June 14/14 0:29 am - Downhill World Cup Concludes First Half of the Season this Weekend
Posted by Editoress on 06/14/14
The first half of the Mountain Bike World Cup will conclude on Sunday with the fourth round of the Downhill series in Leogang, Austria. Leogang, approximately one hour south of Salzburg, is well known in the Downhill community, having hosted the World Cup final last year and the world championships the year before.
Following Round 3, last weekend in Fort William, Scotland, the Downhill World Cup became a much more open competition, with the leading riders for both the men and women failing to score victories there.
In the women, the two British riders who had been tied atop the standings - Rachel Atherton (GT Factory) and Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) - both flatted in the final, opening the door for Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) to take the win. Carpenter still holds the overall lead, but only by a slim five points over Ragot, while Atherton dropped to fifth. However, both the Brits will be eager for revenge, so this should be a battle. Canadian champion Micayla Gatto (Pivot Factory DH) was eighth in Round 3, while Casey Brown (Bergamont-Hayes) was ninth, so both will be looking to stay in the top-10.
On the men's side, Australia's Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) took his first ever World Cup victory in Fort William, and stated that he is eager for more, while countryman Sam Hill (Chainreactioncycles.com/Nukeproof) was second. World Cup leader Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing DH) was fifth, but continues to lead the standings, while Brosnan is now second and Hill fourth. Others to watch include Gee Atherton (GT Factory), and Canadian champion Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing). Smith made a remarkable return from injury to finish sixth in his first race of the season last weekend, and won the World Cup title last year with a victory here in Leogang.
Qualifying takes place on Saturday, with the final on Sunday.