Posted by Editoress on 07/31/09
After raining all morning, the precipitation backed off for the Downhill and 4-Cross qualifying on Friday afternoon. The courses were still wet, but solid construction by the organizers meant that the quality of racing was not compromised.
The women's downhill saw a bit of an upset when World Cup leader Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), the winner of the last five events, only managed to finish fifth after a tentative run. Tracy Moseley (Trek World racing), the winner of the first world Cup of the year, took the top spot, 14-hundredths of a second in front of Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Centre), who is racing on a broken ankle. Floriane Pugin (Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker) was third at 5.64 seconds. The top Canadian finisher was national champion Claire Buchar (Chain Reaction-Intense) in sixth place.
On the men's side, it was two-time world champion Fabien Barel (Subaru) finishing first, half a second in front of last week's winner Sam Hill (Monster Energy-Specialized), with the Santa Cruz duo of Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat less than one and a half seconds back. Steve Smith (Evil Bikes) was the top Canadian finisher in seventh place.
For the 4-Cross, Jill Kintner (Red Bull/Intense/Crankbrothers) took 0.63 of a second out of Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team), with World Cup leader Anneke Beerten (Suspension Centre) third at 0.74 seconds. The battle between Kintner and Beerten is far from over. Anne Laplante (Xprezo) was the only Canadian qualifier, in ninth place.
On the men's side, Jared Graves (Yeti Fox) had a rare off day, finishing fourth behind Romain Saladini (Sunn), Quentin Derbier (France) and Roger Rinderknecht (GT Bicycles). Graves has already mathematically won the World Cup title, with five wins. Two Canadians qualified for the final tomorrow night - national champion Hans Lambert (Norco) in 16th place and Matt Zdriluk in 22nd. Alex Brancier missed by nine-hundredths of a second and one spot (33rd) making it through to the final round.
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