Trek World Racing took an impressive five podium places this weekend at the 5th round of both the Downhill and Cross Country UCI Mountain Bike World Cups. Taking place in a hot and sunny Val di Sole (ITA), the weekend shone brightest for Downhill rider, Andrew Neethling (RSA) and Cross Country rider, Mathias Flueckiger (SUI). Andrew, riding on Sunday, came 4th in the Men's Downhill race marking his career first World Cup podium and jumping him up to 14th in the overall standings – a jump of 9 places from his previous position of 23.
An equally outstanding weekend was enjoyed by Mathias who rode to 4th place overall on Saturday, in the Men's Elite race and consequently took 1st place in the Men's Under 23 category. Math now has an unassailable lead in the championship, and is therefore the new 2010 Men's Under 23 World Cup Champion! No matter what happens in the final round at Windham, Math will take home the crystal trophy for 2010, an important goal achieved for both the talented Swiss rider, and the team. Math is now ranked 5th overall in the Men's Elite category of the World Cup series, and that will be another crystal trophy he'll be looking to secure at Round 6, in 3 weeks time. The top 5 Elite men are recognised with a special podium presentation at the finals. Older brother Lukas Flueckiger (SUI), who provides the inspiration for his younger brother, rode strong and hard to take an impressive 15th place in the Men’s Elite - a solid ride for Lukas amid a pack of more than 200 elite athletes battling it out on the newly modified course.
Also enjoying successful weekends in the sun were Tracy Moseley (GBR) who took 3rd place on the podium in the Women's Downhill, and Emily Batty (CAN) who put in another powerful performance in the Women's Elite Cross Country to take 2nd place on the podium for the Under 23 category. Tracy now moves up one place to rank 4th overall and Emily moves up two places to be ranked 22nd overall making it another fantastic weekend for the young twenty one year old who continues to impress everyone in her first year as a professional rider.
Unfortunately, the sun didn't shine so favourably on downhill rider, Justin Leov (NZL), who suffered a bad crash in Sunday's morning practice session, knocking himself out and resulting in him missing the final race. Justin, who was air lifted to hospital for routine checks, has been confirmed 100% fit and plans to rest for the next few days before racing in Whistler next week with Andrew at Crankworx.
Mathias said: "It was perfect. I caught a good start and put up a very good fight. I found my rhythm very quickly and I'm so happy with the weekend. Now I feel strong and I look forward to the next World Cup and the World Championships". Andrew said: "It's about bloody time! It's awesome! I just tried to take the pressure off and I qualified well in 5th and knew I had pace on course and tried to be relaxed. I'm over the moon – it's such a long time coming and I've been right there but luck, and sometimes myself, have been in the way. I had that number plate 23, so all in all it was just an awesome weekend for me. I'm so bummed for Justin but I'm so pumped for everyone that believed in me and had the belief and kept the belief and I know I was getting them pretty frustrated so yeah, it's amazing".
Emily said: "I was in love with my bike and will race the full suspension Top Fuel at Windham and at the World Championships now! The course was pretty steep but I had a lot more punch this weekend than last. It was a pretty short race but still good. The weather was beautiful and everything came together great!". The full team travel to Windham in New York state (USA) for the final round of both the XC and DH UCI Mountain Bike World Cups taking place on August 28/29.
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