Hill, Jonnier defend mountain bike world’s downhill titles

Medals for Brits & Americans

Australian Sam Hill and French gravity ace Sabrina Jonnier scored an unusual double on the final day of the world mountain bike championships at Fort William on Sunday as they both successfully defended their downhill titles.


Hill beat Fabien Barel of France by just over six-tenths of a second, while Britain’s Gee Atherton claimed third and a little more glory for the host nation.

The same three countries occupied the women’s podium, with Jonnier comfortably faster than second-placed Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) and Australia’s pocket rocket Tracey Hannah taking the bronze in her senior world’s debut.

In the junior events it was a good day for Great Britain with a gold in the men’s and a silver in the women’s. 18-year-old Scot Ruaridh Cunningham became the first British man ever to win a world championship downhill title, ahead of John Swanguen (USA) and New Zealand’s Matthew Scoles.

The junior women’s race was won by Floriane Pugin (France), with Britain’s Katy Curd second in only her second ever outing at this level. Myriam Nicole (France) was third.

Senior men

Conditions had been adequate earlier in the day, but worsened considerably during the final event, the senior men’s downhill.

An indifferent seeding run gave Sam Hill a tactical advantage as he bumped Spain’s Pasqual Canals Flix – the first rider down the hill – out of the hot seat. Twenty-three more riders would follow Hill down Aonach Mor, most of them fully aware that he had beaten Greg Minnaar’s fastest qualifying time.

Seeded 18th, France’s Fabien Barel showed that Hill’s time wasn’t superhuman, as he moved into second place 0.64 seconds slower than the Australian. But could Hill be beaten?

The huge home crowd gave full vocal support for long-time favourite Steve Peat as he set out to challenge Hill from 13th seed. With his recently dislocated ankle strapped up, Peat looked like a man on a mission until a heavy landing saw him snap his saddle clean off the rails. Nevertheless, if crowd support won world championships Peaty would have taken home the rainbow jersey as the crowd roared its approval at his final huge jump through the finish banners.

Second-last rider to start, Britain’s Gee Atherton looked like a threat but couldn’t quite match Hill’s time. His run placed him third – would he stay on the podium?

Minnaar was unable to repeat his seeding-run performance in the drenched conditions and it quickly became obvious from the time splits that he was not going to upset the podium, eventually slotting between Atherton and Canals Flix for fourth place.

Senior Women

Conditions were good for the women’s race, which saw Jonnier as the fifth-last rider down the hill, bumping Britain’s Fionn Griffiths out of the ‘hot seat’ of fastest rider so far. Hannah was next, but couldn’t oust the flying Frenchwoman and nor could Jonnier’s compatriot Emmeline Ragot.

That left just two British riders, Tracy Moseley and fastest qualifier, Rachel Atherton. In the British camp, hopes were high that Moseley would take the honours as world champion, completing the set at last – she’s won everything else. Unfortunately, she landed heavily on a corner, leaving her with a damaged wheel, knackered gears, and limping into a very disappointed fourth place.

The last rider down the hill, Atherton had a clean run by comparison, but couldn’t match Jonnier’s sheer speed, finishing four seconds behind the French woman for the silver medal.

Junior men

While the fastest senior men later conquered the conditions to equal the best seeding-run times, that wasn’t so in the juniors, where times were generally several seconds slower. Seeded eleventh, American John Swanguen was the first to post an indicative time, clocking 5:08.89 to take over the hot seat from Australia’s James Maltman.

Over the next few minutes the biggest assault on Swanguen’s time came from Down Under as Matthew Scoles (New Zealand) and then Mitchell Delfs (Australia) came within a whisker of the American’s time. Second seed Josh Bryceland punctured and finished way off the pace, leaving just his team-mate and close friend Cunningham to challenge.

The ten-thousand strong crowd cheered Cunningham home as he shaved two seconds off Swanguen’s time despite an incident with a photographer on the way down. The final podium top three was Cunningham, Swanguen and Scoles. It was the first men’s downhill world championship ever for Great Britain and the first downhill medal for the USA since 2004.

Junior women

The French team gave notice of its up-and-coming talent when its two junior female riders took the first two places in seeding, but a much slower final run put second-seed Myriam Nicole into the bronze medal position behind Britain’s Katy Curd.

2007 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Fort William, Scotland, Sept. 4-9

Day Six Results

Senior men    
1 Samuel Hill (Australia) 0:04:52.01  
2 Fabien Barel (France) 0:04:52.65  
3 Gee Atherton (Great Britain) 0:04:56.38  
4 Greg Minnaar (South Africa) 0:04:59.96  
5 Pasqual Canals Flix (Spain) 0:05:00.29  
6 Matti Lehikoinen (Finland) 0:05:00.93  
7 Julien Camellini (France) 0:05:01.11  
8 Florent Payet (France) 0:05:01.51  
9 Samuel Blenkinsop (New Zealand) 0:05:01.77  
10 Dan Atherton (Great Britain) 0:05:01.99  
11 Michael Hannah (Australia) 0:05:02.37  
12 Nathan Rennie (Australia) 0:05:03.19  
13 Marc Beaumont (Great Britain) 0:05:03.37  
14 Ben Reid (Ireland) 0:05:05.44  
15 Fabien Pedemanaud (France) 0:05:06.34  
16 Filip Polc (Slovakia) 0:05:06.65  
17 Amiel Cavalier (Australia) 0:05:06.93  
18 Jared Rando (Australia) 0:05:07.45  
19 Damien Spagnolo (France) 0:05:07.59  
20 Luke Strobel (United States Of America) 0:05:08.34  
21 Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spain) 0:05:09.11  
22 Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spain) 0:05:11.25  
23 Adam Vagner (Czech Republic) 0:05:11.77  
24 Alan Beggin (Italy) 0:05:11.98  
25 Marcus Klausmann (Germany) 0:05:12.64  
26 Brendan Fairclough (Great Britain) 0:05:12.67  
27 Duncan Riffle (United States Of America) 0:05:12.97  
28 R. Leiva Figueroa (Chile) 0:05:13.19  
29 Claudio Caluori (Switzerland) 0:05:13.20  
30 Robin Wallner (Sweden) 0:05:14.65  
31 Herman Olund (Sweden) 0:05:14.75  
32 Dominik Gspan (Switzerland) 0:05:14.84  
33 Neil Donoghue (Great Britain) 0:05:15.63  
34 Nick Beer (Switzerland) 0:05:16.15  
35 Marco Milivinti (Italy) 0:05:16.25  
36 Mickael Pascal (France) 0:05:16.64  
37 Espen Johnsen (Norway) 0:05:16.75  
38 Cole Bangert (United States Of America) 0:05:17.04  
39 Mike Skinner (New Zealand) 0:05:18.18  
40 Samuel Zbinden (Switzerland) 0:05:19.15  
41 Steve Chan (Canada) 0:05:19.27  
42 Daniel Wolfe (Ireland) 0:05:20.37  
43 Kieran Bennett (New Zealand) 0:05:20.46  
44 Greg Okeefe (Ireland) 0:05:20.75  
45 Tyler Morland (Canada) 0:05:21.32  
46 Kamil Tatarkovic (Czech Republic) 0:05:21.64  
47 David Vazquez Lopez (Spain) 0:05:21.95  
48 Jonas Westmann (Sweden) 0:05:22.39  
49 Elias Somvi (Italy) 0:05:22.49  
50 Matej Charvat (Czech Republic) 0:05:23.30  
51 Gerard Wolfe (Ireland) 0:05:23.91  
52 Carlo Gambirasio (Italy) 0:05:24.80  
52 Jeff Beatty (Canada)    
54 Emanuel Pombo (Portugal) 0:05:25.94  
55 Erik Irmisch (Germany) 0:05:25.99  
56 Claudio Loureiro (Portugal) 0:05:26.40  
57 Markus Pekoll (Austria) 0:05:27.95  
58 Livio Zampieri (Italy) 0:05:28.24  
59 Santiago De Santiago (Argentina) 0:05:28.28  
60 M. Estrada Pulgarin (Colombia) 0:05:28.38  
61 Mario Sieder (Austria) 0:05:29.10  
62 Tim Sharp (United States Of America) 0:05:29.75  
63 D. Klaassenvanoorscht (United States Of America) 0:05:31.73  
64 Gundars Osis (Lativia) 0:05:34.57  
65 Franco Emanuel Riva (Argentina) 0:05:36.20  
66 Karlis Kisuro (Lativia) 0:05:37.38  
67 Steve Peat (Great Britain) 0:05:39.56  
68 Darren Quille (Ireland) 0:05:42.72  
69 Jurgen Beneke (Germany) 0:05:46.95  
70 Claudio Cozzi (Italy) 0:05:47.40  
71 Sven Martin (South Africa) 0:05:48.04  
72 Glenn Haden (New Zealand) 0:05:49.95  
73 Martins Sprogis (Lativia) 0:05:53.63  
74 Krisztian Halasz (Hungary) 0:05:56.24  
75 Laur Samlik (Estonia) 0:05:57.11  
76 A. Barilaro Caparros (Andorra) 0:05:58.11  
77 Ninoslav Ruzicka (Croatia) 0:06:03.77  
78 Frank Schneider (Germany) 0:06:06.20  
79 Gregorz Zielinski (Poland) 0:06:08.08  
80 Nathan Rankin (New Zealand) 0:06:13.94  
81 Gergely Veres (Hungary) 0:06:38.91  
82 Mario Hohnjec (Croatia) 0:06:46.72  
83 Viljar Teppo (Estonia) 0:06:55.09  
84 Jared Graves (Australia) 0:07:07.24  
85 Ricard Ferreira Campos (Andorra) 0:07:26.66  
86 Chris Kovarik (Australia) 0:07:44.29  
87 Dan Stanbridge (Great Britain) 0:09:17.55  
88 Andrew Neethling (South Africa) 0:14:17.18  
89 Jonty Neethling (South Africa) 0:14:51.62  
DNF Ivan Brajkovic (Croatia)    
DNS Cédric Gracia (France)    
DNS Mathias Haas (Austria)    
DNS Christopher Herndon (United States Of America)    
DNS Chris Van Dine (United States Of America)    
Senior women    
1 Sabrina Jonnier (France) 0:05:28.35  
2 Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) 0:05:32.36  
3 Tracey Hannah (Australia) 0:05:39.89  
4 Tracy Moseley (Great Britain) 0:05:47.76  
5 Fionn Griffiths (Great Britain) 0:05:48.21  
6 Mio Suemasa (Japan) 0:05:48.62  
7 Helen Gaskell (Great Britain) 0:05:50.43  
8 Céline Gros (France) 0:05:52.06  
9 Kathleen Pruitt (United States Of America) 0:05:52.95  
10 Marielle Saner (Switzerland) 0:05:54.22  
11 Melissa Buhl (United States Of America) 0:05:54.54  
12 Emmeline Ragot (France) 0:05:56.80  
13 Jennifer Makgill (New Zealand) 0:05:57.48  
14 Vanessa Quin (New Zealand) 0:05:58.63  
15 Claire Buchar (Canada) 0:06:00.42  
16 Anita Ager-Wick (Norway) 0:06:03.74  
17 Micayla Gatto (Canada) 0:06:03.77  
18 Petra Bernhard (Austria) 0:06:07.24  
19 Scarlett Hagen (New Zealand) 0:06:08.16  
20 Anja Rees Jones (Great Britain) 0:06:10.69  
21 Anita Molcik (Austria) 0:06:10.97  
22 Miriam Ruchti (Switzerland) 0:06:13.14  
23 Olivia Johnston (New Zealand) 0:06:18.23  
24 Amelia Colasurdo (United States Of America) 0:06:18.88  
25 Amy Laird (New Zealand) 0:06:19.15  
26 Joanna Petterson (South Africa) 0:06:21.99  
27 Rika Olivier (South Africa) 0:06:23.34  
28 Anka Martin (South Africa) 0:06:25.81  
29 Daniela Bossard (Switzerland) 0:06:29.17  
30 Lisa Myklak (United States Of America) 0:06:29.84  
31 Antje Kramer (Germany) 0:06:34.00  
32 Darian Harvey (United States Of America) 0:06:40.69  
33 Jaymie Mart (Barbados) 0:06:47.01  
34 Harriet Rucknagel (Germany) 0:06:48.04  
35 Elisa Canepa (Italy) 0:06:51.12  
36 Jessica Vogt (United States Of America) 0:07:02.23  
37 Diana Marggraff (Ecuador) 0:07:04.40  
Junior Men    
1 Ruaridh Cunningham (Great Britain) 0:05:06.82  
2 John Swanguen (United States Of America) 0:05:08.89  
3 Matthew Scoles (New Zealand) 0:05:09.27  
4 Mitchell Delfs (Australia) 0:05:09.63  
5 Joel Bain (Australia) 0:05:13.24  
6 James Maltman (Australia) 0:05:14.72  
7 Hans Lambert (Canada) 0:05:16.03  
8 Joseph Smith (Great Britain) 0:05:16.15  
9 Chris Hutchens (Great Britain) 0:05:16.44  
10 David Hetherington (Australia) 0:05:19.68  
11 Steve Smith (Canada) 0:05:19.78  
12 Marcelo Gutierrez (Colombia) 0:05:20.34  
13 Rémi Thirion (France) 0:05:21.85  
14 Seanan O’riordan (Ireland) 0:05:23.09  
15 Georg Sieder (Austria) 0:05:23.70  
16 Tom Patton (Australia) 0:05:24.15  
17 Maximilian Bender (Germany) 0:05:25.23  
18 Tyler Mc Caul (United States Of America) 0:05:25.32  
19 Patrick Meyer (Switzerland) 0:05:25.50  
20 Joris Bigoni (France) 0:05:25.64  
21 Scott Mears (Great Britain) 0:05:26.01  
22 Marco Bugnone (Italy) 0:05:26.03  
23 Benny Strasser (Germany) 0:05:26.25  
24 Michael Langford (New Zealand) 0:05:26.93  
25 Dennis Dertell (Sweden) 0:05:27.60  
26 Arnaud Delente (France) 0:05:28.66  
27 Ewan Doherty (Ireland) 0:05:32.79  
28 Nicola Casadei (San Marino) 0:05:33.09  
29 Logan Binggeli (United States Of America) 0:05:34.01  
30 Brad Oien (United States Of America) 0:05:34.45  
31 Boris Tetzlaff (Austria) 0:05:34.46  
32 Anssi Koskinen (Finland) 0:05:35.09  
33 Tim Price (United States Of America) 0:05:39.00  
34 Josh Bryceland (Great Britain) 0:05:40.19  
35 Karl O’sullivan (Ireland) 0:05:43.40  
36 Greg Saharin (South Africa) 0:05:45.44  
37 Joshua Button (Australia) 0:05:45.87  
38 Jeremias Maio (Argentina) 0:05:47.29  
39 Jason Murphy (Ireland) 0:05:47.49  
40 Samuele Aicardi (Italy) 0:05:48.69  
41 Joey Schulsler (United States Of America) 0:05:49.50  
42 Gernot Ruppert (Germany) 0:05:50.84  
43 Jan Savr (Czech Republic) 0:05:54.34  
44 Matteo Milliery (Italy) 0:05:54.74  
45 Justin Novella (South Africa) 0:05:59.00  
46 Hayden Brown (South Africa) 0:06:00.29  
47 Patrik Zolei (Hungary) 0:06:00.61  
48 Sho Kadowaki (Japan) 0:06:02.16  
49 David Scandrett (New Zealand) 0:06:02.82  
50 Travis Browning (South Africa) 0:06:03.33  
51 Ryno Fourie (South Africa) 0:06:05.70  
52 Yousuke Miki (Japan) 0:06:12.07  
53 Matias Cuevas (Argentina) 0:06:12.97  
54 Peter Cooper (New Zealand) 0:08:10.16  
55 Joel Ferreira (Portugal) 0:09:43.19  
56 Kruger Breed (South Africa) 0:11:13.98  
DSQ Will Rischbieth (Australia)    
DNF Markus Olkkonen (Finland)    
DNF Niklas Wallner (Sweden)    
DNF Marcus Williams (Great Britain)    
DNS Nejc Rutar (Slovenia)    
DNS Edoardo Franco (Italy)    
DNS Johannes Sutter (Germany)    
Junior Women    
1 Floriane Pugin (France) 0:05:50.18  
2 Katy Curd (Great Britain) 0:06:17.30  
3 Myriam Nicole (France) 0:06:41.48  
4 Aurea Agostinho (Portugal) 0:06:44.33  
5 Holly Kernohan-Smith (New Zealand) 0:06:53.46  
6 Anne Laplante (Canada) 0:07:01.95  
7 Christina Pinney (United States Of America) 0:09:19.59  
DNF Miranda Miller (Canada)    
DNS Caroline Buchanan (Australia)    

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