Scott-SRAM showed strong results at the Albstadt World Cup XCO race last weekend, with Nino Schurter placing second and Kate Courtney placing fourth.
The women were the first to race on Sunday, and eventual winner Loana Lecomte pulled away into an early solo breakaway. Scott-SRAM's Courtney showed her form at the front of the race, placing fourth behind fellow American Haley Batten.
The race was confirmation that Courtney is in top condition this year after a disappointing 2020 season.
"I am very happy with a solid start to the World Cup season in Albstadt," Courtney said. "I raced to fourth-place finishes in both short track and cross country, showing that my form is consistent and building as we head towards the biggest races of the season."
The 2018 World Champion and 2019 World Cup series winner also said that she was proud of her mental performance during the race.
"More than a result, I am proud of the mental race I rode on Sunday. In the past, I have been able to win on great days but usually faded off the podium if I wasn’t having a great ride. This weekend I was able to stay positive and persistent to salvage a good result on a good day."
In the men's race, Schurter was tantalizingly close to the win.
After multiple lead changes throughout the race, including from multi-discipline superstar Mathieu van der Poel, Schurter put in a big attack on the last lap. The reigning Olympic Champion went full-gas on the last descent, gaining a three-second lead. However, France's Victor Koretzky clawed his way back to Schurter and beat him in the sprint to the line.
Schurter said that he still believes he has the talent to stand on the top step of the podium and will try again this weekend in the Czech Republic.
"I felt strong, believed in my chance to win and I gave everything I had," Schurter said. "I'm proud of how I raced today. If this is not enough for first place, I have to accept and keep pushing hard to end up where I want to be - on top of the podium!"
The Swiss racer's teammate Andri Frischknecht finished 24th after starting on the fifth row on the start grid and riding within the top-20 for much of the race.
Scott-SRAM teammate Lars Forster struggled on the day, ultimately coming in 51st. Forster won the final World Cup race of 2019 in the United States and will be looking for a repeat performance this season.
The Scott-SRAM team will race again at this weekend's World Cup in Nove Mesto, starting with the short track on Friday.