Atherton victorious on home soil

Cole slips into second

Gee Atherton (Commencal) took a very popular win in the second round of men's UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William, Scotland.

"It's a dream come true," said Atherton. "This is the most excited I've ever been about winning a race. I owe to the crowd, I could hear them as I came out of the woods at the bottom, and it pushed me harder."

Fort William is one of the favourite tracks for the riders, requiring both technical skills and endurance for runs that are over four and a half for the top men. It also boasts some of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the series, with thousands lining the course. This year, the fast upper section was made more technical, and uncharacteristically dry conditions made for a loose, dusty track that had more than a few riders washing out.

The men's race saw a steady chipping away of the top time, as riders approached Greg Minnaar's top qualifying time of 4:39 minutes. Antoine Badouard was the first to go below 4:50, and held the hot seat for a lengthy period before Thibaut Ruffin (Commencal Superriders) lopped off three seconds. The times continued to go down bit by bit, with former junior World Champion Danny Hart (Giant Factory) taking it down to 4:42.77 . Australian Shaun O'Connor (Kenda Playerbike) knocked another 1.23 seconds off, but Minnaar's qualifying time was still holding up.

Canada's Steve Smith (Evil Bikes), had a strong start, but washed out in one of the corners at the top of the course, taking him out of contention. Sam Hill (Monster Energy-Mad Catz-Specialized), normally one of Minnaar's greatest rivals, crashed hard in training two days prior to the race and after an early morning run to test his shoulder decided not to start.

"It was a pretty big crash," Hill admitted. "I'm pretty bummed out not to be racing, but I can't hold onto the bars properly, so I would just crash again. I think there's a little shoulder separation, so I'm scheduled to see a specialist during the week."

Mick Hannah (GT Bicycles) was the first to finally surpass Minnaar's qualifying time, and did so by two seconds, with 12 riders remaining. Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate), the clear crowd favourite, was well off the pace, but is still favouring his back after a serious crash in Lisbon a month ago. Hannah's very fast time stood up until it was the turn of Gee Atherton, the 2008 World Champion.

Atherton was looking to finally score the first World Cup win on home soil by his racing family, and he did so decisively, beating Hannah by over two seconds. American Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox) and Cameron Cole (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) both came close to Atherton, with Cole less than half a second back, but it was the two-time defending track champion Minnaar who looked to have the best chance.

Minnaar came through the second split four-tenths of a second down, and lost the same amount again in the final pedal into the finish for third place behind Cole, to give Atherton his first World Cup win on British soil.

Minnaar continues to lead the men's series by 15 points over Atherton, with Cole a distant third at 282 points.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:04:35.7 
2Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:00:00.5 
3Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:01.2 
4Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:02.0 
5Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles0:00:02.1 
6Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:02.1 
7Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:05.2 
8Shaun O'connor (Aus) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:05.8 
9Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 110:00:06.3 
10Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:06.4 
11Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles0:00:06.5 
12Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Team0:00:07.1 
13Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona0:00:07.2 
14Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:07.4 
15Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing0:00:07.5 
16Bryn Atkinson (Aus)0:00:07.8 
17Nico Vink (Bel)0:00:08.4 
18Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:08.6 
19Ben Cathro (GBr)0:00:09.1 
20Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:09.4 
21Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:09.5 
22Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:10.0 
23Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:10.1 
24Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal Superiders0:00:10.5 
25Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:10.6 
26Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:10.6 
27Sam Dale (GBr)0:00:11.1 
28Fergus Lamb (GBr)0:00:11.2 
29Florent Payet (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United0:00:11.3 
30Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:11.5 
31Mitchell Delfs (Aus)0:00:11.9 
32Joshua Button (Aus) Kona0:00:12.3 
33Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS Racing Squad0:00:12.4 
34Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:12.4 
35Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:12.6 
36Kyle Strait (USA)0:00:12.7 
37Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:12.8 
38Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing0:00:13.0 
39Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:13.3 
40Wyn Masters (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:13.4 
41Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:13.5 
42Antoine Badouard (Fra)0:00:13.5 
43Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Team0:00:13.7 
44Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:14.3 
45Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:14.5 
46Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS Racing Squad0:00:15.5 
47Cédric Gracia (Fra)0:00:16.1 
48Robert Smith (GBr)0:00:16.5 
49Joe Barnes (GBr)0:00:16.7 
50Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col)0:00:17.1 
51Matej Charvat (Cze) K.T.R. Racing Team0:00:17.2 
52Nathan Rankin (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:17.2 
53Chris Hutchens (GBr)0:00:17.3 
54Alexander Kangas (Swe)0:00:17.5 
55Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:17.7 
56Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team0:00:18.0 
57Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:18.1 
58Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:18.5 
59Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United0:00:18.6 
60Dennis Dertell (Swe)0:00:18.7 
61Harry Heath (GBr)0:00:19.8 
62George Brannigan (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team0:00:20.0 
63Ralph Jones (GBr)0:00:20.3 
64Aari Barrett (NZl) Scott 110:00:20.5 
65Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:20.6 
66Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:22.3 
67Scott Laughland (Irl)0:00:23.3 
68Harry Molloy (GBr)0:00:24.0 
69Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:32.7 
70Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi Team0:00:34.5 
71Sam Flockhart (GBr) Lapierre International0:00:34.9 
72Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing0:00:36.3 
73Lewis Buchanan (GBr) MS Evil Racing0:00:36.8 
74Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:41.1 
75Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani - Protone0:00:42.1 
76Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing0:01:31.9 
77Mark Scott (GBr)0:02:20.3 
78Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:02:29.1 
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense80 pts
2Commencal75 
3Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain75 
4Trek World Racing63 
5Scott 1162 
6Santa Cruz Syndicate50 
7Gt Bicycles48 
8Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team30 
9Suspension Center28 
10Commencal Superiders28 
11Lapierre International26 
12Kenda-Playbiker23 
13Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie22 
14Giant Factory Team19 
15Rc Alpine Commencal Austria19 
16Kona18 
17Dr-Gravity Union15 
18Team Sunn Montgenevre14 
19Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz9 
20Ms Evil Racing6 
21Blackmountain Morewood United2 
World Cup standings - individual
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate420 pts
2Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal405 
3Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain282 
4Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team240 
5Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz239 
6Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International219 
7Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11199 
8Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles173 
9Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing171 
10Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense163 
11Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz160 
12Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense160 
13Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles155 
14Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona153 
15Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 11149 
16Bryn Atkinson (Aus)143 
17Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate138 
18Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Team137 
19Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing136 
20Ben Cathro (GBr)133 
21Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing132 
22Shaun O'connor (Aus) Kenda-Playbiker130 
23Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team128 
24Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense128 
25Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate127 
26Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing122 
27Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team118 
28Mitchell Delfs (Aus)116 
29Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal Superiders111 
30Florent Payet (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United109 
31Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Sunn Montgenevre103 
32Nico Vink (Bel)102 
33Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team100 
34Joshua Button (Aus) Kona96 
35Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense84 
36Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS Racing Squad84 
37Romain Paulhan (Fra)80 
38Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing79 
39Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi Team77 
40Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)76 
41Emanuel Pombo (Por)72 
42Matej Charvat (Cze) K.T.R. Racing Team70 
43Wyn Masters (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker68 
44Joris Bigoni (Fra)66 
45Sam Dale (GBr)60 
46Harry Molloy (GBr)57 
47Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz57 
48Kyle Strait (USA)56 
49Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Team56 
50Joe Barnes (GBr)54 
51Fergus Lamb (GBr)53 
52Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani - Protone51 
53Mickael Pascal (Fra)50 
54Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS Racing Squad48 
55Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing48 
56Adam Vagner (Cze)42 
57Marco Milivinti (Ita) Team Cingolani - Protone41 
58Benny Strasser (Ger)40 
59Curtis Keene (USA)40 
60Antoine Badouard (Fra)39 
61Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre39 
62Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense38 
63Adam Brayton (GBr)36 
64Emyr Davies (GBr)35 
65Cédric Gracia (Fra)34 
66Robert Smith (GBr)33 
67George Brannigan (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team33 
68Lars Peyer (Swi) Suspension Center32 
69Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team32 
70Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col)31 
71Scott Mears (GBr)31 
72Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team30 
73Nathan Rankin (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker29 
74Chris Hutchens (GBr)28 
75Bernard Kerr (GBr) Norco World Team28 
76Alexander Kangas (Swe)27 
77Olivier Nicole (Fra)26 
78Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United22 
79Jack Reading (GBr)21 
80Dennis Dertell (Swe)21 
81Nejc Rutar (Slo) MBK Orbea20 
82Harry Heath (GBr)20 
83Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team20 
84Oliver Burton (GBr)19 
85Ralph Jones (GBr)18 
86Aari Barrett (NZl) Scott 1117 
87Ludovic May (Swi)15 
88Scott Laughland (Irl)14 
89Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team13 
90Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team12 
91Richard Thomas (GBr)12 
92Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi Team11 
93Sam Flockhart (GBr) Lapierre International10 
94Jan Javornik (Svk)9 
95Florian Arthus (Fra)8 
96Lewis Buchanan (GBr) MS Evil Racing8 
97Mark Scott (GBr)7 
98Kim Petersson (Swe)4 
99Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center2 
World Cup standings - teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Scott 11150 pts
2Commencal150 
3Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense144 
4Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain132 
5Trek World Racing108 
6Santa Cruz Syndicate105 
7Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz69 
8Commencal Superiders62 
9Gt Bicycles61 
10Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team54 
11Suspension Center49 
12Rc Alpine Commencal Austria47 
13Lapierre International45 
14Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie42 
15Ms Evil Racing41 
16Kona41 
17Giant Factory Team30 
18Dr-Gravity Union28 
19Kenda-Playbiker23 
20Mondraker Factory Team22 
21Team Sunn Montgenevre20 
22Norco World Team19 
23Blackmountain Morewood United9 
24Massi Team8 
25Dirt Norco Race Team5 

 

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