The U.S. played host to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this past weekend in Windham, New York. Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing) put on a show in the downhill, claiming the win in the elite men’s division, while Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing) rode to another top-five finish in the elite women’s cross-country.
Gwin scorched the competition to win by an astounding 3.505 seconds over Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz) with a time of 2:38.108. Loris Vergier (Lapierre Gravity Republic) earned third, 4.290 seconds behind Gwin. The victory is Gwin’s third World Cup win of the season and gives him a commanding 135-point lead in the series standings heading into the final round in Trentino.
Charlie Harrison (Trek Factory R&D) put in a solid ride to take fourth in the junior division with a time of 2:51.337. He missed the podium by less than half a second, as Laurie Greenland (Trek World Racing) took the win with a time of 2:49.914.
On the cross-country side, Davison took home the top U.S. result, fourth in the elite women’s race. She missed the podium by a mere three seconds, as current world cyclocross and road champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) took the win by over a minute and a half to World Cup leader Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro Team).
The elite men’s cross-country race again turned into a two-way battle between Nino Shurter (Scott-Odlo) and world champion Julien Absalon (BMC). Shurter’s last-lap pass in the rock garden gave him the gap he needed to take home his second-straight World Cup win and assume a solid lead in the overall standings. Absalon finished second, with Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) in third. Stephen Ettinger (Team Sho-Air-Cannondale) was the top American in 25th place.
The Specialized Racing duo of Kate Courtney and Howard Grotts each rode to seventh-place finishes in their respective under-23 races. Grotts crossed the line three minutes down on winner Victor Koretzky (BH-SR Suntour-KMC), while Courtney came home seven minutes, 39 seconds after Jenny Rissveds’ (Scott-Odlo) winning time of 1:14:18. The duo remain high in the World Cup standings with Grotts in fourth and Courtney on the final step of the podium in third.
The 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup finishes in Trentino, Italy, Aug. 21-23.