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Published on Jun 24, 2011
Aaron Gwin (USA) just crossed the finish line after he had secured the last starting position with the best time in the qualifying and now the winners of the men's and women's DH race at the UCI World Cup stop in Leogang are set. None of the men was able to get close to Gwin's time (USA/3:44.181) and Floriane Pugin (FRA/4:29.427) finished with a comfortable lead ahead of her competitors. Cheered on by the spectators that had flocked to Saalfelden Leogang despite the changing weather, the athletes showed an absolutely spectacular race. About 13.000 mountain bike fans had come to Leogang on this long World Cup Weekend to attend this international biking highlight. _ The DH course in Leogang is famous for its technical sections that demand a great deal of concentration and skill of the riders. Especially the last passage with its roots made slippery from the rain posed quite a challenge for the riders. The track that measures 2.600 meters and stretches over 830 altitude meters, was a lot faster than last year, even though the mud did its part to slow the riders down. The Sunday afternoon was rung in by the ladies' DH finals. Even though the race itself took place in dry weather, the course was soft from the rain that had come down in buckets and especially the root section posed quite a challenge for many of the ladies, as well as the following men's race. Floriane Pugin (FRA) delivered a truly impressive run and overtook with her time of 4:29.427 the two British ladies Rachel Atherton (2. Platz/4:32.010) and Tracey Moseley (3. Platz/4:32.119). She won her first World Cup stop with a large margin of over two seconds. The race remained exciting until the very end since the ladies kept switching position on the hot seat. Particularly the last three starters each took the coveted seat and had to turn it over again after the next run. The winner of the last World Cup stop in Ft. William, Tracy Moseley, surely wasn't happy to hand over the hot seat to Rachel Atherton, who then had to vacate the first for the last starter. Austrian World Cup hope Petra Bernhard came in on sixth place and climbed up to number nine in the overall ranking.