Carpenter wins downhill world championship in Hafjell, Norway

Great Britiain swept the podium at the elite women's downhill world championship in Hafjell, Norway on Sunday. 2014 World Cup overall champion Manon Carpenter clinched the title ahead of defending champion and top favorite Rachel Atherton. Tahnee Seagrave finished third.

"I didn't expect it to be honest. I struggled to go fast enough all week," said Carpenter. "I like the course, but seeing the other girls go through the rock garden was impressive. They were not using brakes, and I was trying to figure out how to do that."

"I wanted to have a perfect run. It was close, but I had almost resigned myself to coming second and then I finished and won the world championships."

As the 26 starters made their way down the mountain on an overcast, chilly day, rider after rider set a new fast time.

Vaea Verbeeck's 4:04:537 was the one that stuck the longest, but the Canadian was eventually bumped from the hot seat by American Jill Kintner, who rode more than 7.6 seconds faster and became the first woman to go sub-three minutes.

Then Seagrave clocked a 3:52.870, another 4.8 seconds faster than Kintner.

French woman Myriam Nicole was next down the mountain, but a crash slowed her progress. Tracy Hannah's time wasn't fast enough to get her a medal.

Carpenter rode flawlessly in her run, stopping the clock in 3:49.400 and the crowd awaited the defending world champ Atherton.

"When I got to the bottom, I figured that if Rachel beat me, it was fair play. I had almost a perfect run," said Carpenter. "I just managed to sneak it, but I had thought I would miss out by a tiny bit."

There was to be no third world title for Atherton. While she was ahead for much of the run, she lost ground on the lower section, finishing just 0.088 seconds slower than Carpenter.

"The racing in the world championships is special, but second place is not a nice position for me to finish," said Atherton. "I had a good run but I wasn't very confident the whole way down. I thought I was off pace. I hit a rock, making a little mistake, near the end. You can't afford to make any mistakes any more, but it's special to stand on the podium with three British girls."

Another top favorite, who would have been the last starter, Emmeline Ragot (France) did not start after breaking her wrist while training the previous day.

Race notes

- Carpenter was the junior downhill world champion in Champery, Switzerland in 2011, but this was her first elite world title.

- Seagrave said that she had predicted the three-rider Great Britain podium. "It was cool that it ended up that way!" she said.

Full Results

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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Manon Carpenter (Great Britain)0:03:49.400
2Rachel Atherton (Great Britain)0:00:00.088
3Tahnee Seagrave (Great Britain)0:00:03.463
4Tracey Hannah (Australia)0:00:06.455
5Jill Kintner (United States Of America)0:00:07.472
6Vaea Verbeeck (Canada)0:00:15.130
7Morgane Charre (France)0:00:15.642
8Myriam Nicole (France)0:00:16.500
9Emilie Siegenthaler (Switzerland)0:00:17.341
10Anita Ager-Wick (Norway)0:00:20.817
11Micayla Gatto (Canada)0:00:22.068
12Casey Brown (Canada)0:00:26.229
13Jana Bartova (Czech Republic)0:00:30.957
14Zarja Cernilogar (Slovenia)0:00:32.168
15Veronique Sandler (New Zealand)0:00:33.176
16Steffi Marth (Germany)0:00:41.966
17Diana Marggraff (Ecuador)0:00:43.415
18Nicole Beege (Germany)0:00:43.706
19Josefine Björkman (Sweden)0:00:49.644
20Elke Rabeder (Austria)0:00:54.178
21Helene Thon Moland (Norway)0:00:54.655
22Katrin Karkhof (Germany)0:00:55.411
23Alison Zimmer (United States Of America)0:01:22.948
24Carina Cappellari (Switzerland)0:01:39.579
25Mariana Salazar Palomo (El Salvador)0:05:11.016
DNSEmmeline Ragot (France)Row 25 - Cell 2
DNSAlexandra Zhirnova (Russian Federation)Row 26 - Cell 2
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Nations
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Great Britain72pts
2Canada49Row 1 - Cell 3
3France37Row 2 - Cell 3
4United States Of America24Row 3 - Cell 3
5Australia22Row 4 - Cell 3
6Germany22Row 5 - Cell 3
7Norway21Row 6 - Cell 3
8Switzerland19Row 7 - Cell 3
9Czech Republic13Row 8 - Cell 3
10Slovenia12Row 9 - Cell 3
11New-Zealand11Row 10 - Cell 3
12Ecuador9Row 11 - Cell 3
13Sweden7Row 12 - Cell 3
14Austria6Row 13 - Cell 3
15El Salvador1Row 14 - Cell 3

 

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