of Switzerland competes in the Men's Cross-country Mountain Bike Cycling during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Mountain Bike Velopark on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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A review of Mountain Bike at the Baku 2015 European Games

Switzerland won five out of the six available Mountain Bike medals at Baku 2015, in the men's and women's cross-country races on the first Saturday of the European Games.

Jolanda Neff blew away her rivals in windy conditions to storm to victory in a gruelling race and collect the first gold medal of the Baku 20125 European Games. She was followed home by team-mate Kathrin Stirnemann and third-placed Maja Wloszczowska of Poland.

"I planned to wait a bit longer to kick but patience is not my strong point," said Neff, who broke away from the leading pack towards the end of the third of six laps to win comfortably by two minutes and three seconds.

In the men's race, not even a flat tyre could prevent Nino Schurter from spearheading a Swiss 1-2-3 as the Alpine country continued its remarkable start at Baku 2015.

Schurter had made a break for glory and ended the second lap with a 23-second advantage, but got a flat tyre and joined a five-strong pack, including eventual silver medallist Lukas Fluckiger and bronze winner Fabian Giger, as the third lap ended.

"I really left a lot behind with that first break, and it took me two or three laps to recover," said Schurter.

The triple world champion then kicked on again in the sixth of eight laps and the Swiss trio took advantage of an unfortunate collision between Czech rider Ondrej Cink and Italian Gerhard Kerschbaumer just as the medal race started in earnest.

"It's an amazing feeling to win here," said Schurter afterwards. "It's always nice to win races. It was a tactical race, especially with the strong wind.

"I know Fabian and Lukas pretty well. We are good friends and it was amazing how we were able to work together here and it is nice to be on the podium with them at the first European Games."


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    Swiss specialists sweep Mountain Bike medals

    A review of Mountain Bike at the Baku 2015 European Games
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    Swiss on a roll as Schurter wins men's Mountain Bike

    Victory for the favourite continues Switzerland's strong start to the inaugural European Games
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    Jolanda Neff wins first-ever European Games gold medal

    Swiss rider wins women's Mountain Bike ahead of compatriot Kathrin Stirnemann
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    Switzerland tipped to scale the peaks in Mountain Bike

    Neff expected to win first gold medal of Baku 2015, while men's trio could grab clean sweep
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    First ever European Games gold to be won in Mountain Bike

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    Haimy and Neff among riders to win Mountain Bike warm-ups

    Cross Country cyclists finish their preparations for Baku 2015 Games on a high at different events…
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    Neff grabs another Mountain Bike win

    The 22-year-old adds another victory to her Baku build-up, winning the UCI World Cup in Germany
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