3rd place for Kade and 4th for Rachel – less than four weeks after her shoulder dislocation!
If yesterday’s track at la Massana was “ A wild ride” today’s was even crazier, Kade was first up to race in the Junior Men and he described it as “ruined” even at that stage of the day. There were a lot of crashes across the day but luckily the Trek Factory racing DH riders all stayed on board. It was great news for Kade with a 3rd place for his second consecutive World Cup podium and a fourth for Rach – just four weeks after her shoulder dislocation. Muddy bettered his qualification run by 5 places, 53rd today. Its not where he wants to be but he lives to fight again next week in Lenzerheide.
First up were the juniors. Kade said “My run was a bit messy (again!) and the track was so bad – I’m so happy that I got down without crashing and that I’m on that podium again, cheers team!”
Before the women’s race Rachel chatted to Rob Warner for Red Bull TV saying “it was so upsetting to injure myself like that, at Fort Willaim, I’d qualified first an I was so excited for the race, I had to sit out Finals and then Leogang, coming into this race today, I’m not strong and I’m not fit, I’m not confident, I don’t want to crash again, I cant push it for the win, I don’t want to take that risk now so I’ll have to shift the goals, I don’t expect to podium but its important for me to not fall outside the top ten so we’ll just have to see what I can do.
Team Director Dan Brown said “There is so much weight on your shoulder on this track – she has done a minimum of practice runs, trying to look after her shoulder, you have to consider the strains that are going to be on her upper body. It sure is a tough one to be returning from injury”
In the event Rachel put in an amazing run, bettering her qualification time by over 10 seconds, it wasn’t enough to take the win, that was never on the cards to day but the team were all stoked for Rach to be back on the podium so soon.
Rachel said “ I’m stoked, that’s more than I could have hoped for today, massive congratulations to Pompon and all the Commencal guys for a storming win and hel up soon Morgane Charre!
In the Men’s race Muddy was early off, with 58th in qualification he put a few seconds into his qualification run with a good top section but lost some time in the lower sections when he grew fatigued.
Into the top qualifiers GB’s Danny Hart produced a In a heart-stopping run with so many close calls all the way down the track! But he rode them all out to go fastest by over 5 seconds.
By contrast next rider Loic Bruni looked super-smooth, outside Danny’s time by just 0.03 seconds. Aaron Gwin accelerated all the way down but only had enough to cross into third.
Then it was into the top three qualifiers with Loris Vergier slotting into fourth, then Greg Minaar absolutely blasted into the top spot 2.7 secs clear of hart. Only Troy Brosnan was left on course, fully committed he was leading split 1 and 2, lost a little time later on then it was all down to the last section of the track – he pedalled frantically for the line taking the win by 0. 22!
1 Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 4.12.84
2 Matt Walker Madison Saracen Factory Team 4.17.82 +4.97
3 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 4.21.64 +8.79
4 Sylvain Cougoureux 4.27.12 +14.28
5 Max Hartensen Cube Global Squad protected by Bliss 4.28.15 +15.30
1 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 4.50.98
2 Tahnee Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 4.53.98 +2.99
3 Marine Cabirou VV Racing 4.59.02 +8.04
4 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.59.66 +8.68
5 Eleonora Farina GB Rifar Mondraker ASD 5.01.46 +10.48
1 Troy Brosnan Canyon Factory Racing 4.06.236
2 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.06.456+0.22
3 Danny Hart MS Mondraker Team 4.08.64 +2.40
4 Loic Bruni Specialised Gravity 4.08.67 +2.43 +2.43
5 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 4.08.79 +2.5 .21 +2.8
53 Graeme Mudd Trek Factory Racing DH 4.25.76 +19.52
Pics Dan Hearn and Boris Beyer