The Junior race proved once again that anything can happen in. Qualifying results from yesterday remained mostly unchanged but there were a few surprises thrown in. After qualifying in 5th yesterday, Amaury Pierron took the win in Leogang his first ever World Cup win. Taylor Vernon had an amazing run, coming back from his 7th in qualifying yesterday to take 2nd.
The track had dried since the downpour in practice a few days before which had made the track pretty slick meaning many riders had opted for cut spikes. With a few new additions to the track to stray away from the bike park feel, riders were given a few new line options with some off camber sections, pretty much offering something for everyone.
A DNF for Trek World Racing’s, Laurie Greenland after his 14th in qualifying. A surprising result for Loris Vergier, who finished 28th today in Leogang. French rider, Steve Marietta took 5th spot today – his best result to date.
After a great qualifying result yesterday, Manon stormed into the hot seat and took the win by 3 seconds. A great day for, Tahnee Seagrave seeing her take 5th and her first World Cup podium on her 19th birthday.
Rachel was a lot stronger going into today and only Manon was able to take the win from her, she’s still finding it difficult to get back up to speed after her illness a few weeks back. Once again no win for her in Leogang, but she’s looking good going into the next round, hopefully she’ll feel better after a bit of a break from racing.
Some great riding from the women, Tracey Hannah and Micayla Gatto both put in a great run , finishing inside the top 10. Morgane Charre will be happy with her result today after qualifying back in 31st yesterday, finishing 9th today. A 4th today for Emmeline Ragot following her win in Fort William.
Yet again the men’s race was intense, with riders coming down and knocking each other off the hot seat. There was no room for error today in Leogang with mere seconds separating the top riders.
The puncture curse hit Aaron Gwin this afternoon, meaning that he was out of the running for the podium, it was all over for him in Leogang, though he still managed to smash it down the track to the finish with a flat with a huge reception from the crowd.
There’s no denying that Josh Bryceland is a crowd favourite, and the crowd certainly showed that today after he won his first ever World Cup in Leogang. A great day for Santa Cruz Syndicate, with Greg Minnaar finishing in second. He was on fire this afternoon, taking some hard lines and powering down the course, coming back from knee surgery in October after injuring himself in Leogang last year.
It unfortunately wasn’t meant to be for Loic Bruni today, the only man that could have taken the win from Josh crashed at the last minute and lost his chance to take his first World Cup win, no doubt he will be rearing to go in the next round.
Sam Dale was looking powerful and quick, losing a few seconds in the bottom section. He is clearly motivated this season finishing in the top 10 at every round this year, but only managing 15th today. The Madison Saracen team are definitely on form. Matt Simmonds finished the day in 6th.
Wild lines were going down with riders getting loose, the track running really fast in the dry allowing no room for mistakes if riders wanted to be in with a chance of making podium.
Sam Hill finished in 2nd in Fort Bill, most likely spurred on from that result and looking stronger and more confident in Leogang taking 10th today. Danny Hart was looking for a great result here today, sending the jumps and looking fast, but losing time in the bottom section ending up in 7th.
After months off the bike Steve Smith was looking good in Leogang, but unfortunately a few mistakes made him lose time after drifting out, just missing out on the top ten.
Manon holds on to the leaders jersey after winning her second World Cup round this season, now in the lead with 780 points, followed by Emmeline Ragot in 2nd with 690 points and Myriam Nicole in 3rd with 662.
In Men’s Troy Brosnan now holds the leaders jersey with 634 points, a 29 point lead over Aaron Gwin in 2nd. Josh Bryceland is in 3rd with 547 after his win today.
Junior leader Loris Vergier has a solid lead with 140 points, followed by Luca Shaw with 114 and Taylor Vernon with 101.
The next round will be in Mont-Sainte-Anne on Saturday 2nd August 2014.
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