The Trek World Racing team dominated this year's US Open downhill, with Andrew Neethling (RSA) and Tracy Moseley (GBr) winning their races, and Justin Leov placing third.
Some of the world's top racers turned out for the prestigious one-off race at Diablo Freeride Park in New Jersey – perhaps lured by the US$55,000 prize pot – and 'Needles' had to beat former world champions Gee Atherton (GBr|Commencal, second), and Sam Hill (Monster-Specialized-Mad Catz|Aus, fifth) to take the victory.
He qualified third, behind Mick Hannah (Aus|GT) and Gee, with team-mate Leov in sixth. "After qualifying I knew I had a chance at the win today and my goal was to go for it," said Neethling. "For sure, I was a bit nervous at the start, but that's normal against such a world class field.
"My game plan was to be smooth and keep the flow exiting the woods because after practice in the morning I realised that being too aggressive in the rock section wasn't going to pay off. I punched hard to the finish in the open section, and I'm absolutely over the moon."
Moseley qualified second for the women's race, just behind Melissa Buhl (USA) and in front of Jill Kintner (USA), who crashed on the line. "It's pretty cool to be at the US Open for the first time," she said. "The crowds in the rock section were huge and having a great party.
"I was really happy with my top section but I slid out exiting the woods and it felt like I'd flatted, so I rode a bit cautiously for a little while after that. When I realised it wasn't actually a flat I attacked the last section really hard. I'm very happy to win here. Such a great weekend for the team and now I'm so looking forward to Fort William!"
|1||Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing)||0:02:19.60|
|2||Gee Atherton (Commencal)||0:00:00.50|
|3||Justin Leov (Trek World Racing)||0:00:00.80|
|4||Steve Smith (Evil Bikes/Red Bull)||0:00:01.40|
|5||Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized)||0:00:01.90|
|6||Brendan Fairclough (Monster Energy/Specialized)||0:00:02.70|
|7||Luke Strobel (Evil Bikes)||0:00:04.20|
|8||Jared Rando (Giant Factory Team)||0:00:06.30|
|9||Richie Rude (Allride Academy)|
|10||Curtis Keene (Specialized/SRAM)||0:00:06.60|
|1||Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing)||0:02:40.20|
|2||Jill Kintner (Transition Racing)||0:00:00.40|
|3||Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles)||0:00:02.40|
|4||Jacqueline Harmony (Vixen Racing)||0:00:10.00|
|5||Miranda Miller (Santa Cruz/Pinkbike)||0:00:10.90|
|6||Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team)||0:00:11.50|
|8||Rebecca Mcqueen (Rocky Mountain Bicycles)||0:00:17.90|
|9||Katie Holden (Specialized)||0:00:23.60|
Downhill racers also dominated the giant slalom, where Britain's Brendan Fairclough (Monster Energy/Specialized) took the win ahead of Mitch Ropelato (Ex Drinks) and Specialized team-mate Troy Brosnan. In the women's race, the top three riders were the same as in the downhill, albeit in a different order, with Jill Kintner (Transition Racing) standing on the top step, above Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles) and Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing).
|1||Brendan Fairclough (Monster Energy/Specialized)||0:00:39.52|
|2||Mitch Ropelato (Ex Drinks)||0:00:00.13|
|3||Troy Brosnan (Monster Energy/Specialized)||0:00:00.36|
|4||Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized)||0:00:00.79|
|5||George Ryan (Jamis/Pro-Tec/Vans)||0:00:00.86|
|6||Geritt Beytagh (Morewood Bikes USA)||0:00:01.00|
|7||Jared Rando (Giant factory Team)||0:00:01.20|
|8||Brian Lopes (Oakley/ibis/Kenda)||0:00:01.36|
|9||Lars Sternberg (Transition Racing)||0:00:01.57|
|10||Logan Binggeli (KHS Bicycles)||0:00:01.59|
|1||Jill Kintner (Transition Racing)||0:00:43.18|
|2||Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles)||0:00:01.56|
|3||Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing)||0:00:02.72|
|4||Anne Laplante (XPREZO)||0:00:03.29|
|6||Johanne Tuttle (GRDM Racing)||0:00:07.37|
|7||Kate Parhiala (Wachusett Brew Racing)||0:00:07.98|