Here’s the official press release from Trek World Racing after round 1 of the World Cup DH. Justin sits in 7th overall! The opening round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill saw Trek World Racing take two top 10 results despite the difficult conditions that saw rain all weekend causing slippery race conditions and ankle deep mud in some sections. Justin’s 9th in the final was enough to place him 7th overall in the season standings, while teammates Andrew Neethling and Tracy Moseley finished 33rd and 8th respectively in their final runs.
The weekend of relentless rain made riding conditions in Maribor treacherous and mud is likely to be one of the most memorable things about this popular venue for both riders and spectators alike. Certainly conditions were the toughest they ever have been at this track and riders were faced with various technical challenges, particularly issues of poor visibility and lack of traction.
Qualifying proved tough, with Justin coming in a strong 12th, Andrew a respectable 24th, and Tracy 7th. All riders battled with the harsh conditions. Tracy rode well but lost some confidence after a bizarre incident where she landed blind on the rear wheel, then landed super heavily on the front, causing mild whiplash which affected her performance on race day. Andrew had a strong start in the finals, recording the 8th fastest split but lost valuable time by the second split after sliding out onto a tree and coming to a dead stop. Meanwhile Justin had a slower start in split one, positioned 23rd, but gained pace by split 2 where he fought his way up to 10th.
Justin said: “I had a few problems in the rock garden but pushed really hard after that. I made a few tiny mistakes but my speed and pace is there and my equipment’s awesome; I’ve just got to get myself a bit quicker for the next race. I know the podium’s within reach, so it’s just a matter of making it happen”.
Tracy said: “It was a tough race—the track was hard and conditions were really tricky. I started well with no major mistakes but didn’t ride as confidently as I wanted and it was hard to pick up pace. I didn’t ride as aggressively as I could’ve done—towards the end I felt really tired, especially towards the bottom where I made a couple of errors and lost some momentum. It wasn’t an ideal start to my World Cup. It’s been a tough weekend but I’m not injured and I can’t wait for Fort William to pick things up again”.
Andrew said: “I kind of figured there’d be one of three endings—ride aggressively and it pays off with a good result, ride conservatively and have a mediocre result and be disappointed, or ride aggressively and it doesn’t pay off which is what happened. My middle split was good, I was riding aggressively but then I slid out into a tree and from then on I really struggled to get my bike back on track and I simply lost too much time”.
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Next week Trek World Racing will be in Offenburg, Germany, for World Cup XC Round 3, and the downhillers will be in Fort William on June 5 and 6 for round 2 of their series.
Men’s Results DH Final:
1. Greg Minnaar (RSA) 3m 23.42secs 2. Gee Atherton (GBR) 3m 23.67secs 3. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) 3m 25.24secs 4. Fabien Pedemenaud (FRA) 3m 25.84secs 5. Sam Hill (AUS) 3m 28.10secs 9. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) 3m 30.65secs 33. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) 3m 36.10secs
Women’s Results DH Final:
1. Rachel Atherton (GBR) 4m 03.42secs 2. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) 4m 13.15secs 3. Floriane Pugin (FRA) 4m 16.33secs 4. Myriam Nicole (FRA) 4m 18.92secs 5. Petra Bernhard (AUT) 4m 22.39secs 8. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) 4m 24.11secs
Men’s Overall Standings:
1. Greg Minnaar (RSA) 230pts 2. Gee Atherton (GBR) 185pts 3. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) 180pts 7. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) 93pts 34. Andrew Neethling (Trek World Racing) 48pts
Women’s Overall Standings:
1. Rachel Atherton (GBR) 200pts 2. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA) 185pts 3. Floriane Pugin (FRA) 180pts 8. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) 84pts