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UCI MTB World Cup Val di Sole DH Report, Photos

by Fraser Britton

Aug. 2, 2010 (Val di Sole, Italy) – Mark Beaumont (GBR – GT) took home the win at the Val Di Sole World Cup on Sunday on what may well have become the fastest, roughest and toughest track on the World Cup circuit. The big news for Canadians however was a return to the World Cup downhill podium – Steve Smith’s (MS Evil Racing) 5th place finish was the first downhill podium for Canada since Dustin Adams.

Smith, from Cassidy, BC, proved he has exactly what it takes to hang with the big dogs, laying it all on the line and living up to his nickname Sender. “I was a little stressed before the race because of my crash in Fort William and Champery,” said an elated Smith. “I knew I could do well I just needed to stay on. The track was loose and a lot of fun. Coming out of the last corner was a huge relief to have made it down on a clean run. I wasn’t sure if it was a great run or not and it ended up turning out pretty good. I was stoked to get my first world cup podium. it felt great!”

Meanwhile, Beaumont who’s nickname is Slugger surprised no one as much as himself, taking on all comers on a track that many figured would suit the big power riders. “I’m absolutely made up. I didn’t expect that at all. I knew I was riding good in practice, probably the best I have been riding in awhile, but it’s always been a little step at a time for me. Each week I get a little bit better. It just came together pretty good. I knew there were big guys coming, and I just wanted to put it together and see how it goes. It came together pretty good apparently!”

For the women it was reigning DH world champ Emmeline Ragot (FRA – Suspension Center) taking home her second win in as many weeks. The diminutive rider was on a brand new bike just hours before the qualifications – she qualified first and then piloted it to victory two days later.

Canada’s Claire Buchar (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense) managed a 7th place finish again. While most riders would be happy with her top-10 consistency, the Whistler-based rider is starting to find it a bit frustrating. “My run went fairly well. I just tried to stay calm and hit all my lines. Considering the weekend…I took 21 seconds off of my qualifier. So it was a big improvement – but 7th again? What the hell!?”

A large portion of the World Cup circus now heads to Whistler, BC for the Crankworx festival before continuing on to the remaining World Cup round in Windham, NY at the end of August before the 2010 MTB Worlds at Mont Ste-Anne.

Women’s results here.
Men’s results here.

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