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MTB World Cup Cross Country #5 & Downhill #4 - Mont-Sainte-Anne 2012

Date range:
June 22-24, 2012

June 24, Elite men downhill:

Gwin wins Mont-Sainte-Anne downhill

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
Published:
June 24, 2012, 21:47 BST,
Updated:
June 25, 2012, 19:15 BST

Rivals still trying to figure out how to beat him

Downhill World Cup leader Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing)

Downhill World Cup leader Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing)

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Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) won the elite men's downhill World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. He won by 1.3 seconds ahead of Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) and Danny Hart (Giant).

Although he was considered the favorite for the event by all his rivals and he won here last year, Gwin wasn't taking anything for granted. "We train to win so it's always the hope, but you never know until you cross the finish line. You just have to give it a shot."

"I felt good out there today. It was a hard run. It's one of those tracks. It's long but you just got to leave it out there. It's fun. I always like this track."

Thibaut Ruffin (Commencal / Riding Addiction) set the first fast time that would stick for awhile with a 4:23.829, which was good enough for an eventual 14th place. He contentedly settled into the hot seat and said, "My run went good. I gave everything and no big mistakes. It was fun."

Twenty seven riders later, Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) set a new best time in 4:19.161. It would net him a season's best ninth place finish.

Coming into the top 10 riders, occupants would shuffle in and out of the hot seat. Next up was Andrew Neethling (Giant) in 4:18.987. "I think I improved in a few spots that I wanted to after qualis," he said. "I felt like I was attacking the bottom. Obviously, I was a bit worn out and arms were fading. I don't feel like I lost much time. I managed to push through where I needed to. I'm happy to put in a solid one - that's where I want to be most weekends. I want to peak on the podium at a few. I need a lot of points now. I don't want to be the guy who just gets one good one every year. It's good to be up here."

Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized) immediately bumped Neethling out of the hot seat with a 4:17.631, good enough for an eventual fifth place.

"It's always good to get on the podium," said Hill. "I'd like to try to move up a few spots. The track felt boggy and soft this morning in practice. Then it dried off. I didn't ride practice yesterday and yes, the track was a bit different than qualifiers when it was dry. But you can adapt to it pretty easily.

"I think the track here flies pretty well. Even though some parts aren't as flat out as the open parts, you're just on it the whole time. It's about how fast you can go from top to bottom. There's nowhere you can get out of your rhythm."

Canadian Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) came down the mountain with a time that would net him seventh overall in front of a home crowd, but it wasn't enough for the hot seat.

Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) was next to set the fastest time in 4:17.082. "It was not a bad run. I'm happy enough. I pushed hard at the top and rode the bottom bit as quick as I could. I was starting to get tired at the bottom. It felt like it flowed pretty well. It's all about keeping the momentum and speed going. I felt fast. I had a bobble here and there, but it's a technical track, and it's hard to put a smooth run together."

Neither Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) nor Brook MacDonald (MS Mondraker) could go faster, so it was up to world champion Danny Hart to up the ante, which he did with a 4:16.162.

"It was hard work, but the crowds were good and I had a good run. It's such close racing now," said Hart. "Two seconds between the five of us is nothing on a track like this. Hats off to Gwin, but we'll catch him." Hart has been very consistent this season with a second at Fort William and a sixth at Val di Sole and a third here today.

"I'm up there, I just need to get two more places," said Hart, who is hungry for his first World Cup win.

Santa Cruz Syndicate's Greg Minnaar was next to top the leaderboard with a 4:15.329. "I was nervous up at the top," said Minnaar. "I've had good results here before and a lot of crashes trying to get good results, so this morning I felt like I had a good practice and I felt good on track."

"I pushed hard. I was quite loose at the top - more loose than I normally ride and coming down to the bottom, I tried to back off and be a bit smoother and I made a couple of mistakes where I was just off line. I was just disappointed. I gave it my all and pushed hard thinking that might be good enough for a win, but it's just not good enough these days. It's hard trying to figure out what it is. Second is pretty good, but we all come here to win. Aaron is killing it at the moment and it takes a lot to beat him."

Minnaar said the bottom half of his run was good after taking a lot of risks up top and blowing a corner. "I knew I had to clean up my act on the bottom half and I managed to do it. I pulled a bit of time back but it wasn't enough to take it."

What was enough to take it was Gwin's ride. "The organizers had opened up the top section. There was a bit of a headwind," said Gwin. "The top section of the track went well. I just had a mistake at the bottom. It kinda of messed me up, but I ended up pulling it together."

He led at each split down the mountain. "This place is fun. From the first practice run on Thursday, I came down with a big smile on my face. The rain made the track pretty much perfect for finals. It's a hard course to race, but a fun course to ride."

Gwin continues as World Cup leader with 900 points. "It's never easy to protect the lead. These longer tracks are tough," he said. "I'm looking forward to a shorter track next week. It's always fun racing in Windham. I have some family and a bunch of friends there."

Minnaar is in second in the World Cup with 765 points while Atherton has 640. Hart is fourth with 525 and Hill rounds out the top five with 461 points.

Race note

Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) crashed hard on the course and did not finish the race.  He was treated onsite by medical staff and suffered no broken bones but sustained a concussion.  He does not remember the crash, and his team said they will watch him closely for the next 48 hours.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing 0:04:14.022  
2 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:01.307  
3 Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 0:00:02.140  
4 Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:00:03.060  
5 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 0:00:03.609  
6 Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team 0:00:03.885  
7 Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:04.521  
8 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 0:00:04.965  
9 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International 0:00:05.139  
10 Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing 0:00:05.633  
11 Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International 0:00:06.015  
12 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:07.502  
13 Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International 0:00:08.536  
14 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction 0:00:09.807  
15 Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride 0:00:09.924  
16 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott11 0:00:09.925  
17 George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:10.113  
18 Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team 0:00:10.207  
19 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 0:00:10.648  
20 Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) CG Racing Brigade 0:00:10.967  
21 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:00:11.063  
22 Luke Strobel (USA) 0:00:11.324  
23 Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 0:00:12.011  
24 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek 0:00:12.148  
25 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team 0:00:12.205  
26 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona 0:00:12.232  
27 Bernard Kerr (GBr) 0:00:12.752  
28 Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona 0:00:12.767  
29 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International 0:00:13.075  
30 Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd 0:00:13.683  
31 Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 0:00:13.925  
32 Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team 0:00:14.004  
33 Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 0:00:14.047  
34 Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd 0:00:14.094  
35 Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team 0:00:14.103  
36 Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz 0:00:14.143  
37 Matthew Beer (Can) 0:00:14.190  
38 Austin Warren° (USA) 0:00:14.706  
39 Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) 0:00:14.922  
40 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 0:00:15.222  
41 Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team 0:00:15.279  
42 Florent Payet (Fra) SC-Intense 0:00:15.869  
43 Adam Brayton (GBr) 0:00:15.961  
44 Jack Moir° (Aus) 0:00:16.087  
45 Mitch Ropelato (USA) Monster Energy-Specialized 0:00:16.237  
46 Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team 0:00:16.243  
47 Jono Jones° (GBr) 0:00:17.362  
48 Cody Warren (USA) 0:00:17.779  
49 Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team 0:00:18.084  
50 Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team 0:00:18.631  
51 Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 0:00:18.817  
52 Greg Williamson (GBr) 0:00:19.291  
53 Dennis Dertell (Swe) Team 23 Degrees 0:00:19.402  
54 Kyle Sangers (Can) 0:00:19.419  
55 Kieran Bennett (NZl) 0:00:19.966  
56 Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride 0:00:20.074  
57 Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz 0:00:20.244  
58 Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team 0:00:20.292  
59 Dean Lucas° (Aus) 0:00:20.447  
60 Jack Reading (GBr) 0:00:20.861  
61 Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:21.404  
62 Benny Strasser (Ger) 0:00:21.447  
63 Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria 0:00:21.647  
64 Ludovic May (Swi) 0:00:23.557  
65 Oliver Burton (GBr) 0:00:23.909  
66 Rob Fraser (Can) 0:00:24.751  
67 Kazuki Shimizu (Jpn) 0:00:26.132  
68 Mark Scott (GBr) 0:00:26.820  
69 Benjamin Verrier (Fra) 0:00:27.310  
70 Junya Nagata (Jpn) 0:00:28.194  
71 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:28.428  
72 Mark Wallace° (Can) 0:00:47.660  
73 Joshua Button (Aus) SC-Intense 0:00:55.192  
74 Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Xcytt Racing 0:02:31.116  
75 Sam Dale (GBr) 0:02:45.108  
76 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 0:03:23.751  
77 Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) 0:05:46.368  
78 Hans Lambert (Can) Lehikoinen Matti 0:08:26.295  
DNF Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof    
DNF Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing    
DNS Joe Connell° (GBr)    
Teams
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 GT Factory Racing 80  pts
2 MS Mondraker Team 69  
3 Trek World Racing 61  
4 Lapierre International 60  
5 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 55  
6 Santa Cruz Syndicate 54  
7 Commencal / Riding Addiction 52  
8 Scott11 41  
9 Devinci Global Racing 38  
10 Hutchinson United Ride 34  
11 Monster Energy-Specialized 28  
12 Team Norco International 18  
13 Alpine Commencal Austria 12  
14 Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 12  
15 CG Racing Brigade 11  
16 Passion Velo.Fr 10  
17 Madison Saracen Downhill Team 8  
18 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 8  
19 Kona 8  
20 Topcycle By Trek 7  
21 SC-Intense 6  
22 Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 5  
23 Unior Tools Team 3  
24 Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd 1  
World cup individual standings after four rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Aaron Gwin (USA) 900  pts
2 Greg Minnaar (RSA) 765  
3 Gee Atherton (GBr) 640  
4 Danny Hart (GBr) 525  
5 Samuel Hill (Aus) 461  
6 Steve Smith (Can) 410  
7 Marc Beaumont (GBr) 367  
8 Michael Hannah (Aus) 354  
9 Josh Bryceland (GBr) 341  
10 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) 301  
11 Justin Leov (NZl) 301  
12 Andrew Neethling (RSA) 300  
13 Cameron Cole (NZl) 296  
14 Brook Macdonald (NZl) 286  
15 George Brannigan (NZl) 258  
16 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) 257  
17 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) 249  
18 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) 245  
19 Rémi Thirion (Fra) 242  
20 Joseph Smith (GBr) 233  
21 Richard Rude Jr° (USA) 230  
22 Nick Beer (Swi) 227  
23 Patrick Thome (Fra) 218  
24 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) 214  
25 Luke Strobel (USA) 212  
26 Loic Bruni° (Fra) 199  
27 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) 194  
28 Mickael Pascal (Fra) 189  
29 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) 185  
30 Bernard Kerr (GBr) 169  
31 Julien Camellini (Fra) 167  
32 Steve Peat (GBr) 166  
33 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) 165  
34 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) 158  
35 Connor Fearon° (Aus) 155  
36 Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) 149  
37 Jared Graves (Aus) 142  
38 Sam Dale (GBr) 141  
39 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) 137  
40 Greg Williamson (GBr) 135  
41 Markus Pekoll (Aut) 126  
42 Robin Wallner (Swe) 125  
43 Eliot Jackson (USA) 119  
44 Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) 118  
45 Florent Payet (Fra) 114  
46 Richard Thomas (GBr) 112  
47 Joshua Button (Aus) 108  
48 Lewis Buchanan (GBr) 108  
49 Matthew Beer (Can) 108  
50 Duncan Riffle (USA) 108  
51 Troy Brosnan (Aus) 107  
52 Lorenzo Suding (Ita) 106  
53 Harry Molloy (GBr) 105  
54 Ziga Pandur (Slo) 98  
55 Oliver Burton (GBr) 96  
56 Fabien Cousinie (Fra) 95  
57 Cédric Gracia (Fra) 93  
58 Jack Reading (GBr) 91  
59 Ben Reid (Irl) 89  
60 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) 88  
61 Nejc Rutar (Slo) 88  
62 Alexander Kangas (Swe) 78  
63 Neko Mulally (USA) 75  
64 Harry Heath (GBr) 75  
65 Fraser Mcglone° (GBr) 73  
66 Mitch Ropelato (USA) 73  
67 Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) 67  
68 Kyle Sangers (Can) 65  
69 Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) 62  
70 Dan Stanbridge (GBr) 57  
71 Thomas Braithwaite (GBr) 57  
72 Francisco Pardal (Por) 56  
73 Filip Polc (Svk) 55  
74 Benny Strasser (Ger) 50  
75 Marco Milivinti (Ita) 48  
76 Johann Potgieter (RSA) 48  
77 Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) 47  
78 Dan Atherton (GBr) 45  
79 Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) 45  
80 Isak Leivsson (Nor) 44  
81 Austin Warren° (USA) 43  
82 Mark Scott (GBr) 43  
83 Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) 42  
84 Yoann Barelli (Fra) 42  
85 Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) 41  
86 Jono Jones° (GBr) 40  
87 Adam Brayton (GBr) 38  
88 Curtis Keene (USA) 38  
89 Nico Vink (Bel) 38  
90 Jack Moir° (Aus) 37  
91 Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) 37  
92 Alex Bond (GBr) 37  
93 Lars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor) 35  
94 Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra) 35  
95 Mathieu Gallean (Fra) 35  
96 Cody Warren (USA) 33  
97 Timothy Bentley (RSA) 33  
98 Miran Vauh (Slo) 33  
99 Faustin Figaret (Fra) 32  
100 Jonty Neethling (RSA) 32  
101 Niklas Wallner (Swe) 31  
102 Gianluca Vernassa° (Ita) 30  
103 Ralph Jones (GBr) 30  
104 Ludovic May (Swi) 30  
105 Joe Barnes (GBr) 29  
106 Dennis Dertell (Swe) 28  
107 Emanuel Pombo (Por) 28  
108 Stefan Garlicki (RSA) 27  
109 Kieran Bennett (NZl) 26  
110 Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) 23  
111 Dean Lucas° (Aus) 22  
112 Lars Peyer (Swi) 22  
113 Scott Mears (GBr) 22  
114 Logan Binggeli (USA) 18  
115 Thomas Jeandin (Swi) 18  
116 Carlo Caire° (Ita) 17  
117 Phil Atwill° (GBr) 17  
118 Fergus Lamb (GBr) 16  
119 Rob Fraser (Can) 15  
120 Kazuki Shimizu (Jpn) 14  
121 Arthur Parret (Fra) 14  
122 Manuel Gruber (Aut) 13  
123 Benjamin Verrier (Fra) 12  
124 Emyr Davies (GBr) 12  
125 Junya Nagata (Jpn) 11  
126 Edgar Carballo Gonzalez (Spa) 11  
127 Tommy Herrmann (Ger) 11  
128 Matthias Stonig (Aut) 10  
129 Mark Wallace° (Can) 9  
130 Gaetan Ruffin (Fra) 8  
131 Lutz Weber (Swi) 8  
132 Mathias Haas (Aut) 7  
133 Tiaan° Odendaal (RSA) 7  
134 Benjamin Torrano (Fra) 7  
135 Kevin Aiello (USA) 4  
136 Dan Sheridan° (Irl) 3  
137 Hans Lambert (Can) 3  
138 Kristoffer Haugland (Nor) 2  
World Cup team standings after four rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 GT Factory Racing 292  pts
2 Santa Cruz Syndicate 226  
3 MS Mondraker Team 222  
4 Trek World Racing 221  
5 Lapierre International 191  
6 Hutchinson United Ride 171  
7 Devinci Global Racing 169  
8 Scott11 162  
9 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 158  
10 Commencal / Riding Addiction 137  
11 Monster Energy-Specialized 125  
12 Team Norco International 82  
13 Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 78  
14 Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 68  
15 Passion Velo.Fr 50  
16 Alpine Commencal Austria 46  
17 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 44  
18 Madison Saracen Downhill Team 43  
19 SC-Intense 43  
20 CG Racing Brigade 37  
21 Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie 27  
22 Topcycle By Trek 25  
23 Kona 16  
24 Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 12  
25 CK Racing Santacruz 11  
26 Unior Tools Team 10  
27 Torpado Surfing Shop 10  
28 Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 9  
29 Dirt Norco Race Team 4  
30 Ghost Factory Racing Team 3  
31 Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd 1