The UCI Mountain bike World Cup presented by Shimano Chronicle
– What happened? –
Round 3 of the 2017 season of the UCI Downhill (DHI) Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano took place in Leogang, Austria, site of the 2012 UCI World Championships. Leogang is a very steep and fast course, where taking the best line and being aerodynamic can be as important as pedaling strength.
The Elite Women's field is still missing UCI World Champion and defending UCI World Cup winner Rachel Atherton (Trek Factory), of Great Britain, who dislocated her shoulder a week earlier during Round 2 training and is still recovering. This opened the door to fellow Brit Tahnée Seagrave (Transition Bikes/FMD Factory), who took the first World Cup win of her career, beating Round 2 winner Tracey Hannah (Polygon UR). Hannah still leads the overall standings, with 635 points, followed by Seagrave - who jumps from fifth in the overall standings - with 504 points. Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Vallnord), was third fastest in Leogang and is now also third in the standings with 500 points.
Elite Men's defending UCI World Cup champion Aaron Gwin (The YT Mob) took his third successive victory in Leogang. With four riders to go, Loris Vergier (Santa Cruz Syndicate) smashed the leading time by nearly three seconds. Round 2 winner Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), the second fastest qualifier, could not beat his team mate, so it was down to Gwin, looking for his first win of the 2017 season. The American took the lead on the opening split and rode to a 1.435 second victory, the 17th of his career, tying him with the legendary Steve Peat and three wins behind all-time leader Minnaar. Minnaar still leads the overall standings with 472 points, while Gwin has moved into second at 434 points.
In the Junior categories, UCI World Champion and Round 1 winner Finnley Iles (Specialized) won the men's competition and continues to lead the overall standings. Latvia's Paula Zibasa took the Junior Women’s win, followed by Round 1 winner Mélanie Chappaz (Dorval AM Nicolai), who continues to lead the overall standings.
– What's next? –
Vallnord, AND, DHI World Cup #4 / XCO #3: July 1-2
- Photo of the week -
– Focus on Anton Cooper –
New Zealand's Anton Cooper (Trek Factory) burst onto the world cross-country Olympic (XCO) scene in 2012 when he dominated the Junior category at both the UCI World Cup and the UCI World Championships. He struggled a bit making the transition to Under-23, but adapted and won his second world title in 2015 as an Under-23, after winning the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He joined the Elite ranks this year, and has already recorded a podium appearance on the UCI World Cup circuit, finishing third at Round 2 in Albstadt, Germany.
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