(Aug. 24, 2014) –UCI Mountain Bike World Cup competition closed with World Cup #7 in Meribel, France, Aug. 21-24, as U.S. riders recorded seven top-10 finishes on the weekend.
Keegan Swenson's fourth-place finish in the men's U23 cross-country competition was the top U.S. finish of the weekend.
On Aug. 23, Aaron Gwin (Wildomar, Calif./Factory Specialized) closed out the World Cup with a sixth-place time of 3:17.675, finishing just 1.303 seconds behind winner Samuel Hill’s (AUS) winning time of 3:16.372. Matthew Simmonds (GBR) and Josh Bryceland (GBR) rounded out the top three in 3:16.738 and 3:16.902, respectively. Neko Mulally (Pisgah Forest, N.C./Trek World Cycling) finished 78th in 4:30.384.
Gwin closed out the year ranked second in the elite men’s downhill standings, accumulating 1,038 points this season. Bryceland took first with 1,187. Mulally closed the year ranked 12th with 571 points, while Eliot Jackson (Westlake Village, Calif.) took 40th with 219 points, Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/Factory Specialized) ranked 71st with 96 points, Kevin Aiello (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./KHS Bicycles) finished 73rd with 93 points, Austin Warren (Alpine, Calif./Pivot Cycles Factory DH Team) placed 85th with 53 points, Logan Binggeli (Saint George, Utah/KHS Bicycles) took 106th with 32 points and Sebastiaan Van Steenbergen (Newbury Park, Calif.) placed 107th with 32 points. Trevyn Newpher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) ranked 133rd with 18 points, Ben Furbee (Los Osos, Calif.) took 140th with 16 points, Michael Daniels (Santa Clarita, Calif.) placed 164th with seven points and Dylan Conte (Stowe, Vt.) finished 168th with six points.
Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./SRAM-Troy Lee Designs) crossed fifth in the Aug. 23 juniors men’s downhill competition, finishing in 3:27.650. Loris Vergier (FRA) took gold in 3:22.767, followed by Laurie Greenland (GBR) in 3:26.692 and Taylor Vernon (GBR) in 3:27.008.
Shaw’s 234 standings points were good enough for second on the year, just 26 points off of Vergier’s winning 260-point finish. Shane Leslie (Birmingham, Mich.) finished 36th with eight points, while Chase Nelson (Littleton, Colo./Trek Southridge Racing) took 38th with six.
Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./Team Norco Intl.) recorded the lone result for the U.S. women in the elite downhill on Aug. 23, taking 10th in 4:13.875. Rachel Atherton (GBR) took the win in 3:40.415, Emmeline Ragot (FRA) placed second in 3:43.820 and Manon Carpenter (GBR) crossed third in 3:46.524.
Kintner stands seventh in the women’s elite downhill rankings with 625 points, finishing behind top-three finishers Carpenter, Atherton and Ragot, who had 1,360, 1,310 and 1,300 points, respectively. Allison Zimmer (Lincoln, Vt.) finished 41st with five points.
On Aug. 24, Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) recorded the lone U.S. result in the men’s elite cross-country competition, finishing 20th in 1:38:12, following the podium of Nino Schurter (SUI), who finished first in 1:33:06, Julien Absalon (FRA), who took second in 1:33:19 and Manuel Fumic (GER), who placed third in 1:33:43.
Ettinger wrapped up the World Cup season ranked 24th with 321 points, following leader Absalon’s 1,490 points. Schurter took second with 1,330 points and Daniel McConnell (AUS) placed third with 970. Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Race Team) finished the year in 57th with 104 points, Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC Project Dirt p/b KMC) placed 72nd with 58 points, Mitchell Hoke (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) placed 110th with 18 points, followed by Spencer Paxson (Bellingham, Wash./Kona Factory Team) in 112th with 16 points and Cameron Dodge (Huntington Valley, Pa.) in 117th with 14.
In the women’s elite cross-country competition, Lea Davison’s (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing) 1:39:31 effort was good enough for 10th, while Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team) took 22nd in 1:43:13. Jolanda Neff (SUI) took the win in 1:36:19, followed by Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (NOR) in 1:36:33 and Pauline Ferrand Prevot (FRA) in 1:37:13.
Gould finished the season 15th in the World Cup rankings with 511 points, followed by Davison’s 24th-place 365 points. Neff won the women’s elite cross-country title with 1,300 points, followed by Catherine Pendrel (CAN) in second with 940 points and Tanja Zakelj (SLO) in third with 856. Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./Tokyo Joes-VCGraphix.com) finished 34th with 187 points, Evelyn Dong (Park City, Utah/Backcountry.com) took 41st with 154, Chloe Woodruff (Tucson, Ariz./Backcountry.com) placed 50th with 116 points, followed by Rose Grant (Kalispell, Mont./Sportsman & Ski Haus) in 60th with 88. Larissa Connors (Silverado, Calif.) placed 75th with 46 points, Amy Beisel (Gunnison, Colo.) took 82nd with 38, Erica Zaveta (Brevard, N.C./Brevard College) ranked 91st with 23 points, Erica Tingey (Salt Lake City, Utah/Team Jamis) tallied 20 points for 93rd and Elisa Otter (Montpelier, Vt./Bicycle Express Racing) rounded things out in 98th with 15 points.
In U23 cross-country competition, Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) recorded the top U.S. result of the weekend, placing fourth in the men’s competition in 1:22:53. Jordan Sarrou (FRA) crossed first in 1:21:31, pacing
second-place finisher Grant Ferguson’s (GBR) 1:22:29 finish and Michiel Van der Heijden’s (NED) 1:22:29 effort. Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing XC) finished fifth on Swenson’s heels, crossing in 1:23:10, while Sam Weber (Green Bay, Wis.) also competed.
Kate Courtney raced the women's U23 cross-country and eliminator competitions.
Grotts took fifth in the final standings, collecting 197 points along the way, leading Swenson’s 10th-place 122 points and Sepp Kuss’ (Durango, Colo./RMCF-Devo) 61st-place four points. Sarrou topped the standings with 570, followed by Van der Heijden with 480 and Victor Koretzky (FRA) with 301.
Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif.) finished eighth in the Aug. 24 women’s U23 cross-country competition, crossing in 1:28:18. 1. Helen Grobert (GER) won in 1:23:52, followed by Yana Belomoina (UKR) in 1:24:18 and Linda Indergand (SUI) in 1:24:46.
Courtney took eighth in the final women’s U23 cross-country standings of the year, collecting 172 points. Belomoina topped the list with 400 points, Grobert took second with 394, while Jenny Rissveds (SWE) placed third with 377.
Shayna Poweless (Roseville, Calif.) wrapped up in 35th with 18 points, followed by Emily Shields (Advance, N.C.) in 39th with 15, Kaylee Blevins (Durango, Colo./Bear Development Team) in 48th with six points and Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine/Bear Development Team) in 51st with four.
Courtney took 18th in the women’s eliminator on Aug. 22, finishing behind Linda Indergand (SUI), Kathrin Stirnemann (SUI) and Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (NOR), who took the top three, respectively. Courtney finished seventh in the women’s World Cup eliminator standings with 64 points. Stirnemann finished first with 265 points.