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MTB World Cup DH & 4X #3 - CDM

Vallnord, Andorra, May 15-17, 2009

2008 results     Schedule     Preview    Start List    


  • Race 1 - May 15: Four cross qualifying
  • Race 2 - May 16: Downhill qualifying
  • Race 3 - May 16: Elite women four cross
  • Race 4 - May 16: Elite men four cross
  • Race 5 - May 17: Elite women downhill
  • Race 6 - May 17: Elite men downhill

Gravity World Cup action returns to Vallnord

By Rob Jones

Roots, rocks and mud.
Photo ©: Gary Perkin
(Click for larger image)

From La Bresse in the north of France, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup moves to the Principality of Andorra, on the French-Spanish border, for round three of the four cross and downhill series. High in the Pyrenees, in the bike park of Vallnord, riders will compete amid spectacular mountain scenery for the second consecutive year.

The weather leading up to the event has not been optimal, with heavy rain passing through the region. However, organizers have done an excellent job of clearing snow that covered the downhill track less than two weeks ago. There may be snow all around the courses, but the track is clear ... and muddy. The weather is promising to clear for the start of competition on the weekend.

Four cross

Andorrean organizers have cleared the snow
Photo ©: Gary Perkin
(Click for larger image)

The four cross, at 500 metres in length, will require strength and fitness. Out of a newly constructed start ramp the riders head into three doubles and one big jump before the first left hand corner. From there, it is a couple of different line options into the next right-left-right combination, before the longest series of jumps that traverses the hill. Out of the next right hander there is a new series of stepdowns into a left hand turn, then over a final double and into the last right hand turn before the dash to the finish line.

Practice was cancelled for Thursday, as the organizers try to avoid having the track destroyed in the muddy conditions, so no one has had a chance to actually ride the course. Theoretically, it will open on Friday, with qualifying to take place in the evening.


The 1.2 kilometre downhill is almost identical to last year, starting out very fast on an open rocky section for the first third of the run, before dropping into the woods. Last year, the race was won or lost in the woods, with mud, slippery roots and rocks making it difficult to avoid mistakes. This year will be no different.

The Vallnord organizers have improved on the wooded sections without taking away any of the difficulty, by widening parts of the track to create multiple lines, as well as allowing for spectators to get near the action. In addition, the bottom of the track has been opened up, so that the riders have a long, fast run into the finish.

Who's here?

UCI officials do a final inspection of DH course
Photo ©: Gary Perkin
(Click for larger image)

The start lists for both the four cross and downhill are impressive, with all the top men and women in the world attending. Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) will attempt to make it three straight wins in the men's four cross, while world champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Specialized Factory Team) will be hoping to overcome the bad luck and crashes that have kept him off the top step in both previous rounds and defending Vallnord champion Dan Atherton (Animal-Commencal) will be looking to repeat. The women's series has had two winners in two races, with World Cup leader Anneke Beerten (Suspension Center) winning the first, and former champion Jill Kintner of the United States, the second. Who will take this tiebreaker?

In the downhill last week, Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) tied Nicolas Vouilloz's record of 16 World Cup victories. Could this be the race where he breaks the record? Peat leads the men's standings, and is a strong performer in wet and muddy conditions. But he is up against some tough competition, in the form of his teammate Greg Minnaar (winner of round one), Michael "Mick"' Hannah (GT Bicycles), Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized) and last year's winner in Vallnord, world champion Gee Atherton (Animal-Commencal).

On the women's side, Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) continues to hold the leader's jersey after two rounds, but Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) proved that Moseley can be beaten with a decisive victory last weekend in La Bresse. We could see the jersey change hands in Vallnord.

Start list

Downhill     Four cross

Elite men downhill

1 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate                               
2 Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles                                    
3 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate                             
4 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz           
5 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal                                 
6 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz    
7 Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing                                 
8 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing                            
9 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles                                     
10 Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes                                     
11 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team            
12 Julien Camellini (Fra) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense               
13 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra)                                         
14 Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing                           
15 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team                 
16 Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing                                   
17 Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi                                 
18 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal                                
19 Aaron Holmes Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team            
21 Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles             
22 Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi                                     
23 Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing                                    
24 Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 11                                           
25 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Morewood                                
26 Fabien Cousinie (Fra)                                              
27 Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team               
28 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra)                                               
29 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate                          
30 Robin Wallner (Swe)                                                
31 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team                
32 Tom Deacon (GBr) 2Stagefactory                                     
33 Nathan Rennie (Aus) Kenda Morewood                                 
34 Dan Stanbridge (GBr)                                               
35 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn                                       
36 Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)                                           
37 Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Team America                         
39 Sam Dale (GBr)                                                     
40 Florent Payet (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team                  
41 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team             
42 Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS Evil Racing                              
43 Cédric Gracia (Fra)                                                
45 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team                       
46 Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Dytech DH                                     
47 Bradley Benedict (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing                        
48 Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense             
49 Wyn Masters (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team                
51 Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Sunn                                      
52 Cody Warren (USA) Specialized Team America                         
53 Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team                      
54 Joris Bigoni (Fra)                                                 
55 Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona                                            
56 Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team                     
57 Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team                         
58 Ben Cathro (GBr)                                                   
59 Nathan Rankin (NZl) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker                     
60 Luke Strobel (USA) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles             
61 Aari Barrett° (NZl) Scott 11                                       
64 Ben Reid (Irl) Just Reid Race Team                                 
65 Will Rischbieth (Aus)                                              
66 Brook Macdonald° (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team           
67 Dennis Dertell (Swe)                                               
68 Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense                  
69 Nicolas Ortiz (Fra)                                                
70 Georg Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team                       
71 Herman Olund (Swe)                                                 
72 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense               
73 Matthew Scoles (NZl)                                               
75 Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 11                                   
77 Dominik Gspan (Swi)                                                
78 Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team                    
79 Joshua Button (Aus)                                                
80 Benny Strasser (Ger)                                               
81 Claudio Loureiro (Por)                                             
82 Bryn Atkinson (Aus)                                                
83 Kieran Bennett (NZl) X-Fusion-Intense                              
84 Marco Milivinti (Ita) Dytech DH                                    
85 Toni Berg (Fin)                                                    
86 Mathias Haas (Aut)                                                 
87 Emanuel Pombo (Por)                                                
88 Martin Frei (Swi)                                                  
89 Curtis Keene (USA)                                                 
90 Arnau Sugranes Mateu (Spa)                                         
91 Espen Johnsen (Nor) Norwegian National Team                        
92 Aki Färm (Fin)                                                     
93 Jan Cestnik (Slo)                                                  
94 Joe Barnes (GBr)                                                   
95 Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team          
96 Rhys Willemse° (Aus)                                               
97 Luis Paulo Vicente Ferreira (Por)                                  
98 Matej Charvat (Cze)                                                
99 Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center                                
100 Jorge Aguin Castro (Spa)                                          
101 Matej Vitko (Svk)                                                 
102 Ryan Condrashoff (USA) X-Fusion-Intense                           
103 Mathieu Troquier (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team                  
104 Simon Charvat (Cze)                                               
105 Adam Brayton (GBr) Just Reid Race Team                            
106 Carlo Gambirasio (Ita) Surfing Shop                               
107 Erik Kallstrom (Swe)                                              
108 Cesar Rojo (Spa)                                                  
109 Marco Fidalgo (Por)                                               
110 Shaun O'connor° (Aus) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker                  
111 Ralph Jones (GBr)                                                 
112 Renato Ventura (Por)                                              
113 Daniel Critchlow (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense              
114 Mario Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team                      
115 Romain Paulhan (Fra)                                              
116 Robert Smith (GBr)                                                
117 Antoine Badouard (Fra)                                            
118 David Smith (GBr)                                                 
119 Jan Javornik (Svk)                                                
120 Tamryn Murrell° (Aus)                                             
121 David Eme (Fra)                                                   
122 Laurie Dinham° (Aus) Suspension Center                            
123 Loïc Delteil (Fra)                                                
124 Emyr Davies (GBr)                                                 
125 Yannick Colomb (Fra)                                              
126 Davide Michelis (Ita) Surfing Shop                                
127 Daniel Alvarez Salgueiro (Spa)                                    
128 Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 74                        
129 Zan Jurca (Slo) Slovenian National Team                           
130 Alex Bond (GBr)                                                   
131 Rémy Charrier (Fra) Team Sunn                                     
132 Scott Mears (GBr)                                                 
133 Camille Blanchard° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                          
134 Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Team Sunn                                   
135 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK                            
136 Arnaud Delente (Fra)                                              
137 Jordi Bago (Spa)                                                  
138 James Stock (GBr)                                                 
139 Liam Mason (GBr)                                                  
140 Ivan Oziol° (Fra)                                                 
141 Martin Hanak° (Cze)                                               
142 Luis Ribeiro (Por)                                                
143 Olivier Nicole (Fra)                                              
144 Elias Somvi (Ita)                                                 
145 Pedro Miguel Brandao Fernandes (Por)                              
146 Niklas Wallner (Swe) Swedish National Team                        
147 Nicolas Gspan (Swi) Swedish National Team                         
148 Tim Hammar (Swe) Swedish National Team                            
149 Francisco Pardal° (Por) Portuguese National Team                  
150 Gareth Brewin° (GBr) British National Team                        
151 Marco Fernandez Garcia° (Spa) Motril-Sierra Nevada                
152 Clément Benoit° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                             
153 Harry Heath° (GBr) British National Team                          
154 Richard Thomas (GBr) British National Team                        
155 Kevin Aiello° (USA) GT Bicycles                                   
156 Bernard Kerr° (GBr)                                               
157 Félix Groizard° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                             
158 Martin Mitvalsky° (Cze) Czech National Team                       
159 Albert Barilaro Caparros (And) Andorran National Team             
160 Sergey Maltsev (Rus) Russian National Team                        
161 Ricard Ferreira Campos (And) Andorran National Team               
162 Alex Prochazka° (Can) Canadian National Team                      
163 Dave Goris (Bel) Belgian National Team                            
164 Andréa Gamenara° (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team                
165 Patrick Thome° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                              
166 Nicholas Shields (Aus) Australian National Team                   
167 Xavier Simo Cervera (Spa) Spanish National Team                   
168 Kristof Lenssens (Bel) Belgian National Team                      
169 Bertrand Gilles° (Bel) Belgian National Team                      
170 David Schmied (Ger) German National Team                          
171 Markus Olkkonen (Fin) Finnish National Team                       
172 Oskar Harnstrom (Swe) Swedish National Team                       
173 Kristjan Vrecek (Slo) Slovenian National Team                     
174 Erik Kimmel° (Cze) Czech National Team                            
175 Leandro Salgueiro° (Por) Portuguese National Team                 
176 Xavier Raventos Marti° (Spa) Spanish National Team                
177 Arran Gannicott° (GBr) British National Team                      
178 Javier Guijarro Villacieros° (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team     
179 Bastien Andreu° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                             
180 Fabien Bois° (Fra) Team Scott Valloire Galibier                   
181 Vadim Savelyev (Rus) Russian National Team                        
182 Ondrej Novak (Cze) Czech National Team                            
183 Max Eugen Dickerhoff (Ger) German National Team                   
184 Harry Molloy° (GBr) British National Team                         
185 Iago Garay Tamayo° (Spa) Spanish National Team                    
186 Hayden Lee (NZl) New Zealand National Team                        
187 Quentin Geynet° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                             
188 Kevin Locquet (Fra) French National Team                          
189 Francesco Petrucci° (Ita) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team       
190 Fredrik Hansson (Swe) Swedish National Team                       
191 Michal Jankiv° (Svk) Slovakian National Team                      
192 Adrien Loron° (Fra) French National Team                          
193 Tomas Liska° (Svk) Slovakian National Team                        
194 Quentin Jacquet° (Fra) French National Team                       
195 Jerome Crocombette (Fra) French National Team                     
196 Arthur Racaud° (Fra) Team Sport Bike                              
197 Alex Powell° (GBr) 2Stagefactory                                  
198 Kim Petersson° (Swe) Swedish National Team                        
199 Florian Arthus° (Fra) French National Team                        
200 Anton Rumyantsev (Rus) Russian National Team                      

Elite women downhill

1 Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing                               
2 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles           
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 Melissa Buhl (USA)                                                  
9 Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense                   
10 Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 11                                 
11 Céline Gros (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 74                               
12 Joanna Petterson (RSA)                                             
13 Helen Gaskell (GBr)                                                
14 Petra Bernhard (Aut) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team             
15 Miriam Ruchti (Swi) Team Vario Racing                              
18 Diana Marggraff (Ecu)                                              
19 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut)                                     
20 Elisa Canepa (Ita) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker                      
21 Anita Molcik (Aut)                                                 
22 Micayla Gatto (Can)                                                
23 Katy Curd (GBr)                                                    
24 Victoria Hernandez Molinas (Spa)                                   
25 Danice Uyesugi (Can)                                               
26 Harriet Rucknagel (Ger)                                            
27 Anais Pajot° (Fra) Team Sunn                                       
28 Katarina Tothova (Cze)                                             
29 Sandra Rubesam (Ger)                                               
30 Caroline Sax (Fra)                                                 
31 Jessica Stone (GBr) 2Stagefactory                                  
32 Miranda Miller (Can)                                               
33 Mireia Bosca Ballester (Spa)                                       
34 Ariadna De Barros Sanchez (Spa) Motril-Sierra Nevada               
35 Sophie Borderes (Fra)                                              
36 Federica Perardi (Ita) Dytech DH                                   
37 Mélanie Pugin (Fra) Team Vario Racing                              
38 Aimee Dix (GBr)                                                    
39 Leoni-Caro. Dickerhoff° (Ger)                                      
40 Carole Armanet (Fra)                                               
41 Neven Steinmetz (USA) US National Team                             
42 Monet Adams° (GBr) British National Team                           
43 Fanny Lombard° (Fra) French National team                          

Elite men four cross

65 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team                 
66 Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas (Spa) Specialized Factory Racing      
67 Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal                                
68 Guido Tschugg (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team                          
69 Romain Saladini (Fra) Team Sunn                                    
70 Joost Wichman (Ned)                                                
71 Cédric Gracia (Fra)                                                
72 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team                     
73 Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze)                                             
74 Roger Rinderknecht (Swi) GT Bicycles                               
75 Scott Beaumont (GBr) Rocky Mountain UK                             
76 Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing                                    
77 Jurg Meijer (Ned)                                                  
78 Sascha Meyenborg (Ger)                                             
79 Mickael Deldycke (Fra)                                             
80 Michal Prokop (Cze)                                                
81 Lewis Lacey (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense                    
82 Tomas Slavik (Cze)                                                 
83 Luke Madill (Aus) GT Bicycles                                      
84 Joey Van Veghel (Ned)                                              
85 Quentin Derbier (Fra)                                              
86 Dominik Gspan (Swi)                                                
87 Matej Vitko (Svk)                                                  
88 Rastislav Pirman (Svk)                                             
89 Lukas Mechura (Cze) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense                  
90 Peter Prajczer (Hun)                                               
91 Thomas Schäfer (Ger) Solid Aclass Factory Team                     
92 Fabien Cousinie (Fra)                                              
93 Premek Tejchman (Cze)                                              
94 William Evans (GBr)                                                
95 Florian Gottschlich (Ger)                                          
96 David Graf (Swi)                                                   
97 Randal Huntington (Aus)                                            
98 Bernard Kerr (GBr)                                                 
99 Adrian Kiener (Swi)                                                
100 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra)                                        
101 Pascal Seydoux (Swi)                                              
102 Martin Frei (Swi)                                                 
103 Ludovic Gadois (Fra) Team Vario Racing                            
104 Patrick Campbell-Jenner (GBr)                                     
105 Marek Pesko (Svk)                                                 
106 Duncan Ferris (GBr)                                               
107 Matthieu Faury (Fra)                                              
108 Scott Roberts (GBr)                                               
109 Tilen Frank (Slo) Slovenian National Team                         
110 Nicolas Gspan (Swi) Swiss National Team                           
111 Adam Stasek (Cze) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team                           
112 Tom Dowie (GBr)                                                   
113 Felix Beckeman (Swe)                                              
114 Jakub Riha (Cze)                                                  
115 Nico Seidel (Ger) Ghost A.T.G. Pro Team                           
116 Sergey Maltsev (Rus) Russian National Team                        
117 Jan Ersek (Svk)                                                   
118 Borja Carrasco Morera (Spa)                                       
119 Vincent Rasera (Fra)                                              
120 Ziga Knez (Slo) Slovenian National Team                           
121 Petrik Brückner (Ger)                                             
122 Sylvain Andre (Fra) Team Vario Racing                             
123 Ghislain Ricci (Fra)                                              
124 Adrien Loron (Fra)                                                
125 Juan Manuel Garcia Rodriguez (Spa)                                
126 Alex Dick (GBr)                                                   
127 David Axelsson (Swe)                                              
128 Thomas Hamon (Fra)                                                
129 Michal Marosi (Cze)                                               
130 Javier Guijarro Villacieros (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team      
131 Oskar Harnstrom (Swe)                                             
132 Francisco Javier Gutierrez Trigo (Spa)                            
133 Anton Rumyantsev (Rus) Russian National Team                      

Elite women four cross

65 Anneke Beerten (Ned) Suspension Center                             
66 Melissa Buhl (USA)                                                 
67 Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team                             
68 Anita Molcik (Aut)                                                 
69 Jana Horakova (Cze)                                                
70 Caroline Buchanan (Aus)                                            
71 Romana Labounkova (Cze)                                            
72 Diana Marggraff (Ecu)                                              
73 Angelika Hohenwarter (Aut)                                         
74 Sarsha Huntington (Aus)                                            
75 Rachel Seydoux (Swi)                                               
76 Helene Valerie Fruhwirth (Aut)                                     
77 Eva Castro Fernandez (Spa)                                         
78 Neven Steinmetz (USA) US National Team                             
79 Lucia Oetjen (Swi)                                                 
80 Jill Kintner (USA)                                                 
81 Steffi Marth (Ger)                                                 
82 Joanna Petterson (RSA)                                             
83 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center                             
84 Katarina Tothova (Cze)                                             
85 Charlie Phillips (GBr)                                             
86 Tereza Votavova (Cze)                                              
87 Federica Perardi (Ita) Dytech DH                                   
88 Maria Sanchez Veliz (Spa)                                          
89 Esther Leroy (Fra)