South African rider Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) won today’s World Cup downhill round in Fort William, Scotland, in a nailbiting final.
When sixth-from-last man down Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Catz) put in a storming run that gave him a five-second-plus lead (4:40.43), it looked like he might have the win sewn up.
Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate), Sam Blenkinsop (Yeti) and Mick Hannah (GT Bicycles) all failed to displace Hill, leaving just Minnaar and Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) at the top of the hill.
Minnaar then pulled it out of the bag with a flawless run combining technical skill and raw power, eventually finishing over a second up (4:38.98) – a time which even Atherton was unable to beat. Third went to Blenkinsop, fourth to Atherton and fifth to Hannah.
In the women’s race it was France’s Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) who took the win, with her countrywomen Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center), Celine Gros (Morzine-Avoriaz 74), Floriane Pugin (Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker) and Myriam Nicole filling the other four spots on the podium after Britain’s Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) crashed.
Victories in the 4X went to Australia’s Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox Shox) and America’s Jill Kintner (Red Bull/Intense/Crank Brothers).
Full report and results to follow.