Trek World Racing's Tracy Moseley opened her World Cup campaign with a convincing win of more than 6 seconds to take a perfect score of 250 points and the leader's jersey into round 2. Celebrating her 30th birthday, as well as a career 11th World Cup win, it was a stunning debut for her new team and the Trek Session 88.
The competition from main rivals Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) and Emmeline Ragot (FRA) was a lot stronger in today's finals compared to Friday's semi finals. Both Sabrina and Emmeline stepped it up and were markedly faster than the 4m 29secs set by Tracy on Friday. But a solid run by the 2006 World Cup champion saw her find an incredible 9 seconds and come close to being the only woman to crack the 4m 20 mark.
"It was totally wicked!" said Moseley. "I thought the course would never end. It was tough up towards the top – really technical. I would've preferred the whole course to be like that. None of us like pedalling! We're downhillers! But it's the best 30th birthday present a girl could wish for."
In the men's race Justin Leov had a very solid run that brought him within 2 seconds of the podium, finishing 7th. Coupled with his points from the semi final, Justin now sits 6th overall, just 22 points from Gee Atherton (GBR).
"It was a good clean run," noted Leov. "But my legs faded a little towards the end and I probably lost a second in the last 500m. Other than that, I'm happy to be sitting 6th overall knocking on the door of the top 5. It has to be said, if anyone deserved to win today it was Greg Minnaar. The local support here in his hometown was just amazing, and he rode an almost unbelievable race."
Andrew Neethling started his run strong, with a split of 2.35secs faster than the leader at the time (and eventual 6th place getter) Cameron Cole (NZL). But a couple of big errors cost Andrew a lot of time in the middle of the race, and he crossed the line for 14th. However, his points from qualifying were enough to elevate him to 11th in the overall ranking.
Andrew Neethling said: "It's pretty nerve wracking riding in front of a home crowd, you so want to do well for the fans. I made a big mistake before interval 1. I should probably have had a split of 3.35secs in my favor....and then in the second sector, I nearly went over the handlebars, came to a complete stop, and lost momentum for a key section of the course. To scrape through with a 14th after all that, I'm not too disappointed."
The results were enough to secure the UCI Ranking of #1 in the Downhill Team competition, which saw all riders on the podium to be acknowledged as the leading team in DH. This means the highly coveted yellow number plates for leading team, making their comeback this year, will be mounted on all three Trek Session 88's at Round 2 in La Bresse, France, next month.
Check in during the coming week for the video release on the team web site:
The downhill riders now head to Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic, as the cross country guys get a week off before preparing for World Cup #2 in Offenburg, Germany.