At the opening round of the 2011 Downhill World Cup, Trek World Racing’s Tracy Moseley (GBR) and Aaron Gwin (USA) have walked away with the leaders’ jerseys of the series after a display of blistering speed, strength, and determination in front of a huge crowd in sunny Pietermaritzburg. For Tracy it was her first World Cup win in the coveted rainbow jersey of the World Champion, and for Aaron, it was his first World Cup win ever, and the first by an American male since 1999.
Aaron qualified 7th 2 days ago, but in the time between that race and todays final, he worked with the Trek World Racing mechanics to find the ideal set up for what was going to be a much faster and drier race. His Fox suspension was perfectly dialled as was his choice of Maxxis rubber, and together with a supreme show of speed in the first and second sectors the Californian, who only started racing World Cups in 2008, scored his 8th World cup podium, but an all-important first win for his career, and his new team.
For Tracy Moseley, who did the same thing as Aaron here in 2009 when she won her first World Cup for Trek World Racing on her first outing for the team, it was her 13th career win, and her 3rd for the team. After winning qualifying on Friday by nearly 6 seconds, it was a much tighter affair today winning by 0.28secs. The course was running about 15 seconds faster for the women and the effort to get the bike to the line was huge.
Tracy said: “That was so tough today. Towards the end I was running out of steam and had the rear kick up on something in the lower section of the track; then I heard the onsite commentary say it was going to be close, so I dug deep until the end. It means a lot to win my first World Cup at my first attempt since earning the World Champs jersey, it just means so much.”
Aaron said: “I’m pretty speechless actually. It’s a dream. In the first sector I made a little mistake, hitting some trees with my shoulder, but then I just regrouped and put as much power down as I could in the middle sector. By the end, the legs were really feeling it, and then it was a pretty nerve wracking waiting in the hot seat. The bike is amazing, I can’t praise it enough, and the whole time here in South Africa with the team has been so great. Can’t wait for Fort William, I love that track.”
Team Director Martin Whiteley said: “Three years ago Trek, like Aaron, wasn’t racing at the top level of World Cup Downhilling. Here we are today with clearly a winning package and I can’t speak highly enough of the engineers in Madison, and our key sponsors who give our talented athletes such an amazing set up to do their job. I’m so proud of everything this team has done since we arrived in Africa 4 weeks ago, and I’m really looking forward to a thrilling 2011 season”.
There are 6 weeks until Round 2, in Fort William (SCO), but between now and then, the Trek World Racing boys will be racing on the east coast of the USA.