By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
On a day when the weather changed more than a runway model in Milan, the rain came at the worst possible time for the world’s top male downhillers at World Cup stop No. 4 at Durango, Colorado. The result was some new faces on the podium and some terrible finishes for the guys who usually get to pop open the champagne bottles.
Frenchman Mickael Pascal was the biggest beneficiary. The Be One rider got in his run between a pair of quick moving squalls that rolled in from the west, drenching the ski hill at Durango Mountain Resort. That helped Pascal post the day’s fastest time, 3:37.68. It was the 22-year-old’s first career World Cup win.
Right behind Pascal was American Eric Carter (Mongoose-Hyundai), who also had a dry run and just missed getting his first ever World Cup downhill win, settling for second, .48 off the pace. Fellow American Colin Bailey (Maxxis) ended up third, followed by Spain’s Oscar Saiz (Be One) and Aussie John Waddell (SunRace-Sturm) — all of them getting their runs in before the rains.
At the other end of the spectrum were the day’s top qualifiers, who all made their finals run down the 1.6-mile course with the rain hammering down and lightning filling the sky. GT’s Fabien Barel had been the fastest rider in the morning semifinal session, posting a 3:35.69, but ended up 13th in the finals, 6.09 behind Pascal. Even farther back were the No. 2 and 3 qualifiers, Mick Hannah (Global Racing) and Nicolas Vouilloz (Vouilloz Racing), who finished 37th and 38th respectively.
Lightning knocked out the power during the middle of Hannah’s run, and both he and Barel’s times came from official’s using stopwatches.
In the women’s downhill the incredible run of Anne-Caroline Chausson continued with her fourth straight World Cup win in 2001. Chausson was in a league of her own at the sight of the 1990 world’s, besting second-place finisher Tracey Moseley (Kona-Ford Focus) by nearly six seconds. Longtime Durango resident Missy Giove Global Racing) had a disappointing day in front of the home crowd, finishing third.
Chausson’s win was the 30th of her career, extending her record of most World Cup wins in a single discipline (Juli Furtado is second with 28 cross country wins). The Volvo-Cannondale rider also holds the mark for most wins overall at 38.
The dual finals were next up in Durango, with racing set to begin at 6 p.m. local time. Cross-country takes center stage Sunday, with the women’s race slated for 10:30 a.m., followed by the men at 1:30 p.m. Check back to VeloNews.com all weekend for race reports, photos and results.
TISSOT-UCI WORLD CUP CROSS COUNTRY NO. 5/DOWNHILL DUAL NO. 4, Durango, Colorado. July 14-15.
Downhill; Men; 1. Mickael Pascal (F), Be One, 3:37.68; 2. Eric Carter (USA), Mongoose-Hyundai, at .48; 3. Colin Bailey (USA), Maxxis, at 2.26; 4. Oscar Saiz (Sp), Be One, at 2.75; 5. John Waddell (Aus), Sunrace-Sturm, at 3.02; 6. Michael Ronning (Aus), Intense, at 3.32; 7. Nathan Rennie (Aus), Yeti-Pearl Izumi, at 4.37; 8. Jason Sigfrid (USA), Compassion DH, at 4.52; 9. Rob Warner (GB), Giant, at 4.79; 10. Rich Houseman (USA), Tomac, at 5.55; Others; 13. Fabien Barel (F), GT, at 6.09; 15. Myles Rockwell (USA), Giant, at 6.84; 23. Cedric Gracia (F), Volvo-Cannondale, at 8.75; 36. Bas De Bever (Nl), Be One, at 12.22; 37. Mick Hannah (Aus), Global Racing, at 12.99; 38. Nicolas Vouilloz (F), Vouilloz Racing, at 13.37
Women; 1. Anne-Caroline Chausson (F), Volvo-Cannondale, 4:01.97; 2. Tracey Moseley (GB), at 5.43; 3. Missy Giove (USA), Global Racing, at 5.58; 4. Katja Repo (Fin), GT, at 8.13; 5. Sabrina Jonnier (F), Intense, at 14.15; 6. Elke Brutsaert (USA), Schwinn, at 14.39; 7. Leigh Donovan (USA), Schwinn, at 17.44; 8. Fionn Griffiths (GB), Ancillotti UK, at 23.88; 9. Celine Gros (F), Scott USA, at 26.06; 10. Marielle Saner (Swi), Global Racing, at 26.72; Others; 12. April Lawyer (USA), Maxxis, at 29.60; 14. Tara Llanes (USA), Yeti-Pearl Izumi, at 31.77; 18. Marla Streb (USA), Foes-Azonic, at 42.86