Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Mon 8/Jun/09 11:17am

Wanganui's finest, Sam Blenkinsop (Yeti/Fox) completed a hugely successful weekend's racing at Fort William in Scotland yesterday with a 3rd place finish in the Elite Downhill. Blenkinsop was on top form all weekend, qualifying 4th for the top 80 final then producing a stunning race run for a World Cup season's best 3rd. Blenkinsop stood on the 3rd step of the podium behind two former Elite Downhill World Champions also racing at the top of their games, South Africa's Greg Minaar and Australia's Sam Hill.

For Blenkinsop the Fort William result reinforces his building form this 2009 UCI MTB World Cup. After a reasonably slow start to the season in South Africa in April (by his own standards), Blenkinsop has been improving at a steady rate to post his first 2009 World Cup podium result at this halfway stage of the eight round World Cup. This also launches him up the overall World Cup standings from 9th to 6th, in the process leap-frogging his former team-mate Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) who slips one to 7th.

The Fort William downhill course has always had a deserved reputation for being long, physically punishing and uncompromising for even minor mistakes. Blenkinsop handled those traits the best of the nine NZers racing over the weekend, with Leov's 11th NZ's next best and representing some pretty hard toil. Leov suffered some mechanical issues in his qualifying run and didn't post a qualifying time, but progressed through to the top 80 race run due to sitting within the World Cup top 20 standings.

NZ's top two Juniors also competed strongly yesterday. It was Brook MacDonald's (Ancillotti) opportunity to gain some ground on the UK's Danny Hart, the current Junior World Cup leader. MacDonald did this and more, racing to a stunning 25th overall. While MacDonald picked up valuable points from this performance, Hart finished just ahead of him in 20th for the Junior win at the Fort. MacDonald will now have a very clear understanding of exactly what he needs to do to overhaul Hart over the remaining four World Cup rounds. Aari Barrett (Scott 11) was 4th best NZer in 46th and 4th Junior.

Wyn Masters (Ancollotti) in 59th and Cam Cole (Maxxis/Rocky Mountain) in 67th both had strong race runs to the first timing split but lost ground during the remaining two splits to slip off the pace. Matt Scoles (Wide Open) also qualified for the top 80 race run, but had some issues in this to post a DNF. Kieran Bennett (X-Fusion) and Nathan Rankin (Playbiker) missed the top 80 cut after qualification run crashes - loosing valuable seconds getting back on course and up to speed.

In the Women's race, a French clean sweep of the five step podium led by Cole's teammate Sabrina Jonier was a rare occurrence. Jonnier dominated this field all weekend, with clear space back to Emmeline Ragot in both qualifying and racing.

The World Cup now moves to Maribor, Slovenia for round 5 of the Downhill in two weeks time.

UCI MTB World Cup, Fort William Scotland June 7th 2009

1 Greg Minaar (RSA) 4:38.98;
2 Sam Hill (Aus) 4:40.43;
3 Sam Blenkinsop (NZ) 4:41.85;
11 Justin Leov (NZ) 4:48.33;
25 Brook MacDonald (NZ) 4:52.54;
46 Aari Barrett (NZ) 4:59.10;
59 Wyn Masters (NZ) 5:01.81;
67 Cam Cole (NZ) 5:05.56.

1 Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) 5:17.65;
2 Emmeline Ragot (Fra) 5:26.67;
3 Celine Gros (Fra) 5:30.60.
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby chalky on Mon 8/Jun/09 12:49pm

Yeh, awesome for Blinky, props and mean whipage at the end
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby CrustyMTB on Mon 8/Jun/09 12:54pm

Someone get that boy an extinguisher...
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby snr_merv on Mon 8/Jun/09 1:13pm

Another top result on another "man's" track, good stuff :thumbsup:
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby petern on Mon 8/Jun/09 2:19pm

Is there a video on the Interweb anywhere?
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby IamTOAD on Mon 8/Jun/09 3:59pm mate
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby soccer_pro on Mon 8/Jun/09 8:39pm is better and loads up quicker because of less flash stuff everywhere
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby wachtourak on Mon 8/Jun/09 8:49pm

Freecaster vids are shit this round, czech, it has the vids from dirtTV and mtbcut
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby Wobbler on Mon 8/Jun/09 8:50pm

littermag is the bestest
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Re: Sam Blenkinsop On Fire At Fort William

Postby Astoria Paranoia on Mon 8/Jun/09 8:51pm

Wobbler wrote:littermag is the bestest


Though Dirt always have results and vids before the rest
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