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Beaumont plummets to victory

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Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) on his way to winning.

Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) on his way to winning.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Gee Atherton (Commencal) was the last rider to have a shot at knocking off Beaumont. He lost by 1.4 seconds.

Gee Atherton (Commencal) was the last rider to have a shot at knocking off Beaumont. He lost by 1.4 seconds.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chris Kovarik (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense).

Chris Kovarik (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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George Brannigan (Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team) takes over the lead in the Junior World Cup standings.

George Brannigan (Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team) takes over the lead in the Junior World Cup standings.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Cedric Gracia.

Cedric Gracia.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Bradley Benedict (US National Team).

Bradley Benedict (US National Team).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Luke Strobel (MS Evil Racing).

Luke Strobel (MS Evil Racing).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Bryn Atkinson (Transition Bikes).

Bryn Atkinson (Transition Bikes).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Michael Hannah (GT Bicycles).

Michael Hannah (GT Bicycles).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mickael Pascal.

Mickael Pascal.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Matti Lehikoinen (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense).

Matti Lehikoinen (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Steve Smith (MS Evil Racing) made his first trip to the podium.

Steve Smith (MS Evil Racing) made his first trip to the podium.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Danny Hart (Giant Factory Team).

Danny Hart (Giant Factory Team).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing).

Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Samuel Blenkinsop (Lapierre International).

Samuel Blenkinsop (Lapierre International).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Gee Atherton (Commencal).

Gee Atherton (Commencal).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Curtis Keene.

Curtis Keene.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marcus Klausmann (Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team).

Marcus Klausmann (Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Eliot Jackson (US National Team).

Eliot Jackson (US National Team).
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marc Beaumont enjoys his first win since 2007.

Marc Beaumont enjoys his first win since 2007.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Cup leader, Gee Atherton.

World Cup leader, Gee Atherton.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) was pleased but surprised he was the winner

Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) was pleased but surprised he was the winner
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Gee Atherton Sam (Commencal) sprinting to third place

Gee Atherton Sam (Commencal) sprinting to third place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) throwing his bike over the line

Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) throwing his bike over the line
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) riding to 8th place

Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) riding to 8th place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox)

Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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American Champion Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox) soaring off a jump

American Champion Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox) soaring off a jump
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) lands the final jump

Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) lands the final jump
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The crowds were large at the Val di Sole downhill event

The crowds were large at the Val di Sole downhill event
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Damien Spagnolo (Mondraker Factory Team) crossing the line

Damien Spagnolo (Mondraker Factory Team) crossing the line
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) does a few victory laps for the crowd

Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) does a few victory laps for the crowd
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) was quite surprised to find himself in the hot seat

Marc Beaumont (GT Bicycles) was quite surprised to find himself in the hot seat
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) occupies the hot seat for seven runs

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) occupies the hot seat for seven runs
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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World Champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) watches the final racers to see if he makes the podium

World Champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) watches the final racers to see if he makes the podium
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

The men's downhill World Cup competition tightened after round five in Val di Sole, Italy, on Sunday as Marc Beaumont (GT) secured the victory giving him the second World Cup win of his career. Meanwhile, Gee Atherton (Commencal) took the leader's jersey from Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) by the extremely slim margin of seven points.

Canada's Steve Smith (MS Evil) finished fifth, becoming the first Canadian man in at least a decade to make a podium appearance at a downhill World Cup.

There were two races in the men's competition - the one for the World Cup win, and the one between Minnaar and Atherton for the overall title. Atherton qualified first, on the course where he had won his world title in 2008, while Minnaar struggled in the upper, rocky section.

This actually put Atherton into the World Cup lead, based on ranking points awarded for qualifying. However, a similar situation had happened a week earlier at Champéry, and Minnaar had pulled out a stellar final run to retain his leader's jersey.

Australian Mitchell Delfs set the first fast time for the men, only to be bumped by Markus Pekoll (Solid A-Class). Pekoll spent a long time in the Hot Seat, and his time would eventually hold up for tenth place. It took Minnaar to finally knock the Austrian rider out of the lead, and his time would stand up to six riders before Beaumont finally took the best time down by nearly a second and a half.

At that point there were still seven riders to go, but none came close to unseating Beaumont until there was only Atherton left. But Atherton was over a second slower at the first split, and even further back at the second, eventually finishing third, behind Minnaar. However, the difference between second and third was not enough to keep Minnaar in the leader's jersey and Atherton took it by a mere seven points - 1007 points to 1000 after five rounds of racing.

"Qualifying went pretty well," said Beaumont, "Just steady and I put a nice run together, and I was feeling good again this morning, so I just tried to go about it as if it was practice.

"I posted a pretty good time, but there's some fast boys, and I was thinking maybe I can scrap a podium. I wasn't expecting to win by any means. I'm pretty shocked, and not really sure what to say," he continued.

"My previous win in Spain [in 2007], a lot of people frowned upon it, because it was weird circumstances with the weather. This proves to me that I'm capable of doing it, and I've done it on a level playing field. Hopefully this is kind of a resurgence, and I can get on the podium a little more often."

For Atherton, it was a bittersweet victory. "I knew that I had to put a solid run in, in qualifying, and start chasing the points," he explained. "It's what saved me and has given me the lead. But, taking third place wasn't exactly my game plan... it's good enough, though.

"It's definitely been my best season, but it's been frustrating watching Greg, being so consistent. I've been waiting for him to slip up and hammer some points, but it hasn't happened. He's really making me work for it.

"I didn't make mistakes, exactly, but you do have to have a faultless run. I was riding a bit nervous and a bit tense, and really just fighting the bike all the way down, not flowing at all, and it showed in my results."

Smith, who has a string of top 10 results and has finished as high as sixth at World Cups in the past, was happy to finally make it onto the podium. "I crashed out in two of the other four [World Cups], so I just wanted to have a clean run here and have a solid race," he said.

"I wasn't expecting to get on the podium, but conditions were tough up there, really loose powder, so anything can happen, and I just squeezed on the podium. I loved this track, it's rough and hard, first day of riding it I knew that I loved it.

"So far [this podium] is the highlight of my career, I've been trying to get on the podium the last couple of years, and with the crashes this year I was almost more worried about just making it down with a clean run. I did that and got a podium."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles0:03:18
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:01
3Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:03
4Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing0:00:03
5Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing0:00:04
6Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:04
7Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Team0:00:04
8Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:05
9Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:06
10Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:06
11Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:06
12Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles0:00:07
13Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing0:00:08
14Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:08
15Mickael Pascal (Fra)0:00:08
16Lewis Buchanan° (GBr) MS Evil Racing0:00:09
17Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:09
18Bryn Atkinson (Aus)0:00:10
19Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona0:00:10
20Cédric Gracia (Fra)0:00:11
21Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 110:00:11
22Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:11
23Mitchell Delfs (Aus)0:00:11
24Sam Dale (GBr)0:00:11
25Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:12
26Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing0:00:12
27Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:12
28Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:12
29Bradley Benedict (USA)0:00:14
30Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS Racing Squad0:00:14
31Ludovic Oget° (Fra) Ryde-Racing0:00:14
32Shaun O'connor (Aus) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:14
33Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Team0:00:16
34Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center0:00:16
35Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:16
36Marcel Beer (Swi)0:00:17
37Florent Payet (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United0:00:18
38Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:18
39Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team0:00:18
40Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Lac Blanc Massif Des Vosges0:00:19
41Wyn Masters (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker0:00:19
42Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:19
43Matej Charvat (Cze) K.T.R. Racing Team0:00:19
44Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:20
45Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:20
46Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani - Protone0:00:20
47Dennis Dertell (Swe)0:00:20
48Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:21
49Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:21
50Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS Racing Squad0:00:22
51Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:22
52Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:22
53Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:22
54Dominik Gspan (Swi)0:00:22
55Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal Superiders0:00:23
56Oliver Burton (GBr)0:00:23
57Bernard Kerr (GBr) Norco World Team0:00:24
58Martin Mikulenka (Cze)0:00:24
59Sam Flockhart° (GBr) Lapierre International0:00:24
60George Brannigan° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team0:00:24
61Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:24
62Harry Heath (GBr)0:00:25
63Marco Milivinti (Ita) Team Cingolani - Protone0:00:26
64Jed Rooney° (NZl)0:00:27
65Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)0:00:27
66Alexandre Lohner (Fra)0:00:27
67Eliot Jackson (USA)0:00:29
68Thomas Jeandin (Swi)0:00:29
69Rupert Chapman° (NZl)0:00:29
70Nejc Rutar (Slo) MBK Orbea0:00:31
71Ben Cathro (GBr)0:00:32
72Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:37
72Luis Paulo Vicente Ferreira (Por)
74Martin Frei (Swi)0:00:40
75Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:44
76Lorenzo Suding (Ita)0:00:45
77Nathan Rankin (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker0:01:03
78Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:03:11
79Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:03:42
80Fergus Lamb (GBr)0:03:49
DNSJustin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing
DNSBernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi Team
DNSEmanuel Pombo (Por)

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Santa Cruz Syndicate83pts
2MS Evil Racing66
3Scott 1163
4Trek World Racing62
5GT Bicycles59
6Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense59
7Suspension Center40
8Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain35
9Commencal32
10Commencal Superiders30
11Solid Aclass Factory Team25
12Giant Factory Team24
13Lapierre International23
14Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie23
15Dr-Gravity Union20
16RC Alpine Commencal Austria18
17Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team17
18Kona12
19XMS Racing Squad1

World Cup individual standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal1007pts
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate1000
3Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International694
4Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team592
5Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz526
6Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles518
7Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain450
8Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense415
9Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate415
10Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11413
11Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Team405
12Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing370
13Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team356
14Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing354
15Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing327
16Shaun O'connor (Aus) Kenda-Playbiker323
17Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense315
18Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles314
19Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 11311
20Bryn Atkinson (Aus)302
21Luke Strobel (USA) MS Evil Racing290
22Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Evil Racing279
23Mickael Pascal (Fra)279
24Mitchell Delfs (Aus)257
25Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona257
26Florent Payet (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United254
27Sam Dale (GBr)250
28Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate243
29Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense240
30Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense233
31Wyn Masters (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker225
32Romain Paulhan (Fra)217
33Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani - Protone217
34Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team211
35Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense211
36Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team203
37Ben Cathro (GBr)202
38Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team194
39Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team187
40Cédric Gracia (Fra)186
41Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)183
42Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal Superiders179
43Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS Racing Squad177
44Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz160
45Nico Vink (Bel)154
46Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Sunn Montgenevre153
47Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing144
48George Brannigan° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team139
49Troy Brosnan° (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz137
50Harry Molloy (GBr)135
51Dennis Dertell (Swe)133
52Matej Charvat (Cze) K.T.R. Racing Team130
53Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Lac Blanc Massif Des Vosges129
54Richard Thomas (GBr)124
55Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi Team122
56Adam Brayton (GBr)122
57Joshua Button (Aus) Kona121
58Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team120
59Bernard Kerr (GBr) Norco World Team118
60Joris Bigoni (Fra)117
61Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Team117
62Oliver Burton (GBr)112
63Kyle Strait (USA)112
64Joe Barnes (GBr)105
65Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS Racing Squad101
66Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Blackmountain Morewood United98
67Marco Milivinti (Ita) Team Cingolani - Protone96
68Scott Mears (GBr)96
69Lewis Buchanan° (GBr) MS Evil Racing95
70Adam Vagner (Cze)94
71Robert Smith (GBr)88
72Emanuel Pombo (Por)86
73Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col)83
74Lorenzo Suding (Ita)82
75Fergus Lamb (GBr)79
76Harry Heath (GBr)78
77Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre75
78Benny Strasser (Ger)75
79Curtis Keene (USA)73
80Nathan Rankin (NZl) Kenda-Playbiker69
81Jack Reading (GBr)66
82Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal65
83Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center62
84Ralph Jones (GBr)62
85Nejc Rutar (Slo) MBK Orbea61
86Marcel Beer (Swi)56
87Chris Hutchens (GBr)53
88Bradley Benedict (USA)52
89Ludovic Oget° (Fra) Ryde-Racing50
90Ludovic May (Swi)47
91Alexander Kangas (Swe)44
92Martin Frei (Swi)41
93Antoine Badouard (Fra)39
94Emyr Davies (GBr)35
95Lars Peyer (Swi) Suspension Center32
96Sam Flockhart° (GBr) Lapierre International32
97Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team31
98Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Ryde-Racing29
99Thomas Jeandin (Swi)28
100Dominik Gspan (Swi)27
101Billy Caroli (Swi)26
102Olivier Nicole (Fra)26
103Aari Barrett (NZl) Scott 1126
104Faustin Figaret° (Fra) Team Sport Bike25
105Martin Mikulenka (Cze)23
106Ben Baker (GBr)23
107Carlo Gambirasio (Ita) Surfing Shop20
108Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team19
109Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team18
110Jed Rooney° (NZl)17
111Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)16
112Alexandre Lohner (Fra)15
113Scott Laughland (Irl)14
114Eliot Jackson (USA)14
115Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie13
116Kristof Lenssens (Bel)12
117Rupert Chapman° (NZl)12
118Yannick Colomb (Fra)11
119Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi Team11
120Jan Javornik (Svk)9
121Luis Paulo Vicente Ferreira (Por)9
122Florian Arthus (Fra)8
123Arthur Racaud° (Fra) US Cagnes VTT8
124Neko Mulally° (USA) Trek World Racing7
125Mark Scott° (GBr)7
126Joseph Nation (NZl)6
127Bertrand Gilles (Bel)5
128Kim Petersson (Swe)4
129Evan Turpen (USA)3

World Cup team standings after round five
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense368pts
2Scott 11323
3Santa Cruz Syndicate302
4Commencal272
5Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain270
6Trek World Racing258
7MS Evil Racing185
8Suspension Center164
9GT Bicycles155
10Commencal Superiders152
11Lapierre International128
12Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team126
13Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz125
14Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie112
15RC Alpine Commencal Austria110
16Giant Factory Team81
17Dr-Gravity Union80
18Norco World Team71
19Solid Aclass Factory Team53
20Kona53
21Mondraker Factory Team50
22Kenda-Playbiker42
23Team Cingolani - Protone20
24Team Sunn Montgenevre20
25Blackmountain Morewood United16
26Dirt Norco Race Team15
27Massi Team8
28Team Lac Blanc Massif Des Vosges8
29Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team6
30XMS Racing Squad5

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