Gwin dominates the downhill competition in Leogang

American jumps into lead of World Cup standings

Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) retook the World Cup lead from rival Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) with a dominating performance at round three of the downhill World Cup in Leogang, Austria. Gwin, who lost the lead after crashing in round two, qualified fastest, and finished over two seconds ahead of Gee Atherton (Commencal) in the final, with Minnaar nearly six seconds back in third place. Gwin, with 628 points, remains only 46 points in front of Minnaar after three rounds while Atherton is at third, 101 points back.

The ground continued to dry out after the women finished and the men began their runs, which was a mixed blessing, since it made dry condition tires important for the pedaling sections, but the sticky mud and slippery roots in the wooded sections led to numerous crashes. As an indication, Gwin's winning time was still three seconds slower than his qualifying time.

The lead time slowly went down as the first riders came through the finish, but it wasn't until Romain Paulhan, the French national champion, came through that it dropped below four minutes. Paulhan held the lead for nearly a quarter of the field before local Austrian favourite Markus Pekoll (MS Evil) bumped him out of the Hot Seat by half a second.

Pekoll had the longest time in the lead, holding on until the first of the top-20 qualifiers began their runs. Brook MacDonald, the young New Zealand team mate of Pekoll who finished third a week earlier in round two, proved that was no fluke by knocking 4.2 seconds off the top time, good enough for 10th place at the end of the day.

Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate), racing with a suspected broken hand, slotted in behind MacDonald. World champion Sam Hill (Monster Energy-Specialized-Mad Catz), six riders after MacDonald, had a very strong start, faded slightly at the bottom, but was still good enough to give him the lead, and an eventual fifth place. Cedric Gracia (CG Racing) and Danny Hart (Giant) both came within two-tenths of a second of Hill, but also faded at the bottom.

Hill, while happy to make the podium, admitted that Gwin is a step above everyone at the present. "Gwin is riding pretty amazing at the moment, so we're all going to have to work a little bit harder to stop him."

It was Minnaar, riding eighth from last in a surprisingly high qualifying spot for him, who finally made the next big cut to the top time, the first to go below 3:50. The next five riders all failed to better his time, with Fabien Barel (Mondraker) crashing in the slippery roots, and only Steve Smith (Devinci) able to squeeze between Minnaar and Hill.

"I didn't know what to think after [qualifying]," saidMinnaar, "because I had a good run and still got thrashed by a lot of guys. I was pretty tense at the start of the final, and I made some mistakes at the top; I wasn't making mine lines and was losing time ... that top section killed me, killed my run. Technically, I'm riding with the top guys, but Gee's [Atherton] going a bit better, and Gwinny's out-pedaling us all."

However, the final two riders, the top two qualifiers, showed that they were a notch above everyone else on this day. Atherton came through the first split three seconds up on Minnaar and finished 3.608 seconds ahead of the South African.

"It was a good result," said Atherton, "close to the win, but no cigar. Looking back, I probably should have put drys [tires] on, but that was just a bad decision on my part."

Atherton's time wouldn't prove to be enough for the win, unfortunately for the Brit, as Gwin, possibly still smarting from losing a week earlier after crashing while well in the lead, blew through every section of the course well ahead of his competition to score his second win in three races and recover the lead in the standings.

"It feels great to get that monkey off my back after last week's crash," said Gwin. "I knew I had it in me, I just had to put it together. My run went good until it almost fell apart at the bottom ... I blew my feet out of the pedals and rode the last minute of the track without being clipped in, but managed to hold it together. The bike was working awesome, everything just sort of clicked. I'm just happy it all came together."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing0:03:44.200 
2Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:02.113 
3Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:05.721 
4Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:00:07.942 
5Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:09.225 
6Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:09.253 
7Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade0:00:09.357 
8Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:09.984 
9Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:10.163 
10Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing0:00:10.615 
11Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:12.173 
12Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:13.445 
13Marc Beaumont (GBr)0:00:13.580 
14Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing0:00:13.720 
15Troy Brosnan° (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:13.832 
16Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Evil Racing0:00:14.803 
17Mickael Pascal (Fra) Morewood Unitedride0:00:15.053 
18Julien Camellini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:15.164 
19Lorenzo Suding (Ita)0:00:15.169 
20Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:15.284 
21Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges0:00:15.374 
22Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:15.589 
23Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:16.152 
24Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:16.205 
25Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain0:00:16.279 
26Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:16.312 
27Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona0:00:16.331 
28Fabien Barel (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:16.339 
29Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani Trek0:00:16.401 
30Nico Vink (Bel) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges0:00:16.453 
31Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:17.130 
32Neko Mulally° (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:17.608 
33Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:17.916 
34Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:00:18.320 
35Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:18.363 
36Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:18.515 
37Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:18.562 
38Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Morewood Unitedride0:00:18.751 
39Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa)0:00:19.053 
40Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark Powered By W - Racing0:00:19.069 
41Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Cg Racing Brigade0:00:20.586 
42Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:20.637 
43Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:20.783 
44Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:20.914 
45Alex Bond (GBr)0:00:21.221 
46Mark Scott° (GBr)0:00:21.325 
47Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:21.844 
48Patrick Thome (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:21.900 
49Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:22.604 
50Mitch Ropelato (USA)0:00:22.607 
51Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:23.067 
52Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:23.626 
53Lewis Buchanan° (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:24.053 
54Johann Potgieter (RSA)0:00:24.166 
55George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing0:00:24.463 
56Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:25.245 
57Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:25.962 
58Florent Payet (Fra) SC - Intense0:00:27.082 
59Simon Cardon (Fra) XCYTT Racing0:00:27.161 
60Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:27.219 
61Wyn Masters (NZl) MS Evil Racing0:00:27.378 
62Michael Hannah (Aus)0:00:28.832 
63Dean Tennant (Can)0:00:29.704 
64Thomas Jeandin (Swi)0:00:30.140 
65Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:30.151 
66Sam Dale (GBr) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:31.925 
67Joshua Button (Aus) SC - Intense0:00:32.737 
68Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:32.828 
69Robert Smith (GBr)0:00:34.244 
70Joe Barnes (GBr)0:00:34.601 
71Alexander Kangas (Swe)0:00:38.721 
72Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:39.333 
73Marco Milivinti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:00:41.296 
74Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:44.108 
75Dominik Gspan (Swi)0:00:47.416 
76Timothy Bentley (RSA) Morewood Unitedride0:00:50.641 
77Remi Gauvin (Can)0:00:58.742 
78Adam Vagner (Cze)0:01:56.033 
79Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:05:53.834 
DNFEliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team  
DSQMatti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trek World Racing93 pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate71 
4Scott 1163 
5MS Evil Racing53 
6Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz44 
7Devinci Global Racing30 
8Lapierre International29 
9Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain28 
10Riding Addiction Commencal26 
11Giant Factory Off-Road Team26 
12CG Racing Brigade24 
13Alpine Commencal Austria20 
14Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie14 
15Morewood Unitedride14 
16Team Sunn Montgenevre13 
17Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee12 
World Cup standings after three rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing628 pts
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate582 
3Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal527 
4Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team359 
5Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing352 
6Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz315 
7Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing274 
8Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing269 
9Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International268 
10Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate267 
11Cédric Gracia (Fra) Cg Racing Brigade245 
12Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate241 
13Marc Beaumont (GBr)240 
14Fabien Barel (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team234 
15Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International221 
16Troy Brosnan° (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz206 
17Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing188 
18Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani Trek181 
19Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain180 
20Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Morewood Unitedride171 
21Julien Camellini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre168 
22Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team163 
23Mickael Pascal (Fra) Morewood Unitedride161 
24Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Evil Racing157 
25Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona155 
26Romain Paulhan (Fra)155 
27Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges153 
28Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof148 
29Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team148 
30Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11146 
31Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing144 
32Florent Payet (Fra) SC - Intense142 
33Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark Powered By W - Racing139 
34Michael Hannah (Aus)128 
35Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team127 
36Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof126 
37Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)113 
38Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Riding Addiction Commencal111 
39Neko Mulally° (USA) Trek World Racing111 
40Joshua Button (Aus) SC - Intense109 
41Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Cg Racing Brigade104 
42Ben Cathro (GBr)102 
43Shaun O'connor (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team99 
44Mitch Ropelato (USA)99 
45Nico Vink (Bel) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges97 
46Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 1194 
47Patrick Thome (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team91 
48Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team89 
49Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team83 
50Lorenzo Suding (Ita)82 
51Bryn Atkinson (Aus)80 
52Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)79 
53Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team79 
54Mark Scott° (GBr)78 
55Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria76 
56Sam Dale (GBr) Team Sunn Montgenevre75 
57Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team75 
58Emanuel Pombo (Por)72 
59Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team70 
60Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team68 
61Alex Bond (GBr)68 
62Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa)67 
63Timothy Bentley (RSA) Morewood Unitedride67 
64Curtis Keene (USA)66 
65Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof61 
66Richard Thomas (GBr)57 
67Johann Potgieter (RSA)53 
68Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz50 
69Lewis Buchanan° (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof49 
70Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team47 
71Wyn Masters (NZl) MS Evil Racing47 
72Bernard Kerr (GBr)46 
73Scott Mears (GBr)42 
74Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International41 
75Greg Williamson (GBr)40 
76Benny Strasser (Ger)39 
77Fergus Lamb (GBr)36 
78Thomas Jeandin (Swi)36 
79Will Rischbieth (Aus)35 
80Adam Brayton (GBr)33 
81Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal33 
82Jack Reading (GBr)32 
83Marcel Beer (Swi)31 
84Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team30 
85George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing29 
86Jonty Neethling (RSA)27 
87Alexander Kangas (Swe)26 
88Hayden Brown (RSA)23 
89Simon Cardon (Fra) XCYTT Racing22 
90Dean Tennant (Can)18 
91Lars Peyer (Swi) SC - Intense18 
92Fraser Mcglone° (GBr)17 
93Daniel Pombo (Por)16 
94Florian Arthus (Fra)15 
95Kelvin Purchase (RSA)15 
96Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team14 
97Chris Hutchens (GBr)14 
98Tiaan Odendaal° (RSA)13 
99Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team13 
100Robert Smith (GBr)12 
101Joe Barnes (GBr)11 
102Seanan O'riordan (Irl)11 
103Francesco Danilo Petrucci (Ita) Team Cingolani Trek11 
104Roman Roschi (Swi)10 
105Oscar Harnstrom (Swe)9 
106Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)9 
107Marco Milivinti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop8 
108Arthur Parret° (Fra) Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee8 
109Christopher Mcglinchey° (Irl)8 
110Joris Bigoni (Fra)8 
111Jérôme Payet (Fra)7 
112Dominik Gspan (Swi)6 
113Mathias Haas (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria5 
114Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Ryde - Racing5 
115Remi Gauvin (Can)4 
116Daniel Critchlow (GBr)4 
117Adam Vagner (Cze)3 
118Travis Browning (RSA)3 


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