MacDonald wins his first ever downhill World Cup in Val d'Isere

Round six of the downhill at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Val d'Isere, France turned out to be a much more difficult course than anyone anticipated, with many top riders crashing and performing below expectations. New Zealand's Brook MacDonald (MS Mondraker) took his first ever World Cup win in the men's race. Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing), despite finishing fifth, locked up the men's overall World Cup title with one round remaining.

The rocky, open, alpine run was very different from most that the racers face on the World Cup circuit, and more than a few riders crashed in both training and qualifying.

The men's competition for the last two seasons has been completely dominated by World Cup leader Aaron Gwin and his usual rival, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate). Between the two of them, they have won every single World Cup in last season and this season, until Val d'Isere. Every rider struggled on the fast, rough and rocky terrain, which was completely unforgiving of mistakes. Gwin crashed in qualifying, injuring his hand and finishing well back.

In the final, Thibaut Ruffin (Commencal / Riding Addiction) set the early best time, which stood for 16 riders until Matt Simmonds (Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof) bumped him by an infinitesimal six-thousandths of a second. Simmonds in turn was displaced by Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory), who barely finished before Mick Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) took the lead. Gwin took the lead next by half a second, but Minnaar surpassed his rival by that same amount. Gee Atherton (GT Factory) then recorded the first sub-2:20 time, but it wasn't quite enough, as MacDonald knocked a final half second off the lead to record his first victory.

"I can't even explain how I feel," said MacDonald. "I had a solid run, no mistakes , it was one of those runs I was just pumped for. I am over the moon about this one. My early season has been a big struggle. I was at a point where I was hating riding. So I changed a few things on my bike, and it has all paid off.

"This track was hard. With the altitude, and being only two and a half minutes, you are just pushing the whole way. If you make a mistake you lose time and you can't really lose time on this kind of track. I put together a good run and I'm happy. I think I'm going party for a week."

Despite having his consecutive World Cup win streak stopped at four, Gwin wasn't too upset. "I have no excuses, I had a pretty good run. For how I felt I am happy. To win the overall again, it is so amazing, especially after this weekend. I came in feeling good, and kinda had a bonehead moment in qualifying, hurt myself a little bit. It [his hand] was better than I thought it was going to be in the finals; it didn't hurt too bad. I just got a little tired at the bottom. So I had to back it down at the bottom to make sure I stayed on and I kinda backed it down too much, but it worked out. Everyone loses some and wins some. I have lost many more in my career. I am just stoked to be up here."

Gwin raced with fresh stitches in his had following a crash earlier in the weekend.

Gwin now has 1260 points with one World Cup race remaining, an insurmountable 260-point lead over Minnaar. The fight for second overall is far from over, with Atherton only 19 points out of second.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team0:02:19.48
2Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:00.50
3Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:00.68
4Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:00.87
5Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:01.37
6Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:01.89
7Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:02.11
8Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:02.30
9Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:02.45
10Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:02.64
11Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:00:02.74
12Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:03.62
13Mitch Ropelato (USA) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:03.78
14Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:04.09
15Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:04.09
16Florent Payet (Fra) SC-Intense0:00:04.13
17Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd0:00:04.14
18Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:04.57
19Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team0:00:05.09
20George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing0:00:05.15
21Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)0:00:05.29
22Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona0:00:05.48
23Filip Polc (Svk)0:00:05.73
24Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek0:00:05.90
25Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz0:00:06.13
26Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:06.35
27Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:06.49
28Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:06.68
29Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:06.96
30Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:07.07
31Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz0:00:07.15
32Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing0:00:07.23
33Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:00:07.39
34Phil Atwill° (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:07.41
35Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:07.43
36Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)0:00:07.58
37Luke Strobel (USA)0:00:07.59
38Sam Dale (GBr)0:00:07.65
39Matthew Beer (Can)0:00:07.71
40Matej Charvat (Cze)0:00:07.83
41Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:07.89
42Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:07.92
43Francisco Pardal (Por)0:00:08.25
44Jono Jones° (GBr)0:00:08.25
45Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona0:00:08.41
46Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:08.53
47Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd0:00:08.62
48Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:08.85
49Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:08.97
50Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:09.03
51Johann Potgieter (RSA)0:00:09.25
52Alexis Pujol (Fra)0:00:10.09
53Florian Arthus (Fra) XCYTT Racing0:00:10.26
54Joe Connell° (GBr)0:00:10.36
55Fraser Mcglone° (GBr)0:00:10.42
56Kyle Sangers (Can)0:00:10.44
57Benjamin Verrier (Fra)0:00:11.06
58Ludovic May (Swi)0:00:11.19
59Oliver Burton (GBr)0:00:11.24
60Rudy Cabirou° (Fra)0:00:11.45
61Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:11.92
62Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:12.06
63Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:12.12
64Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:12.31
65Jérôme Crocombette (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr0:00:12.36
66David Trummer° (Aut)0:00:12.69
68Ville Ormo° (Fin)0:00:14.11
69Alexandre Fayolle° (Fra)0:00:14.23
70Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:14.83
71Romain Payet° (Fra)0:00:17.04
72Benoit Coulanges° (Fra)0:00:18.29
73Joao Gois° (Por)0:00:22.60
74Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:25.60
75Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International0:00:28.46
76Marco Milivinti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop0:00:28.93
77Nico Vink (Bel) Rose Vaujany Gravity MTB Team0:00:40.58
78Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing0:00:47.15
79Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) CG Racing Brigade0:01:35.58
80Miran Vauh (Slo)0:02:32.27
DNFNejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFIsak Leivsson (Nor)Row 80 - Cell 2
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1GT Factory Racing99pts
2MS Mondraker Team87Row 1 - Cell 3
3Santa Cruz Syndicate81Row 2 - Cell 3
4Scott1150Row 3 - Cell 3
5Commencal / Riding Addiction42Row 4 - Cell 3
6Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team38Row 5 - Cell 3
7Lapierre International36Row 6 - Cell 3
8Devinci Global Racing31Row 7 - Cell 3
9Trek World Racing28Row 8 - Cell 3
10Hutchinson United Ride26Row 9 - Cell 3
11Monster Energy-Specialized22Row 10 - Cell 3
12Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof22Row 11 - Cell 3
13Madison Saracen Downhill Team22Row 12 - Cell 3
14Giant Factory Off-Road Team21Row 13 - Cell 3
15Alpine Commencal Austria18Row 14 - Cell 3
16SC-Intense15Row 15 - Cell 3
17Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd14Row 16 - Cell 3
18Passion Velo.Fr12Row 17 - Cell 3
19Dagg - Racing9Row 18 - Cell 3
20Kona9Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie8Row 20 - Cell 3
22Topcycle By Trek7Row 21 - Cell 3
23CK Racing Santacruz6Row 22 - Cell 3
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace4Row 23 - Cell 3
25Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team3Row 24 - Cell 3
26Unior Tools Team1Row 25 - Cell 3
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Elite men individual downhill World Cup standings after six rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing1260pts
2Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate1000Row 1 - Cell 3
3Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing981Row 2 - Cell 3
4Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing680Row 3 - Cell 3
5Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team650Row 4 - Cell 3
6Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized627Row 5 - Cell 3
7Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate589Row 6 - Cell 3
8Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team583Row 7 - Cell 3
9Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride546Row 8 - Cell 3
10Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing501Row 9 - Cell 3
11Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team480Row 10 - Cell 3
12Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International477Row 11 - Cell 3
13Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International442Row 12 - Cell 3
14Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team420Row 13 - Cell 3
15George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing414Row 14 - Cell 3
16Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof391Row 15 - Cell 3
17Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing358Row 16 - Cell 3
18Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing358Row 17 - Cell 3
19Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International355Row 18 - Cell 3
20Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof337Row 19 - Cell 3
21Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek333Row 20 - Cell 3
22Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team324Row 21 - Cell 3
23Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team320Row 22 - Cell 3
24Luke Strobel (USA)312Row 23 - Cell 3
25Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International311Row 24 - Cell 3
26Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace299Row 25 - Cell 3
27Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz296Row 26 - Cell 3
28Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction274Row 27 - Cell 3
29Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona271Row 28 - Cell 3
30Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate255Row 29 - Cell 3
31Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona253Row 30 - Cell 3
32Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team250Row 31 - Cell 3
33Sam Dale (GBr)247Row 32 - Cell 3
34Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team246Row 33 - Cell 3
35Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott11245Row 34 - Cell 3
36Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International235Row 35 - Cell 3
37Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd232Row 36 - Cell 3
38Mitch Ropelato (USA) Monster Energy-Specialized210Row 37 - Cell 3
39Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof201Row 38 - Cell 3
40Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) CG Racing Brigade197Row 39 - Cell 3
41Florent Payet (Fra) SC-Intense196Row 40 - Cell 3
42Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team192Row 41 - Cell 3
43Greg Williamson (GBr)189Row 42 - Cell 3
44Matthew Beer (Can)187Row 43 - Cell 3
45Bernard Kerr (GBr)179Row 44 - Cell 3
46Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing174Row 45 - Cell 3
47Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team172Row 46 - Cell 3
48Joshua Button (Aus) SC-Intense170Row 47 - Cell 3
49Julien Camellini (Fra)167Row 48 - Cell 3
50Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team165Row 49 - Cell 3
51Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-BlaCK Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd163Row 50 - Cell 3
52Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team157Row 51 - Cell 3
53Richard Thomas (GBr)151Row 52 - Cell 3
54Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz150Row 53 - Cell 3
55Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team150Row 54 - Cell 3
56Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team145Row 55 - Cell 3
57Oliver Burton (GBr)138Row 56 - Cell 3
58Kyle Sangers (Can)125Row 57 - Cell 3
59Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr)122Row 58 - Cell 3
60Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team122Row 59 - Cell 3
61Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing120Row 60 - Cell 3
62Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team120Row 61 - Cell 3
63Jack Reading (GBr)114Row 62 - Cell 3
64Filip Polc (Svk)113Row 63 - Cell 3
65Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized107Row 64 - Cell 3
66Jono Jones° (GBr)104Row 65 - Cell 3
67Fraser Mcglone° (GBr)99Row 66 - Cell 3
68Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride95Row 67 - Cell 3
69Francisco Pardal (Por)94Row 68 - Cell 3
70Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade93Row 69 - Cell 3
71Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)93Row 70 - Cell 3
72Adam Brayton (GBr)90Row 71 - Cell 3
73Benny Strasser (Ger)89Row 72 - Cell 3
74Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team88Row 73 - Cell 3
75Austin Warren° (USA)84Row 74 - Cell 3
76Johann Potgieter (RSA)83Row 75 - Cell 3
77Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)82Row 76 - Cell 3
78Alexander Kangas (Swe)78Row 77 - Cell 3
79Isak Leivsson (Nor)78Row 78 - Cell 3
80Phil Atwill° (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team73Row 79 - Cell 3
81Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof67Row 80 - Cell 3
82Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria64Row 81 - Cell 3
83Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof60Row 82 - Cell 3
84Mark Scott (GBr)60Row 83 - Cell 3
85Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team57Row 84 - Cell 3
86Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)57Row 85 - Cell 3
87Joe Connell° (GBr)56Row 86 - Cell 3
88Jack Moir° (Aus)55Row 87 - Cell 3
89Marco Milivinti (Ita) Torpado Surfing Shop53Row 88 - Cell 3
90Ludovic May (Swi)53Row 89 - Cell 3
91Dean Lucas° (Aus)48Row 90 - Cell 3
92Dan Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing45Row 91 - Cell 3
93Faustin Figaret (Fra) SC-Intense45Row 92 - Cell 3
94Logan Binggeli (USA)44Row 93 - Cell 3
95George Gannicott° (GBr)43Row 94 - Cell 3
96Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra)42Row 95 - Cell 3
97Yoann Barelli (Fra)42Row 96 - Cell 3
98Nico Vink (Bel) Rose Vaujany Gravity MTB Team42Row 97 - Cell 3
99Matej Charvat (Cze)41Row 98 - Cell 3
100Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Racing - Usa Gravity38Row 99 - Cell 3
101Gaetan Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction38Row 100 - Cell 3
102Benjamin Verrier (Fra)36Row 101 - Cell 3
103Lars Vatnebryn Sandviken (Nor)35Row 102 - Cell 3
104Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride35Row 103 - Cell 3
105Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Dagg - Racing35Row 104 - Cell 3
106Miran Vauh (Slo)34Row 105 - Cell 3
107Manuel Gruber (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria34Row 106 - Cell 3
108Cody Warren (USA)33Row 107 - Cell 3
109Timothy Bentley (RSA) Hutchinson United Ride33Row 108 - Cell 3
110Jonty Neethling (RSA)32Row 109 - Cell 3
111Kevin Aiello (USA)32Row 110 - Cell 3
112Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing31Row 111 - Cell 3
113Gianluca Vernassa° (Ita) Devinci Global Racing30Row 112 - Cell 3
114Ralph Jones (GBr)30Row 113 - Cell 3
115Rob Fraser (Can)30Row 114 - Cell 3
116Alexis Pujol (Fra)29Row 115 - Cell 3
117Joe Barnes (GBr)29Row 116 - Cell 3
118Dennis Dertell (Swe) Team 23 Degrees28Row 117 - Cell 3
119Florian Arthus (Fra) XCYTT Racing28Row 118 - Cell 3
120Emanuel Pombo (Por)28Row 119 - Cell 3
121Stefan Garlicki (RSA)27Row 120 - Cell 3
122Kieran Bennett (NZl)26Row 121 - Cell 3
123Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) XCYTT Racing23Row 122 - Cell 3
124Lars Peyer (Swi) SC-Intense22Row 123 - Cell 3
125Remi Gauvin (Can)22Row 124 - Cell 3
126Scott Mears (GBr)22Row 125 - Cell 3
127Rudy Cabirou° (Fra)21Row 126 - Cell 3
128Thomas Jeandin (Swi)18Row 127 - Cell 3
129Carlo Caire° (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team17Row 128 - Cell 3
130Fergus Lamb (GBr)16Row 129 - Cell 3
131Jérôme Crocombette (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr16Row 130 - Cell 3
132David Trummer° (Aut)15Row 131 - Cell 3
133Kazuki Shimizu (Jpn)14Row 132 - Cell 3
134Arthur Parret (Fra) Passion Velo.Fr14Row 133 - Cell 3
135Ville Ormo° (Fin)13Row 134 - Cell 3
136Emyr Davies (GBr)12Row 135 - Cell 3
137Alexandre Fayolle° (Fra)12Row 136 - Cell 3
138Junya Nagata (Jpn)11Row 137 - Cell 3
139Edgar Carballo Gonzalez (Spa)11Row 138 - Cell 3
140Tommy Herrmann (Ger)11Row 139 - Cell 3
141Matthias Stonig (Aut)10Row 140 - Cell 3
142Romain Payet° (Fra)10Row 141 - Cell 3
143Mark Wallace° (Can)9Row 142 - Cell 3
144Benoit Coulanges° (Fra)9Row 143 - Cell 3
145Lutz Weber (Swi)8Row 144 - Cell 3
146Joao Gois° (Por)8Row 145 - Cell 3
147Mathias Haas (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria7Row 146 - Cell 3
148Tiaan Odendaal° (RSA)7Row 147 - Cell 3
149Benjamin Torrano (Fra)7Row 148 - Cell 3
150Yuki Kushima (Jpn)4Row 149 - Cell 3
151Dan Sheridan° (Irl)3Row 150 - Cell 3
152Hans Lambert (Can)3Row 151 - Cell 3
153Kristoffer Haugland (Nor)2Row 152 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Teams World Cup standings after six rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1GT Factory Racing463pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate347Row 1 - Cell 3
3MS Mondraker Team346Row 2 - Cell 3
4Trek World Racing289Row 3 - Cell 3
5Lapierre International280Row 4 - Cell 3
6Devinci Global Racing276Row 5 - Cell 3
7Hutchinson United Ride255Row 6 - Cell 3
8Scott11238Row 7 - Cell 3
9Giant Factory Off-Road Team231Row 8 - Cell 3
10Commencal / Riding Addiction201Row 9 - Cell 3
11Monster Energy-Specialized179Row 10 - Cell 3
12Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team133Row 11 - Cell 3
13Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof127Row 12 - Cell 3
14SC-Intense86Row 13 - Cell 3
15Madison Saracen Downhill Team83Row 14 - Cell 3
16Team Norco International82Row 15 - Cell 3
17Alpine Commencal Austria78Row 16 - Cell 3
18Passion Velo.Fr74Row 17 - Cell 3
19Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team67Row 18 - Cell 3
20Kona45Row 19 - Cell 3
21Cg Racing Brigade37Row 20 - Cell 3
22Team Morzine - Avoriaz / Haute - Savoie35Row 21 - Cell 3
23Topcycle By Trek32Row 22 - Cell 3
24Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace28Row 23 - Cell 3
25Pila-Black Arrows-Mtb Herin School Asd20Row 24 - Cell 3
26CK Racing Santacruz17Row 25 - Cell 3
27Unior Tools Team11Row 26 - Cell 3
28Torpado Surfing Shop10Row 27 - Cell 3
29Dagg - Racing9Row 28 - Cell 3
30Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing9Row 29 - Cell 3
31Dirt Norco Race Team4Row 30 - Cell 3
32Ghost Factory Racing Team3Row 31 - Cell 3

 

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