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Cornille shows prologue was no fluke with downhill win

After dropping back in the classification, Yannick Cornille twisted and turned his way back into the limelight.

He revealed the secret to his mojo. "I was happy to see the rain appear." It is only then that he imparts the confidence that separates good downhillers from race-winning downhillers. "The other riders don't like it when it rains. I do," he said, beaming ear-to-ear.

Not everyone is born a descender. The current race leader, Yannick Lincoln, is definitely not one of them. He would would try to defend his lead by not taking too many risks. This is a balance that only Lincoln could measure. And his measurement was spot on - he retained his top dog status in the MTB Tour of Mauritius.

The mountaintop overlooking Ferney is called Mount Camizard. It is a nature reserve, but it almost became a national highway. The Mauritians take their nature and spirituality seriously. They lobbied and won the right to keep the green belt natural. The otherwise ubiquitous sugar cane was absent on the mountaintop. Forests of palm trees rippled across the hillside. Clay mud made way for grassy tracks.

The 5km downhill had all the makings of a landmark stage. Rain clouds popped over the ridge. But they didn't affect the concentrated and at times jovial mood of the tour riders. Initially the track headed upward for almost 2km. With a windswept morning stage behind them, this was a reminder that fitness and technique go hand-in-hand. From then on it was a helix descent finishing with a pedally section.

A major casualty of the GC was Hugo Caetane. Early on the climb, he was reduced to half walking and half dragging his bike. The sweep vehicle picked him up which cost him his position in the overall classification. He was out of the tour. Bad luck has dogged him this Tour.

"I had a front wheel puncture. A sharp rock cut my tubeless tyre," said Caetane. The Mauritian road race champion won't let it get him down though. "I will go for a training ride tomorrow," he quipped.

On the sharp end of the race, Cornille took control on the descent. The best descenders often don't look fast because they are so smooth, but the clock doesn't lie. Cornille aced the downhill in 11:09, more than 27 seconds ahead of Christophe Gerard and downhill specialist Arnaud Li.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Cornille0:11:09
2Christophe Gerard0:00:27
3Arnaud Li0:00:33
4Armand Le Court De Billot0:01:04
5Jean Philippe (Jnr) Tyack0:01:08
6Yannick Lincoln0:01:26
7Dany Vogel (Germany)0:01:29
8Cedric Passee (Standard Bank)0:01:36
9Stephane Payet (ACPR)0:01:37
10Christian Emmanuel (ACPR)0:01:38
11Georget Burel (ACPR)0:01:45
12Gil Guillaumin (ACPR)0:01:49
13Arnaud De Commarmond0:01:50
14Frederic Savre0:01:53
15Olivier Le Court0:01:59
16Andreas Freiter (Germany)0:02:06
17Denis Valentin0:02:36
18Daniel Chaussalet (ACPR)0:02:41
19Mathieu Rivet0:03:18
20Liam Somers0:03:18
21Sebastien Tyack0:03:21
22Thierry David0:03:28
23Lawrence Wong0:03:56
24Jean Philippe Tyack0:04:05
25Michael Kedhoo (Standard Bank)0:04:07
26Sully Robert (ACPR)0:04:21
27Gerard Chan-Kin0:05:02
28Gordon Brown0:05:05
29Olivier Heutte0:05:07
30Daniel Maestracci0:05:22
31Bryan Trousquin0:05:24
32Mathieu Le Blanc0:05:29
33Simon Pougnet0:05:42
34Frederic Nicolin0:05:59
35Antoine Dufoix0:06:10
36Xavier De Chalain0:06:24
37Hans Brasse0:08:44
38Kesaven Oothendee0:12:19
39Andre Le Blanc0:17:55
40Gabriel Mayer0:19:03

There are no GC results available after stage three, one of the second day's three stages.

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