21.6.2009 In a strong return to form all three Trek World Racing riders finished top 10 at Round 5 of the UCI Downhill World Cup, scoring enough points to make Trek World Racing the number 1 team for the weekend, and close the points gap on overall leaders Santa Cruz Syndicate. Justin Leov (NZL) had a career best result of 4th, after qualifying a career best 2nd. Andrew Neethling (RSA) also had a career best qualifier with 4th and was on target for a podium at intermediate 1, but tired a little in the last half of the course. Tracy Moseley (GBR) was going all out chasing the win but crashed in the first 20 seconds of the race and buckled a front wheel, but still managed to get home for 9th.
Maribor was first on the World Cup circuit in 1999 and since then has had an infamous rock garden known as Rocky Road, which challenges riders and bikes alike, and is lined 6 deep with beer fuelled fans. As predicted earlier in the week a huge rainstorm swept in Saturday, plummeting the temperature at the venue from 34 degrees on Friday, down to just 14 degrees celsius in less than 12 hours. Rain and lightening wreaked havoc as the organizers had to shut down both lifts and the qualification for Saturday was postponed until Sunday morning. This meant a long day for all teams and riders which started with a 6am breakfast, training until 9.15am, followed by qualifications and finals later in the afternoon.
Justin Leov said: "My training is starting to pay off. I think before Fort William I had crammed too much stuff in but last week was an easier week and at this race I just felt strong. To qualify second was a real boost. The team introduced something we've been working on for a little while, it's like a motor cross pit-board, that gave me information after the first split, and in the quali I was really able to benefit greatly from that. Going into the final I knew times would get faster as the track was drying out and that I'd have to let it hang out. It was a pretty wild ride. I ran Crank Brothers 5050 flats, and that helped me a lot this week on this course. But I nearly lost it completely at the top, so I had to settle in and then go for it. To have 2 career bests in one weekend is pretty awesome."
Andrew Neethling said: "Qualifying 4th was certainly a good thing, but also a little distracting. I want that first World Cup podium result so bad that getting 4th in qualifying just made me hungry and nervous at the same time. Coming into the final I was ready and ran the top section really well. The Session 88 is just brilliant on this type of course. I was on podium pace, just 0.49secs at the first split. The team info told me I was on it, but I just got a bit of arm pump towards the end and lost time from fatigue really. Top 10 is good and to move back into the top 10 overall is also good, but it'd be great to get that podium monkey off my back!"
Tracy Moseley said: "Not great this weekend I'm afraid. I went in fast in the top section, pushing for a good time. I was keen. I just lost it in one of the compressions in the first woods section, buckled my front wheel and had to battle on after that. I know I was competitive this week and when you're not leading the overall, you really just have to go for it. In the qualifying I put my foot out and tweaked my ankle. It actually felt so bad I thought I'd broken it. I pulled over to assess it, and in doing so allowed a couple of riders past. Once I knew it wasn't broken I kept going, but further down the track came over a blind crest and there was Myriam Nicole crashed in front of me. I had nowhere to go but into her bike. Pretty eventful weekend! Fortunately we have some time off from World Cup racing now to recover a bit."
The results and standings are below.
1. Fabien Barel (FRA) – 3m 03.33secs
2. Sam Hill (AUS) – 3m 04.04secs
3. Greg Minnaar (RSA) – 3m 05.36secs
4. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) – 3m 07.65secs
5. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) – 3m 08.50secs
10. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) – 3m 09.68secs
1. Greg Minnaar (RSA) – 914 pts
2. Steve Peat (GBR) – 835 pts
3. Sam Hill (AUS) – 789 pts
4. Gee Atherton (GBR) – 776 pts
5. Mick Hannah (AUS) – 723 pts
6. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing ) – 551 pts
7. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) – 482 pts
8. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL) – 476 pts
9. Steve Smith (CAN) – 411 pts
10. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) – 398 pts
1. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) – 3m 39.59secs
2. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) – 3m 39.90secs
3. Floriane Pugin (FRA) – 3m 43.33secs
4. Celine Gros (FRA) – 3m 48.08secs
5. Mio Suemasa (JPN) – 3m 50.66secs
9. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) – 4m 06.05secs
1. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) – 1132 pts
2. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) – 935 pts
3. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) – 810 pts
4. Nicole Myriam (FRA) – 607 pts
5. Floriane Pugin (FRA) – 579 pts
1. Santa Cruz Syndicate – 367 pts
2. Trek World Racing – 342 pts
3. Maxxis Rocky Mountain – 247 pts
4. Monster Energy Specialized – 226 pts
5. Yeti Fox Shox Factory Team – 220 pts
The next major event for Trek World Racing will be the triple World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, in 5 weeks from now, July 25 and 26.
Check in during the coming week for the video release on the team web site: