Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Greg Minnaar wins a thrilling rain soaked World Cup #3 final in Leogang.
Gee Atherton 0.74 down in second and Aaron Gwin 4.44 back in third.
My race notes got soggier than a wet Austrian strudel as it rained/drizzled pretty much none stop throughout the mens finals, so recounting what happened maybe hazy.
What I do remember is that Steve Peat has finally returned to top ten form and occupied the hot seat for nearly 40 minutes with a rapid 4.11.82. Twenty four riders came and went and wasn’t until Cam Cole scrapped in by the narrowest of margins, 0.05s, that Peaty vacated the chair.
Next in contention was Fairclough, 8th at the first split and 5th at the second, Brendog was looking good, but like others lost time on the lower slopes to finish 7th. Bryn Atkinson crashed up top. Leov lost time in the lower woods as did Simmonds who has been flying all weekend.
Gee Atherton, fastest at the first split looked pinned and took the hot seat with a 4.06.39, a whopping 6 seconds up on Cam Cole, and looked like a winning run time.
Four riders left on the hill and the rain picked up a little. Lehikoinen couldnt make up time on the bottom section and came in 9th.
Aaron Gwin looking good all weekend but probably not used to so much mud bangs in a 4.10.09 for 3rd.
Two riders left Blenky and Minnaar, and conditions on the track do look a touch worse.
Minnaar gets a wobble on the top section and loses time on Gee, he’s made it up by split two and enters the finish bike park area at warp speed to clock a 4:05.65 to take the lead by just 0.74.
One man left on the hill, fastest qualifier Sam Blenkinsop. Looking at the big screen and Blenky is flying but getting well loose, riding the bars and dabbing…coming into the last section it’s not going to happen, 4th place for the Lapierre rider, but what could have been without the mistakes?
So there you have it Mr consistent Greg Minnaar takes a great win on a track that he didn’t appear to like at first sight.
With Hill out of contention it certainly looks like it’s going to be a Gee Atherton, Greg Minnaar fight right to the line.
The final result:
How the overall standings look:
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Josh Bryceland’s final run crash (Nick Beer also goes down) filmed by Bernard, looks like Miami took a right nasty wallop, (but I’ve just seen him in the bar tonight and he looks okay)