Gee celebrates a winning ride (pic: Luke Webber)
Wet conditions made for hard riding (pic: Luke Webber)
DH/4X Round 2
It seems like Dan Gee and Rachel Atherton have been in the magazines forever pulling off incredible victories in World Cups and promotions like the Red Bull Rampage. Some may say they have been a little over exposed but today they gave the ultimate answer by each winning their respective World Cup race.
Such an amazing feat left a dumbfounded arena jumping as Gee came down the hill and beat the man that everyone thought would not be headed in 2008, Sam Hill. Just moments before Hill had himself celebrated, perhaps believing the win was in the bag with only Atherton to come. This was misplaced enthusiasm though as Gee destroyed the course and shocked Hill to the core. With rain falling these were supposed to be the perfect conditions in which to capture another victory.
From the packed finish arena to the podium fans flocked to see the event of the weekend, which unfortunately had some rather hilarious faults. As Rachel stepped up to the podium and awaited the national anthem of Great Britain it was the notes of Le Marsellais that rang out across the puzzled arena. Half way through the music ended, there were two drumrolls and Rachel was forced to sing God Save The Queen solo. Gee escaped that fate as the organisation preferred to let the locals show their appreciation. The night previous it was Dan’s turn to impress Andorra in the 4X. After seeing off none less than Brian Lopes in the finals he was more fortunate and did not need to sing the national anthem following his top spot.
Expect this to be the result that is talked about this year and one that will change the course of the Downhill and 4X series significantly.
Mens DH Results
- 1. Gee Atherton
- 2. Sam Hill
- 3. Greg Minnaar
- 1. Rachel Atherton
- 2. Sabrina Jonnier
- 3. Floriane Pugin
XC Round 4
Following this celebration it was easy to forget that 24 hours previoulsy a cross country race had taken place across the mountain ,producing another exciting finish. On a 5.2km course with some brutal climbs (think near impossible to ride) Christoph Sauser dominated the early stages. Julien Absalon sat in the main chase group of 15 riders but when Burry Stander attacked he could not respond. It was a duel between Sauser and Stander as both battled for supremacy.
Disaster struck though when Sauser had a flat tyre on lap five, but a quick change in the tech zone and some fast running saw him back up to Stander and attacking without hesitation. Stander fought back but could not quite hold the wheel and was forced to submit, exhausted.
The women’s race was a far more decisive affair with Marga Fullana attacking and finally getting the reward for testing the top group in every previous event. The excessive climbs allowed her to forge a gap of over two minutes over the chasers. There were however some big names missing, with Sabine Spitz, Gunn Rita Dahle Flesja and Irina Kalentieva all opting to rest at home before the World Championships in three weeks time.
Mens XC Results
- 1. Christoph Sauser
- 2. Burry Stander
- 3. Geoff Kabush
Womens XC Results
- 1. Margarita Fullana
- 2. Eva Lechner
- 3. Marie-Helene PremontThis weekend the World Cup comes home to Fort William which is always a magnificent spectacle. If you’ve been reading the reports and wanting to see how fast the heroes really are, and maybe another Atherton win, get yourself there.
Video from Freecaster.tv
Gee Atherton – Men’s DH
Rachel Atherton – Women’s DH
Dan Atherton – Men’s 4X