- Published on Monday, 16 September 2013 08:43
The penultimate round of the downhill World Cup took place in Hafjell, Norway, over the weekend where Team CRC/Nukeproof riders Matt Simmonds, Sam Hill and Joe Smith finished fifth, 18th and 52nd, respectively, in what turned out to be a wet and wild race!
After being super dry and flat out all week during practice and qualifying the rain came in on Saturday night and didn't really stop too much, getting really heavy half way through the men’s finals.
A few riders that qualified outside the top 40-50 had slightly better conditions and early runs from a few riders held on right to the end.
Team Manager Nigel Page was there for all the action:
The track in Hafjell is pretty full-on from the start with most definitely the best first straight in the world featuring fast, well-built jumps which then fire you into the first rock strewn wooded section. The track then continues to be pinned over rocks and roots all the way down with some big fast open sections joining up the rocky technical wooded sections.
There are a few tricky, risky lines in some sections which the fastest riders can take a calculated risk on that can pay off for a winning run. Then it’s onto the open piste with a few fast turns and a new big wooden tabletop jump down to the finish line.
Team riders Sam Hill, Matt Simmonds and Joe Smith all qualified easily into the finals with Joe in 34th, Matt 14th and Sam in 10th. As the heavens opened really heavily in the finals it was Joe off first. Unfortunately he went down on a big open left hander ending his chances of a good result. Joe at least wasn't injured apart from banged up elbow and finished in 52nd.
Matt Simmonds had another great run to finish eighth, his best ever World Cup result backing up his career best result only two weeks ago at the World Championships where he finished fifth. Good work Matt.
Sam Hill who again was one of the fans’ favourites to win this race just didn't get into his groove from the get go. Sam said he just didn't push anywhere near hard enough and was making mistakes all the way down. Sam ended up 15th which is still a solid result in the World Cup but nowhere near what he’s capable of or wants to be. Sam still holds onto his fourth place ranking in the overall and it’s all to play for in the finals next week in Leogang.
Thanks once again to all our sponsors for the best equipment and gear and to Hafjell for putting on a great World Cup.
Cheers until next week in Leogang, Austria for the final race of the season!
As you can see from the pictures from Thursday through to race day, the weather turned everything on its head!
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