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Minnaar takes slim World Cup win

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) took his third win this season in the men’s World Cup series, at Bromont, Quebec in Canada. Sam Hill (Monster Energy-Specialized) retains the lead in the men’s series after finishing third in Bromont, but Minnaar is only 16 points back, so this title will come down to the final round in Schladming, Austria, one month from now.

“The course was really tough after all the rain,” said Minnaar. “Many of the sections were just blown right out, and it was easy to make mistakes. I didn’t have a clean run; I don’t think anyone did, but I just tried to keep it clean and flowy, and be as smooth as I could.

“Definitely, this win is a confident booster, going into the Worlds, and I’ll be looking forward to having it all come down to the Final in Schladming,” he added.

The off-again, on-again rain of the past week finally moved away overnight, with blue skies and bright sun appearing shortly before race time. The open sections of track dried out quickly, however, in among the trees the mud remained, forcing riders to carefully negotiate slippery rock gardens and rooted sections.

There were a number of top riders who crashed, led by Evil Bikes team mates Steve Smith and Matti Lehikoinen, who both qualified in the top-10. Lehikoinen’s crash was particularly hard, and he did not finish. It appears that he may have broken his collarbone.

Jared Rando (Giant) was the first man to take the Hot Seat for an extended period, holding onto the lead for over 20 riders before Nathan Rankin (Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker) just squeaked by him. After that, the lead changed fairly steadily, as riders brought the time down in increments of a quarter to half a second.

Mick Hannah (GT Bicycles), with 11 riders remaining, was the first to make a significant dent in the top time, taking it below 2:34 minutes. His time would hold until the young American revelation Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox) knocked a quarter of a second off the best time, to eventually take the fifth podium spot.

World champion Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) bumped Gwin, but Minnaar was only two riders later, and his time would prove to be the best, as the final two riders - Hill and number one qualifier Fabien Barel (Subaru) - could only manage the second and third fastest times respectively.

1Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:02:32
2Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team0:00:01
3Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:01
4Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal0:00:01
5Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:02
6Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles0:00:02
7Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:02
8Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:03
9Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:04
10Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz
11Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:05
12Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles
13Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:05
14Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes0:00:05
15Bryn Atkinson (Aus)0:00:06
16Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Team America0:00:07
17Luke Strobel (USA) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:00:07
18Thibaut Ruffin (Fra)0:00:07
19Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 110:00:08
20Nathan Rankin (NZl) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker0:00:09
21Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team0:00:09
22Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:09
23Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi0:00:09
24Marcelo Gutierrez (Col)0:00:10
24Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi
26Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona
27Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:10
28Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center0:00:10
29Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11
30Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing0:00:10
31Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team0:00:10
32Wyn Masters (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team0:00:11
33Antoine Badouard (Fra)0:00:11
34Dean Tennant (Can)0:00:12
35Ben Reid (Irl) Just Reid Race Team0:00:12
36Joshua Button (Aus)0:00:12
37Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team
38Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team0:00:12
39Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 740:00:13
40Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing0:00:13
41George Brannigan (NZl)
42Camille Blanchard (Fra) Team Sport Bike
43Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Sunn0:00:14
44Lars Peyer (Swi) Suspension Center0:00:14
45Ludovic May (Swi)0:00:14
46Jamie Biluk (Can)0:00:14
47Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Dytech DH0:00:14
48Kevin Aiello (USA) GT Bicycles0:00:15
49John Swanguen (USA)0:00:15
50Ivan Oziol (Fra)0:00:15
51Alex Bond (GBr)0:00:15
52Gareth Brewin (GBr)0:00:16
53Harry Molloy (GBr)0:00:16
54Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team0:00:16
55Groizard Félix (Fra) Team Sport Bike0:00:16
56Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing0:00:17
57Harry Heath (GBr)0:00:17
58Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:17
59David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon0:00:17
60Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:18
61Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:18
62Harry Armstrong (Aus)
63Danny Hart (GBr) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon0:00:19
64Yann Gauvin (Can)0:00:20
65Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Morewood0:00:22
66Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:22
67Dan Stanbridge (GBr)0:00:23
68Patrick Thome (Fra) Team Sport Bike0:00:25
69Marco Milivinti (Ita) Dytech DH0:00:25
70Herman Olund (Swe)0:00:25
71Robin Wallner (Swe)0:00:26
72Thirion Rémi (Fra) Team Sunn0:00:26
73Geoffrey Ulmer (USA)0:00:27
74Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:30
75Rhys Willemse (Aus)0:00:34
76Laurie Dinham (Aus) Suspension Center0:00:34
77Hans Lambert (Can)0:00:40
78David Eme (Fra)0:01:22
79Ben Cathro (GBr)0:01:23

1Santa Cruz Syndicate86pts
2Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team66
3Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense56
4Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles54
5Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz53
6Trek World Racing50
7Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker46
8GT Bicycles45
9Scott 1136
10Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team35
11Animal Commencal30
12Morzine-Avoriaz 7428
13Suspension Center26
14Team Sunn19
15Norco World Team18
16MSC Bikes17
17Specialized Team America15
18Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team15
20Giant Mountain Bike Team10
22Solid Aclass Factory Team4
23Duncan Riffle Racing1


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