November 23rd, 2016 6:25am
With one race to go in the world Cup season, Racheal Atherton clinched the World Cup overall by winning her fifth straight World Cup of the season. The only race Atherton didn't win was at the height of Emmeline Ragot who had to bow out of the overall competition with an injury.
Coming into the only world cup in the US Atherton was in control of her destiny. Only needing to keep it upright, Rachel crushed the field on the dusty intense Windham track. Winning by over 9 seconds on the short course was a very impressive feat. According to Atherton, the large lead she brought to Windham allowed her to relax a bit which almost always results in a smoother run and quicker times.
Manon Carpenter had an impressive run herself to take second and Tahnee Seagraves continued her rise to the top with third place
Womens Downhill Results
1) Rachel Atherton
2) Manon Carpenter
3) Tahnee Seagraves
On the men's side current world Jr champion Loris Vergier…..set a scorcher of a time early on and sat in the hot seat for entire day as the field could not get close to his pace. The closest challenger was not within 2 seconds until Steve Smith's challenge got within .2 tenths.
With only five riders to go the crowd was going to see if the young rider could survive. Vergier was hoping to capture his first top ten, but was now looking down the barrel of his first world cup overall win.
Gee Atherton was the first rider to go faster in the rough second section taking a .089 tenths lead at the split. Gee gave it back on the final section to come up .2 second short.
Greg Minnaar was next and quickly got up - .189 ahed at the first split - Minnaar hammered at every pedal opportunity and took the lead by just .2 with one section to go. MInnaars power is never a question and he finishishing stronger than he started, MInnaar took the lead and hot seat by .7 tenths of a second, setting himself up for his 19th world cup win.
Brosnan was next. The super talented Aussie sailed down the rough course but had a bobble somewhere in the woods and continually lost time to Minnaar to finish 2.4 second behind the leader.
Bruni was second to the last man down. Second in three world cups this season, Bruni sent it down the hill choosing lines no one else hit, carrying speed and taking the lead half way down the hill until a flat tire would kill his chance at the overall win and put the World Cup overall in serious harm. Bruni managed to ride out the run for a 13th place overall.
Finally, it was Aaron Gwin flying the flag for the Americans on home soil and the only one who could spoil Minnaar's day. From the start Gwin was on the attack - going absolutely crazy on the bowling alley drop and pinned. At 1.9 seconds ahead at the split, the home town crowd was going bananas. Gwin looked like a win at all costs rider and kept the train rolling going up by 3 seconds at the next split. With the crowd going bonkers down the home stretch, Gwin managed to take even more time out Minnaar, and taking the win in dramatic fashion b 3.5 seconds - an eternity on a two and a half minute run.
MENS DOWNHILL FINAL at Windham Resort
1) Aaron Gwin - 2.38.108
2) Greg Minnaaar +3.505
3) Loris Vergier +4.290
4) Gee Atherton + 4.493
5) Steve Smith +4.580
6) Troy Brosnan + 5.920
7) Josh Bryceland + 6.010
8) Matthew Simmonds + 6.517