Atherton makes it two-in-a-row down under as Ferguson takes 17th on elite world cup debut

Atherton makes it two-in-a-row down under as Ferguson takes 17th on elite world cup debut

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Rachel Atherton continued her perfect start to the UCI MTB World Cup season with downhill victory in Cairns, Australia.

The Trek Factory Racing DH rider dominated on the course in tropical North Queensland to win by more than seven seconds.

In Sunday's cross-country event, Grant Ferguson was impressive as he finished 17th on his elite men's world cup debut.


It’s two wins out of two for the 2015 world champion Atherton, after she took the opening round in Lourdes, France earlier this month.

Fellow Brits Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) and Tahnee Seagrave (Transition Factory Racing) finished third and fourth respectively, with Australian rider Tracey Hannah splitting the British trio taking second place.

Atherton said: "That final pedal was a killer! I heard the commentator say 7.5 seconds down and I was really disappointed, I’d felt like I had a good run, I panicked! I’m glad I got that wrong, and of course I’m ecstatic to win but at the same time there’s a part of me that’s gutted for Tracey – I know how emotional it is to win on your home turf  and she rode a great race."

That result confirms Atherton's place at the top of the world cup rankings on 490 points, with Seagrave in second place on 355 and Carpenter just five points behind in third.

In the men’s race, French rider Loic Bruni won his first ever world cup to deny Australian Troy Brosnan a home victory.

There was less than half a second between the pair in a thrilling conclusion to the men’s downhill.

Greg Williamson (Cube Global Squad) was the highest placed of the British men, with a very strong finish to take sixth place.

Danny Hart, Laurie Greenland (both MS Mondraker), Bernard Kerr (Pivot Factory Racing), Michael Jones  (Chain Reaction Cycles) and Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) also made the top 20.

There was also British success in the men’s junior race as Matt Walker (Madison Saracen Factory Team) took a sensational victory down under.

After qualifying fastest, he beat Australian Remy Morton by more than half a second.

The next downhill round of the UCI MTB World Cup will give British riders home field advantage as the world's best head to Fort William in Scotland on 4 and 5 June.


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After a strong start to the domestic season, Grant Ferguson looked to transfer that form to the international circuit in Australia.

With success at under-23 level already under his belt, Ferguson (Brentjens Mountain Bike Racing Team) stepped up to the elite men's race for the first time in his world cup career.

Chasing valuable Rio Olympic qualification points, Ferguson kept up with more experienced opponents across the 30.7km course to finish in 17th place - just over two and a half minutes behind race winner, Nino Schurter of Switzerland.

Fellow Brit Phil Pearce finished in 60th place, one lap down on the rest of the field.

The UCI MTB World Cup heads back to Europe for the next round of the cross-country competition, with riders heading to Albstadt in Germany on 21 and 22 May.


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