Smith wins Hafjell downhill World Cup

Overall World Cup battle continues between Smith and Atherton

Steve Smith (Devinci) remains undefeated in Hafjell, Norway after he won the elite men's downhill World Cup on Sunday. The Canadian beat Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) and Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) for the third World Cup victory of his career. Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre) and world champion Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicated) rounded out the podium.

Neethling set a fast time early among the favorites that would land him an extended visit to the hot seat and and eventual third place on the podium.

Racers competed in pouring rain on a trecherous, slippery, rocky course, with many of the favorites crashing or dabbing at various parts of the course. Remi Thirion (Commencal/Riding Addiction) and Markus Pekoll (MS Mondraker) both crashed.

Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com/Nukeproof) did not race fast enough to get on the podium. It wasn't until Hart that there was a new fast time. Hart, who is an excellent rider in wet conditions as he proved a few years ago by winning Worlds in Champery, Switzerland, and he bumped up the bar by 1.142 seconds.

Blenkinsop came in third fastest at the time of his run, then George Brannigan (Trek World Racing) crashed. Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) had a relatively slow run, good enough for 10th.

Then it was Smith's turn. He went 1.641 seconds faster than Hart and took over the hot seat, even after drifting all over the slippery bottom section of the course.

"It was a trippy day. We practiced all week in the sun and dust and today was miserable. It rained all day," said Smith. "Coming into some of those corners where I was not braking in practice, I nearly shit my pants, it was so muddy and rocky. I was slipping all over the place."

"I had a great win in Norway here last year and to back it up today is great."

Smith then had to wait for the last four men to come down the mountain.

World champion Minnnaar had a solid run, but was not fast enough to unseat Smith. Loic Bruni (Lapierre) crashed in the rocky corner that caught out many of the women earlier in the day. Mick Hannah (Hutchinson UR) was racing fast, but missed a corner and rode off course, a mistake that cost him a lot of time.

Fastest qualifier Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) was the last man down, and he looked good until he got slightly off his preferred line toward the top and then tagged a tree. Forced to re-orient himself, he lost significant time and a shot at the victory. He finished 12th.

Atherton continues to lead the World Cup, with a slim 17-point lead over Smith with one round to go next weekend in Leogang.

Race note:

Aaron Gwin was absent with a shoulder injury sustained at the world championships. Brook MacDonald was also not racing due to injury.

Full Results

Elite men downhill
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:03:40.200 
2Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:01.641 
3Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:02.783 
4Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre Gravity Republic0:00:03.865 
5Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:03.989 
6Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:05.745 
7Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:06.199 
8Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:06.537 
9Bernard Kerr (GBr) Pivot Factory Team0:00:06.715 
10Troy Brosnan (Aus) Specialized Racing DH0:00:07.370 
11Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:07.859 
12Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:08.404 
13Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing0:00:09.541 
14Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:09.576 
15Samuel Hill (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:09.752 
16Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing0:00:09.891 
17Johannes Fischbach (Ger) RRP Ghost0:00:09.981 
18Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:10.235 
19Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing DH0:00:11.612 
20Patrick Thome (Fra) Gstaad-Scott0:00:11.645 
21Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:11.650 
22Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Gstaad-Scott0:00:11.717 
23Rémi Thirion (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:12.195 
24Robin Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing0:00:12.291 
25Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:12.641 
26Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:13.083 
27Luke Strobel (USA) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:13.966 
28Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR0:00:14.149 
29Jack Moir (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:14.928 
30Florent Payet (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian0:00:14.941 
31Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:15.443 
32Fraser Mcglone (GBr)0:00:15.905 
33Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic0:00:15.976 
34Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:16.161 
35Kyle Sangers (Can)0:00:16.294 
36Kirk Mcdowall (Can)0:00:16.959 
37Remi Gauvin (Can)0:00:17.330 
38Quentin Chanudet (Fra) Team Sodicycle Project0:00:17.543 
39Connor Fearon (Aus) Kona0:00:17.742 
40Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Lac Blanc/Scott0:00:17.807 
41George Brannigan (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:17.901 
42Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:17.935 
43Lars Peyer (Swi) SC Intense0:00:17.942 
44Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:18.159 
45Mathew Stuttard (GBr)0:00:18.180 
46Faustin Figaret (Fra) Topcycle By Trek0:00:18.353 
47Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:18.551 
48Francisco Pardal (Por) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:18.863 
49Filip Polc (Svk) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:19.703 
50Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:19.755 
51Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:19.950 
52Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:20.040 
53Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:20.165 
54Terje Nylende (Nor)0:00:20.378 
55Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:21.573 
56Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:21.784 
57Edward Masters (NZl)0:00:22.674 
58Bernardo Neves Cruz (Bra)0:00:23.014 
59Sam Dale (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:23.268 
60Matthew Beer (Can)0:00:23.406 
61Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian0:00:23.758 
62Miran Vauh (Slo) Blackthorn GT0:00:23.910 
63Harry Heath (GBr)0:00:24.066 
64Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Mondraker Team0:00:24.638 
65Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) GT / 360 Degrees0:00:26.682 
66Fabien Cousinie (Fra) HutchinsonUR0:00:30.816 
67Reon Boe (NZl)0:00:30.963 
68Niclas Andersen (Nor)0:00:31.762 
69Stefan Garlicki (RSA)0:00:34.803 
70Zakarias Blom Johansen (Nor)0:00:35.118 
71Sebastiaan Van Steenbergen (USA)0:00:38.235 
72Alex Bond (GBr)0:00:39.478 
73Christian Textor (Ger) Team Bulls - DH0:00:45.563 
74David Mcmillan (Aus)0:00:47.554 
75Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:52.945 
DNFMatthew Walker (NZl)  
DNFWyn Masters (NZl) Team Bulls - DH  
DNFBen Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team  
DNSLorenzo Suding (Ita) GT / 360 Degrees  
DNSLars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor)  
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Giant Factory Off-Road Team91 pts
2GT Factory Racing72 
3Santa Cruz Syndicate71 
4Devinci Global Racing58 
5Lapierre Gravity Republic52 
6Madison Saracen Downhill Team40 
7Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof39 
8Commencal / Riding Addiction38 
9Specialized Racing DH33 
10Gstaad-Scott32 
11MS Mondraker Team26 
12Pivot Factory Team22 
13Team W-Racing22 
14Hutchinson UR21 
15Trek World Racing20 
16Dirt Norco Race Team16 
17RRP Ghost14 
18Evil Vengeance Tour14 
19Blackthorn GT10 
20Fmd Racing / Intense Cycles9 
21Unior Tools Team6 
22US Cagnes VTT5 
23SC Intense4 
24Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team2 
25Evil Ck Racing Evian1 
Elite men downhill World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing966 pts
2Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing949 
3Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate673 
4Samuel Hill (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof590 
5Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team584 
6Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre Gravity Republic542 
7Rémi Thirion (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction498 
8Troy Brosnan (Aus) Specialized Racing DH496 
9Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic486 
10Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR458 
11Aaron Gwin (USA) United States Of America417 
12Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Giant Factory Off-Road Team396 
13Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team386 
14Florent Payet (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian342 
15Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Gstaad-Scott342 
16Brook Macdonald* (NZl) New-Zealand338 
17Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing322 
18Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof309 
19Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) Evil Vengeance Tour304 
20Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing298 
21Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate293 
22Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Mondraker Team282 
23Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate276 
24Lorenzo Suding (Ita) GT / 360 Degrees274 
25Sam Dale (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team260 
26Faustin Figaret (Fra) Topcycle By Trek252 
27Patrick Thome (Fra) Gstaad-Scott248 
28George Brannigan (NZl) Trek World Racing237 
29Connor Fearon (Aus) Kona234 
30Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)227 
31Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof225 
32Bernard Kerr (GBr) Pivot Factory Team222 
33Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing221 
34Luke Strobel (USA) Evil Vengeance Tour218 
35Greg Williamson (GBr) Trek World Racing207 
36Robin Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing199 
37Francisco Pardal (Por) Evil Vengeance Tour191 
38Johannes Fischbach (Ger) RRP Ghost185 
39Jack Moir (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team179 
40Harry Heath (GBr)179 
41Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team167 
42Joe Connell (GBr) SC Intense166 
43Guillaume Cauvin (Fra) HutchinsonUR164 
44Edward Masters (NZl)157 
45Remi Gauvin (Can)154 
46Austin Warren (USA) Pivot Factory Team152 
47Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team151 
48Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing DH149 
49Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team141 
50Mathew Stuttard (GBr)139 
51Wyn Masters (NZl) Team Bulls - DH138 
52Fraser Mcglone (GBr)135 
53Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek120 
54Cameron Cole (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team119 
55Jack Reading (GBr)119 
56Richard° Rude Jr (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team118 
57Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Evil Vengeance Tour114 
58Matthew Walker (NZl)109 
59Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International108 
60Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing107 
61Adam Brayton (GBr)107 
62Kyle Sangers (Can)101 
63Isak Leivsson (Nor)97 
64Filip Polc (Svk) Evil Vengeance Tour96 
65Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian95 
66Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction88 
67Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Lac Blanc/Scott88 
68Kirk Mcdowall (Can)87 
69Christopher Mcglinchey (Irl)85 
70Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) GT / 360 Degrees79 
71Terje Nylende (Nor)72 
72Lewis Buchanan (GBr) SC Intense69 
73Mickael Pascal (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian68 
74Scott Mears (GBr)68 
75Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Unior Tools Team65 
76Quentin Chanudet (Fra) Team Sodicycle Project64 
77Lars Peyer (Swi) SC Intense64 
78David Trummer (Aut) RRP Ghost59 
79Benny Strasser (Ger)57 
80Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria54 
81Richard Thomas (GBr)51 
82Melvin Pons (Fra) Us Cagnes VTT50 
83Forrest Riesco* (Can) Canada48 
84Fabien Cousinie (Fra) HutchinsonUR48 
85David Mcmillan (Aus)47 
86Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)46 
87Jared Graves (Aus) Australia44 
88Zakarias Blom Johansen (Nor)43 
89Alexander Kangas (Swe)42 
90Ben Cathro (GBr)38 
91Julien Piccolo (Fra)37 
92Oliwer Kangas (Swe)33 
93Marco Milivinti (Ita) Italy31 
94Reece Potter (NZl)31 
95Romain Paulhan (Fra)31 
96Iago Garay Tamayo (Spa)29 
97Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade29 
98Emanuel Pombo (Por)28 
99Rudy Cabirou (Fra)28 
100Samuel Thibault (Can)27 
101Benoit Coulanges (Fra) Roc VTT Oz En Oisans26 
102Florian Arthus (Fra)24 
103Lars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor)23 
104Bernardo Neves Cruz (Bra)23 
105Sidney Slotegraaf (Can)22 
106Gaetan Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction22 
107Matthew Beer (Can)21 
108Alexis Pujol (Fra)21 
109Martin Knapec (Svk)21 
110Guy Gibbs (Nor)20 
111Johann Potgieter (RSA) RRP Ghost19 
112Miran Vauh (Slo) Blackthorn GT19 
113Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)19 
114Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team18 
115Guillem Jorba Prats (Spa)17 
116Arthur Parret (Fra)17 
117Dan Sheridan (Irl)16 
118Matej Charvat (Cze) Czech Republic16 
119Bryn Dickerson (NZl)16 
120Reon Boe (NZl)14 
121James Swinden (GBr)14 
122Gareth Brewin (GBr)14 
123Niclas Andersen (Nor)13 
124Kevin Aiello* (USA) United States Of America13 
125Stefan Garlicki (RSA)12 
126Peter Williams (GBr)12 
127Logan Binggeli (USA) United States Of America12 
128Baptiste Pierron (Fra)11 
129Benjamin Staehle (Fra)11 
130Sebastiaan Van Steenbergen (USA)10 
131Carlo Caire (Ita)10 
132Oliver Morris (GBr)10 
133Alex Bond (GBr)9 
134Ludovic Oget (Fra)9 
135Rhys Atkinson (Aus)8 
136Christian Textor (Ger) Team Bulls - DH8 
Teams World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing408 pts
2Lapierre Gravity Republic335 
3Giant Factory Off-Road Team270 
4Santa Cruz Syndicate261 
5Gstaad-Scott255 
6Commencal / Riding Addiction222 
7Devinci Global Racing218 
8Specialized Racing DH214 
9Madison Saracen Downhill Team195 
10Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof184 
11MS Mondraker Team162 
12Trek World Racing135 
13Hutchinson UR115 
14Evil Vengeance Tour81 
15Fmd Racing / Intense Cycles55 
16Team Norco International54 
17Pivot Factory Team51 
18Evil Ck Racing Evian46 
19GT / 360 Degrees40 
20RRP Ghost39 
21Blackthorn GT39 
22Dirt Norco Race Team36 
23Topcycle By Trek34 
24SC Intense29 
25Unior Tools Team27 
26Team W-Racing22 
27Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team21 
28Team Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie15 
29US Cagnes VTT13 
30Torpado Surfing Shop11 
31Kona10 
32Team Bulls - DH9 
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