Trek World Racing's Tracy Moseley secured 4th place on the podium and Justin Leov raced back into the top ten at the third round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill in Leogang (Austria) this weekend. Teammate, Andrew Neethling, finished 24th – an impressive performance considering he rode suffering intense lower back pain from a displaced Sacro Iliac joint, but a disappointing result for the 26 year old South African who’s performed so successfully these past few weeks. The 2.6 kilometre-long track–a new addition to the World Cup calendar this year–has an altitude difference of some 524 metres and Sunday's race took place at a cold, wet course. Weather conditions made an already tough track even trickier with a progressive build-up of mud making the surface sticky and riding lines difficult. Tracy, who performed third fastest at the first split and built up speed to perform 2nd fastest at split 2, was hoping for a strong performance following a good weekend of practice and excellent qualifying run that saw her 3rd fastest to the finish. Whilst she'd hoped for a quicker result in the final, it was a good result at this challenging new track that saw many of the world's top riders tackle all manner of technical challenges, particularly in the root sections.
Justin, who also had a good weekend's riding, qualifying 7th on Saturday, rode powerfully and consistently to finish 8th in the final race, a welcome return to the top ten for the New Zealand rider.
Tracy said: "I'm pretty disappointed. I felt like I'd ridden pretty well this weekend and felt comfortable on the track during practice. The weather made it harder and I made a small mistake before the second split, coming to an almost complete stop and losing some valuable time. After that I lost my momentum, especially in the root section, and fatigue set in but I'm happy to be on the podium".
Justin said: "I'd say I'm pretty happy today. I feel like I've got my confidence back, which has been down a bit these past couple of weeks. I rode really well but just faded a little at the end. The podium was super close but I'm happy to be back in the top ten and move up two spots in the overall".
Andrew said: "I'm highly frustrated by things out of my control that always seem to come at a World Cup. I couldn't do the practice runs I wanted and it took away from my focus. I had a poor run on a tough course and made two crucial mistakes in the top woods then faded at the bottom. I just hope to get myself fixed up next week and come back at Champery fitter and better".
Meanwhile, Neko Mulally made a welcome return to the paddock this weekend and although he didn't ride, he spent some valuable time walking the course with his teammates. Neko continues to make a strong recovery since breaking his arm in April and hopes to be back on his bike soon, competing alongside Justin, Andrew and Tracy.
Next week, Justin and Tracy will stay at Leogang to compete in the iXS Cup before the full TWR team travel to Chatel in France for their annual Summer Camp. This year, two lucky Trek Session owners have the chance to ride with the team at this awesome venue–for more details about the competition visit: http://www.23degrees-sports.com/news.php?id=686
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Men's Results DH Final: 1. Greg Minnaar (RSA) 4min 05.65secs 2. Gee Atherton (GBR) 4m 06.39secs 3. Aaron Gwin (USA) 4min 10.09secs 4. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL) 4min 11.17secs 5. Cameron Cole (NZL) 4mins 11.77secs 8. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) 4min 12.93secs 24. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) 4min 19.41secs
Women's Results DH Final: 1. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) 4min 52.70secs 2. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) 4min 56.24secs 3. Floriane Pugin (FRA) 4min 58.05secs 4. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) 5min 02.39secs 5. Myriam Nicole (FRA) 5min 05.48secs
Men's Overall Standings: 1. Greg Minnaar (RSA) 660pts 2. Gee Atherton (GBR) 587pts 3. Aaron Gwin (USA) 410pts 7. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) 274pts 19. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) 189pts
Women's Overall Standings: 1. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) 650pts 2. Floriane Pugin (FRA) 510pts 3. Rachel Atherton (GBR) 460pts 4. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) 389pts 5. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) 385 pts