June 13, 2011 (Leogang, Austria) – Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing continued his domination of the downhill World Cup this year with another win here in Leogang, Austria. The American rider found something in the off season, and it’s working as he is taking the entire field to school so far this season. For the women, it was the diminutive French rider, Florian Pugin of Scott 11, earning her first World Cup victory.
Canadian Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) scored his best World Cup result of his career with a 4th place finish on his “made in Quebec” Devinci Wilson.
The weather pulled a complete 180 Sunday morning and went from pouring rain all night, to bright sunshine and warm temperatures by midway through practice here in Leogang. What had become a slick track turned thick and even more slippery as the mud started to thicken and turn to the consistency of peanut butter. Riders were collecting, quite literally, multiple KGs of mud on their bikes by they time they got to the bottom.
Gwin wasn’t sure what it was that changed over the winter. “Another podium! I’m stoked. It went good and I had some real loose moments at the bottom where I thought I was going to throw it away again. I managed to hold it together, somewhat. It’s almost like the first one was a surprise, so the second one played on my head a bit more. I’m going to keep having fun and riding bikes.
“I’m not sure what I did over the winter. We made a lot of changes [in equipment] but as far as my riding, it was more just tightening up those little details that I was struggling with. It all came together with the training and the team and the program. It’s kind of clicking now – I’ll take it!”
Pugin was elated with her first WCup victory. “My run was wild! I was feeling so good on this track since my first training run. I only did one run this morning, it was perfect so I stopped training and just raced. I knew it was going to be hard physically and the mud was getting sticky. The pedalling section was just horrible. I gave it everything and was just thinking that the other girls are going to kill it here. It worked out, so sweet!”
The fastest Canadian woman was Micayla Gatto (Team Young Guns) in 8th place. “My run was going pretty good until I crashed again. I took a tumble and still made the top 10, pretty happy with that. Hopefully next time there’s no crashing and a podium.”
Full results here.