NZ’s world class downhill contingent practiced their way through four days of weather extremes on the Mont Sainte Anne mountain, at times racing on the world renowned course in less than 10m of visibility. The class of this group of athletes was displayed firstly with Friday’s qualification run – Cam Cole (Lapierre International, Christchurch) fourth, teammate Sam Blenkinsop (Wanganui) seventh.
The weather held for Sundays finals run making it a level playing field for all top 80 mens finals qualifiers. The race course was dry in the open but still treacherous in the rocky, forest sections. Conditions that suited the NZers with MacDonald blazing to a time that shattered the field with only a handful of riders still to run. Cam Cole looked strong and carried great momentum through the middle parts of the Mont Sainte Anne mountain however a couple of mistakes and a damaged pedal help him back at the bottom. He would claim his first podium result for this year’s World Cup, in fifth.
And confirming growing NZ dominance in the top ten on the World Cup Downhill circuit, Brook Macdonald of Napier was 3rd and confirmed his consistancy. Fellow Lapierre International team member Sam Blenkinsop was eighth, and good friend Justin Leov 10th – results that have the Downhill circuit on notice with another round next weekend in the USA and the two month lead-in to this years World Championships in Switzerland.
(credit to Chris Mildon MTBNZ for this, edited by Cam Cole)