Beaumont plummets to victory

Atherton takes World Cup lead from Minnaar

The men's downhill World Cup competition tightened after round five in Val di Sole, Italy, on Sunday as Marc Beaumont (GT) secured the victory giving him the second World Cup win of his career. Meanwhile, Gee Atherton (Commencal) took the leader's jersey from Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) by the extremely slim margin of seven points.

Canada's Steve Smith (MS Evil) finished fifth, becoming the first Canadian man in at least a decade to make a podium appearance at a downhill World Cup.

There were two races in the men's competition - the one for the World Cup win, and the one between Minnaar and Atherton for the overall title. Atherton qualified first, on the course where he had won his world title in 2008, while Minnaar struggled in the upper, rocky section.

This actually put Atherton into the World Cup lead, based on ranking points awarded for qualifying. However, a similar situation had happened a week earlier at Champéry, and Minnaar had pulled out a stellar final run to retain his leader's jersey.

Australian Mitchell Delfs set the first fast time for the men, only to be bumped by Markus Pekoll (Solid A-Class). Pekoll spent a long time in the Hot Seat, and his time would eventually hold up for tenth place. It took Minnaar to finally knock the Austrian rider out of the lead, and his time would stand up to six riders before Beaumont finally took the best time down by nearly a second and a half.

At that point there were still seven riders to go, but none came close to unseating Beaumont until there was only Atherton left. But Atherton was over a second slower at the first split, and even further back at the second, eventually finishing third, behind Minnaar. However, the difference between second and third was not enough to keep Minnaar in the leader's jersey and Atherton took it by a mere seven points - 1007 points to 1000 after five rounds of racing.

"Qualifying went pretty well," said Beaumont, "Just steady and I put a nice run together, and I was feeling good again this morning, so I just tried to go about it as if it was practice.

"I posted a pretty good time, but there's some fast boys, and I was thinking maybe I can scrap a podium. I wasn't expecting to win by any means. I'm pretty shocked, and not really sure what to say," he continued.

"My previous win in Spain [in 2007], a lot of people frowned upon it, because it was weird circumstances with the weather. This proves to me that I'm capable of doing it, and I've done it on a level playing field. Hopefully this is kind of a resurgence, and I can get on the podium a little more often."

For Atherton, it was a bittersweet victory. "I knew that I had to put a solid run in, in qualifying, and start chasing the points," he explained. "It's what saved me and has given me the lead. But, taking third place wasn't exactly my game plan... it's good enough, though.

"It's definitely been my best season, but it's been frustrating watching Greg, being so consistent. I've been waiting for him to slip up and hammer some points, but it hasn't happened. He's really making me work for it.

"I didn't make mistakes, exactly, but you do have to have a faultless run. I was riding a bit nervous and a bit tense, and really just fighting the bike all the way down, not flowing at all, and it showed in my results."

Smith, who has a string of top 10 results and has finished as high as sixth at World Cups in the past, was happy to finally make it onto the podium. "I crashed out in two of the other four [World Cups], so I just wanted to have a clean run here and have a solid race," he said.

"I wasn't expecting to get on the podium, but conditions were tough up there, really loose powder, so anything can happen, and I just squeezed on the podium. I loved this track, it's rough and hard, first day of riding it I knew that I loved it.

"So far [this podium] is the highlight of my career, I've been trying to get on the podium the last couple of years, and with the crashes this year I was almost more worried about just making it down with a clean run. I did that and got a podium."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles0:03:18 
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:01 
3Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:03 
4Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing0:00:03 
5Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing0:00:04 
6Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:04 
7Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Team0:00:04 
8Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:05 
9Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:06 
10Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:06 
11Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:06 
12Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles0:00:07 
13Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing0:00:08 
14Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:08 
15Mickael Pascal (Fra)0:00:08 
16Lewis Buchanan° (GBr) MS Evil Racing0:00:09 
17Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:09 
18Bryn Atkinson (Aus)0:00:10 
19Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona0:00:10 
20Cédric Gracia (Fra)0:00:11 
21Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 110:00:11 
22Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:11 
23Mitchell Delfs (Aus)0:00:11 
24Sam Dale (GBr)0:00:11 
25Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:12 
26Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing0:00:12 
27Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:12 
28Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:12 
29Bradley Benedict (USA)0:00:14 
30Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS Racing Squad0:00:14 
31Ludovic Oget° (Fra) Ryde-Racing0:00:14 
32Shaun O'connor (Aus) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:14 
33Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Team0:00:16 
34Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center0:00:16 
35Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:16 
36Marcel Beer (Swi)0:00:17 
37Florent Payet (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United0:00:18 
38Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:18 
39Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team0:00:18 
40Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Lac Blanc Massif Des Vosges0:00:19 
41Wyn Masters (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:19 
42Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:19 
43Matej Charvat (Cze) K.T.R. Racing Team0:00:19 
44Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:20 
45Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:20 
46Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani - Protone0:00:20 
47Dennis Dertell (Swe)0:00:20 
48Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:21 
49Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:21 
50Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS Racing Squad0:00:22 
51Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:22 
52Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:22 
53Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:22 
54Dominik Gspan (Swi)0:00:22 
55Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal Superiders0:00:23 
56Oliver Burton (GBr)0:00:23 
57Bernard Kerr (GBr) Norco World Team0:00:24 
58Martin Mikulenka (Cze)0:00:24 
59Sam Flockhart° (GBr) Lapierre International0:00:24 
60George Brannigan° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team0:00:24 
61Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:24 
62Harry Heath (GBr)0:00:25 
63Marco Milivinti (Ita) Team Cingolani - Protone0:00:26 
64Jed Rooney° (NZl)0:00:27 
65Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)0:00:27 
66Alexandre Lohner (Fra)0:00:27 
67Eliot Jackson (USA)0:00:29 
68Thomas Jeandin (Swi)0:00:29 
69Rupert Chapman° (NZl)0:00:29 
70Nejc Rutar (Slo) MBK Orbea0:00:31 
71Ben Cathro (GBr)0:00:32 
72Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:37 
72Luis Paulo Vicente Ferreira (Por)  
74Martin Frei (Swi)0:00:40 
75Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:44 
76Lorenzo Suding (Ita)0:00:45 
77Nathan Rankin (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker0:01:03 
78Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:03:11 
79Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:03:42 
80Fergus Lamb (GBr)0:03:49 
DNSJustin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing  
DNSBernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi Team  
DNSEmanuel Pombo (Por)  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Santa Cruz Syndicate83 pts
2MS Evil Racing66 
3Scott 1163 
4Trek World Racing62 
5GT Bicycles59 
6Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense59 
7Suspension Center40 
8Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain35 
10Commencal Superiders30 
11Solid Aclass Factory Team25 
12Giant Factory Team24 
13Lapierre International23 
15Dr-Gravity Union20 
16RC Alpine Commencal Austria18 
17Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team17 
19XMS Racing Squad1 
World Cup individual standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal1007 pts
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate1000 
3Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International694 
4Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team592 
5Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz526 
6Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles518 
7Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain450 
8Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense415 
9Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate415 
10Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11413 
11Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Team405 
12Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing370 
13Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team356 
14Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing354 
15Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing327 
16Shaun O'connor (Aus) Kenda-Playbiker323 
17Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense315 
18Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles314 
19Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 11311 
20Bryn Atkinson (Aus)302 
21Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing290 
22Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing279 
23Mickael Pascal (Fra)279 
24Mitchell Delfs (Aus)257 
25Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona257 
26Florent Payet (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United254 
27Sam Dale (GBr)250 
28Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate243 
29Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense240 
30Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense233 
31Wyn Masters (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker225 
32Romain Paulhan (Fra)217 
33Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani - Protone217 
34Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team211 
35Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense211 
36Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team203 
37Ben Cathro (GBr)202 
38Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team194 
39Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team187 
40Cédric Gracia (Fra)186 
41Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)183 
42Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal Superiders179 
43Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS Racing Squad177 
44Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz160 
45Nico Vink (Bel)154 
46Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Sunn Montgenevre153 
47Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing144 
48George Brannigan° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team139 
49Troy Brosnan° (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz137 
50Harry Molloy (GBr)135 
51Dennis Dertell (Swe)133 
52Matej Charvat (Cze) K.T.R. Racing Team130 
53Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Lac Blanc Massif Des Vosges129 
54Richard Thomas (GBr)124 
55Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi Team122 
56Adam Brayton (GBr)122 
57Joshua Button (Aus) Kona121 
58Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team120 
59Bernard Kerr (GBr) Norco World Team118 
60Joris Bigoni (Fra)117 
61Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Team117 
62Oliver Burton (GBr)112 
63Kyle Strait (USA)112 
64Joe Barnes (GBr)105 
65Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS Racing Squad101 
66Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United98 
67Marco Milivinti (Ita) Team Cingolani - Protone96 
68Scott Mears (GBr)96 
69Lewis Buchanan° (GBr) MS Evil Racing95 
70Adam Vagner (Cze)94 
71Robert Smith (GBr)88 
72Emanuel Pombo (Por)86 
73Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col)83 
74Lorenzo Suding (Ita)82 
75Fergus Lamb (GBr)79 
76Harry Heath (GBr)78 
77Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre75 
78Benny Strasser (Ger)75 
79Curtis Keene (USA)73 
80Nathan Rankin (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker69 
81Jack Reading (GBr)66 
82Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal65 
83Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center62 
84Ralph Jones (GBr)62 
85Nejc Rutar (Slo) MBK Orbea61 
86Marcel Beer (Swi)56 
87Chris Hutchens (GBr)53 
88Bradley Benedict (USA)52 
89Ludovic Oget° (Fra) Ryde-Racing50 
90Ludovic May (Swi)47 
91Alexander Kangas (Swe)44 
92Martin Frei (Swi)41 
93Antoine Badouard (Fra)39 
94Emyr Davies (GBr)35 
95Lars Peyer (Swi) Suspension Center32 
96Sam Flockhart° (GBr) Lapierre International32 
97Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team31 
98Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Ryde-Racing29 
99Thomas Jeandin (Swi)28 
100Dominik Gspan (Swi)27 
101Billy Caroli (Swi)26 
102Olivier Nicole (Fra)26 
103Aari Barrett (NZl) Scott 1126 
104Faustin Figaret° (Fra) Team Sport Bike25 
105Martin Mikulenka (Cze)23 
106Ben Baker (GBr)23 
107Carlo Gambirasio (Ita) Surfing Shop20 
108Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team19 
109Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team18 
110Jed Rooney° (NZl)17 
111Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)16 
112Alexandre Lohner (Fra)15 
113Scott Laughland (Irl)14 
114Eliot Jackson (USA)14 
115Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie13 
116Kristof Lenssens (Bel)12 
117Rupert Chapman° (NZl)12 
118Yannick Colomb (Fra)11 
119Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi Team11 
120Jan Javornik (Svk)9 
121Luis Paulo Vicente Ferreira (Por)9 
122Florian Arthus (Fra)8 
123Arthur Racaud° (Fra) US Cagnes VTT8 
124Neko Mulally° (USA) Trek World Racing7 
125Mark Scott° (GBr)7 
126Joseph Nation (NZl)6 
127Bertrand Gilles (Bel)5 
128Kim Petersson (Swe)4 
129Evan Turpen (USA)3 
World Cup team standings after round five
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense368 pts
2Scott 11323 
3Santa Cruz Syndicate302 
5Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain270 
6Trek World Racing258 
7MS Evil Racing185 
8Suspension Center164 
9GT Bicycles155 
10Commencal Superiders152 
11Lapierre International128 
12Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team126 
13Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz125 
15RC Alpine Commencal Austria110 
16Giant Factory Team81 
17Dr-Gravity Union80 
18Norco World Team71 
19Solid Aclass Factory Team53 
21Mondraker Factory Team50 
23Team Cingolani - Protone20 
24Team Sunn Montgenevre20 
25Blackmountain Morewood United16 
26Dirt Norco Race Team15 
27Massi Team8 
28Team Lac Blanc Massif Des Vosges8 
29Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team6 
30XMS Racing Squad5 
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