All the Action from Day 3 at the UCI World Championships
World Championships Day Three
Saturday saw the conclusion of all 4 Downhill races on Mount Ngongataha. The Juniors were up first culminating in the Elites afterwards. The crowds gathered throughout the day with several thousand expected in the main arena for the grande finale. As ever the Aussie-Kiwi rivalry was strong with huge cheers and blaring of air horns whenever a respective rider came past but the Kiwis put on a stronger display on their home turf.
The Women’s Junior was a simply a case of deciding who finished where with only three juniors competing in the final. Aussie Tracey Hannah eventually took the title of Women’s World Champion with a time of 4:07.07. France’s Floraine Pugin came 2nd with Micayla Gatto of Canada receiving the Bronze medal.
Women’s Junior Podium
Women’s Junior Results
1. Tracey Hannah AUS 4:07.07
2. Floriane Pugin FRA 4:11.74 +4.67
3. Micayla Gatto CAN 4:40.91 + 33.84
With plenty of Kiwis racing in the Men’s Junior category there was a good chance of having some local heroes. Sure enough with the full support of the crowd Cameron Cole and Sam Blenkinsop took the first two spots and France’s Antoine Badouard got Bronze, only 0.39 seconds separating him from Silver spot. Ralph Jones missed out on the medals by only 3/10 of a second to claim 4th place.
Men’s Junior Results
1. Cameron Cole NZL 3:28.29
2. Samuel Blenkinsop NZL 3:29.45 +1.16
3. Antoine Badouard FRA 3:29.84 +1.55
4. Ralph Jones GBR 3:30.14 +1.85
5. James Maltman AUS 3:36.12 +7.83
6. Steve Smith CAN 3:36.22 +7.93
7. Mitchell Delfs AUS 3:37.26 +8.97
8. Robin Wallner SWE 3:38.13 +9.84
9. Ben Bel AUS 3:39.93 + 11.64
10. Andrew Pierce USA 3:40.08 + 11.79
The Women’s Senior was a little more open, with around 6 seconds separating the top three. Rachel Atherton held briefly onto 2nd place until fellow Brit Tracey Moseley took Silver. Both Fionn Griffiths and Helen Gaskell finished in the top 12. New Zealand riders accounted for 6 of the top 20.
Women’s Elite Podium
Women’s Elite Results
1. Sabrina Jonnier FRA 3:50.32
2. Tracy Moseley GBR 3:53.83 +3.51
3. Rachel Atherton GBR 3:57.80 +7.48
4. Melissa Buhl USA 4:00.40 +10.08
5. Emmeline Ragot FRA 4:01.03 +10.71
6. Fionn Griffiths GBR 4:02.22 +11.90
7. Vanessa Quin NZL 4:04.20 +13.88
8. Celine Gros FRA 4:04.94 +14.62
9. Jennifer Makgill NZL 4:05.47 +15.15
10. Kathleen Pruitt USA 4:07.53 + 17.21
With Fabien Barrel injured the Men’s Senior was left wide open. Would Steve Peat be able to come from 2nd favourite to take the number 1 spot on the day? The Australian presence was certainly one to be reckoned with. They made up 4 of the top 6. With just two riders to come, Hill destroyed Kovarik’s 3:18.04 run time by over 7 seconds. Tensions rose and the crowd cheered as Steve Peat came down the mountain but it was not to be. 3:17.92 was enough for Bronze but Rennie was already into his run by the time Steve finished.
Cries of “Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy” rang out and many giant inflatable Kangaroos went up in the air as Nathan Rennie came flying out of the wooded section. He nudged Steve out of third place by 0.76 seconds, hard luck Steve!
Nathan Rennie powering to 3rd place
Men’s Elite Results
1. Sam Hill AUS 3:11.03
2. Greg Minnaar RSA 3:15.25 +4.22
3. Nathan Rennie AUS 3:17.16 +6.13
4. Steve Peat GBR 3:17.92 +6.89
5. Chris Kovarik AUS 3:18.04 +7.01
6. Michael Hannah AUS 3:19.21 +8.18
7. Cédric Gracia FRA 3:19.73 +8.70
8. Matti Lehikoinen FIN 3:20.79 +9.76
9. Gee Atherton GBR 3:20.91 +9.88
10. Mickael Pascal FRA 3:21.13 +10.10
11. Andrew Neethling RSA 3:21.44 +10.41
12. Marc Beaumont GBR 3:22.78 +11.75
13. Bryn Atkinson AUS 3:23.12 +12.09
14. Filip Polc SVK 3:24.49 +13.46
15. David Lopez Vasquez ESP 3:25.24 +14.21
16. Dan Atherton GBR 3:25.58 +14.55
Full results can be found here
South African Gary Barnard
So all in all an amazing event held in the active geothermal region of North Island of New Zealand for the first time. The fans were fantastic and certainly brought a whole new level to the races. Roll on Rotorua 2007!
Over and out from New Zealand.
All pictures and reports by Tristan Veneer.
(c) Southerndownhill.com 2006