Fearless MacDonald grabs podium
Trek World Racing professional Brook MacDonald, who dislocated his knee cap in practice, has shown courage to ride to a season-best fourth place in the UCI World Cup mountain bike downhill in Italy today.
The 24 year old from Hawkes Bay dislocated his knee after a crash in his final practice run two days ago, but after treatment he decided to continue with bracing on his leg.
He rushed down the treacherous Val di Sole course in 3:35.215 to nab the leader’s Hot Seat which he held until being dislodged by the final three riders. American Aaron Gwin won the final round and the overall World Cup title, with MacDonald grabbing a deserved spot on the podium.
“Man that was a great run, I enjoyed it so much. About a third of the way in I was hitting everything just as I wanted and I was able to pick things up by the end of the second sector,” MacDonald said.
“In the final sector I just let it rip and was stoked to see I was two seconds quicker than the rest when I crossed the line.
“It’s great to be back on the podium, and I know I’ve had that speed all year but stupid little errors or wash outs have stopped me converting my runs into podiums.
The effort lifted MacDonald to 10th in the final World Cup rankings, one spot behind compatriot Sam Blenkinsop (Norco Factory Racing) who was 11th today.
“To finish the season ranked top 10 after some messy results like Windham, well I’m pretty happy about that,” MacDonald said. “The fans were amazing today and I just want to thank every fan that has supported me both on-line and live at the races this year, it means more than you know.”
Five New Zealand riders finished in the top-30 in the final rankings with George Brannigan (Trek World Racing) 25th after finishing 17th today; Ed Masters (Bergamont Hayes Factory Team) completed a breakout season in 27th (15th today) and his brother Wyn (Team Bulls) 30th after 44th placing.
Meanwhile Queenstown’s Alanna Columb has finished 18th overall in the world cup rankings following her 12th place finish at Val di Sole in the elite women with the race and the season dominated by Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton.
Attention now turns to the cross country tomorrow, with Anton Cooper, Sam Gaze, Ben and Craig Oliver among the 118 starters in the under-23 men’s race while Kate Fluker and Samara Sheppard in the elite women.
The final round of the UCI World Cup leads to the World Championships in Andorra from 1-6 September.
Results, World Cup Downhill, Val di Sole, elite men: Aaron Gwin (Specialized, USA) 3:31.922, 1; Loic Bruni (FRA) 3:33.531, 2; Troy Brosnan (AUS) 3:33.776, 3. Also NZers: Brook MacDonald (Trek World Racing) 3:35.215, 4; Sam Blenkinsop (Norco Factory Racing) 3:38.728, 11; Ed Masters (Bergamont Hayes) 3:39.674, 15; George Brannigan (Trek World Rcing) 3:40.695, 18; Rupert Chapman (Bergamont Hayes) 3:44.502, 35; Wyn Masters (Team Bulls) 3:45.699, 44; Matt Walker 4:22.079, 76.
Junior men: Loris Revelli (ITA) 3:44.943, 1; Jacob Dickson (IRL) 3:46.167, 2; Laurie Greenland (GBR) 3:46.779, 3. Also NZers: Connor Sandri 3:53.954, 10; Cole Lucas 3:58.568, 13; Matthew Gillan 4:04.850, 20.
Elite women: Rachel Atherton (GBR) 4:08.636, 1; Myriam Nicole (FRA) 4:10.875, 2; Manon Carpenter (GBR) 4:15.080, 3. Also NZers: Alanna Columb 4:35.925, 12;