When Lars Forster won his first European Champion cross-country mountain biking title in 2018, it must have caught the eye of the Scott SCOTT-SRAM team who signed him into their roster the following year.
He has since proved himself not only worthy of competing against some of the best XC riders around but also racing alongside arguably the greatest XC racer of all time, Nino Schurter.
In 2019 the pair won the Absa Cape Epic and followed that up with a 2020 victory at the Swiss Epic too. Lars likely had grand designs for 2021 with the Tokyo Olympics rolling around, however, he didn't make the cut. Instead, he refocussed on the Swiss Bike Cup and building himself back up with a new goal, the European Championships.
"Bringing home my second European Championship title was a dream come true. The competition is so fierce at the moment, so it was always going to be a difficult goal to achieve."
The Swiss rider would be victorious in Serbia and take his second European Mountain Bike Championship. To celebrate the two-time winner, Scott issued Lars with a custom-painted Scott Spark RC to race on for his 2022 season.
The Spark features the European Championships blue and white color scheme which is emblazoned with three gold stars around the bottom bracket to match the European Championship winners jersey. The top tube has Lars' name as well as the two years in which he won the title.
The new Scott Spark is the same platform that Lars raced on last year. Scott's XC race bike features 120mm of travel using a RockShox NUDE 5 RLC3, which is controlled using Scott's TwinLoc lock-out.
Upfront is RockShox's SID SL Ultimate fork, which RockShox has upgraded by fitting its BlackBox Race Day damper for the best possible performance. As with the rear, the fork also offers 120mm of travel and is adjusted alongside the rear shock by the handlebar-mounted TwinLoc lever.
As a Scott-SRAM team bike, it's no surprise that the bike is kitted out with SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 12-speed groupset with power output measured using a Quarq power meter. Lars has specced a 36t chainring with the 10-50t 12-speed cassette.
Lars runs the same ultra-aggressive Syncro's integrated bar and stem that we saw on Nino Schurter's new Scott Spark. The aggressive -40-degree stem is striking and helps keep the front end low and in control when tackling steep inclines. At 700mm the bars are very narrow compared to what we see on downcountry bikes, but they offer better maneuverability when battling shoulder to shoulder in the race pack.
There's a SRAM Blip shifter mounted on the right-hand side behind the AXS gear shifter, presumably to operate the RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post. A Garmin 130 Plus is mounted out-front so that Lars can monitor power output as well as other basic performance stats.
Syncro's also supplies the rather special Silverton SL carbon wheels which have been broadened to a 30mm inner rim diameter for 2021. Featuring a full one-piece carbon construction and tip the scales at a staggering 1280g per wheelset according to Syncro's published numbers. These wheels have seen a lot of success too, most notably being ridden by Tom Pidcock when he won the men's cross-country Olympic gold in Tokyo last year.
Tech Specs: Lars Forster's Scott Spark RC
- Frame: Scott Spark RC Carbon HMX SL Custom (size medium), RockShox NUDE 5 RLC3 Trunnion , 120mm travel
- Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate RD3 Air/ BlackBox Race Day Damper 3 Mode, 120MM Travel, 44MM Offset
- Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, 12-speed
- Crankset: SRAM XX1, 175MM, 36T, Quarq power meter
- Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
- Wheels: Syncros Silverton SL2-30MM, 29-inch
- Tires: Maxxis Aspen 29x2.40WT 170TPI EXO/TR, OKO Magic Milk High Fibre 80ML
- Headset: Syncros Acros Angle Adjust, +/- 0.6-degree head angle adjustment
- Cockpit: Syncros Fraser IC SL WC -40 degree / 90MM / 700MM bar and stem
- Grips: Syncros foam
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS 100MM, Titanium bolts
- Saddle: Syncros Tofino Regular SL Channel
- Pedals: HT Components M2
- Accessories: Topeak Shuttle Cage Carbon, Garmin 130 Plus