Gwin smokes the competition in Val di Sole

In the men's race at the second round of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy, Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) threw down a tremendous challenge to the rest of the field by finishing over seven seconds ahead of second placed Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) in qualifying. Minnaar, the winner of round one and World Cup leader, had won the warm-up event with most of the favorites in Leogang, Austria last weekend while Gwin was coming off victory at the US Pro GRT in Plattekill, New York last weekend.

Times were dropping steadily through the 82-rider strong field until junior-aged Loic Bruni (Lapierre International) threw down the first sub-3:25 time with 30 riders to go. Bruni held the lead for ten riders before Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) took half a second off despite racing with a dislocated finger, and Smith lasted for 13 riders until Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) bumped him out by a second. The lead continued to drop by fractions of a second until Minnaar, the second fastest qualifier, held the hot seat.

However, despite going nearly six seconds faster than he had in qualifying, Minnaar was still almost two seconds slower than Gwin's qualifying time and, barring a crash, Gwin was the odds-on favourite as he began his run. The American champion did not disappoint; fastest at both intermediate splits by huge margins, he knocked more than six seconds off his qualifying time to win by 7.85 seconds, a staggering margin when Minnaar had beaten him by a mere 6.32 tenths of a second in the first round. Gee Atherton (GT Factory) finished third, followed by teammate Marc Beaumont, with Cameron Cole (Lapierre International) in fifth.

"I've been looking for a run like that for some time now," said Gwin. "I couldn't be happier. I was pretty sure my quali time would hold, and even though the course here is super rough and dusty, I managed an almost clean run. Greg rode amazingly well on this track and is going to be tough competition for the remainder of the season."

Gwin and Minnaar are tied at 450 points in the World Cup standings, each with a win and a second, however, Gwin took over the series' lead by virtue of the more recent victory. Atherton is third with 315 points, followed by Beaumont at 228 and Smith with 215.

On a more serious note: everyone was thinking positive thoughts for the very popular Frenchman Cedric Gracia, in hospital with a broken leg and fractured hip after crashing into a tree earlier in the week.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing0:03:10.577
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:07.850
3Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:08.393
4Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:08.937
5Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:09.743
6Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:10.318
7Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:10.500
8Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:11.308
9Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:11.319
10Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:00:11.392
11Loic Bruni* (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:11.917
12Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team0:00:12.404
13Bernard Kerr (GBr)0:00:12.638
14Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:12.673
15Brook Macdonald (NZl) Ms Mondraker Team0:00:12.720
16George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing0:00:13.947
17Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:14.539
18Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing0:00:15.740
19Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:16.016
20Mickael Pascal (Fra) Ck Racing Santacruz0:00:16.179
21Richard Rude Jr* (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:16.335
22Joshua Button (Aus) Sc-Intense0:00:16.400
23Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)0:00:16.645
24Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott110:00:16.762
25Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing0:00:17.253
26Florent Payet (Fra) Sc-Intense0:00:17.584
27Matthew Beer (Can)0:00:17.884
28Julien Camellini (Fra)0:00:17.891
29Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:18.132
30Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:18.396
31Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Mondraker Team0:00:18.405
32Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:18.424
33Marco Milivinti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:00:18.540
34Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Cg Racing Brigade0:00:19.435
35Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:19.742
36Sam Dale (GBr)0:00:19.983
37Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:20.128
38Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:20.787
39Yoann Barelli (Fra)0:00:20.900
40Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:00:20.952
41Connor Fearon* (Aus) Kona0:00:20.959
42Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:21.070
43Kyle Sangers (Can)0:00:21.199
44Francisco Pardal (Por)0:00:21.723
45Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek0:00:21.729
46Luke Strobel (USA)0:00:22.112
47Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:22.178
48Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:22.525
49Faustin Figaret (Fra) Sc-Intense0:00:23.005
50Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:23.629
51Gianluca Vernassa* (Ita) Devinci Global Racing0:00:23.786
52Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd0:00:23.901
53Alexander Kangas (Swe)0:00:24.354
54Fraser Mcglone* (GBr)0:00:24.449
55Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:24.751
56Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:00:24.782
57Miran Vauh (Slo)0:00:24.878
58Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:25.011
59Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Dagg - Racing0:00:25.936
60Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:26.185
61Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:26.214
62Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:26.284
63Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:26.336
64Carlo Caire* (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team0:00:26.377
65Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:26.510
65Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Xcytt RacingRow 65 - Cell 2
67Arthur Parret (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:26.513
68Manuel Gruber (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:28.354
69Emyr Davies (GBr)0:00:28.933
70Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:30.540
71Matthias Stonig (Aut)0:00:31.270
72Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd0:00:32.317
73Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International0:00:33.562
74Mathias Haas (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:33.949
75Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:36.596
76Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:38.409
77Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:38.507
78Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:43.407
79Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona0:01:02.334
80Benjamin Torrano (Fra)0:01:03.694
DNFRenaud Smaniotto (Fra) Passion Velo.FrRow 80 - Cell 2
DNSOliwer Kangas (Swe)Row 81 - Cell 2
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1GT Factory Racing102pts
2Lapierre International71Row 1 - Cell 3
3MS Mondraker Team65Row 2 - Cell 3
4Trek World Racing54Row 3 - Cell 3
5Scott1153Row 4 - Cell 3
6Santa Cruz Syndicate52Row 5 - Cell 3
7Devinci Global Racing49Row 6 - Cell 3
8Commencal / Riding Addiction35Row 7 - Cell 3
9Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team34Row 8 - Cell 3
10Giant Factory Off-Road Team26Row 9 - Cell 3
11Monster Energy-Specialized24Row 10 - Cell 3
12Passion Velo.Fr22Row 11 - Cell 3
13Alpine Commencal Austria18Row 12 - Cell 3
14SC-Intense15Row 13 - Cell 3
15Hutchinson United Ride14Row 14 - Cell 3
16Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie13Row 15 - Cell 3
17Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12Row 16 - Cell 3
18CK Racing Santacruz11Row 17 - Cell 3
19Torpado Surfing Shop10Row 18 - Cell 3
20Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team10Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Norco International8Row 20 - Cell 3
22Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing6Row 21 - Cell 3
23Unior Tools Team3Row 22 - Cell 3
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace3Row 23 - Cell 3
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World Cup individual standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing450pts
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate450Row 1 - Cell 3
3Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing315Row 2 - Cell 3
4Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing228Row 3 - Cell 3
5Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing215Row 4 - Cell 3
6Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride209Row 5 - Cell 3
7Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized191Row 6 - Cell 3
8Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team165Row 7 - Cell 3
9Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team161Row 8 - Cell 3
10Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate152Row 9 - Cell 3
11Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing144Row 10 - Cell 3
12Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Ms Mondraker Team143Row 11 - Cell 3
13Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing143Row 12 - Cell 3
14Brook Macdonald (NZl) Ms Mondraker Team139Row 13 - Cell 3
15Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team137Row 14 - Cell 3
16Julien Camellini (Fra)133Row 15 - Cell 3
17Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate130Row 16 - Cell 3
18Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International126Row 17 - Cell 3
19Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre International125Row 18 - Cell 3
20Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team124Row 19 - Cell 3
21Richard Rude Jr* (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team124Row 20 - Cell 3
22Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International123Row 21 - Cell 3
23Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek121Row 22 - Cell 3
24Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott11118Row 23 - Cell 3
25Bernard Kerr (GBr)115Row 24 - Cell 3
26George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing115Row 25 - Cell 3
27Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing109Row 26 - Cell 3
28Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized107Row 27 - Cell 3
29Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace100Row 28 - Cell 3
30Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof98Row 29 - Cell 3
31Mickael Pascal (Fra) Ck Racing Santacruz97Row 30 - Cell 3
32Cédric Gracia (Fra) Cg Racing Brigade93Row 31 - Cell 3
33Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction91Row 32 - Cell 3
34Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team88Row 33 - Cell 3
35Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team86Row 34 - Cell 3
36Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof85Row 35 - Cell 3
37Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International78Row 36 - Cell 3
38Luke Strobel (USA)78Row 37 - Cell 3
39Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team74Row 38 - Cell 3
40Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International72Row 39 - Cell 3
41Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride71Row 40 - Cell 3
42Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team69Row 41 - Cell 3
43Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing67Row 42 - Cell 3
44Joshua Button (Aus) Sc-Intense67Row 43 - Cell 3
45Connor Fearon* (Aus) Kona59Row 44 - Cell 3
46Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)58Row 45 - Cell 3
47Richard Thomas (GBr)56Row 46 - Cell 3
48Florent Payet (Fra) Sc-Intense55Row 47 - Cell 3
49Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd55Row 48 - Cell 3
50Matthew Beer (Can)54Row 49 - Cell 3
51Oliver Burton (GBr)54Row 50 - Cell 3
52Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona53Row 51 - Cell 3
53Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Mondraker Team51Row 52 - Cell 3
54Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd50Row 53 - Cell 3
55Marco Milivinti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop48Row 54 - Cell 3
56Johann Potgieter (RSA)48Row 55 - Cell 3
57Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Cg Racing Brigade47Row 56 - Cell 3
58Sam Dale (GBr)45Row 57 - Cell 3
59Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team45Row 58 - Cell 3
60Isak Leivsson (Nor)44Row 59 - Cell 3
61Yoann Barelli (Fra)42Row 60 - Cell 3
62Greg Williamson (GBr)42Row 61 - Cell 3
63Kyle Sangers (Can)38Row 62 - Cell 3
64Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Racing - Usa Gravity38Row 63 - Cell 3
65Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team38Row 64 - Cell 3
66Francisco Pardal (Por)37Row 65 - Cell 3
67Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing - Usa Gravity37Row 66 - Cell 3
68Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)34Row 67 - Cell 3
69Timothy Bentley (RSA) Hutchinson United Ride33Row 68 - Cell 3
70Miran Vauh (Slo)33Row 69 - Cell 3
71Faustin Figaret (Fra) Sc-Intense32Row 70 - Cell 3
72Jonty Neethling (RSA)32Row 71 - Cell 3
73Benny Strasser (Ger)31Row 72 - Cell 3
74Gianluca Vernassa* (Ita) Devinci Global Racing30Row 73 - Cell 3
75Alexander Kangas (Swe)28Row 74 - Cell 3
76Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof28Row 75 - Cell 3
77Emanuel Pombo (Por)28Row 76 - Cell 3
78Jack Reading (GBr)28Row 77 - Cell 3
79Fraser Mcglone* (GBr)27Row 78 - Cell 3
80Stefan Garlicki (RSA)27Row 79 - Cell 3
81Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)25Row 80 - Cell 3
82Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof23Row 81 - Cell 3
83Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Dagg - Racing22Row 82 - Cell 3
84Lars Peyer (Swi) Sc-Intense22Row 83 - Cell 3
85Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof20Row 84 - Cell 3
86Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team20Row 85 - Cell 3
87Logan Binggeli (USA)18Row 86 - Cell 3
88Carlo Caire* (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team17Row 87 - Cell 3
89Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing17Row 88 - Cell 3
90Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team17Row 89 - Cell 3
91Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Xcytt Racing16Row 90 - Cell 3
92Fergus Lamb (GBr)16Row 91 - Cell 3
93Arthur Parret (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr14Row 92 - Cell 3
94Manuel Gruber (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria13Row 93 - Cell 3
95Ludovic May (Swi)13Row 94 - Cell 3
96Emyr Davies (GBr)12Row 95 - Cell 3
97Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team11Row 96 - Cell 3
98Tommy Herrmann (Ger)11Row 97 - Cell 3
99Matthias Stonig (Aut)10Row 98 - Cell 3
100Guillaume Cauvin* (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride10Row 99 - Cell 3
101Lutz Weber (Swi)8Row 100 - Cell 3
102Mathias Haas (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria7Row 101 - Cell 3
103Tiaan Odendaal* (RSA)7Row 102 - Cell 3
104Benjamin Torrano (Fra)7Row 103 - Cell 3
105Jonathan Jones (GBr)6Row 104 - Cell 3
106Mark Scott (GBr)5Row 105 - Cell 3
107Kevin Aiello (USA)4Row 106 - Cell 3
108Dan Sheridan* (Irl)3Row 107 - Cell 3
109Kristoffer Haugland (Nor)2Row 108 - Cell 3
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World Cup team standings after round 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1GT Factory Racing145pts
2Trek World Racing120Row 1 - Cell 3
3Santa Cruz Syndicate118Row 2 - Cell 3
4MS Mondraker Team113Row 3 - Cell 3
5Hutchinson United Ride101Row 4 - Cell 3
6Devinci Global Racing96Row 5 - Cell 3
7Scott1184Row 6 - Cell 3
8Lapierre International76Row 7 - Cell 3
9Monster Energy-Specialized67Row 8 - Cell 3
10Commencal / Riding Addiction55Row 9 - Cell 3
11Giant Factory Off-Road Team50Row 10 - Cell 3
12Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team43Row 11 - Cell 3
13Team Norco International41Row 12 - Cell 3
14SC-Intense37Row 13 - Cell 3
15Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team36Row 14 - Cell 3
16Madison Saracen Downhill Team35Row 15 - Cell 3
17Alpine Commencal Austria32Row 16 - Cell 3
18CG Racing Brigade26Row 17 - Cell 3
19Passion Velo.Fr22Row 18 - Cell 3
20Topcycle By Trek18Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie13Row 20 - Cell 3
22Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12Row 21 - Cell 3
23CK Racing Santacruz11Row 22 - Cell 3
24Torpado Surfing Shop10Row 23 - Cell 3
25Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace9Row 24 - Cell 3
26Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9Row 25 - Cell 3
27Unior Tools Team3Row 26 - Cell 3
28Ghost Factory Racing Team2Row 27 - Cell 3
29Kona1Row 28 - Cell 3

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