and enjoy the benefits
The forecasts of rain came to nothing as the world’s fastest mountain bikers competed on a dry and dusty course in Val di Sole on June 3rd, 2012.
Aaron Gwin (USA) dominated the men’s competition and it turns out Aaron was serious when he said he could “go faster” after his win in qualifying. Coming down in 3:16.69, he found another six seconds over his qualifying time – a time that would have been good enough to take the win on the day as it stood. His nearest competitor, Greg Minaar (South Africa) could only get within 7.8 seconds of his time, with a run of 3:18.42. To put this margin into context – the top 77 riders were separated by just 38.5 seconds. Minaar looked like he would fall behind his long-time rival, Gee Atherton (Great Britain) who was sitting in the hotseat when Minaar came onto the course. Behind at split two, he put a full 1.5 seconds into Atherton in the last section of the track, pushing Atherton back into third. Sam Hill (AUS) crossed the finish line in 7th position with a time of 3:21.077.
Loic Bruni (France) won the junior competition with a time of 3:22.49, which was also good enough to give him eleventh overall. His nearest rival, Richie Rude (USA) out-qualified Bruni yesterday, but on race day he couldn’t find the pace to stay ahead and came down in 3:26.91, five seconds back. Australian Connor Fearon took the third place in 3:31.536.
Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) was similarly dominant in the women’s racing. Her time of 3:49.43 put her nearly five seconds ahead of France’s Myrian Nicole. After a season plagued with injuries, a win of this magnitude on a track this demanding must be just what Atherton’s confidence needed and her time would have placed ahead of some of the men today. After winning qualifying by a huge margin yesterday, Emmeline Ragot (France) could only manage third place today with a time of 3:57.51, nearly eight seconds off the pace. Winner of the last round in South Africa, Tracey Hannah, came down in 4:21.74 and a ninth position.
Full 2012 UCI results are located on the MTBA rider resources section of the website http://www.mtba.asn.au/resources/riders/category/12-2012-uci-world-cup-results
In live streaming from Val di Sole on Red Bull web site