MTB > 2007 UCI Round 03: Canada > Race Results
MTBCanadaJune 24, 2007
2007 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup Round 03: Canada

Minnaar 2nd, Lehikoinen 4th at World Cup #3

Two Team G Cross Honda riders made it to the podium in World Cup round 3 which saw a welcome return to racing in dry conditions after the previous 2 rounds. Matti Lehikoinen (FIN) scored yet another 4th, and Greg Minnaar (RSA) finished 2nd despite dislocating his shoulder during the final.



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Mont-Sainte-Anne is a classic on the World Cup circuit, this being the 17th consecutive year that a World Class event has been staged at the venue and the weather held up superbly to provide the riders with the best conditions possible for a very dramatic weekend of racing. All three riders had ideal training without major incident and moved to the semi finals today with expectations of quality results on the demanding four and half minute track.

The team's third rider Brendan Fairclough, who had shown a promising return to form at World Cup round 2 in Champery, was aware that his current World Cup ranking was well outside the top 20, and therefore could not afford any mishap in the semi final in order to move through to the final. He rode a solid 15th place in the semi, and knew he had more to offer for the afternoon final.

Matti rode solidly to 5th showing he had what was needed for a podium result in the final. 5th place also gave him some valuable points in the overall championship standings. Greg lost 3 seconds to his main rivals in the first half of the course, but was super quick on the 2nd half, finishing a promising 3rd and still in touch with main rivals Steve Peat (GBR) and Sam Hill (AUS).

With absolutely no threat of rain and with all three riders chasing points for the overall, the strategy was a lot more straight forward. The main issue was managing energy levels so that at the end of the four and half minute run, each rider had enough strength to bring the Honda RN01's home. First up was Brendan who crossed the line in 6th after a strong run, recording a time 4.5secs quicker than his semi, and that was enough to finish 13th for the day. His best result this year and inside the British Cycling Federation's qualification criteria for the World Championships later this year.

Matti was next up and his split time showed he was well on track to take the lead from Nathan Rennie (AUS) who was in the hot seat after his very solid run. Matti found more time in the bottom half of the track and ultimately took 1.74secs out of Rennie to take his place in the hot seat. There he stayed until team mate Greg Minnaar took to the track. The intermediate time showed Greg was well up by more than 1.5secs, and when he crossed the line, he had extended the margin by a few more tenths, even though his shoulder was dislocated a little more than half way down the track. The results meant that both Greg and Matti stood atop the podium together for the first time since the World Cup finals of 2006, and the team extended its lead in the Team Championship.



Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


Brendan Fairclough (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (2nd Place)
"I though I had it today. That's the 5th time I've got 2nd place here, I really can't believe my luck. My shoulder came out, dislocated, and I had to cruise for a bit until I could get it back in. It's been perfect all week and never gave me any trouble. I just came into a section and relaxed my upper body a bit as you do on a long track, and I hit a bump and it just pulled my shoulder out. It hurt a bit, but the main thing was that I have no strength when it's out, so I have to get it in to continue. It's obvious this is recurring problem but it needs surgery and that requires a 3 month recovery period. I have to try and finish off my season. I already have an operation booked for October. Otherwise, I know I have the form and strength to do well for the next race, and I'm happy to have moved up from 7th to 4th in the overall ranking."

Matti Lehikoinen (4th Place)

"I actually thought I had a terrible run. So many mistakes, and I lost concentration during a major woods section, which is something I never do-so to be 4th was a bit of a surprise to be honest. It feels great to finally get on the podium in Mont-Sainte-Anne and to consolidate my third in the overall."

Brendan Fairclough (13th Place)
"I was hoping for a top ten but I just didn't have the strength on this long course to squeeze that kind of result out, but this is good enough for now. It means I should have a good chance of getting selected to ride for Britain as an elite rider in my first year at the Worlds, and I've now moved up to 17th in the overall, and that gives me protection into the finals for Schladming. So that's awesome, and I can't wait for Schladming, that track is wicked."

Team Director Martin Whiteley
"Overall a very good performance by the three riders this week. I'm happy to see all three in the top 20 going into the next race which gives a sense of security for the semis, and I really think Brendan can chase the top ten now. Matti is riding superbly right now and doing everything the team could expect from him. Greg was right on track but once again his shoulder impeded his result. There is not much we can do right now except give him the treatment he needs to get through the next major races. An operation mid season isn't really an option he wants to consider, especially with the form he has now. Our lead in the team championship has extended thanks to all 3 riders this week, and that is obviously pleasing to all our staff and those that work hard behind the scenes."


2007 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup Round 03: Canada

line
Semi Final Results
1 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
2 Sam Hill (Iron Horse/Monster Energy)
3 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
4 Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets)
5 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
15 Brendan Fairclough (Team G Cross Honda)
 
Final Results
1 Sam Hill (Iron Horse/Monster Energy)
2 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
3 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
4 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
5 Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets)
13 Brendan Fairclough (Team G Cross Honda)



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda) & Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)

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