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MTB World Cup XC #5 & DH #3 - CDM
Fort William, Scotland, June 6-8, 2008
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Race 5 - June 8: Elite women downhill
Emphatic Moseley home win
By Luke Webber in Fort William
Whereas in the men's race there were two close-calls for the overall win, the women's event saw a return to form for British national champion Tracy Moseley (Kona). After an average start to the season a return home gave Moseley the ideal opportunity to start fresh on a course that has been a favourite for many years now. In the past her victories have been on a very different course - wet, windy and damaged. The dusty, sandy track this weekend which was different in character than anything seen before was not expected to suit Moseley so well - in fact Sabrina Jonnier (Team Maxxis) or Rachel Atherton (Animal Commencal) were the preferred favourites for many.
But Moseley's experience on such a long and physical course was her asset and she used it to exploit big time gaps across the course. Five seconds was the deficit at the end of the race to Jonnier and a jubilant Moseley took her lap of honour in front of a home crowd that powered her to another victory at the Fort.
"It's amazing to get the season back on track, great for my confidence and good timing to get it in front of the home fans too. I'm definitely going quicker now than early on and hopefully I can keep that going through the rest of the year. I haven't yet been to the Worlds track so I'll be riding it blind, but I'm on such a high already I am confident of a good result there."
Atherton did not have such good luck in her run with a mistake in the start hut costing time that could never be regained.
"My race went pretty badly from the start, out of the gate I hit one of the poles and broke the beam and stopped dead straight away. I couldn't believe it, it was the worst possible way to start. All the way down I was loose, blowing out turns, but what can you do. This race has fired me up to get it right at the Worlds now, every bad race you learn a little more about yourself - I'm just fed up with having bloody races that I can learn stuff from!"
Sandwiching the two Brits was Frenchwoman Jonnier who regained her World Cup leaders' jersey, but was unhappy with her overall result.
"The race went well today but I ended up making too many mistakes in the top section, I started out too fast and ended up scaring myself! I'm pretty upset with finishing second but Tracy did a very good ride today. The main thing was I took back the leaders jersey - that's the one good thing for today. The Worlds is going to be hard, the same battle between Tracy, Rachel and I as last year though. I like the course over in Italy, fast and technical but it needs some more pedalling!"
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine / www.trailwatch.net
Images by Luke Webber / Cyclingnews
1 Tracy Moseley (GBr) Kona 5.20.87 2 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis 0.04.13 3 Rachel Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal 0.05.93 4 Mio Suemasa (Jpn) MS-Intense Factory-Racing 0.14.73 5 Melissa Buhl (USA) 0.24.33 6 Céline Gros (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team 0.24.73 7 Myriam Nicole (Fra) 0.25.23 8 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team 0.25.63 9 Anita Molcik (Aut) 4 Elements Yeti/Hotec/Rsp 0.28.23 10 Kathleen Pruitt (USA) 0.31.33 11 Claire Buchar (Can) 0.31.53 12 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Suspension Center 0.34.73 13 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Sport Promotion 0.35.33 14 Joanna Petterson (RSA) 0.40.83 15 Micayla Gatto (Can) 0.41.23 16 Diana Marggraff (Ecu) 0.43.63 17 Katy Curd (GBr) 0.45.13 18 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut) 0.47.23 19 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center 0.50.23 20 Elisa Canepa (Ita) Playbiker - Iron Horse 0.53.63 21 Floriane Pugin (Fra) Playbiker - Iron Horse 1.07.33 Teams 1 Santa Cruz Syndicate 117 pts 2 Animal Commencal 93 3 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 46 4 Kona 40 5 Mojo Orange 37 6 Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 37 7 Monster Energy / Iron Horse 36 8 Team Maxxis 35 9 MSC Bikes 33 10 Suspension Center 31 11 MS-Intense Factory-Racing 30 12 Solid Aclass Factory Team 26 13 Massi 24 14 Norco World Team 23 15 Team BikeRadar 23 16 4 Elements Yeti/Hotec/Rsp 22 17 Playbiker - Iron Horse 21 18 Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team 20 19 Sport Promotion 18 20 Commencal - Furious - Oakley Team 16 21 GT Bicycle 13 22 Kenda Tomac 11 23 Team Pyrenees Morewood 9 24 Lapierre Dh Powered By Saab Salomon 5 25 Cannondale Factory Racing 2 26 Giant Mountain Bike Team 1