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Jonnier ready to defend downhill World Cup title for fourth time

Few have been as dominant in downhill mountain bike racing as French rider Sabrina Jonnier, who will begin her 2010 World Cup campaign at a rain-soaked Maribor course at the weekend. Jonnier, of Hyères, has been on the podium since 2001 - making 2010 her 10th year at the top of the sport's elite women, but despite holding the UCI World Cup title four times, she has never successfully defended her title.

The Maxxis-Rocky Mountain team has changed a little this year with Cameron Cole, of Christchurch, New Zealand, as her only teammate and a new mechanic and new soigneur joining the ranks.

Of the six rounds in the UCI World Cup this season Fort William, Scotland, is the one Jonnier is most looking forward to.

"Every round is going to be challenging. This first one in Maribor will be interesting as nobody has been racing against each other yet."

Jonnier said there would be a handful of top riders vying for the podium this season and some new faces, too.

When asked if the fact it would be her 10th season racing for the podium at this level, Jonnier replied that the records were not a high priority in her mind.

"I always ride for myself not for the glory - I like to win because it's a good feeling and I hate to lose because then I feel crappy. I ride my bike because I have fun riding it. I never think about the records and I never know how many races I have won."

Like her teammate, Cameron Cole, Jonnier used psychology to prepare for her racing in her younger days, but now finds stability in yoga.

Once she has the World Cup season out of the way Jonnier plans to reclaim the World Championship title, which will be contested in Quebec, Canada, in September.

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