Epic battle with the weather was won by organizers – the long day started early in the morning with the short practice run and qualifications, and finished in beautiful sunny afternoon with lots of great racing. We almost forgot that the whole program was canceled on Saturday due to strong winds.
Slovenian riders in the team didn’t had a lot of luck. Jure Žabjek crashed on Friday, Nal Otoničar this morning. Both of them are going back home with the very similar injury of the left wrist. Meanwhile Žiga Pandur was feeling good ahead of qualifications, but had a mechanical problem with the drivetrain and he almost couldn’t switch gears. Time was lost and he finished out of top 80.
Reece Wilson was a positive surprise of the qualification round – he was 12th in the elite men category! This is not just good result, it’s an amazing result for the young rider in the beginning of his downhill career. Unfortunately he didn’t kept that great position on the end, he made too many mistakes in the final run and in leaving Fort Bill with 61st place.
One of the today’s local heroes was Ruaridh Cunningham, who had some bad luck in the final run, but still managed to pull out fantastic 21st place – with a crash! We are wondering “what if”, but we really shouldn’t – he is fast and will have another chance to prove that next week in Leogang!
Ruaridh Cunningham: “I’m not disappointed with 21st, I’m more disappointed with how I rode. I know the speed is there. The crash was something I was trying to avoid, there are also some other things I need to iron out in the next few weeks and races. I’m happy with my bike and my self physically, just need a little bit more flow and rhythm in the race run.
Not disappointed, but obviously a little bit “what could it been”. We have a race next week and have to take the positives and forget the rest and put that in play in Leogang.
The weekend has been good, I was on pace all weekend. The qualifying was nice and steady, just to make it through. I did step up in the final and I actually had a better time, even with the crash. I look at the season as a bigger picture, not just as one race. I got solid points today and I’m slowly climbing the ladder – we still have five races to go and a lot can happen.”
Reece Wilson: “Today we had a good, early start. Practice runs were good, I felt really confortable after crashing on last practice run on Friday. I stayed relaxed, had fun and managed to put a really good speed together. I came away with 12th in the qualies. After that I tensed out a little bit, not being used to that position in the finals. I struggled a little bit to find my form there. After a few mistakes, silly crashes and stuff like that I finished pretty far down, but I’m still happy going to Leogang and we will see what I can do there.”
Big winners of the day are Rachel Atherton and Greg Minnaar.
Results & standings (link to UCI)
Official site of the event in Albstadt
Replay of the race on Red Bull TV
Unior Tools Team on Facebook
Photos by Klemen Humar
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