June 8th, 2015

Laurie Greenland Leads Junior World Cup

In a weekend of trying weather at the second stop of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, Trek World Racing’s Laurie Greenland emerged with the coveted leader’s jersey and yet another 2nd place in the world class racing. Another highlight for the team was George Brannigan’s 9th place, his career best result on the tough 2km track.

Torrential rains and strong winds caused a complete cancellation of the Saturday World Cup schedule, resulting in no training or qualifying. This is mainly due to the fact that the gondola to the top of the hill cannot operate in high winds when transporting bikes. Additionally this venue is the only one on the circuit that doesn’t have an alternative access route to the top of the track via a fire road.

The schedule for Sunday was long, starting at 6.15am for training, followed by qualifying and then the finals. In George’s race run he was held up by a rider who’d had a mechanical problem, and he was offered a re-run by the UCI. Not an easy decision on a physical track but George’s decision to head to the top resulted in a 6 second improvement on his affected run, and his first top 10 result at Fort William.

George said: “After a full effort in qualifying and then again in the final, I wasn’t sure what to do when the Commissaires came over to me and offered a re-run, but I had a fair bit of time to recover and in the end it was the right thing to do. To be honest I’m pretty happy with 9th here.”

Laurie Greenland who finished 6th on this track last year, qualified in 3rd on Friday and was confident of being able to improve on his time of 5m 08s. In the final he improved another 5 seconds, was fastest in the most difficult technical middle sector, and took 2nd place to last year’s winner on this track, Martin Maes (BEL), The result was enough to take him into the lead in the overall series going into round 3.

Laurie said: “Pretty amazing feeling to be up on the podium on my own and being awarded the jersey, such a great feeling and an honour to wear it. I’d be lying if I said I was happy to get 2nd again….it’s 4 races in a row now, so I’m hungrier than ever for the win.”

A crash in the 2nd sector put an end to Brook MacDonald’s hopes after showing great speed all week. Fort William is one of his favourite tracks but a loose rock caught him out and the time loss was too great. Brook recovered though to be 2nd fastest rider of the day in the all-important final sector where fitness is key. Local hero Greg Williamson had a difficult run and finished 26th. Despite the disappointing run, he took home a good swag of points and has elevated his World Cup ranking by 40 positions.

The team heads to Leogang, Austria, this week for round 3 of the World Cup.

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