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Report: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup DH & 4X Round 3
Leogang, Austria 10-12 June 2011
Words: Luke Webber
British hopes for a World Cup Downhill title were kept alive in Leogang, with a string of podium performances, but no top step as Aaron Gwin and Floriane Pugin took convincing wins.
Fresh from a win at Fort William, Tracy Moseley looked to retain her Series lead and did so with a third-place finish. As Moseley missed out on her third consecutive victory in the World Cup, Rachel Atherton continued her return with a second-consecutive runners-up spot, behind Pugin.
As the battle-royale resumed in the men's World Cup, America's Aaron Gwin took his second win of the season, proving he is the man to beat in 2011 with a time that tore the field apart.
Three seconds up on eventual second-placed Gee Atherton at the second split, Gwin's lead did drop to two seconds by the finish after some scary moments in the technical sections, but it was still easily enough for the win.
Greg Minnaar was six seconds back in third place, with Danny Hart sixth, Josh Bryceland eleventh, Steve Peat twelfth and Marc Beaumont thirteenth.
Atherton concludes the weekend as highest placed Brit in the overall standings; third behind Minnaar and Gwin whose lead is moving toward the uncontrollable.
Will Evans made his first ever small final at the World Cup Fourcross in a chaotic night of racing, eventually finishing eighth on the night.
In a series of battles to which only Jared Graves could bring precdictability and calm, a slow and waterlogged fourcross track with wide flat turns and a pro line threw plenty of surprises into the mix.
Following an early exit last week in Fort William, Graves was determined to take a wide berth from any sideshows; instead leading from the front in every race to take a without dispute.
Women's winner Romana Labounkova followed a similar mantra, leaving nearest challengers Melissa Buhl and Anneke Beerten to fight against each other for the minor placings.