Gee Atherton Wins Champery World Cup DH

Gee Atherton won the thrilling and dramatic World Cup #4 at Champery. The anticipated rain held off making the track sticky with deep ruts.

Greg Minnaar who yesterday qualified 15th set a blistering time in the conditions of 4:04.98 which put him comfortably in the hot seat. Fairclough came close with a 4:06.75 for 3rd. Atherton, who switched to flat pedals for his final run, blasted down the hill, nearly two seconds up on Minnaar at the first split and pushing that to 3.65 at the second split. He lost time on the lower section but stopped the clock at 4:02.19, 02.75 faster than Minnaar and took over the lead.

Damien Spagnolo proved that his 2nd place qualifier yesterday was not the luck of the weather and steered the Mondraker down just 5 seconds off the pace for a 5th place proving he has the skills when the going gets muddy.

All eyes were on last man down and fastest qualifier Sam Blenkinsop who had been looking rapid in practise, but it was clear at the first split that Blenky was slightly off the pace today and clocked a 4:07.00 for 4th step on the podium.

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As ever, I reckon the people who really got a good overall picture of what went on probably were the folk at home watching the live feed. At the finish line it was all a bit hectic, feel free to add your observations in the comments, here’s a few other points I noticed:

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Random finish arena invasion by a cow and bare chested men with bras drawn on after Blenky crosses the line.

Fabien Pedemanaud was on for a banger of a run, 3rd at the first split, then crashed but still finished just 10 seconds off the pace in 7th.

9 Brits in the top 25

Steve Peat 18th said on FaceBook “Rubbish final result for me, 18th. Not happy had an off at the top and never got back on top of things”

Brook MacDonald has the best ride ever for 6th position.

Aaron Gwin 8th, still some confusion over his DQ in qualifying yesterday.

CRC Intense remain top team with Kovarik getting a much needed top ten with 9th, Roy Cat Cunningham 10th and Lehikoinen 13th.

Mickael Pascal with the highest, narrowest bars in 11th.

Joe Smith looked like he was on a stormer, 8th at the first split, but crashed before the second split.

Dirt Norco rider Ben Reid crashed in the top section and injured his wrist, he carried on barely being able to hold on to the bars resulting in a spectacular 360 crash on the left hand wall ride corner. Reidy has his wrist bandaged up and hopefully just needs to rest it.

Dan “Stanny” Stanbridge was following doctors orders not to crash on his recently healed shoulder so took her steady for 50th.

There was a great atmosphere at the bottom of the course, loads of Brits made the trip out to watch the race and nearly all of them brought signs, one even brought his bagpipes.

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I think we know where Dai Robot is…he’s been massacred to make all these signs

(More news when the internet starts working!)

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  1. Doc Wat

    I bet my wife a fiver Gee would win. She said Minaar would win it. Time to pay up missus.

  2. jimmersherm

    Another awesome atherton win, does he go top of the leaderboard!!

  3. TimBud

    What a great race.
    Even more stoked for Brendan… his run looked amazing. Shame he lost a bit of time in the bottom section.

  4. ed@dirt

    Think Minnaar still has the overall lead, but only by a few points.

  5. Henry

    Gee’s just 13points behind now in the overall I think.
    Amazing ride by him.
    Have to say though, CG’s One Foot Flatty was one of the hi lights.
    Great race!

  6. Dom

    Stoked for Geeman, but even more so for Ru in 10th!!

  7. Max

    so many brits at the top!

  8. stuart rider

    Look how many Brits in the top 20. Well done guys. We win the World team Championships.

  9. Douglas H

    Good to see Cunningham getting a good result

  10. Nick

    Anyone who has any news on Vink?

  11. Anoobis

    what happened to Reid?

  12. Steve

    B-Doggggg!!!!!!!!! :D

  13. Stuart

    As pointed out by my mate the other night we live in a country with minimal mountains and until recently very few trail centres but we can still show the rest of the world how it’s done! Well done guys!!!

  14. dirty harold

    Booooooooooring !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when are the underdogs gonna Win …

  15. oknid

    ben reid – 360 ftw :D

  16. greg

    hehe, reids 360 was the move of the day. Absolutely awesome race – glad Gee took it home. Interesting to see Spag following up on the good qualifyer while WynTV didn’t quite do the same. And yes, the douche of the week award goes out to Neko Mulaly. The track wasn’t that easy after all now was it ;)
    .
    also, what is up with mr Riffle this year? Is any other bike than the Sunday a not so good match with his riding style or what? He really isn’t living up to the expectations this year.

  17. tim grant

    Gee’s on it. this could get intresting this year. well done that man.

  18. olly

    Really wouldn’t mind knowing Niko Vink is Dirt????

  19. billy

    Olly, sorry, haven’t heard anything yet about how Vink is, will tell you as soon as we know.

  20. LYTHY

    yeah Gee!

  21. nico

    overal ranking ?

  22. robz

    Dont think riding at trail centres would help you ride down that track.

    Excellent results fom the brits – go Ruaridh in 10th.

  23. billy

    Ranking coming next, hold tight.

  24. Tom.D

    Clay Porter’s twitter says Niko Vink is fine

  25. chris

    I just wonder if Martin Whitely will apologise for his ungracious comments about Wyn and Spagnolo after they beat all his riders down the hill?

  26. Reuben Miller

    yeah whitley was a bit of a cocky bastar with that call!

  27. olly

    Vink is an awesome rider, glad to hear he’s not in too bad shape! What a good race, probably the best this year. Having Freecaster is the best thing since Eurosport had it live way back in the hey day! Love it, and now were (the UK) pretty much the fastest country. No real mountains, no lift access and no real industry and we kick ass. Whitely knows his shit, but I can see that his words may have upset a few! Best bits, Gee on the top spot, Brendan almost doing it and Hart and Gracia, who needs free riders with these guys!

  28. brofo

    How come brooke mcdonald doesnt where his world champs jersy during race runs i thought it was uci rules ?

  29. Jimmy

    He won junior worlds in Canberra but has now moved up to race with the big boys, so they can’t have two rainbow jerseys in that category. I think he wears the stripes on his kit though?

  30. gulson

    Nico is fine saw him at the after party said he was just shaken up a little

  31. pascal

    have a video that shows ben reid crashing quit hard during race run. but he got back on the bike quickly. i’m going to upload it later

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