The weekend of June 4-5 saw the World Cup circus roll into Willingen in Germany for rounds of the DH, 4X and XC series. There are a lot of Brits pushing for podiums this season and even without Steve Peat in attendance (he's out with a broken shoulder...) UK riders were well up the rankings.
Saturday is XC day at the World Cup and Liam Kileen (Specialized) showed he's coming into some form by finshing in sixth position - his best WC result of the season. Oli Beckingsale (Scott) seems to be struggling for form at the moment after a flying start to the season - he came in 52nd in Germany.
Saturday evening was supposed to host the 4X. By the sounds if though there was a bit a cock up - first the gate broke, then the men boycotted the race, then the women were told to race off a manual gate. Anneka Beerten (Specialized) won against a depleted field (Jill Kinter who won round 1 thought it had been cancelled) and proceeded to show her displeasure with the organisation by turning her back o the small crowd who had doggedly hung around to the bitter end.
First race of the day on Sunday was the Women's DH. On a purpose built track with big jumps and plenty of mud on the lower section it was a course tailor made for a rider like Anne-Caroline Chausson - and Anne-Caroline Chausson it was who won. Rach Atherton put in a storming ride to place fourth, a measly six seconds behind Anne-Caro. Also in the top 10 were Helen Gaskell in seventh, and Fionn Griffiths in eighth.
It was another Atherton who set the early pace in the Men's DH - and no it wasn't Gee, it was big brother Dan. Dan started 21st from the back after a crash in the semis and that turned out to be a real stroke of luck as he managed to get down the hill before the heavens opened. Only Greg Minaar was quicker, flying down the course three seconds faster than Atherton senior despite the mud. Still, there's no shame in coming second to Greg Minaar.
Other brits in action were Gee Atherton in ninth, MBUK/Santa Cruz riders Will Longden and Marc Beaumont in 14th and 16th respectively and MBUK 187 cover star Brendan Fairclough in 19th - not bad for a junior!