The world cup circuit headed to the Southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, at the Angel Fire Resort on the 9-10th July. This is the only time the 2005 world cup will visit the US this year, and in fact is the first time for two years. Over 10,000 spectators lined the course to watch 300 racers in the three disciplines.
An 8-mile singletracky circuit snaked around the mountain and in a test of a rider’s strength, headed for the 1,500ft summit. In the men’s race, Christoph Sauser (SUI), absent from the last round in Brazil narrowly beat the competition to take first place. Both Geoff Kabush (CAN) and Erwin Bakker (NED) finished under a second behind Sauser. The highest place brit was Phillip Spencer in 20th and Liam Killeen back in 29th.
The women’s race was just as hotly contested. In Marie-Helene Premont’s (CAN) absence in Brazil, Gunn-Rita Dahle (NOR) cruised home over four minutes ahead. With Premont taking to the start line for this round, Dahle was pushed right to the wire and only managed the win by barely a minute. Dahle’s win makes it five in a row, and with only two rounds remaining she is looking good for the title. Sabine Spitz (GER) was a further three minutes behind in third place.
A better turnout for the women’s 4X, 11 riders lining up but Jill Kintner (USA) repeated her win as in Brazil. Katrina Miller (AUS) beat Anneke Beerten (NED) and Tara Llanes (USA) to second.
The men’s racing was as close as you’d expect with 37 entered riders. Brian Lopes (USA) resumed his place at the top, with Guido Tschugg (GER), Jared Graves (AUS) and Dan Atherton (GBR) taking the remaining places.
The DH course was a mix of high speed through the trees twistiness into slower technical sections, across a lava rock field and finally shooting down a skip slope to the finish. Greg Minnaar (RSA) is continuing to be consistently fast and another win pushes him well clear at the top of the overall standings, leading by a massive 575 points. Jared Graves (AUS) took second under a half second slower and Chris Kovarik (AUS) finished way back in third, six seconds slower.
Marc Beaumont was the highest place Brit with a great 6th place, Gee Atherton 10th, Dave Wardell 22nd, Neil Donoghue 25th and Dan Atherton in 30th. The British women couldn’t repeat their performance from Brazil however; Tracy Moseley managed third behind Scarlet Hagen (NZL). Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) took the win, a huge nine seconds clear. The results put Jonnier just 100 points clear of Moseley.
The World Cup circus moves to Pila Vallee d’Aoste in Italy for the next round of the 4X and DH. The final XC race, together with the final 4X and DH races will be held in Fort William. Visit the UCI website for more information.