Sam takes Bromont, Syndicate 2nd and 3rd


Martin Whiteley/23 Degrees: In an impressive return to the winner’s circle, Team Monster Energy Iron Horse’s Sam Hill (AUS) took the win today at the Quebec ski resort of Bromont, just outside of Montreal, and in doing so, earned back the leader’s jersey he’d lost last week to main rival Greg Minnaar (RSA). Not only did Sam win the final, but he won qualifying in the semi final which gave him the maximum 250 points against Minnaar’s 182 points.

Team mate Brendan Fairclough showed he’s back on form with a 6th place in the final, his best result all season, and he was the first to rush over and congratulate his team mate after the win was confirmed.

The World Cup is made up of 7 rounds this year and with 2 rounds to go, one in Sam’s home nation of Australia, and the other on a piece of track that the Aussie has dominated on in Schladming, Austria, the other top riders are going to have to wrestle the jersey off his back as all looks good for Sam right now.

Bromont has not been on the World Cup circuit since 1999, and this year’s track was completely new and on the other side of the mountain. Rain made going tough during training, and even in the final the clouds threatened to open up seriously, but heavy storms did not hit the track, yet conditions remained slippery and unpredictable.

After qualifying 13th Brendan was the first of the top riders to look extremely fast through the technical steep middle section. His time was more than 2 seconds quicker than the previous leader, and he went straight into the hotseat with his trademark grin.

Brendan said: “I can’t really complain. It was a bit wet and humid out there and I had to be careful in a few spots. Pretty happy with 6th though, it’s about time I pulled something together. I always feel really good in practice but nothing happens in the finals. Today was a good start. I was lucky with some of the other riders having falls and punctures but you have to make your own luck, that’s downhill. Last week I rode too conservatively. I’m glad that I put it on the edge a little bit more, back to my old self! It’s a bit of a confidence booster. I have 2 weeks at Whistler now and that’s awesome!”

Meanwhile, as fastest qualifier, and with top rival Greg Minnaar planted in the hotseat, it was up to Sam to reverse the fortune of last week. At the interval Sam was less than half a second quicker to Greg so the race was not yet won, but in the lower half of the course, the final minute of the track, he extended the lead to 2.7 seconds, showing his supremacy on the relatively shorter technical tracks.

Sam said: “My run was pretty good; I carried really good speed at the top and I didn’t use too much energy and was happy I got through the top bits OK. I tried to keep it pretty safe through all the sloppy technical stuff, because I just wanted to stay upright all the way to the bottom. I have no idea how I put on more than 2 seconds at the bottom. If anywhere I thought I’d be faster up top, that was pretty surprising.”

Final:

1. Sam Hill (AUS) Team Monster Energy Iron Horse 2m 42.14secs
2. Greg Minnaar (RSA) 2m 44.84secs
3. Steve Peat (GBR) 2m 46.00secs
4. Gee Atherton (GBR) 2m 48.09secs
5. Marc Beaumont (GBR) 2m 49.60secs
6. Brendan Fairclough (GBR) Team Monster Energy Iron Horse 2m 51.65secs

Overall Points:

1. Sam Hill (AUS) Team Monster Energy Iron Horse – 1020 pts
2. Greg Minnaar (RSA) – 974 pts
3. Gee Atherton (GBR) – 877 pts
4. Steve Peat (GBR) – 822 pts
5. Chris Kovarik (AUS) – 463 pts
11. Brendan Fairclough GBR) Team Monster Energy Iron – 335 pts

Round 6 of the World Cup takes place in Canberra, Australia on August 31st

Nigel Page/CRC-Intense: Well another muddy race again. A much shorter course than last week in Mont Ste.Anne and the World Championships in Val di Sole but no easier on the riders. The course was pretty flat up top but rocky and slippery with all the rain we have had this week which drained the riders energy, then a few tricky rock sections in the woods that could catch out the riders before you entered the technical part of the track which was pretty steep and very muddy with huge holes and rocks then onto the bottom section after the track which was again pretty flat with a mixture of flat and bermed corners with a few big jumps. The track made for a great race though with the action very close right down to the last riders.

The team had a few problems again this week with Ruaridh and Julien having big crashes in the steep rocky section yesterday and banging there shoulders pretty bad. Ruaridh was not too bad today but Julien woke up this morning with his a lot worse than yesterday. He did one practice run this morning but couldn’t hold on and thought he would have to sit the race out. But he taped up his shoulder and took it steady in the qualifying run to make it through to the finals. Ruaridh made it through also easy enough with a steady run to be safe and Chris had a few problems but easily qualified in the top 20. Matt was riding great again and qualified in 14th his best so far this year.

Between the semi finals and the finals it started to rain again for a while but then held off for the finals but made the bottom of the course really greasy. Julien had an OK run but struggled to find his normal speed with his shoulder injured but still managed to place 24th which was amazing considering he wasn’t going to start.

Ruaridh was really going for it, wanting to get a good result this week as he is riding really well and after great split time which would have put him close to or in the top 20 he just lost the front wheel on a flat greasy corner on the bottom section and went down. But he still managed to place 39th for the day. Chris didn’t have the best of runs making some big mistakes and not finding his flow but still managed 11th for the day and moving himself up to 5th in the overall standings.

Matt set off on his final run and was flying but just overcooked it coming into the steep section flat bottoming a big drop and got pitched over the bars for another big crash and ending his chances of a top 15 for the 2nd race in 2 weeks. Matt is riding amazing though and is just finding his limits. He will soon be up there as a regular top 15 rider as will Ruaridh.So in the overall points Chris has moved into that podium postion top 5, Julien is in 8th and not far behind in points and the team is in 6th for the overall.

The race had a great finale with Sam Hill putting in an amazing final run to just beat Greg Minnaar and regain the overall lead. Steve Peat rode fantastic for 3rd and Gee Atherton taking 4th. The top 4 is so close this year, it is great racing. Also a great ride from Marc Beaumont making it onto the podium for the first time this year.

From here we have 3 weeks before the penultimate world cup round in Canberra Australia. The team are all heading home. Ruaridh and Matt back to the UK to do a National. Julien is racing an Enduro event in France if his shoulder is OK and Chris heads to Whistler for Crankworx.Thanks to all our sponsors again and our mechanics Dave and Cord for doing a great job and keeping our bikes running week in week out.

Have a look on our website for pictures of the team in the next day or so www.crcintese.com

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