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Pugin races to Leogang downhill victory

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Floriane Pugin (Scott 11)

Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing )

Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing ) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Rachel Atherton (Commencal)

Rachel Atherton (Commencal) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Cup leader Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing)

World Cup leader Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Women's podium (l to r) Myriam Nicole, Rachel Atherton, Floriane Pugin, Tracy Moseley, Sabrina Jonnier

Women's podium (l to r) Myriam Nicole, Rachel Atherton, Floriane Pugin, Tracy Moseley, Sabrina Jonnier (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) proved to be the fastest in the muddy conditions of Leogang, Austria, for the third round of the downhill World Cup. The young French rider won the first World Cup of her career, and stopped World Cup leader Tracy Moseley's (Trek World Racing) winning streak at two, as the British rider could only manage third. Rachel Atherton (Commencal) took second behind Pugin. Moseley still leads the World Cup standings with 660 points, followed by Pugin at 570 and Atherton - who missed the first round - at 410. 

After raining most of the night, conditions finally began to clear the morning of the downhill final, with breezy conditions drying out the open sections of the course. However, in the woods, among the rough, rooty sections, it was still slippery, with numerous riders sliding off course and into the protective padding.

Canadian national champion Micayla Gatto was the first to record a sub-five minute time, with a strong 4:50.707, but that was bound to be beat, since it was 25 seconds slower than Pugin's qualifying time. Gatto lasted for six riders, before Myriam Nicole (Riding Addiction-Commencal) knocked another 11.5 seconds off the lead.

Nicole's strong time stood up to challenges by Fionn Griffiths (Team GR), Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Emmeline Ragot (Team GR), who was disqualified after crashing and rejoining the race at a different spot on the course. American champion Jill Kintner (Transitions Racing) was on track for a very fast run, with the fastest first split of the day and top time through the speed trap, before crashing.

However, the final three riders all beat Nicole's time, with each bumping the previous rider out of the Hot Seat. Moseley, on a course that doesn't play to her strengths, was still seven full seconds faster than Nicole. Atherton, on the course where she injured her shoulder last year, shaved a tenth of a second off of Moseley's time, and then Pugin shattered the leading time by 2.583 seconds to capture her first World Cup victory. However, it is worth noting that Pugin's winning time was still five seconds slower than her qualifying mark.

"It is hard to take in," a breathless Pugin said after her run. "I'm so happy. It was so hard in the pedaling section because it [the ground] was getting so sticky and it was hard to carry speed through there, but I gave it my all. To win a World Cup was my main goal for this year, and now it is done!"

Moseley wasn't too disappointed to miss the three-peat: "I'm definitely happy with third. I was struggling in practice this morning, and nervous at the top before the final that I was going to throw it [the lead] away. I'm just happy to be so close to Rachel [Atherton], who is more suited to this course, and to Floriane, who has been riding awesome here all week." 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott 110:04:29.400
2Rachel Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:02.583
3Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing0:00:02.692
4Myriam Nicole (Fra) Riding Addiction Commencal0:00:09.806
5Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain0:00:10.735
6Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:13.957
7Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 110:00:19.477
8Micayla Gatto (Can)0:00:21.280
9Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie0:00:23.254
10Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee0:00:26.108
11Mio Suemasa (Jpn)0:00:26.968
12Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)0:00:27.225
13Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Team GR0:00:29.198
14Anita Ager-Wick (Nor)0:00:30.461
15Miriam Ruchti (Swi)0:00:30.656
16Miranda Miller (Can)0:00:33.589
17Maria Michalogiannaki (Gre) Unior Tools Team0:00:59.363
18Jill Kintner (USA)0:01:07.357
DSQEmmeline Ragot (Fra)
DSQMélanie Pugin (Fra)

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trek World Racing93pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate71
4Scott 1163
5MS Evil Racing53
6Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz44
7Devinci Global Racing30
8Lapierre International29
9Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain28
10Riding Addiction Commencal26
11Giant Factory Off-Road Team26
12CG Racing Brigade24
13Alpine Commencal Austria20
14Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie14
15Morewood Unitedride14
16Team Sunn Montgenevre13
17Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee12

World Cup standings after three rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing660pts
2Floriane Pugin (Fra) Scott 11570
3Rachel Atherton (GBr) Commencal410
4Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain398
5Myriam Nicole (Fra) Riding Addiction Commencal289
6Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Team GR282
7Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Team GR270
8Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 11242
9Petra Bernhard (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria223
10Mio Suemasa (Jpn)181
11Céline Gros (Fra) Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie175
12Manon Carpenter° (GBr) Madison Saracen160
13Jill Kintner (USA)151
14Micayla Gatto (Can)120
15Miriam Ruchti (Swi)105
16Morgane Charre (Fra) Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee85
17Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)80
18Anita Ager-Wick (Nor)80
19Jacqueline Harmony (USA)65
20Fanny Lombard (Fra)35
21Joanne Muoser (Swi) SC - Intense30
22Miranda Miller (Can)30
23Rika Olivier (RSA)25
24Maria Michalogiannaki (Gre) Unior Tools Team20
25Sandra Reynier° (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz15
26Emily Horridge (GBr)10


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