Posted by Editoress on 05/11/08
UCI World Cup Downhill #1 - Maribor, Slovenia
by Larry Ireland
Photos by Larry Ireland
Sam Hill (Monster) started the 2008 season the way he ended the 2007 season; by decimating the MTB World Cup Downhill peloton. Hill qualified in third place, and was decidedly unhappy about it. When asked if that is where he wanted to be, he only replied "not really, I wanted the [qualifying] points".
Hill discussed his run in the finish area while signing autographs. "It was pretty good, there's still stuff to improve. I'll look to get the perfect run at Andorra. I'm really happy to get out here and win, I didn't have a good qualifying run so it was good to get out here and ride and just have fun on the way down."
Hill was untouchable in Final with first place qualifier Julien Camellini of Chain Reaction Cycles only able to get within 4.1 seconds of the Aussie. The Frenchman was grinning ear to ear as he talked about his slightly messy run. "My run was good but I committed so many mistakes trying to go as fast as I could. I went overspeed in a few corners, slipped on some roots and got unclipped. I tried to catch up my mistakes but I was just flat out. At this level you cannot just go smoothly." World Cup Veteran Steve Peat was third.
For the ladies, it was France's Sabrina Jonnier continuing her winning ways for her new Maxxis Iron Horse team. "I was pretty upset about my ride in the morning," she explained, " I just gave everything I had. I had heaps of fun. I had a big smile on my face on the way down."
The only Canadians competing were Steve Smith and Claire Buchar. Smith had an amazing qualifying run, placing 15th, but had some difficulties in his finals run. "I hit a tree going really fast and then I pinned it after. It was about 4 seconds after the rock garden on a simple spot where I shouldn't have."
Buchar also didn't have the run she wanted: "I was a little disappointed with my final, as I rode a lot smoother in my qualifier. In my final I obviously pedaled harder but only ended up making up 1 second off my qualifier. I feel like I could have gone faster."
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