2012 Windham World Cup DH Course – UCI DH #5

Windham World Cup – Windham NY – UCI World Cup DH #5

Pro Men
[qualifying results] [finals results]

Pro Women
[qualifying results] [finals results]

View more pictures in the gallery:

Gallery: 2012 UCI World Cup DH – Windham, NY

Finals Day

By the time finals rolled around on Sunday the ruts had been replaced by trenches in some corners and riders had to contend with track conditions that changed significantly between morning practice and their final runs. More than a few racers found their line had disappeared only after being ejected into the dirt by the fast, loose track. Brendan Fairclough was one such rider who suffered a broken thumb in qualifying and did not race.

Jill Kintner had a good run going

On the women’s side, Jill Kintner went down hard in her race run and broke her right arm while Marc Beaumont and Brook Macdonald had almost identical crashes through the rock garden after a hole swallowed up their front wheels at full speed.

Jill Kintner has some new hardware in her arm : Photo @jillkintner

The women’s final provided arguably the highest drama in recent memory as the final 3 women all had issues on course after leading at the final split. Tracy Hannah had a huge case on the final jump and lost her seat but managed to take over the hot seat from Emillie Siegenthaler by just over 2 seconds. Next of course was defending World Champion, Emmeline Ragot of France. Up by 2.5 seconds coming into the finishing straight, Ragot came up short on the final jump crashed onto her back just feet from the finish line.

Ragot crashed hard off the last jump

She was able to scramble to her feet and ghost rider her bike across the line just .5 seconds behind Hannah. GT’s Rachel Atherton was the last woman on course and she came though the final split ahead of all the girls only to case a jump and blow through the tape on the next turn and almost throw it away.

Rachel Atherton

Missing one one of the course pole she re-entered the track a few feet farther down and hammered to the line to post the fastest time by .26. There was little celebrating as the officials replayed her run in slow motion on the big screen at the finish line to determine if she should be disqualified. The UCI rule is written quite poorly in our opinion as it states

4.1.035 If a rider exits the course for any reason, he/she must return to the course at the same point from
which he/she exited. If the president of the commissaires panel deems that the rider gained advantage, the rider is disqualified (DSQ).

As she gained no advantage from exiting the course it was deemed to be within the rules and she was declared the winner and subsequently took over the lead over Emmeline Ragot in the World Cup standings despite missing round 1.

Danny Hart - focused

In the men’s race, Danny Hart took over the hot seat early and held onto if for about 10 riders until Gee Atherton crossed the line with 9 to go and took over the lead with a 2:28.12.

Gee Atherton

Marc Beaumont

Marc Beaumont came down next but crashed hard in the rock garden and had to ride the bottom on the track with his helmet visor in his face.

Marc and Rachel chose to run a cut Continental spike tire

Junior rider, Loic Bruni, missed Mont Sainte Anne due to exams for school. He had a storming run here at Windham and ended up fifth. Not a small feat for a junior rider to be on the podium. Look out for this one.

Loci Bruni - 5th place on the pro podium and still a junior

Sam Hill looked fast and loose as ever but a slide in on of the lower corners cost him precious 10ths of a second and he had to settle for 7th on the day.

Sam Hill - back on pace again

Damian Spagnolo posted what would be the fastest 1st split all day by almost a second, but a flat in the lower rocks ended his chances of a first World Cup win. This left only Aaron Gwin and Devinci Global Racing Steve Smith left to go.

Steve Smith - A well deserved 2nd place

Steve Smith absolutely flattened the rock garden and survived a few sketchy moments to take over the lead. However, any hopes of a win on Canada Day were quickly dashed as Aaron Gwin attacked the track straight out of the gate.

Aaron Gwin does it again

Gwin was up by a second up at the final split, and the Trek World Racing rider went nose heavy into Peaty’s Plunge (check the DirtTV finals video below) and barely avoided crashing before sending it huge off the final jumps to take the win on home soil for a second year in a row. Flags were waved and Budweiser were shotgunned in celebration as Gwin took his 4th win in 5 races this season, making him 9 for the last 12.

What an exciting weekend from Gwindham, NY.

Gwin, Smith, Atherton, Hart, Bruni

Video: DirtTV Finals

Video: DirtTV Slow-Mo

Qualifying Day

Bikes, bodies, and the track all got roughed up as riders dialed up their speed in training. Course holds seemed to be the order of the day as numerous red flags shut down training throughout the morning and into qualifying. Brendan Fairclough also broke his thumb during qualifying.

Many riders have crashed in the dry conditions. Here, Katie Holden crashs into a tree.

With no rain in sight some of the ruts are ankle deep with a seemingly endless supply of roots and rocks under whats left of the soil.

Loose terrain

Trek’s Aaron Gwin didn’t seem to have too much trouble as he dispatched of the Men’s field with yet another first place qualifying run setting the time to beat at 2:27.80. It’s not easy to drop your chain in qualifying and still take the #1 spot but Gwin was able to do it.

Aaron Gwin qualifies first again

Steve Smith - 2nd in qualifying for the Devinci Global Racer

Canadian Steve Smith of Devinci Global Racing was right behind him just .59 back with Damian Spagnolo of MS Mondraker another second back in 3rd.

Damien Spagnolo hangs it out to get 3rd in qualifying

Andrew Neethling and Sam Hill rounded out the top 5. Sam Hill has been on pace and looking fast all week. His qualifying result shows that he has what it takes to pull out a good result here.

Sam Hill is hungry and wants to be back on top

At split #1, Josh Bryceland was in second place and looking on pace to put down a storming run as he was ahead of Gwin and many other riders.

Josh Bryceland styling it up on the lower jumps

Speaking of split #1, Danny Hart was first at this split but couldn’t keep it together and ended up qualifying in 47th.

Danny Hart

Other notable results were American Richie Rude Jr in 17th with another solid result in his first World Cup season. Gee Atherton and Greg Minnaar were both off the pace in 9th and 15th, respectively.

Jr Rider Richie Rude storming his way down the hill to qualify in 17th

For the women it was Rachel Atherton posting the fastest time in 2:51.42, followed by Emmeline Ragot in second 1.96 seconds back, and Tracy Hannah in 3rd with a 2:55.87. Jill Kintner put in a great run to finish 4th followed Scott 11 rider Emilie Seigenthaler in 5th.

Rachel Atherton - #1 women qualifier

Qualified rider take to the track Saturday morning for a short practice session. Look for it to be heavy of walking, scoping new lines, and damage assessment of the the dozens of blown out turns.

Video: DirtTV Qualifying

Thursday Practice

Thursday Timed Training Results [Pro Men]

Video: DirtTV Practice

Dry conditions at Windham NY

The first day of practice got under way today at UCI World Cup in Windham, NY and the order of the day was ruts with a double serving of dust. Given the loose conditions most of the heavy hitters chose to lay low in the pits or just cruise down, leaving the rest of the field to the task of cleaning off the track and burning in the lines.

Dry and dusty trails

Speeds gradually began to rise by the afternoon and timed training saw Andrew Neethling post the fastest time for the men with a 2:31.73, Sam Hill laid down a fast one to finish 2nd just under 2 seconds back, with Danny Hart rounding out the top 3 with a 2:34.17.

Jill Kinter back in the U.S.A.

Tracy Hannah returned to the form she showed at the first Wold Cup as she clocked the fastest time with 2:58.74. Emmeline Ragot and Rachel Atherton went 2nd and 3rd.

Tracey Hannah goes fastest during timed training

You can’t draw too many conclusions from timed training as no one really goes full-throttle but it is interesting so see Hill up at the top. He’s absolutely flying through some sections in practice and you can be sure he’s gunning for a win this weekend after tweaking his ankle last weekend.

Sam Hill is getting up to speed

Brendan Fairclough looking stylish and having fun

Danny Hart is looking confident after his 3rd place at MSA last weekend

Andrew Neethling went fastest in timed training

Stay tuned to SickLines.comĀ  for more updates throughout the weekend.

Track Conditions

Expect a dry weekend at this weekend’s Windham World Cup DH race. Check out the track pictures in the gallery and learn more in the writeup we’ve posted on the track.