Current leader and 2nd place qualifier Manon Carpenter makes the final sprint for the line. Coming in a massive 13 seconds up on Myriam Nicole, it was all down Rachel to see what she could pull out the bag. She chatted after her run and where it was difficult and how the wobble up top set her back. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/19_audio1.mp3"]
With Manon Carpenter down and across the line 13 seconds up on Myriam it would take Rachel a clean run with no mistakes to snap it from the fellow Brit. A tidy top section with no big mistakes put Rachel already up 5 seconds on Manon, she just had to keep composed and roll it through.
Totally spent, the final push to the finish line wasn't easy at all. Just after you have battled through the mud you then have to get on the pedals to sprint across the line. Myriam Nicole bringing it home for her 3rd place finish.
Tracey crossing the line in first place and the arena lifted up. The feeling to come across in first on home soil must be electric.
Myriam Nicole is such a consistent top 5 rider but has been missed out on the those top steps for a little bit now. Today a stroke of luck after several quick riders fell off the mark and she put down a good time gave her that 3rd place. Glad she is down the hill in one piece she talks about her run. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/17_audio1.mp3"]
Not the run Emmeline was hoping for. Another rider to fall victim to the rocky top section, she takes a big OTB and find herself tangled up in the muck, not made easy by the screaming fans, counting out the seconds that you are on the floor for. Pulling back some time in the bottom section she bring it up a few place but not enough for the win, 4th today. and find herself tangled up in the muck, not made easy by the screaming fans, counting out the seconds that you are on the floor for. Pulling back some time in the bottom section she pulled back a few places but not enough for the win, 4th today.
The sunshine brought all the fans out today, most of them braved the track side walk to the top sections but it still left a good number cheering them across the line.
Media hype and this being the hometown girl has put a lot of pressure on Tracey and Mik coming into finals. Tracey knew that with a clean run it could put her in with a great chance of a podium, even the top spot. Fastest through the speed trap all day, the screaming of the fans must have pushed her through the woods and came into first as she crossed the line, great feeling in front of the home crowd to go into the hot seat but can she couldn't hold on to it. Still scoring a podium, 5th here today. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/12_audio1.mp3"]
Just hideous...looking forward to getting out of this rainforest. The spiders and snakes can have it back, I am much more comfortable in the wetness of the Wales. This nasty looking fella just chilling out track side getting the best seat in the house at the triple.
Loris Vergier steps out on top of the Junior podium after a smooth run that put him 5 seconds above local Aussie rider Aiden Varley. Loris snatching the leaders spot from Luca Shaw. All to play for going into Fort Bill.
Another first year junior looking to make a name for himself, Neil Stewart set out on track hopeful but sceptical of a good position. After not the best quali run he still gave it his all on his run. Pulling a fast one out the bag he came down and snapped himself up a 3rd place! "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/9_audio2.mp3"]
Juniors of course first. A lot of young local Aussie and Kiwi talent making it out onto the hill today which was great to see, making up 6 of 10 places in finals. Drying but still not dry by any means, track conditions were getting tough, sightings of mud covered riders were not unfamiliar.
It only took one little slip up in the race run to throw you completely off line and find your self dabbing in the mud. One of the favourites to win here and current Junior leader Luca Shaw had just one of these moments. A mess up in the top section cost him dearly and pushed him back to 13th, after clawing a few places back in managed a 10th over the line. Not great for the overall but at least not throwing it all away.
First World Cup for the young first year Junior and Laurie Greenland took the weather in his stride and battled through it. Thrown in at the deep end all week, the young grasshopper has learnt a lot being around the top elite riders, his team mates and what its like to race at the top. Maybe not the race run he wanted but a tidy 11th place finish picks him up some points and puts him in a good place for Fort William. He chats about his day. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/6_audio1.mp3"]
In no time we are into it. The crowds have flooded the hillside, filling in around all the technical features. The track was at its most gloopy state but to be honest it was nice not to be soaking wet. Dropping in with the Juniors to start with followed by the Women and Elite Men, would the rain stay off until the end or could the rain card be pulled out?
A few last minute line tweaks during practice this morning. The sun now beaming down on the track, teamed with a slight breeze is really starting to dry it all up. Still slippery but its getting better.
A bit un nerving in practice this morning, riders knew that if the sun was to get any hotter, the trail they once knew will be no more. Some riders only opted for 1 run, where as some riders spending the time checking out the conditions, try new lines in a last ditch effort to claw back the seconds for race runs. Tahnee Seagrave talks about her week coming up to racing. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/3_audio1.mp3"]
A totally different atmosphere in the sunshine and apart from the flooded pits, 100% humidity and everyones kit tinged with orange, spirits were high and everyone was excited to get up the hill for a bit of practice before the race.
After leaving the race site the night before the rain was still coming down on the hill side, we were all quite surprised to wake up to some blue skies. It seemed their was some silver lining the grey clouds that have been hanging over our heads all week. With the temperature rising and excitement heating up, lets dive into it and go racing...Cairns 2014!
No troubles for Josh these big jumps int he middle of the track. Dried up a bunch since the morning it was running quick and the big lines were definitely on. Josh stepping it down and put him in good stead for a great run.
Signing off here in Cairns after the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Looking forward to getting out of this mud pit and into some fresh clothes! Join in next time for the third round coming at you from the one and only Fort William!
The beers are flowing in full force already even before the last man has walked off the podium. The Aussies sure know how to party and I'm sure there will be no exceptions tonight!
Ratboy savouring the taste of his champagne. Its like a when a wolf tastes blood it just wants to kill again!
Still holding tightly on to his leaders jersey, Aaron Gwin is going to look ahead to Fort William and keep the overall in his sights.
A great result for Sam Hill and finally breaking that podium spot for the CRC team and what better place to do than on home soil.
You couldn't have predicted this Podium today. Some faces on here that we haven't seen in a while and a familiar scene from last year that had both Gee & Rachel standing at the top of the podium up. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Gee_audio.mp3"]
The crowd were loud today. Great to see so many fans making it out and really getting into the spirit of the racing, maybe not beating the British but sure holding their own.
And after Blenkisop falls too far back it was a sure thing, Gee takes it here in Cairns! Sister Rachel sprints round to congratulate him.
Blenki on track and the fans eagerly watch the line to see how he does, whilst all the media point in the opposite direction to capture the reactions of Gee Atherton as it looks as if he has won.
Gee's green top section was followed by another green at the second split. He had the quickest middle section by 4 seconds. With the weather working in his favour and those flat pedals working a treat for him he came across the line in first place with a big time difference. Still with 6 riders to come could he hold on to it?
Gee has really been mixing it up with his bike and riding style all week. Swapping back to his long stem, making some big bike adjustments and opting to run flat pedals, he was looking to make an improvement on his qualy position. Dropping in Gee managed to put some time into hot seat holder Bryceland and was looking steady coming into the bottom woods.
Neko Mullaly is always pretty constantly in the top 20 but here gets his moment of glory. Today was that day after his sterling performance on track. One of the quickest top sections of the day he was looking fast. Trying to hold onto it through the bottom woods he comes across just in behind Josh Bryceland pushing Hill further off the top spot. A great run from Neko today, showing he has what it take to rivals the top guys.
Greg Minaar didn't have the best of days today. After his 3rd place qualifier he was confident he could put it down today in his race run, but a slip at the Alien Tree forced him off track and around a marker post, unfortunately disqualifying from from the days racing.
Into the final section and it was looking like Ratboy was on to something here with this run. Crossing the line he puts a massive 3 seconds into hot seat holder Sam Hill and puts him on to what looked like his best result yet! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/38_audio.mp3"]
One of the favourites to win today, Aaron Gwin was out on track and looking fast. Like most riders Gwin had a poor top section and had to really push hard in the bottom to make the time back. Not the top spot today but still a good position in 4th. He talks about how his day went. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/36_audio.mp3"]
Showing off in true Ratboy style. Focused but still out for the laugh he drops in for his race run. Big whips on the triple and he snakes his way down track.
Throttle on and full speed into the whoops for Sam Hill. Big crowd support for the Aussie rider as he drops his back wheel into these deep rollers. A great performance from Sam after his bad quali run, he snaps up the hot seat after his run and holds on to it for some time. Secured himself a podium today, 5th place 7 seconds back.
First place qualifier, Sam Blenkinsop had the opportunity to win his first World Cup in a few years. Looking hopeful and super quick on track, the wet NZ like conditions suited him well. His run just not what was needed to secure a podium he fell just short in 6th. A top 10 is still a good place but not what he wanted after the excitement of the win in quali.
So Peaty's race run didn't really go to plan for him. After an extended course hold to evac injured Adam Brayton. Dropping in on what everyone through was an empty track, especially Steve, he was blown away when we came across an out cold spectator laying in the middle of the whoops! Long story short, a kind young man offered to take Brayton's bike back to the pits, but though it would be quicker to ride it...on the track! No helmet and a few XXXX later it turns out his bike handing skills aren't up to world class level as he barrels over the bars and put himself into a right state. Good for Peaty, he gets a rerun and a 2nd chance at that rock harden he messed up on! Dropping in on his re-run and he pulls out a 7th place. Amazing results considering no practice day and the course issues. He talks about his day. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/32_audio.mp3"]
Ed Masters pulled one out with his 4th place qualifier but couldn't quite manage a repeat today. A slip up in he top section forced him back and only getting himself 26th place.
Another home land favourite, Troy Brosnan, set out like every race...he wanted to win, no 2nds or 3rds just going for the gold. His week had not been great up to the race and with a mid table quali he was keen to show the home crowd what their national champ has got! Struggling in the mud, Troy puts in a time 11secs off the pace putting him in 11th.
Loic Bruni flat out in the bottom woods and after his 8th place in quais he was looking to set down a good run. Lapierre Gravity Republic seems to all have it dialled in qualis but when it came down to the pressure of the race they were just off the mark. After a blinding top section, behind number 1 overall at split one, he lost time in the bottom and could only bring back 17th.
Sleeves rolled up and steeze all day. Back out on the big bike this round, Brendan can still chuck it about like a his trail bike. Poking whips out all week despite the rainy conditions. 23rd today in his race run.
The XXXX flowing from the taps under the hot sun here today. If you didnt want to get muddy walking up the hillside, then there was always the option of getting comfortable with a brew and watch the footage on the big screens in the finish area.
I've seen mechanics wrap wheels for races before but not quite like this. Jason Marsh preps Ratboy's race bike by wrapping it and foil and setting the oven to 230c!
Although the sun was out, it didn't mean it was dry on track. Horrible speed sapping gloop covered pretty much all of the wooded sections. Just not enough gradient here to let the moisture run off, standing puddles in places didn't make it easy either.
True British lady like fashion, Rachel sends off the rest of the bottle! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/22_audio1.mp3']
Clearly enjoying some time on the podium and rocking the old school Oakley's Rachel was on form.
Arms raised, top step as the World Champ Rachel Atherton wins here in Cairns over fellow Brit rider Manon. Now both equal in points going into Fort Bill, the race is on and every point counts.
Racing in front of so many family members is never an easy thing, but the feeling of coming down in a good place and it being over most be pretty good too. Tracey celebrates her podium amongst her friends and family. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/19_audio1.mp3"]
Rachel brings it down in one piece, keeping it tyre side down and across the line into first place. The persistence in the rain paid off and she stole the gold from Manon with a big 11sec difference.
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Laurence has delivered a massive bumper gallery from the Cairns World Cup Downhill Finals, jam packed with interviews with Gwin, Peaty, the Athertons, Manon and Tracey.
If you enjoyed this make sure you check more coverage from the event in the links below.