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Smith wins Hafjell downhill World Cup

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Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)

Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) on his way to winning the Hafjell World Cup

Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) on his way to winning the Hafjell World Cup (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Michael Hannah (Hutchinson UR)

Michael Hannah (Hutchinson UR) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic

Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic (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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Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing)

Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH)

Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Samuel Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic)

Samuel Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Rémi Thirion (Commencal / Riding Addiction)

Rémi Thirion (Commencal / Riding Addiction) (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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Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marc Beaumont (GT Factory Racing)

Marc Beaumont (GT Factory Racing) (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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Brendan Fairclough (Gstaad-Scott)

Brendan Fairclough (Gstaad-Scott) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's downhill World Cup podium in Hafjell, Norway: Samuel Blenkinsop, Danny Hart, Steve Smith, Andrew Neethling, Greg Minnaar

Elite men's downhill World Cup podium in Hafjell, Norway: Samuel Blenkinsop, Danny Hart, Steve Smith, Andrew Neethling, Greg Minnaar (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Steve Smith (Devinci) remains undefeated in Hafjell, Norway after he won the elite men's downhill World Cup on Sunday. The Canadian beat Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) and Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) for the third World Cup victory of his career. Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre) and world champion Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicated) rounded out the podium.

Neethling set a fast time early among the favorites that would land him an extended visit to the hot seat and and eventual third place on the podium.

Racers competed in pouring rain on a trecherous, slippery, rocky course, with many of the favorites crashing or dabbing at various parts of the course. Remi Thirion (Commencal/Riding Addiction) and Markus Pekoll (MS Mondraker) both crashed.

Sam Hill (Chain Reaction did not race fast enough to get on the podium. It wasn't until Hart that there was a new fast time. Hart, who is an excellent rider in wet conditions as he proved a few years ago by winning Worlds in Champery, Switzerland, and he bumped up the bar by 1.142 seconds.

Blenkinsop came in third fastest at the time of his run, then George Brannigan (Trek World Racing) crashed. Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) had a relatively slow run, good enough for 10th.

Then it was Smith's turn. He went 1.641 seconds faster than Hart and took over the hot seat, even after drifting all over the slippery bottom section of the course.

"It was a trippy day. We practiced all week in the sun and dust and today was miserable. It rained all day," said Smith. "Coming into some of those corners where I was not braking in practice, I nearly shit my pants, it was so muddy and rocky. I was slipping all over the place."

"I had a great win in Norway here last year and to back it up today is great."

Smith then had to wait for the last four men to come down the mountain.

World champion Minnnaar had a solid run, but was not fast enough to unseat Smith. Loic Bruni (Lapierre) crashed in the rocky corner that caught out many of the women earlier in the day. Mick Hannah (Hutchinson UR) was racing fast, but missed a corner and rode off course, a mistake that cost him a lot of time.

Fastest qualifier Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) was the last man down, and he looked good until he got slightly off his preferred line toward the top and then tagged a tree. Forced to re-orient himself, he lost significant time and a shot at the victory. He finished 12th.

Atherton continues to lead the World Cup, with a slim 17-point lead over Smith with one round to go next weekend in Leogang.

Race note:

Aaron Gwin was absent with a shoulder injury sustained at the world championships. Brook MacDonald was also not racing due to injury.

Full Results

Elite men downhill
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:03:40.200
2Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:01.641
3Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:02.783
4Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre Gravity Republic0:00:03.865
5Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:03.989
6Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:05.745
7Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:06.199
8Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:06.537
9Bernard Kerr (GBr) Pivot Factory Team0:00:06.715
10Troy Brosnan (Aus) Specialized Racing DH0:00:07.370
11Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:07.859
12Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:08.404
13Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing0:00:09.541
14Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:09.576
15Samuel Hill (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:09.752
16Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing0:00:09.891
17Johannes Fischbach (Ger) RRP Ghost0:00:09.981
18Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:10.235
19Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing DH0:00:11.612
20Patrick Thome (Fra) Gstaad-Scott0:00:11.645
21Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:11.650
22Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Gstaad-Scott0:00:11.717
23Rémi Thirion (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:12.195
24Robin Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing0:00:12.291
25Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:12.641
26Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:13.083
27Luke Strobel (USA) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:13.966
28Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR0:00:14.149
29Jack Moir (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:14.928
30Florent Payet (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian0:00:14.941
31Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:15.443
32Fraser Mcglone (GBr)0:00:15.905
33Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic0:00:15.976
34Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:16.161
35Kyle Sangers (Can)0:00:16.294
36Kirk Mcdowall (Can)0:00:16.959
37Remi Gauvin (Can)0:00:17.330
38Quentin Chanudet (Fra) Team Sodicycle Project0:00:17.543
39Connor Fearon (Aus) Kona0:00:17.742
40Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Lac Blanc/Scott0:00:17.807
41George Brannigan (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:17.901
42Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:17.935
43Lars Peyer (Swi) SC Intense0:00:17.942
44Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:18.159
45Mathew Stuttard (GBr)0:00:18.180
46Faustin Figaret (Fra) Topcycle By Trek0:00:18.353
47Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:18.551
48Francisco Pardal (Por) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:18.863
49Filip Polc (Svk) Evil Vengeance Tour0:00:19.703
50Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:19.755
51Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:19.950
52Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:20.040
53Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:20.165
54Terje Nylende (Nor)0:00:20.378
55Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:21.573
56Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:21.784
57Edward Masters (NZl)0:00:22.674
58Bernardo Neves Cruz (Bra)0:00:23.014
59Sam Dale (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:23.268
60Matthew Beer (Can)0:00:23.406
61Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian0:00:23.758
62Miran Vauh (Slo) Blackthorn GT0:00:23.910
63Harry Heath (GBr)0:00:24.066
64Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Mondraker Team0:00:24.638
65Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) GT / 360 Degrees0:00:26.682
66Fabien Cousinie (Fra) HutchinsonUR0:00:30.816
67Reon Boe (NZl)0:00:30.963
68Niclas Andersen (Nor)0:00:31.762
69Stefan Garlicki (RSA)0:00:34.803
70Zakarias Blom Johansen (Nor)0:00:35.118
71Sebastiaan Van Steenbergen (USA)0:00:38.235
72Alex Bond (GBr)0:00:39.478
73Christian Textor (Ger) Team Bulls - DH0:00:45.563
74David Mcmillan (Aus)0:00:47.554
75Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:52.945
DNFMatthew Walker (NZl)
DNFWyn Masters (NZl) Team Bulls - DH
DNFBen Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team
DNSLorenzo Suding (Ita) GT / 360 Degrees
DNSLars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor)

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Giant Factory Off-Road Team91pts
2GT Factory Racing72
3Santa Cruz Syndicate71
4Devinci Global Racing58
5Lapierre Gravity Republic52
6Madison Saracen Downhill Team40
7Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof39
8Commencal / Riding Addiction38
9Specialized Racing DH33
11MS Mondraker Team26
12Pivot Factory Team22
13Team W-Racing22
14Hutchinson UR21
15Trek World Racing20
16Dirt Norco Race Team16
17RRP Ghost14
18Evil Vengeance Tour14
19Blackthorn GT10
20Fmd Racing / Intense Cycles9
21Unior Tools Team6
22US Cagnes VTT5
23SC Intense4
24Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team2
25Evil Ck Racing Evian1

Elite men downhill World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing966pts
2Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing949
3Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate673
4Samuel Hill (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof590
5Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team584
6Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre Gravity Republic542
7Rémi Thirion (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction498
8Troy Brosnan (Aus) Specialized Racing DH496
9Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre Gravity Republic486
10Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson UR458
11Aaron Gwin (USA) United States Of America417
12Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Giant Factory Off-Road Team396
13Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team386
14Florent Payet (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian342
15Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Gstaad-Scott342
16Brook Macdonald* (NZl) New-Zealand338
17Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing322
18Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof309
19Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) Evil Vengeance Tour304
20Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing298
21Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate293
22Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Mondraker Team282
23Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate276
24Lorenzo Suding (Ita) GT / 360 Degrees274
25Sam Dale (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team260
26Faustin Figaret (Fra) Topcycle By Trek252
27Patrick Thome (Fra) Gstaad-Scott248
28George Brannigan (NZl) Trek World Racing237
29Connor Fearon (Aus) Kona234
30Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)227
31Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof225
32Bernard Kerr (GBr) Pivot Factory Team222
33Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing221
34Luke Strobel (USA) Evil Vengeance Tour218
35Greg Williamson (GBr) Trek World Racing207
36Robin Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing199
37Francisco Pardal (Por) Evil Vengeance Tour191
38Johannes Fischbach (Ger) RRP Ghost185
39Jack Moir (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team179
40Harry Heath (GBr)179
41Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team167
42Joe Connell (GBr) SC Intense166
43Guillaume Cauvin (Fra) HutchinsonUR164
44Edward Masters (NZl)157
45Remi Gauvin (Can)154
46Austin Warren (USA) Pivot Factory Team152
47Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team151
48Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing DH149
49Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team141
50Mathew Stuttard (GBr)139
51Wyn Masters (NZl) Team Bulls - DH138
52Fraser Mcglone (GBr)135
53Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek120
54Cameron Cole (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team119
55Jack Reading (GBr)119
56Richard° Rude Jr (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team118
57Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Evil Vengeance Tour114
58Matthew Walker (NZl)109
59Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International108
60Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team W-Racing107
61Adam Brayton (GBr)107
62Kyle Sangers (Can)101
63Isak Leivsson (Nor)97
64Filip Polc (Svk) Evil Vengeance Tour96
65Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian95
66Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction88
67Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Lac Blanc/Scott88
68Kirk Mcdowall (Can)87
69Christopher Mcglinchey (Irl)85
70Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) GT / 360 Degrees79
71Terje Nylende (Nor)72
72Lewis Buchanan (GBr) SC Intense69
73Mickael Pascal (Fra) Evil CK Racing Evian68
74Scott Mears (GBr)68
75Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Unior Tools Team65
76Quentin Chanudet (Fra) Team Sodicycle Project64
77Lars Peyer (Swi) SC Intense64
78David Trummer (Aut) RRP Ghost59
79Benny Strasser (Ger)57
80Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria54
81Richard Thomas (GBr)51
82Melvin Pons (Fra) Us Cagnes VTT50
83Forrest Riesco* (Can) Canada48
84Fabien Cousinie (Fra) HutchinsonUR48
85David Mcmillan (Aus)47
86Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)46
87Jared Graves (Aus) Australia44
88Zakarias Blom Johansen (Nor)43
89Alexander Kangas (Swe)42
90Ben Cathro (GBr)38
91Julien Piccolo (Fra)37
92Oliwer Kangas (Swe)33
93Marco Milivinti (Ita) Italy31
94Reece Potter (NZl)31
95Romain Paulhan (Fra)31
96Iago Garay Tamayo (Spa)29
97Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade29
98Emanuel Pombo (Por)28
99Rudy Cabirou (Fra)28
100Samuel Thibault (Can)27
101Benoit Coulanges (Fra) Roc VTT Oz En Oisans26
102Florian Arthus (Fra)24
103Lars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor)23
104Bernardo Neves Cruz (Bra)23
105Sidney Slotegraaf (Can)22
106Gaetan Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction22
107Matthew Beer (Can)21
108Alexis Pujol (Fra)21
109Martin Knapec (Svk)21
110Guy Gibbs (Nor)20
111Johann Potgieter (RSA) RRP Ghost19
112Miran Vauh (Slo) Blackthorn GT19
113Charly Di Pasquale (Fra)19
114Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team18
115Guillem Jorba Prats (Spa)17
116Arthur Parret (Fra)17
117Dan Sheridan (Irl)16
118Matej Charvat (Cze) Czech Republic16
119Bryn Dickerson (NZl)16
120Reon Boe (NZl)14
121James Swinden (GBr)14
122Gareth Brewin (GBr)14
123Niclas Andersen (Nor)13
124Kevin Aiello* (USA) United States Of America13
125Stefan Garlicki (RSA)12
126Peter Williams (GBr)12
127Logan Binggeli (USA) United States Of America12
128Baptiste Pierron (Fra)11
129Benjamin Staehle (Fra)11
130Sebastiaan Van Steenbergen (USA)10
131Carlo Caire (Ita)10
132Oliver Morris (GBr)10
133Alex Bond (GBr)9
134Ludovic Oget (Fra)9
135Rhys Atkinson (Aus)8
136Christian Textor (Ger) Team Bulls - DH8

Teams World Cup standings with one round remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1GT Factory Racing408pts
2Lapierre Gravity Republic335
3Giant Factory Off-Road Team270
4Santa Cruz Syndicate261
6Commencal / Riding Addiction222
7Devinci Global Racing218
8Specialized Racing DH214
9Madison Saracen Downhill Team195
10Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof184
11MS Mondraker Team162
12Trek World Racing135
13Hutchinson UR115
14Evil Vengeance Tour81
15Fmd Racing / Intense Cycles55
16Team Norco International54
17Pivot Factory Team51
18Evil Ck Racing Evian46
19GT / 360 Degrees40
20RRP Ghost39
21Blackthorn GT39
22Dirt Norco Race Team36
23Topcycle By Trek34
24SC Intense29
25Unior Tools Team27
26Team W-Racing22
27Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team21
28Team Morzine-Avoriaz/Haute-Savoie15
29US Cagnes VTT13
30Torpado Surfing Shop11
32Team Bulls - DH9
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