The World Cup finals were held last weekend in Schladming, Austria, on a track that 23-year-old downhiller Luke Strobel (Team Maxxis Rocky Mountain) found to his liking. The native of Washington state experienced his first time in a World Cup hot seat back in Schladming 2007, and this year, he scoreed his first single digit World Cup place, a 9th.
Strobel enjoyed his first injury-free season in 2009, but his results were not quite what he'd hoped, in part due to bad luck. Nonetheless, together with Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Factory Team), Strobel has been leading the way for a new generation of talented American downhillers.
Finishing with a ninth place in the World Cup validated Strobel's work throughout the season.
"I am happy to end the season on a positive note. I really love the track in Schladming, and I knew I could do well there," said Strobel. "Coming into the race, I just wanted to ride my bike and have fun. It would be hard not to have fun on that track.
"In my run I had a pretty big mistake up high on the track so I just pinned it after that with nothing to lose."
Over winter the American will work with a coach for the first time. He hopes to bring more structure to his racing.
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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