May 1 2014 | Print Print Page
Shimano athletes dominate UCI MTB World Cup in Cairns
After a week of constant rain the downhill course at the second round of the UCI MTB World Cup in Cairns was extremely slippery and muddy. The downhill specialists had to watch out for not overdoing it in the race and crashing. As the rain stopped the track began to dry out, the mud got sticky and clogging up tires and drivetrains making the conditions hard.

World Cup champion Rachel Atherton had an answer to all these problems. She smashed the best time of World Cup leader Manon Carpenter, to take both the win and the leader’s jersey. Atherton, who was ill at the first round of the MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, is now tied up with Carpenter in the World Cup-ranking. Both have 450 World Cup-points, followed by Myriam Nicole at 297 points on third place.

Rachel Atherton said: ‘It was like riding through peanut butter. The track was absolutely ruined and slippery. You were sliding all over the place trying not to hit the rocks. For me it’s been a hard start of the year after getting sick and then getting such hard conditions here.’

Gee Atherton completes a double win for the Atherton family after holding off Josh Bryceland and Neko Mulally. Atherton who almost cracked the four-minute barrier, on the slippery course in Cairns, vaults from tenth to second in the World Cup-standings at 305 points. Followed by World Champion Greg Minnaar with 275 points.

Gee Atherton said on the Twitter account: ‘Double win out here in Cairns! So stoked, such a wild weekend and such wild racing!! Amazing.’
The world's elite women and men XC mountain bikers got ready to battle it out and after a week of heavy rain in Cairns the sun finally won on Sunday. As temperatures went up, Cairns’ Smithfield Rainforest dried out, setting ideal conditions to start the Rumble in the Rainforest.

Lucky number 13, Eva Lechner of Colnago-team-Südtirol, won her third ever World Cup race in Cairns. She led the race from the start to finish. The vice series champion completely destroyed the field on the demanding track in Queensland. The Italian is now a real contender for the 2014 World Cup.

Eva Lechner said: ‘I expected a much bigger group at the beginning of the race but to my surprise I was leading alone and nobody managed to close the gap. I was leading from start to finish. The temperatures were killing. Normally I don’t like this humidity but today I felt fine.’

No surprises at the men’s race. After a week of speculations whether Julian Absalon of BMC will retire or not, the French mountain-biking legend headlined the second World Cup round in Australia claiming his 28th World Cup race victory. Absalon aggressively attacked the demanding track leading the World Cup series after winning at Pietermaritzburg.

Even a flat tyre couldn’t stop the multiple world champion. The BMC rider now levels the record of Gunn-Rita Dahle and Juli Furtado who both won 28 World Cup races in their careers.

Absalon said after his back-to-back win: ‘it’s been incredible hot today. The season started-off beautiful with a win at the first round in South Africa and I’m really pleased I won again today. Now I can wear the white leaders jersey in Europe which was one of my goals.’