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Jonnier nips Ragot in Downhill final

Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) finished ninth in the women's race.

Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) finished ninth in the women's race. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

After rain all day on Saturday caused the postponement of the Downhill qualifying and led to a very slippery and muddy 4-Cross, Sunday dawned bright and sunny for a long day of downhill racing. Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) increased her lead in the women's standings with a fourth consecutive victory, the first of four French riders on the podium.

"I wasn't super happy about my race run," revealed Jonnier. "Because I made many mistakes, and didn't really think that I had done enough to win. But I'm glad that I changed back to my favourite Maxxis High Rollers from the 2.5 Wetscreams after qualifying, because the track was drying out quickly and conditions changed in favour of dry tires."

Floriane Pugin (Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker), the 10th rider down, set the first fast time of the day for the final, over 20 seconds ahead of the previous best time of Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team). Pugin's time was so fast that only two riders would beat her - Jonnier and Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center), the fastest in qualifying.

Round one winner Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) was well back after crashing near the top of her run, and Myriam Nicole of France came within 12 seconds of Pugin, but it took Jonnier to finally displace her young French rival, and she did it with the first sub-3:40 ride, at 3:39.59 . There was only one rider left by this time - Ragot - and the former Junior World Champion came through the first intermediate timer two-hundredths of a second ahead of Jonnier.

However Ragot lost four-tenths of a second in the lower portion of the run, to finish 0.31 seconds down on Jonnier. Celine Gros (Morzine-Avoriaz 74) took fourth, while Mio Suemasa of Japan took the final podium spot, breaking the French stranglehold.

Jonnier's win puts her at 1132 points, 197 ahead of Ragot and 322 in front of Moseley with three races remaining in the World Cup.

Results
1Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:03:40
2Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center0:00:00
3Floriane Pugin (Fra) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker0:00:04
4Céline Gros (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 740:00:08
5Mio Suemasa (Jpn) www.funfancy.jp0:00:11
6Myriam Nicole (Fra)0:00:16
7Emilie Siegenthaler (Sui) Scott 110:00:20
8Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team0:00:24
9Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing0:00:26
10Miriam Ruchti (Sui) Team Vario Racing0:00:28
10Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense
12Anita Molcik (Aut) Yeti0:00:28
13Joanna Petterson (RSA) Commencal USA0:00:29
15Petra Bernhard (Aut)0:00:29
16Melissa Buhl (USA) KHS0:00:36
17Caroline Sax (Fra)0:00:37
18Fanny Lombard (Fra)0:00:51
19Emma Atkinson (GBr)0:00:54
20Sophie Borderes (Fra)0:01:19
DNFBirgit Brauman (Aut)0:01:39

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