Cairns - Switzerland's defending world champion Nino
Schurter will be bidding to extend his record-breaking winning run in the men's
elite event at the world mountain bike championships in Australia on Saturday.
Schurter, the reigning Olympic champion, has won all six
events in the World Cup this season and is after the world title to complete
The Swiss will be challenged in Cairns in northern Australia
by two former world and Olympic champions Julien Absalon of France and the
Czech Republic's Jaroslav Kulhavy.
Schurter's winning streak at the World Cup began in May at
Nove Mesto and continued in Albstadt and Vallnord.
The closest match to Schurter this season was at the fourth
round in Lenzerheide, when Kulhavy chased back from a bad start to come within
three seconds of the Swiss at the finish line.
"I'm stoked I've achieved this 6/6 strike but it takes
a good portion of luck and a reliable team and equipment to conquer,"
Schurter has already had success at the world championships,
helping Switzerland end France's dominance in the cross country team relay.
Schurter anchored the Swiss team to victory 24 seconds ahead
of Denmark and France.
France had won the past three relays before the format
changed to five riders for 2017.
There are plenty of contenders for the elite women's
category, led by the newly crowned world cup champion Yana Belomoina of the
Other strong contenders include defending champion Annika
Langvad (Denmark), Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) and Maja Wloszczowska (Poland).
Belomoina beat Wloszczowska to win her first World Cup