Simmonds Takes Career Best Result at MTB World Champs
MTB - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Team Manager Nigel Page was trackside for every second of a thrilling ‘Worlds weekend’:
On the wide open long fast track here in South Africa Matt took a risk running Schwalbe Rock Razor semi-slick tires designed especially for this track for added rolling speed, because of the nature of the track being less gravity fed than most tracks hard packed and fast with a huge flat section in the middle. Matt went hard but stayed smooth on the slippy loose top section then laid down the power and held it wide open to finish fifth in the world!
This result has been a long time coming. Matt has put in a hell of a lot of work with his training and always kept his focus and 100% effort in the six years he has ridden for the team. On behalf of everyone involved we are very proud of Matt's achievement and look forward to much more success in the future.
Unfortunately Sam Hill went down hard on his run coming into the final section of the track. On a track that doesn't suit Sam's strengths, he gave it his all looking so fast and smooth on all the fast sections and digging in as deep as he could on the pedal sections. Sam, the only rider out of the top ranks on flat pedals on his Nukeproof Pulse 26" wheeled downhill bike, it was always going to be a tall order for the gold. Sam clipped a rock with his pedal on a fast section not far from the finish, rode the front wheel for a bit but then just flipped over the bars hard, head and shoulder straight into the hard-packed ground ringing his head pretty hard to say the least.
Luckily Sam was uninjured apart from feeling a bit beat up and disappointed, but will be ok for the next world cup race in Norway.
Greg Minnaar ended up defending his world title for two in a row and a hat-trick in his career in his home town, narrowly beating Australia's Mick Hannah who was one of the favourites for the title. So, a huge congrats to Greg for handling the pressure. Jared Graves grabbed the bronze medal just pipping Sam Blenkinsop and Matt Simmonds.
It was a great race down to the wire in the end and thanks to all our sponsors for the continued support with our team.
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