The opening two rounds of the 2020 Downhill UCI MTB World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia wasn’t the one the Australians were hoping for over the weekend.
The opening round more cold and wet weather gripping the already battered hillside of Pohorje, but the rain eased up as as the stopwatches came out and conditions looked like a fairly level playing field with it staying slick yet sticky for most of the field.
Last year’s overall winner in the women’s Tracey Hannah, was last down the hill but the Cairns rider was frustrated with her run, knowing she’d played it too conservatively and left time on the table.
It was Marine Cabirou who laid down a statement which ultimately proved insurmountable as she held on to win by over 6 seconds with Nicole in tow, ahead of Hannah in third.
The elite men’s race would be wide open but the Aussie contingent of Jack Moir (7th) Troy Brosnan (8th), Kye A’Hern (35th) and Michael Hannah (37th) would have to watch a French trifecta with Loris Vergier taking top spot.
After a crash during practice on day one Aussie junior Luke Meier-Smith’s weekend would end with a fractured knuckle ruling him out of the upcoming Portugal races.
Round two saw a slightly ammended track for riders and conditions move on from a slippery fiasco to dry and tacky in others.
It still would not be the race run Hannah had in mind as she finished fifth but scored her second podium of the weekend, this time behind German Nina Hoffmann.
Brosnan also went all out for a win in the elite men but again had to settle behind a Frenchman Vergier, who claimed back to victories.
Moir (14th), Michael Hannah (24th) and A’Hern (33rd) rounded out the Aussie results.
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