The first World Cup DH race of the season took place on Easter Sunday in the in the red mud of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa saw Trek World Racing domination with American Aaron Gwin taking the men’s victory and Britain’s very own Tracy Moseley taking victory in the women’s downhill.
With an extremely pedally lower section on the track, victory was always going to be down to the person that had trained the hardest over winter and hurt themselves the most on race day.
In the men’s race, Steve Peat of the Santa Cruz Syndicate managed the first sub 4.15s time on the track and took the hot seat before Gwin knocked seven seconds off his time. Gee Atherton, riding the all new Commencal Supreme, couldn’t top his effort but came within two seconds of the top spot before local favourite Greg Minaar came within just 0.241s of Gwin’s time, taking second place and leaving Gee in third. It’s a historic win for Aaron Gwin – the first World Cup taken by an American rider since Shaun Palmer won at Big Bear back in 1999. It’s all pointing to an exciting season ahead…
Aaron said: “I’m pretty speechless actually. It’s a dream. In the first sector I made a little mistake, hitting some trees with my shoulder, but then I just regrouped and put as much power down as I could in the middle sector. By the end, the legs were really feeling it, and then it was a pretty nerve wracking waiting in the hot seat. The bike is amazing, I can’t praise it enough, and the whole time here in South Africa with the team has been so great. Can’t wait for Fort William, I love that track.”
In the women’s race Trek World Racing’s Tracy Moseley pipped Ffion Griffiths to the win by just 0.288s, with Emmeline Ragot in third place.
After her win Tracy said: “That was so tough today. Towards the end I was running out of steam and had the rear kick up on something in the lower section of the track; then I heard the onsite commentary say it was going to be close, so I dug deep until the end. It means a lot to win my first World Cup at my first attempt since earning the World Champs jersey, it just means so much.”
In the Men’s 4x, Jared Graves opened his season with another win, followed by Michal Prokop. In the Women’s race, Anneke Beerten took first and it was another excellent result for Ffion Griffiths in second.
Here’s a link to the Freecaster.tv video coverage…