September 10, 2016 (Val di Sole, ITA) – Downhill racing began on Saturday at the 2016 UCI MTB Downhill Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, with the seeding runs for Junior Women and Men, and timed session for Elite Women and Men.
Defending world champion Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) continues to lead the Elite women’s field, as she has all season, setting the fastest time of four minutes and 20.191 seconds for her run. However, Australia’s Tracey Hannah was only 0.597 seconds behind Atherton, and the British rider usually has a lead measured in multiple seconds. Myriam Nicole (France) finished third, at 9.760 seconds.
Canada’s Georgia Astle from B.C. was the top Canuck in 17th while reigning Canadian DH champ, Miranda Miller, also from B.C. placed 21st.
In the Elite men’s field, Great Britain’s Danny Hart has been on a winning streak for the past two months, taking three consecutive World Cup victories, and now set the leading time in the timed session.
In the Junior categories, Shania Rawson of New Zealand was far ahead of the rest of the women’s field with a time of five minutes and 32.328 seconds. Rawson’s time was a whopping 24.748 seconds faster than Beatrice Migliorini of the host Italian team. Melanie Chappaz of France was third, 25.703 seconds back. No Canadians competed.
The Junior men’s seeding run saw Italy’s Andrea Bianciotto set the fastest time of three minutes and 48.782 seconds, 2.256 seconds ahead of American Nikolas Nestoroff and 3.074 seconds in front of World Cup champion Finnley Iles of Canada. Fellow Canucks Magnus Manson placed sixth while Henry Fitzgerald was 23rd and Adam Robbins finished 35th.
The world championships finals will take place on Sunday; follow all the action live on our website.