18 June 2012
Macdonald grabs mountain bike lead; Sheppard, Peters impressNapier mountain biker Brook Macdonald has gone to the top of the rankings in the IXS European Downhill Cup after a podium finish in latest round in Scotland today.
Macdonald, who crashed on the way to a disappointing 20th in his seeding effort on Sunday (NZ time), had an excellent run in today’s race at Innerleithen in the Scottish Highlands.The MS Mondraker rider was timed at 3:05.527 down the superb course in the Traquair forest to finish 3.4 seconds behind winner Ruaridh Cunningham of Great Britain.
Macdonald was sixth in the opening round at Winterberg, third at Leogang and now second to move to the top of the rankings midway through the championship.
Meanwhile Samara Sheppard and Dirk Peters impressed in elite company in the latest round of the Swiss Cup crosscountry in Granichen.
Sheppard, the Rotorua-based Wellington rider, finished eighth in the elite women’s field and second in the under-23 division today. The 21 year old, racing for the Wheeler IXS team in Switzerland this year, was pleased with another strong showing in the race won by her teammate Ester Suss, who is the Swiss representative in next month’s London Olympics.
Sheppard was hamstrung when she snapped the front cable just before the start of the race, limiting her to riding only in her small chain ring.
“I am happy but it could have been better as I was spinning out on the downhill and flat sections so I couldn’t stick to a wheel in front. I was only 30 seconds behind the under- 23 winner Annie Last who was second in the world last year.
“But the body felt good so overall I am happy,” Sheppard said. “It was good preparation for the world cup next weekend in Canada.”
The action this weekend is across the Atlantic with the next round of the UCI World Cup for both crosscountry and downhill set for Mont Saint Anne in Canada.
Results, IXS European Cup, Innerleithen, Scotland:
Elite men: Ruaridh Cunningham (GBR) 3:02.056, 1; Brook Macdonald (NZL, MS Mondraker) 3:05.527, 2; Lewis Buchanan (BR) 3:06.051, 3.
BMC Racing Cup, Granichen, Switzerland:
Elite women: Ester Suss (SUI, Wheeler-IXS) 1:29.25, 1; Katrin Leumann (SUI, Ghost) at 23sec, 2; Alexandra Engen (SWE, Ghost) at 1:29, 3. Also: Samara Sheppard (NZL, Wheeler IXS) at 3:46, 8.
Elite men: Nino Schurter (SUI, Scott-Swisspower) 1:40.05, 1; Manual Fumic (GER, Cannondale) at 23s, 2; Marco Fontana (ITA, Cannondale) at 1:28, 3. Also Dirk Peters (NZL) at 8:34. 27.
CAPTION: Samara Sheppard in action in today’s BMC Racing Cup in Switzerland.
The image is free for editorial use only. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Wyder
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