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MTB World Cup DH & 4X #4 - CDM
Fort William, Scotland, Great Britain, June 5-7, 2009
By Rob Jones in Fort William
After a three week break, the gravity events in the UCI World Cup resume this weekend with the extremely popular Fort William, Scotland, round. This will be the fourth event of the 2009 series for both the four cross and downhill events.
2009 is the eighth year for World Cup competition at "Fort Bill", on the slopes of Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands. Last year, riders and spectators were treated to a surprisingly dry and dusty event; however, there are no guarantees of a repeat with the changeable weather that is a fact of life at this most northern World Cup.
Despite being removed from the nearest major population center (Glasgow) by nearly two hours, Fort William regularly attracts some of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the World Cup circuit, with up to 20,000 fans battling the "midgies" - small, biting bugs that can leave welts that make the unfortunate recipient look like they have a bad case of chickenpox. The midgies this year are bad enough to have forced the cancellation of a scheduled cross country ride.
Despite the "midge factor", and a strong chance of rain, the spectators are sure to be out in good numbers. The Brits (and Scots) have lots to be excited about, with their own Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) leading the men's downhill standings, and another Brit - Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) - second in the women's category.
Both Peat and women's downhill series leader Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) are on a tear, at present. Each have won the last two events in their respective series, and hope to extend their leads in Fort William. For Peat, it would be a record fiftieth podium appearance, if he can finish in the top five.
However, their victories are by no means assured. Tracy Moseley and Peat's teammate Greg Minnaar each won at Fort William last year, and are certainly hoping to repeat. Sam Hill (Monster Energy-Specialized) was the fastest in timed training on Friday, and is still looking for that first World Cup win of the season with his new team, so expect him to be very motivated also.
The flu which has been dogging the World Cup circuit continues to hit riders, with Mick Hannah (GT Bikes) currently afflicted. It is unlikely that anyone will have to scratch due to sickness, but it could certainly be a factor in some performances.
The 2.82-kilometre run is one of the longer ones, requiring fitness for the open pedalling sections at the top, and technique for the slippery, wooded sections lower down. Much of the course is similar to previous editions, with a few changes in the wooded sections (parallel to the old course) just to keep it fresh. Riders are saying that they are happy with the course.
In four cross competition, men's series leader Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) had his first loss in the third round, so he will be looking to show that he is still the top rider on the circuit. Dan Atherton (Animal-Commencal) is back in competition after a shoulder injury, and is the local favourite.
On the women's side, there have been three winners in three races, so this competition is wide open. Will it be series leader and round one winner Anneke Beerten (Suspension Center), round two winner Jill Kintner, or Britain's Fionn Griffths (Norco World Team), the winner of round three?
The four cross circuit is also similar to previous years, with a change to the first corner and some natural rock sections added to increase the speed.
Downhill Elite men 1 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 2 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 3 Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles 4 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 5 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz 6 Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing 7 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz 8 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing 9 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 10 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles 11 Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing 12 Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 11 13 David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon 14 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) 15 Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi 16 Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 17 Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes 18 Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing 19 Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing 20 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 22 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Morewood 23 Robin Wallner (Swe) 24 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) 25 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 26 Fabien Cousinie (Fra) 27 Dan Stanbridge (GBr) 28 Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS Evil Racing 30 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 31 Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 32 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn 33 Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi 34 Danny Hart° (GBr) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon 35 Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 36 Cody Warren (USA) Specialized Team America 37 Thomas Braithwaite (GBr) 38 Tom Deacon (GBr) 2Stagefactory 39 Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Team America 40 Joris Bigoni (Fra) 41 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Kenda Morewood 43 Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 44 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) 45 Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona 46 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team 47 Nathan Rankin (NZl) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 48 Joshua Button (Aus) 50 Luke Strobel (USA) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 51 Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team 52 Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11 53 Bradley Benedict (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing 54 Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team 55 Antoine Badouard (Fra) 56 Sam Dale (GBr) 58 Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Dytech DH 59 Ben Reid (Irl) Just Reid Race Team 61 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 63 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team 64 Nicolas Ortiz (Fra) 65 Benny Strasser (Ger) 67 Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team 68 Wyn Masters (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 70 Jonty Neethling (RSA) 71 Matthew Scoles (NZl) 72 Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team 73 Ben Cathro (GBr) 74 Joe Barnes (GBr) 75 Kieran Bennett (NZl) X-Fusion-Intense 76 Cesar Rojo (Spa) 77 Aari Barrett° (NZl) Scott 11 80 Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 74 81 Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 82 Marcel Beer (Swi) 83 Neil Donoghue (GBr) 84 Marco Milivinti (Ita) Dytech DH 85 Nico Vink (Bel) 86 Toni Berg (Fin) 87 Will Rischbieth (Aus) 88 Dominik Gspan (Swi) 89 Martin Frei (Swi) 90 Herman Olund (Swe) 91 Rhys Willemse° (Aus) 92 Chris Hutchens (GBr) 93 Daniel Wolfe (Irl) 94 Matej Vitko (Svk) 95 Gerard Wolfe (Irl) 96 Carlo Gambirasio (Ita) Surfing Shop 97 Mathieu Troquier (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team 98 Shaun O'connor° (Aus) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 99 Marco Fidalgo (Por) 100 Ralph Jones (GBr) 101 Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center 102 Adam Brayton (GBr) Just Reid Race Team 103 Renato Ventura (Por) 104 Robert Smith (GBr) 106 Roger Gonzalez Salvador (Spa) Spanish National team 107 Brook Macdonald° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 108 Tamryn Murrell° (Aus) 109 David Smith (GBr) 110 Jan Javornik (Svk) 111 James Hughes (GBr) 112 Laurie Dinham° (Aus) Suspension Center 113 Loïc Delteil (Fra) 115 Emyr Davies (GBr) 117 Davide Michelis (Ita) Surfing Shop 118 Yannick Colomb (Fra) 119 Alex Bond (GBr) 120 Scott Mears (GBr) 121 Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Team Sunn 122 Dennis Dertell (Swe) 123 James Stock (GBr) 124 Will Longden (GBr) 126 Fergus Lamb (GBr) 127 Jordi Bago (Spa) 128 Karl O'sullivan (Irl) 129 Liam Mason (GBr) 130 Heikki Hall (USA) 131 Elias Somvi (Ita) 132 Fabrice Tirefort (Swi) Swiss National Team 134 Felix Beckeman° (Swe) Swedish National Team 135 Niklas Wallner (Swe) Swedish National Team 136 Nicolas Gspan (Swi) Swiss National Team 137 Scott Laughland (Irl) Irish National Team 138 Harry Heath° (GBr) British National Team 139 Bernard Kerr° (GBr) British National Team 140 Tim Hammar (Swe) Swedish National Team 141 Gareth Brewin° (GBr) British National Team 142 Ewan Doherty (Irl) Irish National Team 143 Mario Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team 145 Andréa Gamenara° (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team 147 Arran Gannicott° (GBr) British National Team 148 Kristof Lenssens (Bel) Belgian National Team 149 Jonathan Brain (GBr) British National Team 150 Alex Powell° (GBr) 2Stagefactory 151 Quentin Jacquet° (Fra) French National Team 153 Mattia Arduino (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team 154 Fredrik Hansson (Swe) Swedish National Team 155 Harry Molloy° (GBr) British National Team 156 Amado Stachenfeld (USA) US National Team 158 Francesco Petrucci° (Ita) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team 160 Daniel Critchlow (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 161 Kevin Aiello° (USA) GT Bicycles 162 Jamie Biluk (Can) 163 Stephen Beattie (Irl) Downhill Elite women 1 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles 2 Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing 3 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 4 Myriam Nicole (Fra) 5 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 6 Floriane Pugin (Fra) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker 7 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 8 Céline Gros (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 74 9 Melissa Buhl (USA) 10 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 11 11 Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 12 Joanna Petterson (RSA) 14 Helen Gaskell (GBr) 17 Katy Curd (GBr) 18 Micayla Gatto (Can) 19 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Team Vario Racing 20 Sarah Newman (GBr) 21 Anita Molcik (Aut) 22 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut) 23 Harriet Rucknagel (Ger) 24 Jessica Stone (GBr) 2Stagefactory 25 Caroline Sax (Fra) 26 Sophie Borderes (Fra) 27 Marjorie Cholez (Fra) 28 Aimee Dix (GBr) 29 Fanny Lombard° (Fra) French National Team 30 Leoni-Caro. Dickerhoff° (Ger) 31 Neven Steinmetz (USA) US National Team 32 Emma Wareham (GBr) British National Team 33 Kerry Wrigglesworth (GBr) British National Team 34 Jaymie Mart (Bar) 35 Harriet Latchem (GBr) British National Team 36 Bex Reilly° (GBr) British National Team 37 Emma Atkinson° (GBr) British National Team 38 Monet Adams° (GBr) British National Team Four cross elite men 65 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 66 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Spa) Specialized Factory Racing 67 Joost Wichman (Ned) 68 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 69 Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn 70 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team 72 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) 73 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team 74 Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing 75 Jurg Meijer (Ned) 76 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK 77 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger) 79 Michal Prokop (Cze) 80 Tomas Slavik (Cze) 81 Lewis Lacey (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 82 Quentin Derbier (Fra) 83 Dominik Gspan (Swi) 84 Joey Van Veghel (Ned) 85 Matej Vitko (Svk) 86 Will Longden (GBr) 87 David Graf (Swi) 88 Adrian Weiss (Swi) Scott 11 89 Pascal Seydoux (Swi) 90 Bernard Kerr (GBr) British National Team 91 Adrian Kiener (Swi) 92 Martin Frei (Swi) 93 Thomas Schäfer (Ger) Solid Aclass Factory Team 94 William Evans (GBr) 95 Thomas Tokarczyk (USA) 97 Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr) 98 Ludovic Gadois (Fra) Team Vario Racing 99 Heikki Hall (USA) 100 Sidney Gerber (Swi) 101 Tom Dowie (GBr) 102 Felix Beckeman (Swe) Swedish National Team 103 Matthieu Faury (Fra) 104 Scott Roberts (GBr) 105 Nicolas Gspan (Swi) Swiss National Team 106 Michal Marosi (Cze) 107 Stefan Scherz (Ger) 109 Nico Seidel (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team 110 Javier Guijarro Villacieros (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team 111 Duncan Ferris (GBr) 112 James Norton (GBr) 113 Werner Muther (Swi) 114 Mark Van Lankveld (Ned) 117 Petrik Brückner (Ger) 118 Ghislain Ricci (Fra) 119 Richard Cunynghame (GBr) 120 Richard Norton (GBr) 121 Dave Richardson (GBr) 122 Kieran Mcavoy (GBr) 123 Tom Knight (GBr) 124 Bela Thalmann (Ger) 125 Stephen Simms (GBr) 126 Jan Svub (Cze) 127 Daniel Yeomans (GBr) 128 Roger Rinderknecht (Swi) GT Bicycles 129 Lukas Mechura (Cze) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense Four cross elite women 17 Anneke Beerten (Ned) Suspension Center 18 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 19 Melissa Buhl (USA) 20 Jana Horakova (Cze) 21 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) 22 Anita Molcik (Aut) 23 Caroline Buchanan (Aus) 24 Angelika Hohenwarter (Aut) 25 Rachel Seydoux (Swi) 26 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut) 27 Eva Castro Fernandez (Spa) 28 Jill Kintner (USA) 29 Neven Steinmetz (USA) 30 Lucia Oetjen (Swi) 31 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 32 Steffi Marth (Ger) 33 Charlie Phillips (GBr) 34 Katy Curd (GBr) 35 Joanna Petterson (RSA)