Interview with Nino Schurter

28. March 2023

Nino Schurter has achieved everything you can dream of in the biking sport. In the autumn of his career, he became world champion for the 10th time last year. 

The past year brought a whole spectrum of ups and downs. Can you give us an insight into how you were feeling?

Yes, the last season was very turbulent! It started with the Cape Epic, which didn't go at all as I’d hoped. But then everything went perfectly for me two weeks later at the World Cup in Brazil where I managed to clinch another World Cup victory. The season then continued to have its ups and downs. This was certainly also the case at the home race in Lenzerheide, which didn't go according to plan and then there was the nasty fall in Snowshoe (USA). Despite everything, I managed to win the overall World Cup at the end of the season, which concluded with the major highlight: winning the World Championship and my 10th World Champion title. In retrospect, the 2022 season was a great success for me.

Mountain biking has come a long way since your first World Champion title in 2009. How have the requirements for athletes and equipment changed over time?

A lot has definitely changed since my first World Champion title in 2009, especially in terms of equipment. In those days I rode a 26-inch hardtail mountain bike with very narrow tires and fewer gears. The biggest change since then is definitely the switch to 29-inch wheels. What’s more, full-suspension mountain bikes are almost exclusively used in the World Cup these days. Today's mountain bikes also have a dropper seat post and the rims and tyres have become a lot wider. This provides much more comfort, a better grip and, above all, less rolling resistance. It was incredible fun to witness and also be actively involved in these developments and changes.

In your eyes, what are the most important puzzle pieces for your successful career?

A key factor for sure was being able to meet the right people early on in my career. I was part of a great team right from the start, the SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing Team, which I still cycle with today. Thomas Frischknecht, Andi Seeli, my coach, and many others were at my side right from the start and are still supporting my career today. This constancy was, among other things, an important piece of the puzzle for a long and successful career. The whole family - above all my parents, my daughter Lisa, and my wife as well as my close circle of friends, who have always supported me - were certainly also extremely important puzzle pieces for my success.

What are your three most important training tips for amateur cyclists still wanting to participate in a race this year?

For me, the most important thing is the fun of mountain biking. Every mountain biker should first and foremost enjoy the sport. You don’t always have to follow a strict training plan. What’s important is that you never forget what brings you joy: Mountain biking with colleagues and motivating and challenging each other. Then the success or the goal that you set for yourself will definitely get closer and closer.

Do you have an insider tip with regards to training, equipment, nutrition, or recovery?

There’s a huge box full of tips on training theory, nutrition, recovery, and other aspects of training. For me, however, the priority is clearly to have fun while pursuing your hobby. There are of course other tips for all mountain bike freaks that you can follow:

Interval training, for example, is very effective. This is especially true when your time is limited or for all those who really like to test their limits in between. When it comes to equipment, I recommend not biking with too much pressure in the tyres. Less air reduces the rolling resistance and improves your grip and comfort. I always try to bike with as little air as possible. Being well nourished when you participate in a competition can also play a crucial role. Depending on the type of competition, it is advisable to consume a lot of energy before the race, particularly carbohydrates, and to make sure you get the right nutrition during the competition. A lot can be gained or lost during a competition with the right or wrong nutrition.

Successful recovery depends on many factors. But here, too, the options should only be used if the benefit is a given. The list of effective recovery options is long and ranges from ice baths and massages to compression boots. Stimuli are also deliberately introduced during the tough training phases, which is why not all recovery measures have to be implemented in these phases. After tough training units, the most important thing for me and therefore also my recommendation to all amateur mountain bikers: sleep well, eat well and let your body react to the set stimuli.

In a multi-stage race like the Swiss Epic or Cape Epic, however, things are of course different again. Recovery plays an extremely important role in these races. During the relatively short and few recovery breaks, every effort is made to guarantee the best recovery possible.


Nino Schurter has been involved in the new Swiss Bike Series "ÖKK BIKE REVOLUTION" since 2022. It features enjoyable bike tours, a race series for professional, upcoming, and amateur bikers, as well as a Bike Village for big and small. A bike festival for everyone.

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Foto: zvg