Rachel Atherton returning to winning ways in Cairns
What a race! You can check out the replay here but if you want to see the results then check them out below.
The weather improved slightly for racing but the whole track was greasy as hell as the clock ticked into race runs. The track threaded it’s way down through the jungle in Northern Australia and things got wild. The weirdest thing to happen was after Adam Brayton’s crash, we don’t know exactly what happened but it seems that an over enthusiastic fan grabbed the Kestrel’s bike and rode it down the rest of the track. Which would have only been a bit weird until he nailed himself on the whoop section and caused another break in proceedings. This all caused Peaty’s run to be messed up, he got another run but it was a pretty bonkers situation to happen at a World Cup.
The Junior Men’s race was won by Loris Vergier who had a solid run, 2nd fastest time through the speed gun and 1st at both splits meant he took the win from Aussie Aiden Varley in 2nd. Neil Stewart of FMD Racing came in 3rd with GT Factory rider Taylor Vernon keeping his comeback going strong in 4th. The final podium spot was taken by New Zealand’s Connor Hamilton.
Emmeline Ragot took 4th in the Aussie mud bath
In the Women’s race 3rd to 5th was separated by under 4 seconds but the top two were on a different level. Local Tracy Hannah was in contention and took 5th spot, nearly 30 seconds back from first place. Emmeline Ragot took 4th spot behind top mud rider Myriam Nicole in 3rd. Even if the gap between winner Rachel Atherton and Manon Carpenter was 11.655s these two were 14 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Great to see the British ladies taking the top spots, it must be all that practice in the wet Welsh hills that made the difference. Rach will be confident going into Fort William but Manon Carpenter has proved she’s got the minerals on a long track so it’s going to be an interesting battle when we get to Scotland in a few weeks.
Gee Atherton made it a family double in Cairns
The Men’s race was full of expectation from local Mick Hannah, his home track wasn’t in the condition he had been used to and today it wasn’t be. 14th for Sik Mik in front of his home crowd. The top end of the results table saw the big and regular podium names mixed up with some young guns. Josh Bryceland stormed his run and he was in the hot seat right Gee came down 4 seconds clear to take top spot. The top spot could well have been Neko Mulally’s, he was 2nd at split one and 3rd at split two looking storming through the rock section up top. He crashed in the same spot that saw Loic Bruni go down but he pushed bloody hard to still land 3rd place and his first World Cup podium. Aaron Gwin keeps his points tally high with 4th place keeping him 110 points ahead of Gee Atherton in the overall standings. The only Aussie to make the top 5 was Sam Hill who took the last podium spot. He got wild in his run in true Hill style but held it together taking home some points to build on in Fort William. Sam Dale is deserving of a mention placing 8th and the legend that is Steve Peat made sure everyone knows he can still cut it with 7th place. The whole Santa Cruz Syndicate came in the top ten down under which will keep Kathy Sessler happy going into Fort William. Healing vibes go out to Adam Brayton too, he managed to slice his leg wide open after crashing on his run. If you really want to see it then check out his Instagram
With Fort William just weeks away you can expect some more flat out action from what we all know is the best atmosphere at a World Cup race. DirtTV will be on hand getting you banger galleries and all manner of interesting content from Scotland so keep your eyes peeled for that. In the mean time if you want to relive the race from last year then check out DirtTV’s video from 2013 here.