Gwin and Minnaar are now tied in the overall at 450 points with Atherton in third (315 points). Beaumont is fourth (228 points) and Canadian Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) is fifth (215 points). Australian Michael Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) dropped back to sixth after a disappointing 32nd place today.
Early on in the race, Cameron Cole came down a second and a half faster than his Lapierre International teammate Sam Blenkinsop and was able to relax in the Red Bull Hot Seat for a while. At the end of the day his time was, however, only good enough for fifth place. Next to take the lead was Gee Atherton, 2.5 seconds up on Cole. Recovering from a broken leg, Atherton set the track on fire. Marc Beaumont was up next, but he was half a second back of his teammate’s time to eventually end up in fourth spot.
Up next were the top two from the qualifications, Greg Minnaar and Aaron Gwin. Minnaar, the winner in South Africa, was one second back at the second split, but a super fast bottom half put him half a second up on Atherton at the finish. Showing technical precision and effortless riding style, Aaron Gwin, the last rider on the course, was unbelievable 6 second up at the second split and eventually crossed the finish line 7.8 seconds ahead of Minnaar at the finish, winning one of the Cup’s most hotly contested races by the widest of margins.
2 MINNAAR Greg CRUZ SYNDICATE +7.850
3 ATHERTON Gee GT FACTORY RACING +8.393
4 BEAUMONT Marc GT FACTORY RACING +8.937
5 COLE Cameron LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL +9.743
6 HART Danny GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +10.318
7 HILL Samuel MONSTER ENERGY-SPECIALIZED +10.500
8 BLENKINSOP Samuel LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL +11.308
9 THIRION Rémi LABYRINTH SHIMANO RACING TEAM +11.319
10 SMITH Steve DEVINCI GLOBAL RACING +11.392
Elite Men, Downhill World Cup Standings:
1 GWIN Aaron 450
2 MINNAAR Greg 450
3 ATHERTON Gee 315
4 BEAUMONT Marc 228
5 SMITH Steve 215
6 HANNAH Michael 209
7 HILL Samuel 191
8 HART Danny 165
9 THIRION Rémi 161
10 PEAT Steve 152