Britain’s Steve Peat won his sixteenth UCI World Cup round at the weekend, topping the podium at the second round of the 2009 series in La Bresse, France. That means that he’s equalled the record of the legendary Nicolas Vouilloz.
With one run to decide the winner, there’s always the chance of something weird happening, and the men’s final nearly got turned on its head by a rainstorm passing through after just 29 riders had made their runs. The dry track got slippy quickly, meaning that Kyle Strait (Specialized Team America), who got the last dry run with a 2:12.33, occupied the hot seat for the next 30 riders. He was edged out by Justin Leov (Trek World Racing), who stayed at the top until the fastest ten riders made their runs.
From then on changes at the top came thick and fast. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) took over from Leov but had barely warmed the hot seat before Mikael Pascal (MSC Bikes) beat his time. Then series leader Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) had a turn, quickly followed by Britain’s Brendan Fairclough (Monster Energy/Specialized) who put in a mighty run to break the 2:10 barrier (although only just – 2:09.99).
You’d be ill-advised to bet against Sam Hill, and it was the Australian who took over top spot from Fairclough, beating his teammate by a second and a half. The next two riders down, Mick Hannah (GT) and Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) couldn’t match Hill, although Hannah snuck in quicker than Fairclough and Atherton slotted in ahead of Minnaar.
As fastest qualifier, Steve Peat was last man down, and he put in a classic run. The speedtrap near the top of the course had him 17th fastest, but at the first split time he was at second-place pace, at the second split time he was in the lead by a full second and he crossed the line in 2:07.14 to take the win by 1.27s over Hill.
In the women’s race, series leader Tracy Moseley was looking good with the fastest qualifying time. Come the finals, though, and she found herself with Sabrina Jonnier’s 2:28.57 to beat, the first sub-2:30 run in the women’s race and ahead of previous fastest rider Myriam Nicole by an alarming five seconds. That Jonnier was in a class of her own at La Bresse was confirmed by Moseley managing to edge out Nicole but making barely a dent in the Frenchwoman’s time.
With a win and a second place in the series, though, Moseley retains the overall lead with a 68pt advantage over Sabrina Jonnier, with Emmeline Ragot in third. Steve Peat leads the men’s standings by 25 points from Mick Hannah, with Greg Minnaar third. Tracy Moseley hangs on to her series lead The third round of the Nissan UCI DH World Cup takes place next week in Vallnord, Andorra.