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At the end of a gnarly day of racing in the French Alps, Gee Atherton (GBR) and Myriam Nicole (FRA) sat atop it all in the Polygon Air DH-iXS European Cup. Atherton's finish, with a time of 3:35:62, won the men's elite category, while Nicole topped the women's podium with a time of 4:06:60.

Atherton's commanding win, with a time nearly three seconds faster than the second place rider, wraps up his third year of Crankworx Les 2 Alpes with an unbroken record - he's won the event every year since it came to France.

 

 

"That was was the goal this year so I'm very happy," said Atherton on his way to the podium.

Accompanying Atherton on the podium was Guillaume Cauvin (FRA) in second with a time of 3:38:03 and Brendan Fairclough (GBR) with a time of 3:38:52.

Making it to the finish line, let alone the podium, was certainly no easy feat for the riders on this notoriously unforgiving course.

"It was tough," said Atherton. "It was changing, it was getting rougher, the wind picked up a bit this afternoon so it was kind of unpredictable. But a good one to race, you know. It's really physical and technical in places. I think it challenged all the riders really."

This was certainly the case when it came down to the final 10 racers. Alex Bond (GBR) took a big spill during his run - the race was halted while medical crews attended the scene. He was transported off the course awake, but with an injured shoulder.

When racing got back underway, Fairclough quickly took the lead from Thibaut Ruffin (FRA). The hot seat was not his for long, as Cauvin charged through the course to take first. The two remained in the top two spots until the number one ranking rider, Atherton, ploughed through the course for the victory.

Earlier in the day, French rider Myriam Nicole took the first elite win of the day during the women's final.

"I'm really happy," said an elated Nicole. "It's crazy. Crankworx, you know - winning this race is just huge, so I'm happy."

As in the men's race, the fastest run of the day was the last. Tahnee Seagrave (GBR) was sitting in first when Tracey Hannah (AUS) stormed the course with a massive run, besting Seagrave's time by over 12 seconds, for a final time of 4:09:31. But, riding through last, Nicole managed to pull off the big win, despite some difficulties.

"It was a bit dangerous with the wind, so it was a bit scary," Nicole said of the conditions, which were a challenge for many of today's riders. "I also had a little crash but I still won so I'm feeling confident for the next races."

Today's race marked the first time the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes joined the iXS European Downhill Cup circuit, the only French portion of Europe's premier race series.

Women

  1. Myriam Nicole
  2. Tracey Hannah
  3. Tahnee Seagrave

Men

  1. Gee Atherton
  2. Guillaume Cauvin
  3. Brendan Fairclough

About Crankworx Les 2 Alpes

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes will take place July 3–6, 2014 and is the only Crankworx event to take place outside of North America. This event is presented in partnership with the tourist office of Les 2 Alpes and Ayton Concept of France. Crankworx Whistler will take place August 8–17, 2014. Crankworx Whistler is presented by Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.