August 8 2011 | Print Print Page
Aaron Gwin Wins Overall World Cup Title

Today in France Aaron Gwin made history, yet again, by becoming the first ever American man ever to win the World Cup Downhill title, a fact that will become even clearer to the 23 year old when he stands on the podium in Italy in 2 weeks' time to receive the prized crystal trophy. His team mate, World Champion Tracy Moseley, won her 4th World Cup race of the season today and has extended her lead to 150 points going into the final round in Italy. Rounding out a perfect weekend, the team once again finished up number 1 for the week.


For the women's event, Tracy had good cause to be anxious going into the finals as a second place to her main rival of season 2011, Floriane Pugin (FRA), would have reduced her points lead to just 70, and with 250 on offer at the finals in Italy, it would have made for a more difficult weekend. Rain had fallen overnight here in La Bresse making for a different track to that qualified on, and a large amount of water early on in the race nearly ended Tracy hopes.
"A huge puddle of water had accumulated on the approach to the top pedaling section and it caught me by surprise. I had to go for my tear-offs and then I struggled a little to get that off, and then I was really worried that I'd messed my run up with that. Floriane is a hard rider to beat on any course, but here in France, I really had my work cut out for me. The win is very sweet, and I'm happy to take the points for sure," said Tracy.
2011 is without doubt Tracy's greatest season of her career, with 4 wins and an appearance on every World Cup podium, as well as plenty of other diverse riding, including the Cape Epic and the Dalby XC World Cup.
In the Men's event junior rider Neko Mulally had a run he wasn't happy with. The rain started to fall in the middle of the men's pack and Neko by his own admission he made too many errors in the slick conditions, and after qualifying 24th, finished 50th today. Justin Leov continued his run of top 10 placings, crossing the line to take the hotseat and eventually finishing with a 9th, scoring enough points to jump him from 10th in the overall rankings to equal 7th for the season.
In the lead up to the top 10 men, the rain had stopped and the course was starting to recover. It wasn't anywhere near as fast as yesterday for qualifying, but it had improved over the previous hour. Greg Minnaar rode a very solid race and set the time to beat, the first man under 2mins 10secs, and Gee Atherton had slotted into 2nd. For Aaron Gwin this race was as important as any other and he wanted to win, but a top 8 placing would be enough the take the overall World Cup Title with one race remaining, something that hasn't been done since 2000. Aaron made an error in the top 3rd of the course and then had some other hook ups further done the course resulting in a growing loss of time, eventually putting him into 3rd place; a run he was personally disappointed about, but the overall title was his, and that is in itself an amazing achievement.
Aaron said: "It's obviously and sincerely a huge honor to win the overall World Cup title, amazing honestly, but any racer out there will know that it always feel better when you take something like that with a run you're proud of. I made some mistakes today that cost me the win, and that's frustrating. Any one of my practice runs would have been better than that, but hats off to Greg, he rode super strong today and deserves to take the win. The overall is a huge honor and I look forward to lifting that trophy high for all the fans in 2 weeks!" Results for World Cup DH #6 are here: http://www.uci.ch/templates/BUILTIN-NOFRAMES/Template1/layout.asp?MenuId=MTYxMjU&LangId=1