Schnell injures thumb in Alps

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Ross Schnell barely recovered from one mountain biking injury before he sustained another.
Schnell, 29, of Grand Junction, injured a thumb in the Enduro Trophy of Nations last weekend in the French Alps.

It was fun, except for the fact I crashed my bike,” he said. “The racing didn’t go so well.

“It was frustrating. I was trying to pass a runner in front of me, but he didn’t allow me to pass. I made a sketchy move trying to get around him and jammed my thumb. It looks like my thumbnail is going to fall off. It could be sprained. I don’t think it’s broken.”

The Enduro Trophy of Nations is similar to the motorcycle event. Three riders make a team competing through nearly to a dozen stages, with the three riders’ time combined for one score.

Schnell and another rider on his U.S. team crashed, not registering a team score. Another U.S. team placed second.

Schnell, who returned from Europe on Wednesday, planned on defending his Crankworx Super
Downhill title today at Winter Park, but now that is uncertain.

It would have been his fourth event in four weeks after sitting out a month with a fractured hip bone.

“I would’ve preferred to ease into it, but the timing of the injury and time of year, there are a lot of big races,” Schnell said. “It’s trial by fire. It’s definitely frustrating today. I’m supposed to be traveling to big races and performing.”

Schnell was cleared to race again four weeks ago and raced later that week in the Downieville (Calif.) Classic.

Although Schnell wasn’t near peak condition, he still managed to place third, finishing 30 seconds behind the champion.

“It went really well under the circumstances,” Schnell said. “I was really excited about that weekend, coming out with no problems.”

Schnell raced the next weekend in the U.S. National Championships at Sol Vista Resort and took third in the Super D event in 6:04.10, 11.48 seconds behind the winner.

“It’s like a downhill race in Europe, but not as long,” Schnell said of the Super D. “It’s a mass start. Everyone starts together running to the bike.”


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