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Gwin wins Mont-Sainte-Anne downhill

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Downhill World Cup leader Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing)

Downhill World Cup leader Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Cup leader, Aaron Gwin

World Cup leader, Aaron Gwin (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing)

Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)

Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Justin Leov (Trek World Racing)

Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Samuel Hill (Monster Energy-Specialized)

Samuel Hill (Monster Energy-Specialized) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Michael Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride)

Michael Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Matti Lehikoinen (Chain Reaction / Nukeproof)

Matti Lehikoinen (Chain Reaction / Nukeproof) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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World Cup leaders, Aaron Gwin and Emilie Ragot

World Cup leaders, Aaron Gwin and Emilie Ragot (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's downhill World Cup podium in Mont-Sainte-Anne: Gee Atherton (GT), Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing), Danny Hart (Giant), Sam Hill (Monster Energy)

Elite men's downhill World Cup podium in Mont-Sainte-Anne: Gee Atherton (GT), Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing), Danny Hart (Giant), Sam Hill (Monster Energy) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) on his way to winning another World Cup victory in Mont-Sainte-Anne

Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) on his way to winning another World Cup victory in Mont-Sainte-Anne (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) on his way to winning for the second year in a row in Mont-Sainte-Anne

Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) on his way to winning for the second year in a row in Mont-Sainte-Anne (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/

Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) won the elite men's downhill World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. He won by 1.3 seconds ahead of Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) and Danny Hart (Giant).

Although he was considered the favorite for the event by all his rivals and he won here last year, Gwin wasn't taking anything for granted. "We train to win so it's always the hope, but you never know until you cross the finish line. You just have to give it a shot."

"I felt good out there today. It was a hard run. It's one of those tracks. It's long but you just got to leave it out there. It's fun. I always like this track."

Thibaut Ruffin (Commencal / Riding Addiction) set the first fast time that would stick for awhile with a 4:23.829, which was good enough for an eventual 14th place. He contentedly settled into the hot seat and said, "My run went good. I gave everything and no big mistakes. It was fun."

Twenty seven riders later, Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) set a new best time in 4:19.161. It would net him a season's best ninth place finish.

Coming into the top 10 riders, occupants would shuffle in and out of the hot seat. Next up was Andrew Neethling (Giant) in 4:18.987. "I think I improved in a few spots that I wanted to after qualis," he said. "I felt like I was attacking the bottom. Obviously, I was a bit worn out and arms were fading. I don't feel like I lost much time. I managed to push through where I needed to. I'm happy to put in a solid one - that's where I want to be most weekends. I want to peak on the podium at a few. I need a lot of points now. I don't want to be the guy who just gets one good one every year. It's good to be up here."

Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized) immediately bumped Neethling out of the hot seat with a 4:17.631, good enough for an eventual fifth place.

"It's always good to get on the podium," said Hill. "I'd like to try to move up a few spots. The track felt boggy and soft this morning in practice. Then it dried off. I didn't ride practice yesterday and yes, the track was a bit different than qualifiers when it was dry. But you can adapt to it pretty easily.

"I think the track here flies pretty well. Even though some parts aren't as flat out as the open parts, you're just on it the whole time. It's about how fast you can go from top to bottom. There's nowhere you can get out of your rhythm."

Canadian Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) came down the mountain with a time that would net him seventh overall in front of a home crowd, but it wasn't enough for the hot seat.

Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) was next to set the fastest time in 4:17.082. "It was not a bad run. I'm happy enough. I pushed hard at the top and rode the bottom bit as quick as I could. I was starting to get tired at the bottom. It felt like it flowed pretty well. It's all about keeping the momentum and speed going. I felt fast. I had a bobble here and there, but it's a technical track, and it's hard to put a smooth run together."

Neither Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) nor Brook MacDonald (MS Mondraker) could go faster, so it was up to world champion Danny Hart to up the ante, which he did with a 4:16.162.

"It was hard work, but the crowds were good and I had a good run. It's such close racing now," said Hart. "Two seconds between the five of us is nothing on a track like this. Hats off to Gwin, but we'll catch him." Hart has been very consistent this season with a second at Fort William and a sixth at Val di Sole and a third here today.

"I'm up there, I just need to get two more places," said Hart, who is hungry for his first World Cup win.

Santa Cruz Syndicate's Greg Minnaar was next to top the leaderboard with a 4:15.329. "I was nervous up at the top," said Minnaar. "I've had good results here before and a lot of crashes trying to get good results, so this morning I felt like I had a good practice and I felt good on track."

"I pushed hard. I was quite loose at the top - more loose than I normally ride and coming down to the bottom, I tried to back off and be a bit smoother and I made a couple of mistakes where I was just off line. I was just disappointed. I gave it my all and pushed hard thinking that might be good enough for a win, but it's just not good enough these days. It's hard trying to figure out what it is. Second is pretty good, but we all come here to win. Aaron is killing it at the moment and it takes a lot to beat him."

Minnaar said the bottom half of his run was good after taking a lot of risks up top and blowing a corner. "I knew I had to clean up my act on the bottom half and I managed to do it. I pulled a bit of time back but it wasn't enough to take it."

What was enough to take it was Gwin's ride. "The organizers had opened up the top section. There was a bit of a headwind," said Gwin. "The top section of the track went well. I just had a mistake at the bottom. It kinda of messed me up, but I ended up pulling it together."

He led at each split down the mountain. "This place is fun. From the first practice run on Thursday, I came down with a big smile on my face. The rain made the track pretty much perfect for finals. It's a hard course to race, but a fun course to ride."

Gwin continues as World Cup leader with 900 points. "It's never easy to protect the lead. These longer tracks are tough," he said. "I'm looking forward to a shorter track next week. It's always fun racing in Windham. I have some family and a bunch of friends there."

Minnaar is in second in the World Cup with 765 points while Atherton has 640. Hart is fourth with 525 and Hill rounds out the top five with 461 points.

Race note

Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) crashed hard on the course and did not finish the race.  He was treated onsite by medical staff and suffered no broken bones but sustained a concussion.  He does not remember the crash, and his team said they will watch him closely for the next 48 hours.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing0:04:14.022
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:01.307
3Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:02.140
4Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:03.060
5Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:03.609
6Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team0:00:03.885
7Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:00:04.521
8Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:04.965
9Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:05.139
10Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:05.633
11Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:06.015
12Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:07.502
13Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:08.536
14Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:09.807
15Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:09.924
16Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott110:00:09.925
17George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing0:00:10.113
18Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team0:00:10.207
19Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:10.648
20Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) CG Racing Brigade0:00:10.967
21Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:11.063
22Luke Strobel (USA)0:00:11.324
23Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:12.011
24Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek0:00:12.148
25Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:12.205
26Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona0:00:12.232
27Bernard Kerr (GBr)0:00:12.752
28Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona0:00:12.767
29Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International0:00:13.075
30Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd0:00:13.683
31Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:13.925
32Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:14.004
33Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:14.047
34Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd0:00:14.094
35Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:14.103
36Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz0:00:14.143
37Matthew Beer (Can)0:00:14.190
38Austin Warren° (USA)0:00:14.706
39Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra)0:00:14.922
40Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:15.222
41Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:15.279
42Florent Payet (Fra) SC-Intense0:00:15.869
43Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:15.961
44Jack Moir° (Aus)0:00:16.087
45Mitch Ropelato (USA) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:16.237
46Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:16.243
47Jono Jones° (GBr)0:00:17.362
48Cody Warren (USA)0:00:17.779
49Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:18.084
50Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:18.631
51Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:18.817
52Greg Williamson (GBr)0:00:19.291
53Dennis Dertell (Swe) Team 23 Degrees0:00:19.402
54Kyle Sangers (Can)0:00:19.419
55Kieran Bennett (NZl)0:00:19.966
56Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:20.074
57Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz0:00:20.244
58Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:20.292
59Dean Lucas° (Aus)0:00:20.447
60Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:20.861
61Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing0:00:21.404
62Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:21.447
63Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:21.647
64Ludovic May (Swi)0:00:23.557
65Oliver Burton (GBr)0:00:23.909
66Rob Fraser (Can)0:00:24.751
67Kazuki Shimizu (Jpn)0:00:26.132
68Mark Scott (GBr)0:00:26.820
69Benjamin Verrier (Fra)0:00:27.310
70Junya Nagata (Jpn)0:00:28.194
71Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:28.428
72Mark Wallace° (Can)0:00:47.660
73Joshua Button (Aus) SC-Intense0:00:55.192
74Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Xcytt Racing0:02:31.116
75Sam Dale (GBr)0:02:45.108
76Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:03:23.751
77Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)0:05:46.368
78Hans Lambert (Can) Lehikoinen Matti0:08:26.295
DNFMatti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof
DNFNeko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing
DNSJoe Connell° (GBr)

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing80pts
2MS Mondraker Team69
3Trek World Racing61
4Lapierre International60
5Giant Factory Off-Road Team55
6Santa Cruz Syndicate54
7Commencal / Riding Addiction52
9Devinci Global Racing38
10Hutchinson United Ride34
11Monster Energy-Specialized28
12Team Norco International18
13Alpine Commencal Austria12
14Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof12
15CG Racing Brigade11
16Passion Velo.Fr10
17Madison Saracen Downhill Team8
18Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team8
20Topcycle By Trek7
22Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team5
23Unior Tools Team3
24Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd1

World cup individual standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Aaron Gwin (USA)900pts
2Greg Minnaar (RSA)765
3Gee Atherton (GBr)640
4Danny Hart (GBr)525
5Samuel Hill (Aus)461
6Steve Smith (Can)410
7Marc Beaumont (GBr)367
8Michael Hannah (Aus)354
9Josh Bryceland (GBr)341
10Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl)301
11Justin Leov (NZl)301
12Andrew Neethling (RSA)300
13Cameron Cole (NZl)296
14Brook Macdonald (NZl)286
15George Brannigan (NZl)258
16Matthew Simmonds (GBr)257
17Damien Spagnolo (Fra)249
18Brendan Fairclough (GBr)245
19Rémi Thirion (Fra)242
20Joseph Smith (GBr)233
21Richard Rude Jr° (USA)230
22Nick Beer (Swi)227
23Patrick Thome (Fra)218
24Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra)214
25Luke Strobel (USA)212
26Loic Bruni° (Fra)199
27Pierre Charles Georges (Fra)194
28Mickael Pascal (Fra)189
29Bryn Atkinson (Aus)185
30Bernard Kerr (GBr)169
31Julien Camellini (Fra)167
32Steve Peat (GBr)166
33Mitchell Delfs (Aus)165
34Thibaut Ruffin (Fra)158
35Connor Fearon° (Aus)155
36Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col)149
37Jared Graves (Aus)142
38Sam Dale (GBr)141
39Johannes Fischbach (Ger)137
40Greg Williamson (GBr)135
41Markus Pekoll (Aut)126
42Robin Wallner (Swe)125
43Eliot Jackson (USA)119
44Oscar Harnstrom (Swe)118
45Florent Payet (Fra)114
46Richard Thomas (GBr)112
47Joshua Button (Aus)108
48Lewis Buchanan (GBr)108
49Matthew Beer (Can)108
50Duncan Riffle (USA)108
51Troy Brosnan (Aus)107
52Lorenzo Suding (Ita)106
53Harry Molloy (GBr)105
54Ziga Pandur (Slo)98
55Oliver Burton (GBr)96
56Fabien Cousinie (Fra)95
57Cédric Gracia (Fra)93
58Jack Reading (GBr)91
59Ben Reid (Irl)89
60Marcus Klausmann (Ger)88
61Nejc Rutar (Slo)88
62Alexander Kangas (Swe)78
63Neko Mulally (USA)75
64Harry Heath (GBr)75
65Fraser Mcglone° (GBr)73
66Mitch Ropelato (USA)73
67Matti Lehikoinen (Fin)67
68Kyle Sangers (Can)65
69Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)62
70Dan Stanbridge (GBr)57
71Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)57
72Francisco Pardal (Por)56
73Filip Polc (Svk)55
74Benny Strasser (Ger)50
75Marco Milivinti (Ita)48
76Johann Potgieter (RSA)48
77Cyrille Kurtz (Fra)47
78Dan Atherton (GBr)45
79Boris Tetzlaff (Aut)45
80Isak Leivsson (Nor)44
81Austin Warren° (USA)43
82Mark Scott (GBr)43
83Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra)42
84Yoann Barelli (Fra)42
85Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)41
86Jono Jones° (GBr)40
87Adam Brayton (GBr)38
88Curtis Keene (USA)38
89Nico Vink (Bel)38
90Jack Moir° (Aus)37
91Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)37
92Alex Bond (GBr)37
93Lars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor)35
94Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra)35
95Mathieu Gallean (Fra)35
96Cody Warren (USA)33
97Timothy Bentley (RSA)33
98Miran Vauh (Slo)33
99Faustin Figaret (Fra)32
100Jonty Neethling (RSA)32
101Niklas Wallner (Swe)31
102Gianluca Vernassa° (Ita)30
103Ralph Jones (GBr)30
104Ludovic May (Swi)30
105Joe Barnes (GBr)29
106Dennis Dertell (Swe)28
107Emanuel Pombo (Por)28
108Stefan Garlicki (RSA)27
109Kieran Bennett (NZl)26
110Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)23
111Dean Lucas° (Aus)22
112Lars Peyer (Swi)22
113Scott Mears (GBr)22
114Logan Binggeli (USA)18
115Thomas Jeandin (Swi)18
116Carlo Caire° (Ita)17
117Phil Atwill° (GBr)17
118Fergus Lamb (GBr)16
119Rob Fraser (Can)15
120Kazuki Shimizu (Jpn)14
121Arthur Parret (Fra)14
122Manuel Gruber (Aut)13
123Benjamin Verrier (Fra)12
124Emyr Davies (GBr)12
125Junya Nagata (Jpn)11
126Edgar Carballo Gonzalez (Spa)11
127Tommy Herrmann (Ger)11
128Matthias Stonig (Aut)10
129Mark Wallace° (Can)9
130Gaetan Ruffin (Fra)8
131Lutz Weber (Swi)8
132Mathias Haas (Aut)7
133Tiaan° Odendaal (RSA)7
134Benjamin Torrano (Fra)7
135Kevin Aiello (USA)4
136Dan Sheridan° (Irl)3
137Hans Lambert (Can)3
138Kristoffer Haugland (Nor)2

World Cup team standings after four rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing292pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate226
3MS Mondraker Team222
4Trek World Racing221
5Lapierre International191
6Hutchinson United Ride171
7Devinci Global Racing169
9Giant Factory Off-Road Team158
10Commencal / Riding Addiction137
11Monster Energy-Specialized125
12Team Norco International82
13Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof78
14Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team68
15Passion Velo.Fr50
16Alpine Commencal Austria46
17Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team44
18Madison Saracen Downhill Team43
20CG Racing Brigade37
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie27
22Topcycle By Trek25
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace12
25CK Racing Santacruz11
26Unior Tools Team10
27Torpado Surfing Shop10
28Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9
29Dirt Norco Race Team4
30Ghost Factory Racing Team3
31Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTBHerin School Asd1


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