Racing: Downhill’s finest heading to Cairns for UCI MTB World Cup

Words by Cycling Australia | Images by Tim Bardsley-Smith, Cycling Australia

No less than seven downhill World and six World Cup Series champions will descend on the Smithfield Rainforest in Cairns later this month for the second round of the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Series.

The World Cup Series features events in nine countries, across four continents with riders contesting six rounds in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories. The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

CYC11171_MREC_300x250_LOOP_FA

Dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, the three-day Cairns event begins on April 25 and over 300 riders are expected to converge on tropical North Queensland along with tens of thousands of fans.

A star studded men’s downhill field includes two-time reigning world champion Greg Minnaar (South Africa/Santa Cruz Syndicate), with the three-time overall Series champion boasting sixteen career World Cup wins including 60 podiums from 97 starts.

Reigning World Cup Series winner Steve Smith (Canada/Devinci Global Racing), 2008 world and 2010 Series champion Gee Atherton (Great Britain/Atherton Racing) and exciting young-gun Loic Bruni (France/Lapierre Gravity Republic) are all heading down under.

Australia will be well represented by Cairns native and 2013 World Championship silver medallist Michael Hannah (Hutchinson UR) who finished sixth overall last season and will be aiming for a strong showing on his home track.

Hannah will be joined by fellow Australians Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof), a three-time world and two-time Series champion, and Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) who claimed both the junior world title and World Cup series crown in 2010 and 2011, and enjoyed success in the 2013 Series with six top-ten finishes.

Reigning world and three-time Series champion Rachel Atherton (Great Britain/Atherton Racing) will look to continue her dominance of the women’s scene and add to her decorated resume that already includes 19 World Cup victories.

A strong French women’s contingent includes 2009 & 2011 world champion Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic), who will be gunning for the top step of the World Cup podium after finishing runner up in the 2012 and 2013 series, and 2012 world champion Morgane Charre (Evil Vengeance Tour).

Like elder brother Michael, former junior world champion Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR), will be looking to excite the home crowds and claim her second career World Cup win. Being limited to just four of six events in each of the past two seasons, Hannah finished tenth in 2013 and fourth overall in 2012.

*Entries for the Cairns UCI Mountain Bike World Cup open on April 10 and close April 22.  Official start lists to be confirmed after this date.

About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • Six rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories.
  • The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Tablelands Classic

The week is not just for the professionals with the Tablelands Classic presenting the chance for everyday riders to test their skills, before heading into Cairns to watch the World Cup unfold over the weekend. More info atmtb.subaru.com.au.

close