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Hill, Fairclough on the podium at Maribor World Cup DH

UCI World Cup - Maribor, Slovenia

  • Hill, Photo: Fraser Britton

Team Monster Energy-Specialized scored another double podium this weekend at the Maribor, Slovenia round of the Mountain Bike World Cup. Team rider Sam Hill (AUS) rode to a tight second place, just .71 seconds behind Frenchman Fabien Barel. Team mate Brendan Fairclough (GBR) picked up his second podium of the season, finishing in second place and tying his season best performance.

The track in Slovenia suits both riders perfectly with incredibly high speeds, little pedaling and loads of slick roots, big rocks and natural doubles all the way down.

Hill fought off the effects of a major crash early Sunday morning in training that left him with a swollen thumb, a sore shoulder and a dead leg. "It's sick that me and Brendan are back on the podium together, I'm pretty happy with that. I had a good crash this morning in the rock garden and beat myself up pretty good. I struggled in qualifying and then the top half of my race run was great and then I started struggling again. My body was too sore to ride 100%. Overall, I'm pretty happy to come in second."

"I feel like the whole year has been kinda rough," said Hill. I was a bit up against it in South Africa with the flat pedaling stuff and I wadded it up in Andorra. The other 3 races I have been second at everyone, just a bit off the pace. I've been right there, just not enough for the win."

Fairclough has figured out how to stay consistently near the top of the results sheet this season and knows what he has to work on to stand on the top 3 steps of the podium from here on out.

"The top of my run went good. I was feeling really strong and was really happy with how I was riding, I got tight towards the bottom though and made a few mistakes which cost me some time. It's another pretty solid result. My second podium of the year, it's going good. I need to work on my fitness bigtime now. I say it every year but now I reckon as soon as I get that sorted I'll me a much more consistent rider, in the top 3 instead of top 10s. I honestly think I have my racing head together now, my arms and my lungs are letting me down and drawing me into mistakes."

Hill is currently 3rd overall and Brendan 7th overall in the World Cup Series.

Mens' Downhill Final Results:

1.) Fabien Barel /3:03.33
2.) Sam Hill / 3:04.04
3.) Greg Minnaar / 3:05.36
4.) Justin Leov / 3:07.65
5.) Brendan Fairclough / 3:08.50
6.) Fabien Pedemanaud / 3:08.61
7.) Steve Smith / 3:08.74
8.) Matti Lehikoinen / 3:08.81
9.) Mitch Delfs / 3:09.46
10.) Andrew Neethling / 3:09.68

The team now takes a few weeks of from racing with Fairclough heading back to his compound in southern England, while Hill and the rest of the squad head to Bromont, Canada to get in some testing, riding, relaxing and Go-Karts until the next World Cup round in Mont Ste Anne Canada in July.

We'd like to thank the following companies for supporting us; Monster Energy, Specialized, Alligator, Cane Creek, Crank Brothers, DT Swiss, e.thirteen, Five-Ten, Freestyle Watches, FUNN, Hot Shoppe, I-Magic, Kicker, Mad Catz, Maxima, Obtainium, SDG, Thule, Troy Lee Designs, SRAM, Rock Shox, Avid, Truvativ.

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  • Hill, Photo: Fraser Britton