SDG components had an amazing weekend of racing at the American round of the world cup this past weekend. SDG athletes went 2,3,4,5 in the men's division with USA's own Aaron Gwin leading the charge. teammate Troy Brosnan (AUS) was second, and Kiwis Sam Blenkinsop and Brook Macdonald filled out the podium steps.
The race track in Windham is fast, loose and natural. It takes no prisoners, as could be seen in a spate of huge crashes this weekend during practice. Sam Dale, Sam Blenkinsop and Troy Brosnan took the brunt of the track's fury by each going down hard in different sections of the track. All managed to walk away and race this afternoon despite it, however. Just under 3 minutes long, it may be one of the most physical tracks of the season, as racers need to go Anaerobic right out of the gate and stay redlined until they cross the finish line, all the while hitting some fairly precise lines. Heavy rains on Wednesday did nothing to slow the track down, but did help make it slightly rougher by softening up the dirt before the first big practice session. By the end of the day, it was dusty and hardpack again.
For the women, it was Emmeline Ragot with the win for SDG. The young frenchwoman had a horrendous crash year last year right at the finish line, and was intent on making up for it. She was clearly the fastest woman on track all weekend, and managed to prove it in the finals.
Windham sets us up for the penultimate round of the World Cup in 2 weeks time in Meribel, France. This brand new World Cup venue is steep and technical and the points haven't been this close in a long time. Manon Carpenter has 1180 points, Emmeline Ragot 1110 and Rachel Atherton 1060. On the men's side it is even closer. Josh Bryceland slides into first place with today's win, at 1007 points, Troy Brosnan sits at 964 and Aaron Gwin at 925. 200 points are available for the win next race, and 50 points are up for grabs in qualifying. It is truly coming down to the wire!