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Hill wins downhill

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The legendary Shaun Palmer returns to downhill racing.

The legendary Shaun Palmer returns to downhill racing. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Kyle Strait

Kyle Strait (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The new look is... fake sideburns?

The new look is... fake sideburns? (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Cameron Cole

Cameron Cole (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Dan Atherton

Dan Atherton (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Duncan Riffle

Duncan Riffle (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marc Beaumont

Marc Beaumont (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Greg Minnaar did not have a good Mont Sainte Anne experience.

Greg Minnaar did not have a good Mont Sainte Anne experience. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Greg Minnaar

Greg Minnaar (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Luke Strobel

Luke Strobel (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ben Reid

Ben Reid (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Bryn Atkinson goes 1980s retro.

Bryn Atkinson goes 1980s retro. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Chris Kovarik missed the podium by one spot.

Chris Kovarik missed the podium by one spot. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Aaron Gwin's ride earned him his first World Cup podium.

Aaron Gwin's ride earned him his first World Cup podium. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Steve Smith had a solid ride

Steve Smith had a solid ride (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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"Sick" Mick Hannah

"Sick" Mick Hannah (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mick Hannah

Mick Hannah (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Fabien Barel won the French Championship just last weekend.

Fabien Barel won the French Championship just last weekend. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Sam Hill takes hi first World Cup win of the season.

Sam Hill takes hi first World Cup win of the season. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The elite men's downhill podium. It was Steve Peat's 50th and Aaron Gwin's first.

The elite men's downhill podium. It was Steve Peat's 50th and Aaron Gwin's first. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Champion Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) after the race.

World Champion Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) after the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chris Kovarik (Chain Reaction Intense) corners.

Chris Kovarik (Chain Reaction Intense) corners. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Aaron Gwin riding to his first World Cup podium finish.

Aaron Gwin riding to his first World Cup podium finish. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Steve Smith (MS Evil Racing) catches some air.

Steve Smith (MS Evil Racing) catches some air. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) pedals the downhill.

Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) pedals the downhill. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Brendon Fairclough (Monster Energy) through the rocks.

Brendon Fairclough (Monster Energy) through the rocks. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Michael Hannah (GT Bicycles) mid-course.

Michael Hannah (GT Bicycles) mid-course. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Justin Leon (Trek World Racing) on an off-camber section of the course.

Justin Leon (Trek World Racing) on an off-camber section of the course. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Fabien Barel (Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team) finishes fifth.

Fabien Barel (Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team) finishes fifth. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Fabien Barel (Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team) from overhead.

Fabien Barel (Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team) from overhead. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Blenkisop (Yeti Foxshox Factory Race Team)

Sam Blenkisop (Yeti Foxshox Factory Race Team) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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World Champion Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) rides to fourth place.

World Champion Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) rides to fourth place. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) races to a second place.

Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) races to a second place. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) flies off a jump.

Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) flies off a jump. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Cat) heads down the course.

Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Cat) heads down the course. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Cat) flies down the course.

Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Cat) flies down the course. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Cat) meets with the media.

Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Cat) meets with the media. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Sam Hill (Specialized/Monster Energy) finally broke the string of bad luck which produced one of the longest winless streaks of his career, when he took the sixth round of the World Cup on Saturday in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada. Hill's win propelled him into the overall World Cup series lead, ahead of Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate).

The first fast run of the afternoon was produced by Marcel Beer at 4:59.94. Beer held the Hot Seat for 17 racers, with Cameron Cole (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles) the next to spend an extended time on top. Pierre Charles Georges (Solid Aclass) finally bumped him, but the final 20 riders saw frequent changes and, with ten riders to go, the leader was Aaron Gwin (Yeti/Fox), who defended his US National Championship title just last weekend.

Many were hoping to see a good run from World Cup leader Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) who started in 21st place due to a flat tire during qualifying yesterday. Unfortunately Minnaar had a crash, which cost him time. He could only manage a 22nd place finish. "I washed out my front wheel in some mud under the lift and down I went. I got up pretty quickly, but my glove was half off so I had to freewheel while I took it off. [It was] definitely not a good weekend."

Fabien Barel (Subaru) came close to Gwin, leaving the American to anxiously wait for the final four riders. Samuel Blenkinsop (Yeti/Fox) had a slow run (16th place) and quickly left the finish area, visibly unhappy. World champion Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) came close. That left only Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate), a perennial favourite here, and Hill to come down.

To thunderous applause, Peat didn't disappoint, with a time of 4:41.48 to Gwin's 4:42.91. He took the Hot Seat, but didn't really settle in. All eyes were glued to the big screen TV and the scoreboard, which was showing the splits on the course. Hill was the fastest through every split, showing incredible control skills through the rock gardens. To huge applause he finished in 4:38.44, 3.04 seconds better than Peat.

Hill was pleased with his win, the first of the season for him after an uncharacteristically long drought. "This is one of the most high speed, and the longest courses, on the World Cup circuit. It was a lot slicker this morning. It dried out a lot. I was conservative in the first few corners just to check it out. It was good so I went hard from there."

Peat had another stellar day with his second place, which marked an unprecedented 50th World Cup podium appearance for the British star. He also holds the record for the most World Cup career wins. "I think this course suits me. You've got to be an all-arounder to do well here. I've got another podium which I'm pleased about."

Gwin hung on to third for his first World Cup podium appearance. On the podium, the other racers did their best to drown him in champagne. "It was pretty crazy watching Gee and those guys come through. I'm happy. It's about time!"

With his win, Hill moves from third to first in the World Cup Points race with 1,039, a mere four points in front of Peat. Minnaar drops from first to third. Canada's Steve Smith (Evil Bikes) retains his ninth place standing as the top North American, after finishing seventh at Mont Sainte Anne.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy0:04:38.44
2Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:03.04
3Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:04.47
4Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal0:00:05.07
5Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team0:00:06.19
6Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:07.09
7Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing0:00:07.95
8Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:08.14
9Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles0:00:09.14
10Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:09.29
11Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 110:00:10.10
12Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing0:00:10.66
13Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes0:00:11.05
14Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Morewood0:00:11.10
15Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles0:00:11.97
16Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:12.95
17Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:13.25
18Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:13.87
19Ben Cathro (GBr)0:00:14.17
20Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:14.41
21Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:15.22
22Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:16.14
23Luke Strobel (USA) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:00:16.40
24Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team0:00:16.56
25Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:00:17.13
26Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing0:00:17.16
27Ben Reid (Irl) Just Reid Race Team0:00:17.47
28Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi0:00:17.94
29Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:18.01
30Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona0:00:18.09
31Nico Vink (Bel)0:00:18.17
32Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal0:00:18.29
33Joshua Button (Aus)0:00:18.98
34Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS Evil Racing0:00:19.18
35Dan Stanbridge (GBr)0:00:19.60
36David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon0:00:20.46
37Danny Hart* (GBr) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon0:00:20.74
38Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team0:00:20.84
39Marcel Beer (Swi)0:00:21.50
40Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team0:00:21.64
41Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:21.74
42Lorenzo Suding (Ita)0:00:21.75
43Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:22.56
44Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:22.81
45Antoine Badouard (Fra)0:00:23.09
46Nathan Rankin (NZl)0:00:23.39
47Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:23.51
48Wyn Masters (NZl)0:00:23.60
49Will Rischbieth (Aus)0:00:23.61
50Harry Heath* (GBr)0:00:23.65
51Bernard ° Kerr (GBr)0:00:24.43
52Herman Olund (Swe)0:00:24.90
53Markus Pekoll (Aut)0:00:25.65
54Harry Molloy* (GBr)0:00:25.79
55Kyle Strait (USA)0:00:26.00
56David Eme (Fra)0:00:26.04
57Maxime Remy (Fra)0:00:26.16
58Rémi Thirion (Fra)0:00:26.30
59Patrick Thome* (Fra)0:00:26.98
60Bradley Benedict (USA)0:00:27.04
61Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:27.37
62Jurgen Beneke (Ger)0:00:27.51
63Aari Barrett* (NZl)0:00:27.53
64Cyrille Kurtz (Fra)0:00:28.61
65Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa)0:00:28.83
66Dean Tennant (Can)0:00:29.07
67George Brannigan* (NZl)0:00:29.29
68Esteban Deronzier (Fra)0:00:29.30
69Marco Bugnone (Ita)0:00:29.37
70Boris Tetzlaff (Aut)0:00:30.66
71Gerard Wolfe (Irl)0:00:31.35
72Rémy Charrier (Fra)0:00:32.13
73Fabien Cousinie (Fra)0:00:32.24
74Kyle Marshall* (Can)0:00:32.36
75Shaun Palmer (USA)0:00:32.89
76Bryn Atkinson (Aus)0:00:33.83
77Shaun O'connor* (Aus)0:00:38.35
78Thibaut Ruffin (Fra)0:00:53.82
79Jared Graves (Aus)0:03:06.57
DNFSimon Garstin (Can)
DNFJohn Swanguen (USA)

Team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trek World Racing72pts
2Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team69
3Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz63
4Santa Cruz Syndicate57
5Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles54
6Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense54
7Scott 1154
8GT Bicycles38
9Suspension Center35
10Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team35
11Animal Commencal30
12Morzine-Avoriaz 7430
13Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker28
14MS Evil Racing26
15Norco World Team21
16MSC Bikes18
17Kenda Morewood17
18Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team17
19Team Sunn15
20Solid Aclass Factory Team14
212Stagefactory13
22Duncan Riffle Racing5
23Just Reid Race Team4
24Massi3
25Kona1

World cup standings after six rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz1039pts
2Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate1035
3Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate973
4Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal931
5Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles821
6Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing646
7Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz584
8Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team566
9Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing515
10Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team505
11Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing472
12Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 11458
13Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate439
14Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team410
15Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles395
16Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi382
17Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS Evil Racing373
18Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Morewood365
19Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing363
20David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon360
21Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing349
22Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes348
23Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense326
24Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11322
25Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra)312
26Dan Stanbridge (GBr)288
27Luke Strobel (USA) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles278
28Robin Wallner (Swe)276
29Danny Hart° (GBr) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon274
30Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles255
31Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team253
32Joris Bigoni (Fra)243
33Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona239
34Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)237
35Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn236
36Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi219
37Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team219
38Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Dytech DH215
39Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense212
40Joshua Button (Aus)211
41Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team202
42Ben Reid (Irl) Just Reid Race Team197
43Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal183
44Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team181
45Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Kenda Morewood180
46Nathan Rankin (NZl) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker176
47Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense171
48Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense166
49Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Team America164
50Thibaut Ruffin (Fra)156
51Sam Dale (GBr)149
52Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team148
53Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team144
54Nathan Rennie (Aus) Kenda Morewood143
55Will Rischbieth (Aus)141
56Bryn Atkinson (Aus)137
57Antoine Badouard (Fra)137
58Ben Cathro (GBr)134
59Aari Barrett° (NZl) Scott 11134
60Cody Warren (USA) Specialized Team America131
61Rhys Willemse° (Aus)127
62Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team125
63Bernard Kerr° (GBr)124
64Benny Strasser (Ger)115
65Nico Vink (Bel)114
66Joe Barnes (GBr)112
67Tom Deacon (GBr) 2Stagefactory110
68Wyn Masters (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team107
69Cesar Rojo (Spa)105
70Herman Olund (Swe)104
71Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team99
72Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Sunn98
73Harry Heath° (GBr)98
74Bradley Benedict (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing91
75Brook Macdonald° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team90
76Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team90
77Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center89
78Matthew Scoles (NZl)81
79Marcel Beer (Swi)79
80Dominik Gspan (Swi)72
81Romain Paulhan (Fra)67
82Florent Payet (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team66
83Marco Milivinti (Ita) Dytech DH65
84Cédric Gracia (Fra)62
85Adam Vagner (Cze)61
86Vlastimil Hyncica (Cze)57
87Nicolas Ortiz (Fra)57
88Ryan Condrashoff (USA) X-Fusion-Intense54
89Neil Donoghue (GBr)52
90Jonty Neethling (RSA)51
91Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 7451
92Toni Berg (Fin)50
93Kieran Bennett (NZl) X-Fusion-Intense48
94Rémy Charrier (Fra) Team Sunn45
95Curtis Keene (USA)43
96Georg Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team40
97Johann Potgieter (RSA)38
98David Eme (Fra)38
99Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team38
100Adam Brayton (GBr) Just Reid Race Team38
101Matej Charvat (Cze)36
102Dennis Dertell (Swe)33
103Mathieu Troquier (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team31
104Carlo Gambirasio (Ita) Surfing Shop31
105Rowan Sorrell (GBr)28
106Harry Molloy° (GBr)27
107Arnau Sugranes Mateu (Spa)27
108Claudio Cozzi (Ita) Dytech DH25
109Emanuel Pombo (Por)24
110Kevin Aiello° (USA) GT Bicycles24
111Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Team Sunn23
112Shaun O'connor° (Aus) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker23
113Patrick Thome° (Fra) Team Sport Bike22
114Maximilian Bender (Ger)21
115Robert Smith (GBr)21
116Jurgen Beneke (Ger)19
117Scott Laughland (Irl)19
118Scott Mears (GBr)19
119Arran Gannicott° (GBr)19
120Martin Mikulenka (Cze)18
121Ralph Jones (GBr)18
122Dean Tennant (Can)15
123Pierre Van Der Merwe° (RSA)15
124George Brannigan° (NZl)14
125Roman Roschi (Swi)14
126Timothy Bentley° (RSA)14
127Daniel Wolfe (Irl)13
128Kim Petersson° (Swe)13
129Iago Garay Tamayo° (Spa)12
130Louis-Bresler Knipe (RSA)12
131Laurie Dinham° (Aus) Suspension Center11
132Jorge Aguin Castro (Spa)11
133Elias Somvi (Ita)11
134Gerard Wolfe (Irl)10
135Gary Barnard (RSA)10
136Markus Olkkonen (Fin)10
137Andréa Gamenara° (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team10
138Mario Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team9
139Darryn Stow (RSA)9
140Nejc Rutar (Slo) MBK Orbea8
141Hayden Brown (RSA)8
142Espen Johnsen (Nor)7
143Kyle Marshall° (Can)7
144James Hughes (GBr)7
145Rick Balbierer (Ger)6
146Shaun Palmer (USA)6
147Emyr Davies (GBr)5
148Martin Frei (Swi)4
149Simon Dinkelman° (RSA)4
150Daniel Critchlow (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense3
151Ziga Pandur° (Slo)1

Team World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Santa Cruz Syndicate424pts
2Trek World Racing414
3Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles301
4Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team289
5Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz289
6Scott 11270
7GT Bicycles241
8Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense220
9MS Evil Racing215
10Suspension Center203
11Animal Commencal188
12Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker180
13Morzine-Avoriaz 74148
14Norco World Team139
15Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team118
16Massi86
17Kenda Morewood82
18Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team78
192Stagefactory77
20Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon62
21MSC Bikes61
22Team Vario Racing56
23Duncan Riffle Racing41
24Team Sunn37
25Specialized Team America34
26Solid Aclass Factory Team25
27Dytech DH12
28Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team9
29XMS-Devinci World Cup Team6
30Just Reid Race Team4
31Kona3

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