The ninth annual Lisbon Downtown race sent riders on the infamous cobblestone stairways winding down the old city from the Castelo de Sao Jorge. As cats scrambled off the race track, citizens watched from their laundry-filled balconies to see Steve Peat take his seventh consecutive win. Santa Cruz Syndicate team-mate Greg Minnaar was in second, just 0.46 seconds behind him with Filip Polc (Kenda Tomac) in third at 2.33 seconds.
The Lisboa Downtown came just a week after racing the UCI World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia. The urban downtown downhill event took place on Saturday with four scheduled practice runs, a semi-final and the final.
Minnar won the semi finals with Peat and Polc in second and third. Local talent Roger Gonzalez finished fourth followed by Emanuel Pombo in fifth. Peat was riding with an injured finger, which he had dislocated on his final practice run.
"My [semi-final] run was solid, but kind of hard because photographers step into the course and it is hard to set up for your lines," said Minnaar. "I managed to hit everything I wanted, and some sections I just rolled through really well."
In the finals, Peat continued his reign as downhill king of Lisbon, finishing ahead of Minnaar and Polc.
"The race was good today. I think Steve was lucky. I had to fake a mistake to let the old boy win!" joked Minnaar after his second-placed run. "Things went pretty good. I felt a bit of pressure from the old man. I made a little mistake on top and a costly mistake at the bottom, but that's racing and that's how it goes. I'm happy for Steve today, winning seven times in a row!"
"I'm stoked!" said Peat after his win. "It's luck! I don't know why I get good luck, but I did. After practice and qualifier I really didn't think I could win today. I knew everyone was fast, especially Greg. My qualifier was shocking. I really had to focus, but I've been in this situation before and I can deal with it."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Lisboa Downtown.
Bromont round opens Canada Cup season
At the opening round of the Canada Cup in Bromont, Quebec, young U23 racers won both the men's and women's cross country events. Racers tackled a relatively dry and dusty 4.3km course, partially the same as for the upcoming World Cup set for early August. Organizers have promised that the cross country will be twice as long in August, but late snows prevented clearing the entire trail in time for last weekend.
Emily Batty (Trek Bicycle Store Team) took top honors in the women's race ahead of Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing) and Jean Ann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain/Pro-Cycle). In the elite men's race, Raphaël Gagné (Rocky Mountain) won with Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing) in second and Eric Batty (Trek Store Canada) in third.
In the downhill, top honors went to Micayla Gatto (Commencal/Marzocchi) who won the elite women's race ahead of Danice Uyesugi (pinkbike.com) and Kim Huard (Ind). Geritt Beytagh (Morewoodbikes USA) was the fastest man although the fastest Canadian man was second placed Steve Smith (Cove Factory). Despite crashing during his run, Smith will be the one to wear the Canada Cup leaders' jersey. Charles-Alexandre Dubé (Intersport/DHRacer) finished third.
The downhill course included some long swooping berms, a section along the fall line through the trees, a granite face, a man-made section of patio rocks and a hard pedal to the finish.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of round one of the Canada Cup.
Lehikoinen and Bernhard capture wins
By Lukas Haider
The Austrian National Downhill Championships, the so called Staatsmeisterschaften, were held at the Zauberberg Bikepark in the town of Semmering. The competition was not limited to Austrians, however, and the race boasted a strong international field.
After being plagued by technical problems during his World Cup run in Maribor one week ago Matti Lehikoinen (MS-Intense Factory Racing) showed his potential by taking home his first win of the season with a time of 2:48.29. Californian talent J.D. Swanguen came in second, only 0.98 seconds behind his team-mate, and edging the best Austrian, Markus Pekoll (SOLID Aclass Factory Team Planai) from Schladming, down to third place by another 2.50 seconds.
In the women's elite category Austrian World Cup racer Petra Bernhard (Ancillotti - FSC tieschen) won in a time of 3:07.56 ahead of MS-Intense's Mio Suemasa, who was recovering from last week's crash at the World Cup in Maribor. Anita Molcik (Union four Elements) finished third.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Staatsmeisterschaften.