Following top 10 performances by all three Trek World Racing riders today, the yellow number plates issued by the UCI to signify the leading team will once again be aboard the Trek Session 88's going into round 3. Tracy Moseley lead the day with a 2nd place in the Women's Downhill, maintaining her series overall lead, with Andrew Neethling getting his first top 10, an 8th, and Justin Leov a fraction behind in 10th place.
The host town, La Bresse, sits high in the Vosges region in north eastern France, and has hosted many French Cups in the past. Today more than 20,000 spectators lined the course in weather conditions that went from sunny, to stormy, to consistent rain. This made the tire choices difficult for the men, who unlike the women, had several weather fronts to deal with.
In the women's race, Tracy came into the finals having qualified first the day before, but by her own admission was a little too conservative in the finals and that allowed Frenchwoman Sabrina Jonnier to take the win in front of a patriotic crowd. This 2nd place brought to an end a winning streak that started as soon as Tracy joined Trek World Racing. Wins in everything from Maxxis Cups, Sea Otter, and even an Avalanche Enduro. However, the points earned today were a solid 210, and now have Tracy 68 points clear of 2nd placed Jonnier in the overall.
In the men's category both Andrew and Justin were disappointed by their qualifying runs (10th and 19th respectively), but a late afternoon course walk yesterday, and some subtle suspension set up changes to their Fox equipped Session 88's meant they were set for improved runs in the final. Despite the weather rolling in and wetting the track, it didn't become super muddy, so cut spike tires felt like dry conditions for both riders and meant that Justin took the hotseat and sat there for half an hour. When Andrew crossed the line he took the hotseat from Justin, and both looked at the scoreboard to see TWR in 1 and 2. This was a big step forward for both riders and their confidence. The big hitters kept coming down the hill and when the dust had settled, it was position 8 and 10 for the guys, with Andrew only 0.83secs off the podium.
Tracy Moseley said: "I'm happy to pick up points for 2nd today, it's all about consistency after all, but I didn't let it go like I probably could have. I was a little conservative and there was definitely a few spots where I rode a bit too safely, and that cost me time. Sabrina is always a tough competitor and lifts her game for the finals, so it's going to be good heading into next week's round in Andorra. I'm keen to hang onto the leader's jersey, that's for sure."
Andrew Neethling said: "I made a big mistake in the final 300m, it was a pretty scary one, and I lost about 3 or 4 tenths so that could have cost me 6th. I know we all have little mistakes at this level, but this was a big one. But I'm super happy to crack the top 10 and start chasing that podium. I'm feeling so good on the bike, it's pretty impressive and I now know it's only a matter of time. I'm also up to 8th in the overall which is my best ranking ever, so that's pretty cool."
Justin Leov said: "I'm happy with a top 10 because when the weather got pretty messy I wasn't sure how it would be for us guys near the end. It was cool to be in the hotseat for so long and if someone had to take me out, I'm glad it was Needles. Overall not a bad weekend. The crowd was amazing, this was a true World Cup race, and the crowd certainly got their 5 Euros worth!".
The team now heads to Andorra for the 3rd round of the Downhill World Cup, next week in Vallnord, which will be followed the week after by the 4th round of the XC World Cup in Madrid.
Check in during the coming week for the video release on the team web site here.
1. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) - 2m 28.57secs
2. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) - 2m 33.59secs
3. Nicole Myriam (FRA) - 2m 34.78secs
4. Mio Suemasa (JPN) - 2m 35.36secs
5. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) - 2m 35.89secs
1. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) - 460 pts
2. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) - 392 pts
3. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) - 335 pts
4. Nicole Myriam (FRA) - 246 pts
5. Fionn Griffiths (GBR) - 240 pts
1. Steve Peat (GBR) - 2m 07.14secs
2. Sam Hill (AUS) - 2m 08.41secs
3. Mick Hannah (AUS) - 2m 09.00secs
4. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) - 2m 09.99secs
5. Gee Atherton (GBR) - 2m 11.15secs
6. Greg Minnaar (RSA) - 2m 11.36secs
7. Mickael Pascal (FRA) - 2m 11.70secs
8. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) - 2m 11.98secs
9. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL) - 2m 12.15secs
10. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) - 2m 12.28secs
1. Steve Peat (GBR) - 415pts
2. Mick Hannah (AUS) - 380 pts
3. Greg Minnaar (RSA) - 353 pts
4. Sam Hill (AUS) - 327 pts
5. Gee Atherton (GBR) - 282 pts
6. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) - 194 pts
7. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing ) - 190 pts
8. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) - 182 pts
1. Trek World Racing - 160 pts
2. Santa Cruz Syndicate - 145 pts
3. GT Bicycles - 103 pts
4. Maxxis Rocky Mountain - 98 pts
5. Monster Specialized - 95 pts