Austrian mud challenges 4 cross and downhill racers

As can be seen in the video above from badreichenhall the action was fast, furious and dangerous at the World Cup downhill recently held at Leogang in Austria. The main reason being the weather which made conditions very difficult – it was cold and it rained and as the various heats came and went the tracks became treacherous.

In the final of the men’s downhill, under worsening weather conditions, no one could match the top qualifying times, but Minnaar managed to complete his run seven-tenths of a second faster than Atherton, with Gwin taking third and Blenkinsop fourth.  Minnaar, with two wins and a third place, extended his lead over Atherton to 73 points, while Gwin moved into third, 250 points behind Minnaar.

“It was crazy out there,” commented Minnaar.  “I was just all over the place, trying to stay on the bike.  It really was tough.”

In the final of the women’s downhill it was Jonnier who came home first, nearly half a second faster than Atherton’s qualifying time. Atherton was the last rider to race, and the only one who could possibly beat the French rider, but the 2008 World Cup winner crashed on her run and did not finish.  Ragot took second and Tracy Moseley (Trek World Team) third.  Jonnier now holds a significant 140 point lead over Floriane Pugin (Scott 11), with Atherton third, 190 points behind.

But it was not only downhill action for Leogang also hosted the 4th round of the 4 cross series – and it was Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) who took his third win of the season to extend his lead in the men’s series, while defending 2009 women’s champion Anneke Beerten (Suspension Center) finally won her first World Cup race of the year.

The win put Beerten into the series lead, ten points ahead of the absent Horáková, with Molcik a further ten points back in third.

Graves’ third win now puts him 175 points ahead of Slavik, with Wichman 190 points back.  These two riders have a slim mathematical chance of catching Graves for the World Cup title, but the odds are that Graves has already wrapped up the 2010 title.

Check out the action in the men’s final from SouLCr3aTioNv2can anyone catch Graves – we don’t think so! Well you have to win on your home patch.

The next round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will take place in Champéry (SUI) on July 24th and 25th 2010.

As we mentioned above conditions were tough – see below how difficult it was and how Matti Lehikoinen crashed out in the downhill – now that is extreme! The video comes from dirtclowns

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