Posted by Editor on 07/1/11
The battle for the men's Downhill title in the World Cup continues, with Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) inching closer to his rival Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) after winning Qualifying on Friday, finishing 1.319 seconds in front of Gwin. With his win, Minnaar gained ten points, and now sits 36 points behind Gwin in the overall standings. The pair were well ahead of the rest of the field, with Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) finishing third, but over five seconds behind Minnaar.
Riders saw everything from thick fog, to drizzling rain, to brief patches of sun during the qualifying session, which made rocks and roots slippery, and turned sections in the woods into soupy mud.
Six Canadians qualified to the final-80 who will race on Sunday, led by Steve Smith (Devinci) in eighth. Smith is a podium contender, after winning the silver medal here at the Worlds last year. Other Canadian qualifiers are: Yann Gauvin in an excellent 41st, Dean Tennant 53rd, Chris Del Bosco 56th, Junior-aged Kyle Sangers in 59th and Remi Gauvin in 74th (tied). Rob Fraser missed qualifying by less than half a second, and two spots.
In women's qualifying, World Cup leader and world champion Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) continues to dominate, as she has alll season, winning by nearly eleven and a half seconds ahead of Floriane Pugin (Scott 11). Rachel Atherton (Commencal) finished third, but over 15 seconds in arrears. Top Canadian was Miranda Miller in 12th, just ahead of Canadian champion Micayla Gatto. Anne Laplante finished 18th and Jaime Hill 21st. All qualified for the final on Sunday.
- Gwin's new prototype carbon bike was creating lots of interest, but the team remains tight-lipped, saying that Trek has embargoed information on it until July 15th. However, we were able to grab a few 'spy shots' at the top of the hill as the riders were waiting to start, which can be seen in the photo gallery we will post.
- Canada's Junior World Champion in the Downhill, Lauren Rosser is here in Mont Ste Anne, but focussing on the Cross-country this weekend, as she tries once again to qualify for both at Worlds. Since the DH and Junior XC races are both on Sunday, it was not feasible to for her to do the Downhill.