Val di Sole, Italy (August 22, 2011) – Following his fifth Union Cycliste International (UCI) Mountain Bike World Cup downhill victory in Val di Sole, Italy last weekend, Aaron Gwin (Temecula, Calif./Trek World Racing) sealed the overall downhill World Cup title.
Gwin completed the Val di Sole downhill course in 3:10. 256; more than a second faster than silver medalist Danny Hart of Great Britain and his countryman, former World Champ Gee Atherton. Overall Gwin ran away with the 2011 World Cup title winning five of the seven events this season and tallying 1,558 total points as compared to the 1,093 point total from his closest competition, Greg Minnaar of South Africa. American Luke Strobel (Issaquah, Wash./MS Evil Racing) also finished within the top 20 of the overall downhill World Cup standings in 18th.
On the women’s side of gravity racing Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles) earned bronze in the four cross competition in Val di Sole landing her in second overall on the World Cup season. Her country woman Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt./Specialized) also finished sixth in the World Cup season’s final stop in Italy. 2008 BMX Olympian Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Transition Racing) finished 10th in the downhill competition in Val di Sole and ended up ninth in the overall World Cup standings. Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz./All Mountain Cyclery-Vixen Racing) also finished inside the top 20 in 18th overall on the world cup season.
After finishing seventh last week in the Czech Republic, Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized) moved closer to her first World Cup podium finish scoring sixth in Val di Sole. The 28 year-old who is on the come back trail after a hip injury last season finished just over two minutes off the pace of winner and World cup overall silver medalist Catharine Pendrel of Canada. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) also had a strong ride in Val di Sole finishing in eighth, as did cyclo-cross champ Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Rabobank-Giant) in 13th. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team), who finished the season as the top American woman in the overall at 13th, was 16th on Saturday and Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) marked her successful return to racing following illness with a 24th place finish.
In the elite men’s competition national champion Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized) was the top American finisher in 17th, just over four minutes down on Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) who won the race in 1:25.08. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subrau-Trek) was just off Wells’ pace in 20th while Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) finished 48th and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) 51st.
In the U23 ranks, Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development Team) posted a top 10 finish to put him in eighth in the overall World Cup standings. With school back in session in many parts of the country no American juniors contested the final event of the 2011 World Cup.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Final
Val di Sole, Italy
August 19-21, 2011
1. Aaron Gwin (Temecula, Calif./Trek World Racing) 3:10.356
2. Danny Hart (GBR/Giant Factory Off-Road Team) +01.232
3. Gee Atherton (GBR/COMMENCAL) +04.114
19. Luke Strobel (Issaquah, Wash./MS Evil Racing) +13.512
21. Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/SPS North America) +15.839
28. Eliot Jackson (Westlake Village, Calif./Yeti Fox Shox) +17.380
56. Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing) +25.284
1. Myriam Nicole (FRA/RIDING ADDICTION COMMENCAL) 3:52.231
2. Floriane Pugin (FRA/SCOTT 11) +00.809
3. Rachel Atherton (GBR/COMMENCAL) +02.174
10. Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Transition Racing) +25.641
Men’s Four Cross
1. Tomas Slavik (CZE/CROSS RACING TEAM)
2. Johannes Fischbach (GER/GHOST FACTORY RACING TEAM)
3. Kamil Tatarkovic (CZE)
20. Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif./KHS)
Women’s Four Cross
1. Anneke Beerten (NED/MILKA TREK MTB RACING TEAM)
2. Lucia Oetjen (SUI)
3. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz./KHS Bicycles)
6. Joanna Petterson (Jericho, Vt./Specialized)
12. Neven Steinmetz (Boulder, Colo./Ellsworth- Smile Generation)
Elite Men Cross-Country
1. Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE/Specialized Racing) 1:25.08
2. Nino Schurter (SWI/Scott-Swiss Power MTB Racing) +0:00
3. Florian Vogel (SUI/Scott-Swiss Power MTB Racing) +1:21
17. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized) +4:06
20. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subrau-Trek) +05:13
48. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) +8:29
51. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) +9:08
71. Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seve-No Tubes) +14.38
Elite Women’s Cross-Country
1. Catharine Pendrel (CAN/Luna) 1:25.07
2. Maja Wloszczowska (POL/CCC Polkowice) +0:29
3. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (NOR/Multivan Merida Biking Team) +0:42
6. Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized) +2:14
8. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) +2:37
13. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./RaboBank-Giant) +3:42
16. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team) +4:28
24. Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) +7:49
Under 23 Men’s Cross-Country
1. Gerhard Kerschbaumer (ITA/TX Active Bianchi) 1:14.41
2. Marek Konwa (POL/Milka-Trek) +0:09
3. Markus Schulti-Luenzum (GER/Focus Mig) +0:19
8. Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development Team) +1:12
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 66,500+ licensees; 2,200 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
Source: Andrea Smith, USA Cycling