History was also recorded as Elite women’s series leader, Rachel Atherton (Gbr) Trek Factory Racing DH, took home her 10th consecutive World Cup victory for 30 wins overall. Aaron Gwin (USA) The YT Mob, the men’s leader, powered to his 16th top podium finish as both served notice that they intend to continue their downhill domination.
After Saturday’s rain the anticipated deluge of more showers held off and the mountain in Leogang dried out just in time for the Sunday’s action. The sloppy, greasy fresh sections managed to drain enough to allow riders to get some grip and not have to dance through the roots mid course.
Squamish’s own Miller, the reigning national champ who qualified fourth, delivered another stellar run to claim a career-best 3rd for a dramatic return to racing following several seasons of serious injury.
With all eye’s on her, top qualifier Atherton nailed her 4th win by a decisive 5.370-second margin to unseat Tahnee Seagrave (Gbr) Transition Factory Racing / FMD who settled for second with Miller third. Tracey Hannah (Aus) Polygon UR grabbed 4th and Manon Carpenter (Gbr) Madison Saracen Factory Team 5th.
Atherton now has a commanding 300-point lead in series and was all smiles commenting, “It was really wild and I felt the pressure a bit… ten wins in a row feels amazing.”
Gwin laid down a near perfect run as he continued to dominate here in Leogang, winning by over 3 seconds over Loris Vergier (Fra) Specialized Gravity Powered by Sram in second and Troy Brosnan (Aus) Specialized Racing in third. The american was happy with his performance.
“I knew I was losing time at the top, because I hit a few things kinda weird. By the time I got out of that last root section with the tech stuff over I was frustrated and just thought ‘Now you’ve got to pin it and put the hammer down’. I made one little mistake near the end and came unclipped but luckily I got back in. I’m stoked. The team game plan really went well this week – we had different scenarios and lines worked out depending on how the weather went. I’m here to win races. At the end of the day the overall will sort itself out… but you want to be the fastest dude.”
The day’s action began with the Junior men as Canada’s Isles of Whistler delivered another podium finish taking home second place, edged out by a mere 0.625 of a second, as Gaetan Vige (Fra) Commencal / Vallnord took the win. Fellow Canuck Henry Fitzgerald (Can) Steve Peat Syndicate / Uberbike Global was 15th.
Isles continues to lead the series with 160 points followed by Vige in second with 135 and Matt Walker (Gbr) Madison Saracen Factory Team 3rd with 116 points. Fitzgerald is 26th overall.