Australia’s Mick and Tracey Hannah have begun the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Series in superb form, finishing as the highest ranked Australians in the opening round of the downhill at Pietermaritzburg Cascades MTB Park on Saturday.
In the elite men’s event, Mick finished second to Aaron Gwin (USA) with fellow Australians Troy Brosnan securing fifth and and Sam Hill ninth respectively. Tracey finished sixth in the women’s event won by France’s Manon Carpenter (FRA).
The strong results from Cairns’ natives bodes well for round two of the Series, dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, which will be held in Cairns from April 25-27. (More info worldcupcairns.com.au)
In the men’s event qualifying, Hannah suffered an issue that almost lead to a major crash and as a result started 21st on race day.
In Saturday’s final, Hannah demolished the previous best time of the day set by South Africa’s Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory Off-road Team) by more than eight seconds to power into the ‘Hot Seat’ with a time of 4mins 01.381secs.
In the hot seat for almost an hour as rider after rider tackled the tricky course, it appeared Hannah would take a fairytale victory ahead of his home leg of the Series in Cairns which starts in 12 days.
However in a thrilling finish, former downhill mountain biking World Cup Series winner Aaron Gwin, the fastest rider in qualifying, was the fastest again today, taking the overall win by 2.037seconds after posting 3mins 59.344secs.
“I had a better day today, I lost some time up top, but had a strong second half,” said Hannah. ” Aaron rode well, thanks everyone!”
Australian National Champion Troy Brosnan posted one of his best results in Elite with a run of 4:02.675 seeing him take the final step of the podium.
- 1. Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing DH) 3:59.344
- 2. Mick Hannah (Hutchinson UR) 4:01.381
- 3. Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 4:02.168
- 4. Loic Bruni (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:02.237
- 5. Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) 4:02.675
- 6. Samuel Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:03.387
- 7. Sam Dale (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 4:05.347
- 8. Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) 4:05.705
- 9. Samuel Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com/Nukeproof) 4:06.195
- 10. Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 4:06.243
Six months after claiming junior women’s bronze on the same track at the 2013 UCI World Championships, Tegan Molloy (AUS) faced a daunting day as the only junior racing against the Elites. Molloy crashed in the tough rock garden early in the course but recovered well and was awarded the Junior Women win and Series leader jersey.
Fellow Australian Danielle Beecroft (Green to Gold team), who claimed the world championship silver ahead of Molloy last year but is now racing the in Elite category, had a good run to take the hot seat early in proceedings. Beecroft would ultimately finish eleventh for a great first result in her first Elite World Cup race.
Australia’s Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR) loves fast, flowing tracks like Pietermaritzburg, highlighted by her victory in the event here in 2012.
Hannah was low & smooth early and she held on to finish as the second-fastest rider with just four riders left to start. Her time of 4:48.045 would ultimately see her finish a strong sixth.
The day for the women would belong to Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) who stepped up to take her first World Cup win after many podium finishes.
- 1. Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 4:34.923
- 2. Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 4:38.831
- 3. Jill Kintner 4:44.041
- 4. Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) 4:44.651
- 5. Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:44.662
- 6. Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR) 4:48.045
- 7. Tahnee Seagrave (FMD Racing) 4:52.285
- 8. Morgane Charre (Evil Vengeance Tour) 4:52.400
- 9. Emilie Siegenthaler (GSTAAD-Scott) 4:58.117
- 10. Fionn Griffiths 5:00.973
Junior Men’s Recap
In the Junior Men’s event, Aiden Varley (AUS) recorded an excellent qualifying run on Friday and continued the form in the final with the second fastest run of the day at the time with a 4:27.376.
Amaury Pierron (FRA) sat in the hot seat for almost the whole event after being the second rider down the hill, but would ultimately finish third. The two fastest qualifiers both backed up in the same order in the finals, Loris Vergier (Lapierre Gravity Republic) finishing second overall and Luca Shaw (SRAM/TLD Racing) taking the win in a time of 4mins 15.267secs.
Junior Men results:
- 1.Luca Shaw (SRAM/TLD Racing) 4:15.267
- 2.Loris Vergier (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:17.257
- 3.Amaury Pierron 4:23.668
- 4.Aiden Varley 4:27.376
- 5.Benjamin Boutie (LAC Blanc/SCOTT) 4:29.731
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
- Website: worldcupcairns.com.au
- Social media: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube
- Hashtags: #Cairns2014 #visitcairns #thisisqueensland
2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info
The Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural, business and regional events across the state.
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 at mtb.subaru.com.au.