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Four cross World Champ Graves takes top downhill spot in Monterey

Australian Jared Graves and American Aaron Gwin (Yeti/Fox teammates) finished one-two in the men's pro downhill race at Sea Otter on Sunday. Graves, who was seeded early in the event, watched 120 riders try to knock him out of the hot seat before his result was confirmed. Oakley sponsored American Brian Lopes finished third.

The downhill gods were easy on competitors in Monterey, leaving riders with some of the driest, mildest and most windless conditions in recent years. Graves, who was seeded early in the almost 150-rider strong field, powered the course to set the early lead then settled into the hot seat as downhill star after downhill star fell short of his 2:04:7 run.

"I really wanted to win both races this weekend (dual slalom and downhill)," Graves said at the finish. "It didn't quite work out in the dual slalom last night (Graves earned fourth, losing to Jared Rando in the consolation round - ed.) so I was pretty determined to make up for it today."

With four short-course specialists in the top five, Sea Otter's dry and pedally downhill course was tough for the top riders in the discipline. Downhill World Champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) managed only eighth. Former World Champion Cedric Gracia finished seven seconds down in 16th. Another former World Champion, Greg Minaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), coasted through the finish line, obviously frustrated with his run and 55th placing.

Graves says the skills that earned him four cross World Cup and World Championship wins in 2009 were keys to success on the Sea Otter downhill course. "The lower part of the course is pretty chopped up compared to previous years," Graves said. "So just finding good lines, missing the holes, and skipping over the top and carrying good momentum everywhere was the key."

"My training is geared around being quick for no more than 30 seconds at a time, so I felt a little bit of a burn at the end there, but I just kept thinking about how I didn't get what I wanted last night and pushed hard to the line."

Graves says racing downhill at Sea Otter is an anomaly to his season's plans. "I'm not doing downhill World Cups this year, Four cross is my focus," Graves said. "Sea Otter being the first big international race of the year, it's different to a World Cup, but all the top guys are here so it's a good race to start the season; if you do well here, you know you're preparation is good - it's a confidence boost." Graves will take that confidence to the first four cross World Cup in Slovenia in two weeks.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jared Graves (Yeti/Fox)0:02:04.7
2Aaron Gwin (Yeti/Fox)0:00:02.0
3Brian Lopes (Oakley)0:00:02.3
4Mick Hannah (GT)0:00:02.7
5Cameron Cole (Maxxis)0:00:02.9
6Dan Atherton (Commencal)0:00:04.0
7Eric Carter (GT)0:00:04.2
8Steve Peat (Santa Cruz)0:00:04.4
9Justin Leov (Trek World Racing)
10Chris Kovarik (Chain Reaction)0:00:04.8
11Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing)0:00:05.3
12Tyler Immer (Yeti)0:00:05.4
13Duncan Riffle (Giant)0:00:06.4
14Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing)0:00:06.7
15Jared Rando (Giant)0:00:06.9
16Cedric Gracia
17Kyle Strait0:00:07.0
18Mitch Ropelato0:00:07.2
19Matti Lehikoinen (Chain Reaction)0:00:07.4
20Brad Benedict (Specialized)0:00:07.5
21Cody Warren (Foes Racing)0:00:08.1
22Fabien Cousinie (Blackmount)0:00:08.3
23Sean Mcclendon (ODI)0:00:08.7
24Kamil Tatarkovic0:00:08.8
25Joey Schusler (Yeti)0:00:08.9
26Florent Payet (Blackmount)
27Waylon Smith0:00:09.0
28Logan Binggeli (KHS)0:00:09.1
29Marc Beaumont (GT)0:00:09.2
30Bryn Atkinson
31Joe Lawwill (MTBR)0:00:09.3
32David Klaassenvanoorsch (ODI)
33Evan Turpen (Epiccenter)0:00:09.8
34Dan Stanbridge0:00:10.1
35Jason Memmelaar (Giant/HBG)0:00:10.3
36Nathan Riddle (SRAM)0:00:10.4
37Jd Swanguen (ODI)
38Brendan Fairclough (Monster Energy)0:00:10.5
39Sam Benedict (Specialized)0:00:10.7
40George Stephenson Iii (Yeti)
41Kevin Aiello (GT)0:00:10.8
42Bernard Kerr (Norco)0:00:10.9
43Chris Boice (Yeti)
44Regnier Jordan (Frejus Roc d'Azur)
45Nate Lewis
46Brian Buell (Team Germonimo)0:00:11.1
47Ryan Condrashoff0:00:11.2
48Steve Smith (MS Evil)0:00:11.3
49Curtis Keene (Specialized)0:00:11.5
50Nick Olson0:00:12.0
51Ben Furbee0:00:12.1
52Ariel Lindsley (Santa Cruz)0:00:12.6
53Danny Hart (Giant Factory)
54Brad Oien (ODI)0:00:12.7
55Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz)
56Jon Wilson (Northstar)
57Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz)0:00:12.9
58Tyler Mccaul (GT)0:00:13.1
59Amado Stachenfeld0:00:13.2
60Heikki Hall (E Thirteen)
61Jeff Kendall-Weed
62Mikey Sylvestri (Specialized)
63Jerome Clementz (Cannondale)0:00:13.3
64Graeme Pitts (Team Germonimo)0:00:13.4
65Jonathan Widen0:00:14.1
66Roger Rinderknecht (BMC)
67Robin Baloochi (DRD Tomac)0:00:14.3
68Mikey Haderer (Corair)
69Jeremy Kneisly (One)0:00:14.7
70Jean Sebastion Therrien (Banshee)0:00:14.8
71John Keep (DRD Tomac)0:00:15.1
72Ben Reid
73Richard Rude (Allride)0:00:15.3
74John Hauer (X-Fusion)0:00:15.5
75Timothy Krentz0:00:15.6
76Alejandro Ortiz (Morpheus)
77Justin Graves (PirateDH)0:00:16.2
78Matthieu Faury (Frejus Roc d'Azur)0:00:16.3
79Quinton Spaulding
80Jordan Lopez (Northstar)
81Michael Buell (Geronimo)0:00:16.7
82Wentz Steve (Commencal)0:00:17.0
83Ryan Egusquiza0:00:17.2
84Troy Brosnan (Monster Energy)0:00:17.3
85Josh Hubbard
86Steve Hlebo0:00:17.5
87Matt Thompson (Commencal)0:00:17.8
88Kevin Albert (Thunderbird)0:00:18.2
89Daniel Cortina0:00:18.3
90Matthew Cipes (Thunderbird)0:00:18.4
91Matthew Adams (Bike Works)0:00:18.7
92Dante Harmony0:00:18.9
93Evan Gilsdorf (Downhill)0:00:19.1
94Allen Stoddard (Commencal)0:00:19.3
95Casey Coffman (Transition)
96Naish Ulmer (KHS)
97Doug Ewer0:00:19.5
98Chris Shewmake (Sol Vista)0:00:20.0
99Pj Sharp0:00:20.5
100Jesse Trask0:00:21.3
101Simon Garstin
102Andrew Cavaletto (SV Cycle)0:00:21.4
103Tasso Koch (TMR)0:00:21.8
104Jimmy Amaral0:00:22.0
105Philip Wheeler (Commencal)0:00:22.1
106Luciano Worl0:00:22.2
107Josh Stark0:00:22.6
108Ryan Cornilsen0:00:22.9
109Ben Hulse (Morpheus)0:00:23.6
110Evelio Suarez0:00:24.2
111Ryan Borick0:00:24.8
112Sean Osborne (Rob Sears)0:00:26.6
113Evan Bissell (Mom and Dad)0:00:27.0
114Pete Manicci0:00:27.8
115Brandon Turman (Geronimo)0:00:28.3
116Erik Gosselin (Gravity)0:00:28.5
117Adrian Kiener0:00:29.3
118Michael Whitley0:00:30.2
119Nicholas Cruickshank0:00:31.3
120Scott Fellers (Thunderbird)0:00:32.3
121Anthony Diaz (Durango)0:00:32.7
122Brian Culp0:00:33.7
123Silas Hesterberg0:00:35.6
124Rick Goldrup (Ideal/Fox)0:00:36.4
DNFJerry Vanderpool
DNFCurtis Robinson
DNFJesse Chuse (Dark Horse)
DNFChris Heath (KHS)
DNFGee Atherton (Commencal)
DNFBlenkinsop Saluel
DNFMichael Town (Santa Cruz)
DNFNigel Page (Chain Reaction)
DNFScott Martinez
DNFClifford Pinto (E-13)
DNFKayman Benetti (Gopro Gravity)
DNFJon Buckell (Foes)
DNFErik Nelson (Commencal)
DNFTyler Thompson
DNFDerek Teel (Yeti / Fox)

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