We already know how it feels to win a UCI World Cup... it's damn sweet! That was with Tanja Žakelj in Cross-Country, today it was a historic day in downhill. We didn't win, but Ruaridh Cunningham absolutely smashed it in the finals and finished 9th. When he crossed the finish line with the time of 3:10.910 we knew that this is going to be good, the question was how good. On the end he got his personal best and a new benchmark for the team.
Ruaridh Cunningham after the race: “Ninth – personal best! Really happy with that! Sounds ridiculous, but I woke up this morning and kind of thought: ‘Yeah, top-ten.’ I don’t know why… I’ve been kind of battling whole weekend. Yesterday in qualifying I just didn’t find my flow and I knew straight away there is a lot of time to be made up if I did. Maybe I didn’t think about seven second.
Final run was fast. I messed up the first turn and just said to myself: ‘Don’t make this a repeat of qualifications. Just let go.’ I pedaled really hard, got across the first rocks really, really good and from there down I just charged. It was nowhere near perfect, there were lots of small mistakes, but the main thing was I was off the brakes and I was going fast!
I’m really happy, I feel like it has been a long time coming and I proven to myself I can do it!”
Jure also had a great day in Lenzerheide! He crossed the finish line as third, got to the hot seat briefly and then waited to see what other will do. 31st is very decent result for him and shows that he came to the position from where he can attack even higher.
Jure Žabjek after the race: “I had some doubts in the morning; it was raining during the night and I thought that will change the conditions on the course. After my first morning run I saw that everything is similar to a day before, there was just some wet sections in the first forest. Everything was dry for the time of finals and I knew how fast I can go. My run was clean, with small mistakes in the last corners, but I’m still very happy with the finals. I also like to see myself with steady results around 30th place. Now it’s time for some off-time and then I’ll get ready for Mont-Sainte-Anne and hopefully I’ll continue where I left it here.”
Reece Wilson was our third downhill racer in Lenzerheide, but unfortunately he finished his racing weekend before it really started. On Thursday he crashed on the fastest part of the course and was taken to the hospital. Exams confirmed initial diagnosis – fractured ribs and head concussion. He will have to rest for a while, but hopefully he’ll be with us on the North American tour.
Congratulations to Danny Hart for an amazing victory; Rachel Atherton meanwhile did it again in the women’s race.
We can easily say we had a fantastic Saturday, but we still have a day of racing ahead. Tomorrow is XCO day in Lenzerheide and we will cheer for Tanja Žakelj!
Results on the UCI website
Official website of the event
Reply of the race on Red Bull TV
UTT on Facebook
Photos by Klemen Humar & Keith Valentine
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