On Sunday, May 18th 2008, the Austrian National Downhill Championships, the so called «Staatsmeisterschaften», were held at the Zauberberg Bikepark in the town of Semmering. The MS-Intense Factory-Racing team sent three of its riders into the race. Matti Lehikoinen and J.D. Swanguen started in the men's elite category while Mio Suemasa challenged the best female riders.
After being plagued by technical problems during his World Cup run in Maribor one week ago Matti showed his potential by taking home his first win of the season. Californian talent J.D. Swanguen came in second, only 0.98 seconds behind Matti, edging the best Austrian, Markus Pekoll from Schladming, down to third place by another 2.50 seconds.
In the women's elite category Mio Suemasa reached the second place behind Austrian World Cup racer Petra Bernhard. Under the circumstances of the still lasting process of recovery from last weeks crash during the women's World Cup fourcross race Mio did a great job in getting back on track.
The race schedule for Matti and J.D. includes next week's U.S. Open of Mountain Biking » at «Diablo Freeride Park» near Vernon, NJ before the whole team takes off to World Cup round No.2 in Andorra.
Full Results: link
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