23 Degrees Maribor round-up

If there was even an ounce of doubt prior to the opening round of the Nissan UCI Moutnain Bike World Cup that Sam Hill could follow his stellar season of 2007 in the same dominant style, well that evaporated today in sunny Maribor in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans.

Last year Sam capped his race season and secured the World Cup title with a solid win at the finals on the same course, but this is the first time in his career that Sam has won the opening round, doing so 3 seconds clear of 2nd place, thus setting the tone for 2008.

Impressive today was his younger team mate Brendan Fairclough who’s had mixed results this year so far, but a strong showing in 9th means he too is on target for a good year.

The semi finals this morning saw Sam finish 3rd, half a second behind Frenchman Julien Camellini who enjoys this track, and Brendan in 11th. Both moved up 2 spots in the final.


Sam: “I was pretty upset with how I rode in qualifying….I felt tight and rode on the brakes too much. In the final I just wanted to have fun and ride like I know I can. My run went pretty well,” said a humble Hill, “but I definitely want to improve on putting together a better run in Andorra (Round 2). I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and hopefully I can get a few more wins.”

Brendan: “I felt good at the top prior to the start, relaxed and confident. I think with Sam being so relaxed it helped me stay more calm. I had a good run and didn’t make too many mistakes….I just need to open it up a bit more, but I feel my speed will progress throughout the season. I’m happy with my result and ready for the next one!”

Team Manager Sean Heimdal: “I’m super stoked with the results today…I just wanted both riders to come out of here with a safe solid run…It’s a long season this year, and I think it was important to come away within the top 15. We’re all looking forward to the next round.”

The trechorous rock garden in Maribor claimed quite a few riders today, and has a history of taking out some top contenders. The World Cup riders now have a couple of weeks to recovery from any injuries before round 2, which takes place at Vallnord, Andorra on June 1st on a track never before raced for a World Cup.

Team Monster Energy Iron Horse is also sponsored by: Mad Catz, Game Shark, Air Drives, RockShox, SRAM, Avid, FUNN, Maxxis, DT Swiss, FSA, Crank Brothers, WTB, e.thirteen, DW Link, Troy Lee Designs, Minoura, Maxima, Obtainium Performance Products, Five-Ten, Freeestyle Watches, THE, Alligator, Yamaha of Troy, KMC and Kicker.

More info: http://www.madcatzracing.com/



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