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MTB World Cup DH 4X #1 - CDM
Vigo, Spain, May 11-13, 2007
Stage 7 - May 13: Downhill Elite men final
Rain throws up surprise winner
By Greg Johnson
Tricky conditions played into the hands of several riders for the Downhill World Cup opener in Vigo, Spain, but for none more than British rider Marc Beaumont who took victory in the men's event. After posting the 77th quickest time during Saturday's semi-finals, the Team Mbuk Santacruz rider benefited from the conditions during his run, which were comparatively dryer than during his better credentialed rival's runs, to take victory in the rain-plagued conditions.
"It's something that I have been dreaming about since I was four years old," said an ecstatic Beaumont. "I don't know what to say. I am amazed. I was in the lead since the beginning and to not move from there was somewhat incredible."
The Great Britain rider, who now leads the World Cup standings, got the better of the top two seeds from the semi finals to take victory.
Local hope David Vazquez Lopez had finished second in Saturday's session, a position the Spaniard wouldn't improve on in the finals. Despite the conditions, which saw rain fall until 25 minutes out from the Elite Men's final, Lopez posted a solid descent to finish just over one second behind Beaumont.
"The rain complicated a lot of the things," said Lopez, who thanked the crowed for being well behaved. "In the first part of the course I was a little conservative, but at the end I gave my all. I am happy because [Beaumont] wanted to be there, with the large names, and it's a great beginning to a season after a pair of difficult years [for me]."
After finishing third at last year's event, Great Britain's Steve Peat couldn't make the podium again in 2007, with South African Greg Minnaar (Team G-Cross Honda) staking his claim on the position. Peat, the reigning Elite Men's Downhill World Champion, topped the timesheets in Saturday's semi-finals but the Santa Cruz Syndicate rider was forced to settle for fourth, two seconds behind the winner, in the finals.
"I expected to gain, but was impossible by the weather conditions," said Peat. "The rain meant that the circuit was different for some runners and obliged us to have small failures that cost us some very valuable seconds."
"This test is always at a high level," added Peat. "The changes that have been carried out to the circuit, they have improved the circuit and the public is always fantastic. We must give thanks to the fans."
The Downhill World Cup continues with round two in Champery, Switzerland from June 9-10.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Maria Muina
Images by Frank Bodenmuller/PhotoSport International
1 Marc Beaumont (GBr) Team Mbuk Santacruz 2.37.02 2 David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Msc Bikes 1.04 3 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Team G-Cross Honda 1.59 4 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.00 5 Samuel Hill (Aus) Iron Horse / Monster Energy 3.06 6 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 4.02 7 Michael Hannah (Aus) Cannondale The Cut 5.05 8 Mickael Pascal (Fra) Q By Saab-Salomon 6.58 9 Thomas Braithwaite (GBr) 6.59 10 Marco Milivinti (Ita) 7.01 11 Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Team G-Cross Honda 7.03 12 Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) 13 Cedric Gracia (Fra) 7.04 14 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) 7.06 15 Carlo Gambirasio (Ita) 8.01 16 Neil Donoghue (GBr) Team Mbuk Santacruz 8.03 17 Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Msc Bikes 18 Sam Dale (GBr) Mtb-Direct.Co.Uk 8.05 19 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost International Racing Team 20 Dave Wardell (GBr) Gt / Burgtec 21 Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) Massi 8.06 22 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 8.07 23 Andrew Neethling (RSA) 24 Fabien Barel (Fra) Kona Les Gets 8.58 25 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) 8.59 26 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Santa Cruz Syndicate 9.06 27 Joseph Smith (GBr) 9.07 28 Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Mojo Orange 9.59 29 Josh Bryceland (GBr) 10.00 30 Herman Olund (Swe) 10.02 31 Mike Skinner (NZl) 10.04 32 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) Kona Les Gets 10.58 33 Lee Bertram (GBr) 11.03 34 Florent Payet (Fra) Ssangyong-Fusion Pro Team 35 Tyler Morland (Can) 11.04 36 Nico Vink (Bel) Dolphin Bike Team 37 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Team G-Cross Honda 11.05 38 Chris Kovarik (Aus) Ms-Intense Factory-Racing Team 11.07 39 Adam Brayton (GBr) Mtb-Direct.Co.Uk 40 Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi 11.58 41 Vincent Saut (Fra) 42 Julien Camellini (Fra) Mojo Orange 11.59 43 Justin Leov (NZl) 12.00 44 Rowen Sorrell (GBr) 12.01 45 Karim Amour (Fra) 12.02 47 Helder Padilha (Por) 48 Jared Graves (Aus) 12.06 49 Ben Reid (Irl) 12.07 50 Samuel Zbinden (Swi) 12.58 51 Emanuel Pombo (Por) 52 Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) 53 Glenn Haden (NZl) 13.07 54 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Gravity Group 13.58 55 Geritt Beytagh (USA) 14.05 56 Jurgen Beneke (Ger) 57 Mario Sieder (Aut) 14.07 58 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) 14.58 59 Alan Beggin (Ita) 15.00 60 Oscar Saiz Castane (Spa) 15.01 61 Ben Cathro (GBr) Q By Saab-Salomon 15.04 62 Claudio Caluori (Swi) Ms-Intense Factory-Racing Team 15.07 63 Tom Deacon (GBr) 64 Claudio Loureiro (Por) 16.00 65 Markoff Berchtold (Bra) 66 Maxime Remy (Fra) Bikepark.Ch Tui 17.03 67 Joe Barnes (GBr) 17.04 68 Fabien Cousinie (Fra) 17.07 69 Matthew Scoles (NZl) 18.58 70 Adam Vagner (Cze) 19.02 71 Nicola Casadei (SMr) 19.04 72 Christopher Van Dine (USA) Cannondale The Cut 20.00 73 Aurelien Giordanengo (Fra) 20.02 74 Joris Bigoni (Fra) 20.03 75 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Q By Saab-Salomon 22.02 76 Cole Bangert (USA) 27.02 77 Duncan Riffle (USA) 29.03 78 Antoine Badouard (Fra) 30.59 79 Filip Polc (Svk) Gravity Group 46.58 DNF Will Longden (GBr) Team Mbuk Santacruz