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Hill dominates Val Di Sole race

In the final race before the first World Cup in Maribor next weekend, the top flight rocked up to Val Di Sole in Italy. It looks like business as usual for Sam Hill as he whipped the field by 5 seconds from Peaty and Barel .

Is this an indication of things to come in the World Cup?

Photo: Kathy Sessler

Photo: Kathy Sessler

Photo: Kathy Sessler

TOP TEN MEN DOWNHILL FINALS:

1) SAM HILL (MONSTER IRON HORSE) 3:19.42
2) STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:24.60
3) FABIEN BAREL (SUBARU) 3:26.92
4) FLORENT PAYET (SUBARU) 3:27.77
5) JUSTIN LEOV (YETI) 3:28.67
6) JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:29.37
7) SAM BLENKINSOP (YETI) 3:29.40
8) GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:29.58
9) FABIEN PEDEMANAUD (TEAM PYRENEES/ MOREWOOD) 3:30.04
10) PASQUAL CANALS FLIX (MASSI) 3:30.85

DOWNHILL SEEDING RUN RESULTS:

1) SAM BLENKINSOP (YETI) 3:29.82
2) STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:30.01
3) GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3.30.88
4) SAM HILL (MONSTER IRON HORSE) 3:31.00
5) FLORENT PAYET (SUBARU) 3:31.23
6) JUSTIN LEOV (YETI) 3:33.15
7) DAMIEN SPAGNOLO (SUBARU) 3:33.53
8) MICKAIL PASCAL (MSC BIKES) 3:34.25
9) JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:34.49
10) JULIEN CAMELLINI (CHAIN REACTION CYCLES) 3:34.66
14) NATHAN RENNIE (SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES) 3:38.47

Hill

Lehikoinen

Barel

Kovarik

Photos Justyn Norek Sr:

Here’s a report from Kathy Sessler.

The organizers did a brilliant job putting together this test event in the heart of the Val Di Sole region in Northern Italy, and the pleasant weather this weekend helped make the event a great success. The test event was a great way to prepare for World Championships for both the racers and the organizers. The Syndicate boys were pleased with the downhill track and feel it is worthy of a championship race. “The course is great with fast parts ripping through the trees, and it has a lot of rocks and sniper roots all over, and quite a few steep parts. They’ve done a nice job putting the course together and the sections link up with a nice flow,” said Rennie.

The semi-final run was held to determine start order, with everyone qualifying. There were some surprises from practice to semi-finals as riders tested the track at a racing pace. “I just wanted to ride smooth and tried to get on the lines I had seen in practice. I got half of them, and missed half of them. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to stay on the lines, or on the track, even,” commented Minnaar. Peat just rode steady hitting his lines but said, “I felt like I was riding like a girl in some sections.”

Rennie said, “My run was a shocker, I mucked up the top rocks then another section so I just cruised down for an earlier start.” Josh Bryceland’s run was not “mint”, as he didn’t hit many of his lines, but he was pleased and surprised with a good finish time. Sam Blenkinsop posted the fast time of 3:29.82, while Peat just beat Minnaar to set the three top positions with 3:30.01 for Peat and 3:30.88 for Minnaar.

The finals saw Bryceland having a fantastic result with a time of 3:29.37, which held up for a 6th place overall finish. Fabien Barel then set the mark to beat with a time of 3:26.92 to take the hotseat. Just ten minutes later Hill was smashing it up with the crowd cheering him as he neared the end with an obviously smoking fast run. His finish time of 3:19.42 had people gasping! Peat gave it a go and was the next fastest finisher at 3:24.60 to take second place. Barel’s time held for 3rd, with Florent Payet in 4th with a 3:27.77, and Justin Leov rounding out the top five with a 3:28.67

Minnaar suffered a mechanical that left him in 8th position, and Rennie had a crash that put him off the pace, he finished 59th. They were both happy at least that these things happened in a test race, and not at a race that counted for more. Minnaar said the course was a lot faster in the final than the qualifier as the clouds moved in and eliminated shadows making it easier to see the track conditions. On his run, Peat delighted the group of team mechanics as he set out of the start by pumping his fist in the air saluting them. Syndicate mechanic, Doug Hatfield said, “You had to see it, you could never replace that moment, what a great salute Steve gave to us. We were pumped!”

Hill dominates Val Di Sole race

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