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US Pro XCT #2: Sea Otter Classic 2010

Date range:
April 16-18, 2010

April 18, Downhill - Elite men:

Four cross World Champ Graves takes top downhill spot in Monterey

By:
Steve Medcroft
Published:
April 18, 2010, 21:31 BST,
Updated:
April 19, 2010, 3:17 BST

Gwin logs second runner-up placing of the weekend

Jared Graves on his way to fourth

Jared Graves on his way to fourth

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Australian Jared Graves and American Aaron Gwin (Yeti/Fox teammates) finished one-two in the men's pro downhill race at Sea Otter on Sunday. Graves, who was seeded early in the event, watched 120 riders try to knock him out of the hot seat before his result was confirmed. Oakley sponsored American Brian Lopes finished third.

The downhill gods were easy on competitors in Monterey, leaving riders with some of the driest, mildest and most windless conditions in recent years. Graves, who was seeded early in the almost 150-rider strong field, powered the course to set the early lead then settled into the hot seat as downhill star after downhill star fell short of his 2:04:7 run.

"I really wanted to win both races this weekend (dual slalom and downhill)," Graves said at the finish. "It didn't quite work out in the dual slalom last night (Graves earned fourth, losing to Jared Rando in the consolation round - ed.) so I was pretty determined to make up for it today."

With four short-course specialists in the top five, Sea Otter's dry and pedally downhill course was tough for the top riders in the discipline. Downhill World Champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) managed only eighth. Former World Champion Cedric Gracia finished seven seconds down in 16th. Another former World Champion, Greg Minaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), coasted through the finish line, obviously frustrated with his run and 55th placing.

Graves says the skills that earned him four cross World Cup and World Championship wins in 2009 were keys to success on the Sea Otter downhill course. "The lower part of the course is pretty chopped up compared to previous years," Graves said. "So just finding good lines, missing the holes, and skipping over the top and carrying good momentum everywhere was the key."

"My training is geared around being quick for no more than 30 seconds at a time, so I felt a little bit of a burn at the end there, but I just kept thinking about how I didn't get what I wanted last night and pushed hard to the line."

Graves says racing downhill at Sea Otter is an anomaly to his season's plans. "I'm not doing downhill World Cups this year, Four cross is my focus," Graves said. "Sea Otter being the first big international race of the year, it's different to a World Cup, but all the top guys are here so it's a good race to start the season; if you do well here, you know you're preparation is good - it's a confidence boost." Graves will take that confidence to the first four cross World Cup in Slovenia in two weeks.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jared Graves (Yeti/Fox) 0:02:04.7  
2 Aaron Gwin (Yeti/Fox) 0:00:02.0  
3 Brian Lopes (Oakley) 0:00:02.3  
4 Mick Hannah (GT) 0:00:02.7  
5 Cameron Cole (Maxxis) 0:00:02.9  
6 Dan Atherton (Commencal) 0:00:04.0  
7 Eric Carter (GT) 0:00:04.2  
8 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz) 0:00:04.4  
9 Justin Leov (Trek World Racing)    
10 Chris Kovarik (Chain Reaction) 0:00:04.8  
11 Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) 0:00:05.3  
12 Tyler Immer (Yeti) 0:00:05.4  
13 Duncan Riffle (Giant) 0:00:06.4  
14 Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) 0:00:06.7  
15 Jared Rando (Giant) 0:00:06.9  
16 Cedric Gracia    
17 Kyle Strait 0:00:07.0  
18 Mitch Ropelato 0:00:07.2  
19 Matti Lehikoinen (Chain Reaction) 0:00:07.4  
20 Brad Benedict (Specialized) 0:00:07.5  
21 Cody Warren (Foes Racing) 0:00:08.1  
22 Fabien Cousinie (Blackmount) 0:00:08.3  
23 Sean Mcclendon (ODI) 0:00:08.7  
24 Kamil Tatarkovic 0:00:08.8  
25 Joey Schusler (Yeti) 0:00:08.9  
26 Florent Payet (Blackmount)    
27 Waylon Smith 0:00:09.0  
28 Logan Binggeli (KHS) 0:00:09.1  
29 Marc Beaumont (GT) 0:00:09.2  
30 Bryn Atkinson    
31 Joe Lawwill (MTBR) 0:00:09.3  
32 David Klaassenvanoorsch (ODI)    
33 Evan Turpen (Epiccenter) 0:00:09.8  
34 Dan Stanbridge 0:00:10.1  
35 Jason Memmelaar (Giant/HBG) 0:00:10.3  
36 Nathan Riddle (SRAM) 0:00:10.4  
37 Jd Swanguen (ODI)    
38 Brendan Fairclough (Monster Energy) 0:00:10.5  
39 Sam Benedict (Specialized) 0:00:10.7  
40 George Stephenson Iii (Yeti)    
41 Kevin Aiello (GT) 0:00:10.8  
42 Bernard Kerr (Norco) 0:00:10.9  
43 Chris Boice (Yeti)    
44 Regnier Jordan (Frejus Roc d'Azur)    
45 Nate Lewis    
46 Brian Buell (Team Germonimo) 0:00:11.1  
47 Ryan Condrashoff 0:00:11.2  
48 Steve Smith (MS Evil) 0:00:11.3  
49 Curtis Keene (Specialized) 0:00:11.5  
50 Nick Olson 0:00:12.0  
51 Ben Furbee 0:00:12.1  
52 Ariel Lindsley (Santa Cruz) 0:00:12.6  
53 Danny Hart (Giant Factory)    
54 Brad Oien (ODI) 0:00:12.7  
55 Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz)    
56 Jon Wilson (Northstar)    
57 Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz) 0:00:12.9  
58 Tyler Mccaul (GT) 0:00:13.1  
59 Amado Stachenfeld 0:00:13.2  
60 Heikki Hall (E Thirteen)    
61 Jeff Kendall-Weed    
62 Mikey Sylvestri (Specialized)    
63 Jerome Clementz (Cannondale) 0:00:13.3  
64 Graeme Pitts (Team Germonimo) 0:00:13.4  
65 Jonathan Widen 0:00:14.1  
66 Roger Rinderknecht (BMC)    
67 Robin Baloochi (DRD Tomac) 0:00:14.3  
68 Mikey Haderer (Corair)    
69 Jeremy Kneisly (One) 0:00:14.7  
70 Jean Sebastion Therrien (Banshee) 0:00:14.8  
71 John Keep (DRD Tomac) 0:00:15.1  
72 Ben Reid    
73 Richard Rude (Allride) 0:00:15.3  
74 John Hauer (X-Fusion) 0:00:15.5  
75 Timothy Krentz 0:00:15.6  
76 Alejandro Ortiz (Morpheus)    
77 Justin Graves (PirateDH) 0:00:16.2  
78 Matthieu Faury (Frejus Roc d'Azur) 0:00:16.3  
79 Quinton Spaulding    
80 Jordan Lopez (Northstar)    
81 Michael Buell (Geronimo) 0:00:16.7  
82 Wentz Steve (Commencal) 0:00:17.0  
83 Ryan Egusquiza 0:00:17.2  
84 Troy Brosnan (Monster Energy) 0:00:17.3  
85 Josh Hubbard    
86 Steve Hlebo 0:00:17.5  
87 Matt Thompson (Commencal) 0:00:17.8  
88 Kevin Albert (Thunderbird) 0:00:18.2  
89 Daniel Cortina 0:00:18.3  
90 Matthew Cipes (Thunderbird) 0:00:18.4  
91 Matthew Adams (Bike Works) 0:00:18.7  
92 Dante Harmony 0:00:18.9  
93 Evan Gilsdorf (Downhill) 0:00:19.1  
94 Allen Stoddard (Commencal) 0:00:19.3  
95 Casey Coffman (Transition)    
96 Naish Ulmer (KHS)    
97 Doug Ewer 0:00:19.5  
98 Chris Shewmake (Sol Vista) 0:00:20.0  
99 Pj Sharp 0:00:20.5  
100 Jesse Trask 0:00:21.3  
101 Simon Garstin    
102 Andrew Cavaletto (SV Cycle) 0:00:21.4  
103 Tasso Koch (TMR) 0:00:21.8  
104 Jimmy Amaral 0:00:22.0  
105 Philip Wheeler (Commencal) 0:00:22.1  
106 Luciano Worl 0:00:22.2  
107 Josh Stark 0:00:22.6  
108 Ryan Cornilsen 0:00:22.9  
109 Ben Hulse (Morpheus) 0:00:23.6  
110 Evelio Suarez 0:00:24.2  
111 Ryan Borick 0:00:24.8  
112 Sean Osborne (Rob Sears) 0:00:26.6  
113 Evan Bissell (Mom and Dad) 0:00:27.0  
114 Pete Manicci 0:00:27.8  
115 Brandon Turman (Geronimo) 0:00:28.3  
116 Erik Gosselin (Gravity) 0:00:28.5  
117 Adrian Kiener 0:00:29.3  
118 Michael Whitley 0:00:30.2  
119 Nicholas Cruickshank 0:00:31.3  
120 Scott Fellers (Thunderbird) 0:00:32.3  
121 Anthony Diaz (Durango) 0:00:32.7  
122 Brian Culp 0:00:33.7  
123 Silas Hesterberg 0:00:35.6  
124 Rick Goldrup (Ideal/Fox) 0:00:36.4  
DNF Jerry Vanderpool    
DNF Curtis Robinson    
DNF Jesse Chuse (Dark Horse)    
DNF Chris Heath (KHS)    
DNF Gee Atherton (Commencal)    
DNF Blenkinsop Saluel    
DNF Michael Town (Santa Cruz)    
DNF Nigel Page (Chain Reaction)    
DNF Scott Martinez    
DNF Clifford Pinto (E-13)    
DNF Kayman Benetti (Gopro Gravity)    
DNF Jon Buckell (Foes)    
DNF Erik Nelson (Commencal)    
DNF Tyler Thompson    
DNF Derek Teel (Yeti / Fox)