Video Highlights – 2014 DH World Cup – Pietermaritzburg

The Parkin brothers bring us their Red Bull highlights video from the incredible first round of the 2014 DH World Cup…

What a way to start the season hey? It came as little surprise to see both Minnaar and Hannah on the podium at PMB, but contrary to what most bets probably said neither of them managed to take the win. Instead we witnessed the return to winning ways of Aaron Gwin after a 2013 season that saw a rare drought of World Cup wins for him. Aaron didn’t just sneak a win either, he somehow managed to put over two seconds into the rest of the field. Having chosen to run a shorter travel bike we thought if Gwin was going to lose time anywhere to the big bike boys it would be on the top technical and rocky section, but oh no, that was where he managed to win the race, going considerably faster than anyone else. Judging by that performance he’s certainly looking in good shape for the rest of the season, and with Gee only managing a 10th place and Stevie Smith missing this race (and possibly the next one too), the overall battle is already starting to look interesting.

As for the women’s race, it was amazing to see Manon carpenter backing up her first place in qualifying with her first ever World Cup win, and with a winning margin of almost four seconds it was a decisive victory too. Of course Rachel Atherton had been suffering from a nasty infection all week and perhaps wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but she certainly wasn’t hanging around in making it a British one two, coming in a full five seconds ahead of third place finisher Jill Kintner (her best World Cup result so far too). I really wouldn’t be at all surprised if we see Manon taking another win this year, even when Rach is fully fighting fit. Wouldn’t it be great to have two British riders fighting it out for the overall title this year.

Other results from the weekend that are definitely of note are Loic Bruni and Troy Brosnan coming in forth and fifth respectively. Those are two names that we expected to do well this year and they’ve certainly started the season off that way. Sam Dale coming in seventh as the highest placed British rider was a massive result for him too. Let’s hope he continues to get the results that his skills deserve during the rest of the season. Sam Hill is certainly looking up to speed too with his 9th place on flat pedals, and after his big injury last year it’s great to see Cam Cole back battling it out at the top. He came way in 12th, with Sam Dale’s Madison/Saracen team mate Matt Simmonds just behind him in 13th. With those results and Manon’s it was an amazing weekend for the Saracen team and they walked away with the team prize in PMB. Oh, and we are all gutted for Bryceland after having such an incredible qualifying run, but then losing his chain during the final run. Still, he seemed to be happy that he knows he’s more than up to speed this year.

Thankfully it’s only two weeks until the next round in Australia, but we already can’t wait to see what happens…

If you missed the live coverage from the race then you can catch up on that here.

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