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All hail the Gee!

| Blog, Mountain Biking Uk, News, Racing | 01/09/2010 12:57pm

The 2010 UCI World Cup – if I had to describe it in one word it would have to be ‘wow’! After a bullish start to the season by Greg Minnaar, Gee Atherton clawed his way back after a disappointing 2009 to take his maiden World Cup overall crown.

The venue for the final show-down was World Cup debutant Windham, NY. From the point of view of a swotty bike journo, this is exactly how you want the final round of a championship to end up. Two guys at the top of their game, seven points in it and an unproven track which neither had ever ridden before.

After an eventful qualifying session the margin was slimmer again with Minnaar coming home in fourth and Gee in fifth. That was it down to four points…

The two were now set-up for a back-to-back shoot out come Sunday afternoon – a straight fight for the crown.

All three Monster Energy Specialized riders had spells in the hot seat along with various other World Cup regulars but the real meat in the pie was yet to come.

From the first split on it was clear that Gee was giving it everything. He wasn’t going to waste time on a gamble of Minnaar having problems, nor was he simply riding for a podium – he was in this to win.

Minnaar’s run on the other hand never looked as fluid. He’d injured his elbow earlier in practice and was down at the opening two splits. He began eating back into the deficit during the third but it was just too much to ask – he crossed the line 0.37 secs down on Gee.

Fastest qualifier, Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat, was hauling on his run and was eating time out of the already celebrating Atherton before a big off at speed in the final split put the brakes on a disappointing 2010 for the big lad from Sheffield.

Yeti’s Aaron Gwin had qualified second and was in the mood to give the home-fans something to shout about whilst securing third spot overall. It wasn’t to be however, Lapierre’s resident Kiwi Sam Blenkinsop tonked home in third earning himself the same spot overall and leaving Gwin in fourth in both the race and the overall.

So, what will a maiden overall World Cup crown do for Gee’s confidence on the way into this weekend’s World Champs? What do you reckon?


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