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MTB World Cup DH #1 - CDM
Maribor, Slovenia, May 9-11, 2008
Race 3 - May 11: Downhill,
Hill, Jonnier continue reign in Slovenia
By Luke Webber in Maribor, Slovenia
There were no surprises in the final downhill races to open the 2008 World Cup, as dream team Sam Hill and Sabrina Jonnier opened the Iron Horse account in the same fashion they ended 2007 with two wins. The world champion pair took their wins in a very different fashion.
For Hill it was nothing short of total domination when it mattered most. In training and then qualification the Aussie tried to play his cards close to his chest setting steady if not unimpressive times.
On a dry and dusty descent that weaved in and out of the woods through fast turns and a crowds favourite rock garden there could be no tactics. The fastest rider would win.
Hill was that man and just as he did last week in the World Championship test event, he beat a host of top names by an embarrassing margin three seconds to Julien Cammelini and four seconds to Steve Peat.
In the race run it was the rock garden at half-way that provided the most obvious place to spot differences in speed. Unfortunately this section also claimed its fair share of victims including Sam Blenkinsop and most spectacularly Josh Bryceland in an over the bars summersault crash from the bottom drop off.
First rider to look truly fast through here was Greg Minnaar with a bruising run through the bumps. Although Peat looked well in control his exit onto the fireroad was sluggish, surely costing him a vital second or so. Hill mixed both skill and speed, careering through the rocks and showing superb fitness, sprinting the fireroad exit and gaining vital speed.
For Hill's team-mate Jonnier however, the victory was much narrower. Just eighteen hundredths of a second separated her and hot favourite Rachel Atherton, who had won the semi-finals by a massive five seconds.
After the race, Atherton was clearly unhappy that the result did not reflect the effort invested over the weekend and winter, citing a number of errors in key sections of the race. Even so, these two riders distanced themselves considerably from the chasers Emmeline Ragot who took the final podium placing was seven seconds adrift of the leading two ladies.
Downhill competition returns alongside fourcross and cross country in two weeks time in Andorra for a packed World Cup weekend.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Luke Webber / www.lukewebber.com
Elite Men 1 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Iron Horse 2.47.54 2 Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 2.50.62 3 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.51.85 4 Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 2.52.11 5 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.52.19 6 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 2.52.34 7 Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 2.52.52 8 Justin Leov (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 2.52.56 9 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Iron Horse 2.54.23 10 Andrew Neethling (RSA) GT Bicycles 2.55.49 11 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 2.56.03 12 Adam Vagner (Cze) 2.56.43 13 Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) Massi 2.56.93 14 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn 2.56.98 15 Florent Payet (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 2.57.37 16 Nico Vink (Bel) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team 2.57.50 17 Ben Cathro (GBr) Mojo Orange 2.57.52 18 Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes 2.57.55 19 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 2.57.67 20 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) 2.57.72 21 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.57.76 22 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Team Ghost International 2.58.01 23 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 2.58.16 24 Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Factory Racing 2.58.60 25 Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team 2.58.62 25 Maxime Remy (Fra) Team Sunn 2.58.62 27 John Swanguen (USA) MS-Intense Factory-Racing 2.58.72 27 Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) 2.58.72 29 Cédric Gracia (Fra) Commencal - Furious - Oakley Team 2.59.01 30 Filip Polc (Svk) Kenda Tomac 2.59.04 31 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 2.59.31 32 Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) MSC Bikes 2.59.47 33 Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 2.59.51 34 Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team 2.59.55 35 Nathan Rankin (NZl) Playbiker - Iron Horse 2.59.61 36 Adam Brayton (GBr) Playbiker - Iron Horse 2.59.64 37 Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis 2.59.68 38 Valentin Juillard (Fra) Team Sunn 2.59.91 39 Alan Beggin (Ita) 2.59.94 40 Frank Schneider (Ger) 2.59.97 41 Robin Wallner (Swe) 3.00.06 42 Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Mojo Orange 3.00.29 43 Dominik Gspan (Swi) 3.00.65 44 Steve Smith (Can) 3.00.67 45 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) 3.01.16 46 David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Lapierre Dh Powered By Saab Salomon 3.01.17 47 Marco Milivinti (Ita) 3.01.18 48 Mathias Haas (Aut) 3.01.26 49 Amiel Cavalier (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team 3.01.45 50 Sam Dale (GBr) Cannondale Factory Racing 3.01.52 51 Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team 3.01.53 52 Samuel Zbinden (Swi) Argentina Bike Gravity Team 3.01.54 53 Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Team Pyrenees Morewood 3.01.66 54 Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS-Intense Factory-Racing 3.01.79 55 Mathieu Troquier (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team 3.01.91 56 Cole Bangert (USA) 3.02.11 57 Duncan Riffle (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing 3.02.13 58 Jorge Aguin Castro (Spa) 3.02.31 59 Marco Bugnone (Ita) 3.02.40 60 Andreas Sieber (Ger) Solid Aclass Factory Team 3.02.50 61 Aki Färm (Fin) 3.02.52 62 Danny Hart (GBr) Lapierre Dh Powered By Saab Salomon 3.03.00 63 Georg Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team 3.03.38 64 Bradley Benedict (USA) 3.03.98 65 Jack Geoghegan (GBr) 3.04.52 66 Ben Reid (Irl) 3.04.56 67 Toni Berg (Fin) 3.04.59 68 Dave Wardell (GBr) 3.04.62 69 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Tomac 3.04.65 70 Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Sport Promotion 3.04.77 71 Rutar Nejc (Slo) Team Scott Lactat 3.05.56 72 Neil Donoghue (GBr) Team BikeRadar 3.05.57 73 Oscar Saiz Castane (Spa) Giant Mountain Bike Team 3.06.30 74 Mike Skinner (NZl) Playbiker - Iron Horse 3.09.07 75 Joris Bigoni (Fra) 3.10.51 76 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) 3.11.20 77 Renato Ventura (Por) 3.14.14 78 Herman Olund (Swe) 3.15.35 79 Marc Beaumont (GBr) Team BikeRadar 5.52.27 Elite Women 1 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis 3.14.31 2 Rachel Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 3.14.49 3 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 3.21.80 4 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 3.23.61 5 Floriane Pugin (Fra) Playbiker - Iron Horse 3.23.95 6 Céline Gros (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team 3.25.98 7 Tracy Moseley (GBr) Kona 3.26.89 8 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) MS-Intense Factory-Racing 3.29.54 9 Petra Bernhard (Aut) 3.33.45 10 Myriam Nicole (Fra) 3.34.78 11 Claire Buchar (Can) 3.35.81 12 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Sport Promotion 3.37.83 13 Katy Curd (GBr) 3.38.27 14 Anais Pajot (Fra) Team Sunn 3.39.33 15 Anita Molcik (Aut) 4 Elements Yeti/Hotec/Rsp 3.40.27 16 Kathleen Pruitt (USA) 3.40.48 17 Joanna Petterson (RSA) 3.43.86 18 Dalma Kiss (Hun) 3.47.63 19 Birgit Braumann (Aut) 3.49.30 20 Pascaline Reusser (Swi) 3.52.13