Full race report:
Losinj in Croatia was the first tour stop of the 2018 Mercedes UCi downhill world cup. The venue was new on the calendar and there were doubts about the conditions of the track. Videos from former races showed hard and very different conditions to other races.
For sure the rocky track characteristics supposed to be a murderer for the material and a lot of flat tires were expected, but the doubts of being a too short course with too many rocks were gone after course walk.
Laurie Greenland came to Losinj with already one victory under his belt and also Brook Macdonald and Mike Jones proofed the 2018 performance with a third place and a 12 place at the European IXS cup on the weekend before.
Laurie was not too much in favor with the track, but Brook and Mike really liked it and from how the riders looked it seemed like it will be a good race for the MS Mondraker team.
Even there were high expectations the start into the race weekend was surprising: Brook went fastest in timed training, which does not mean too much as a lot of riders such as Laurie use the timed session for finding the right line.
Everything was served for a good qualification: Laurie set a good time with a few little mistakes in his run. After a few years not having top results Brook was the big surprise. He set the best time in qualification with 1,169 seconds ahead of American Dean Lucas. Mike Jones came thru split 1 with the 8thbest time and managed to catch uptime till the 3rdsplit where he came thru in 4th. Unfortunately Mike hit a rock and punctured his tire, which made it impossible for him to qualify. Another big surprise was the performance of the young guns of the co factory team. Brage Vestavik as well as Johannes von Klebelsberg managed to qualify for the top 60 finals.
Last man in qualification start first why Brage Vestavik opened the finals on Sunday. He pulled out a decent run which got him into 53rdplace in the end. Johannes struggled thru out the week with finding the right setup, but managed to end up in 46thplace. Both results mean a big step up for both riders.
Fastest qualifier Brook came down first of the MS Mondraker squad. He looked strong from the start and expectations where high. He came thru split 1 and 2 with the fastest time, but missed his line before he scrubbed down over a drop and crashed pretty bad. As a result of the crash Brook broke his collarbone and has to have a break for a few weeks before he will be back on the world cup circuit. The positive thing he can take out of this weekend is that he proofed the package of him and the Mondrkaer Summum and that he is back up to speed.
Last man to come down was Laurie and all our hopes for a good result was now on his shoulders. Laurie started with a strong pedaling performance in the start section and came thru the splits with decent times. A little mistake in the very last wood section where he caught a little rock cost valuable tenth of a second, which where missing for a podium result. Laurie finished in 7thplace- 0.37 seconds of f the podium.
Overall the start into the race season was not the best based on the results and the injury, but the MS Mondraker team showed a strong performance and that we will be competitive.
Stay tuned for the next round of the 2018 Mercedes UCI worldcup in Fort William/ Scottland. Keep reading below for daily reports from day 1 to 3 including impression galleries.
So this is not how you want to finish a race… again this final showed how close victory and defeat are: 7thplace for Laurie Greenland, but a DNF (did not finish) for Brook MacDonald.
Fastest qualifier Brook was 2ndfastest in the 2 top splits and missed his line over a drop and crashed. The result is a broken collarbone and several weeks break.
Laurie had a strong pedaling part at the start and looked good thru out the rocky middle section. A little mistake in the bottom part cost some essential tenth of a second what got him into 7thplace 0,37 seconds off the podium.
Co factory riders Brage and Johannes proofed their results of the qualification 53rdand a 46thplace in the finals. This means a big step forward for both of them and an upgrade into the A training for the upcoming races.
The first qualifier in the 2018 Mercedes UCi world cup showed how close victory and defeat are:
After being fastest in timed training Brook MacDonald managed to win the qualification with 1.160 seconds ahead of Dean Lucas. Laurie Greenland ended up in 9th place with a mistake in the top part and Mike Jones couldn’t qualify because of a flat tire even tough he came thru with the 4th fastest time at split 3.
Especially satisfying where also the results of the MS Mondraker co-factory program: Johannes von Klebelsberg qualified in 37th place and Brage Vestavik managed to qualify in 60th and last spot.
Don’t miss tomorrows race and follow us on https://www.redbull.tv/…/AP-1UU8QF…/world-cup-chatter-losinj
P.S.: site fact: it is the very first time in Brooks career that he set the fastest time in a timed training session and won a qualification.
First round of the 2018 Mercedes UCi world cup started today with the first day practice. The track of Losinj is known for its characteristics such as the sharp rocks from top to the finish part, where the track changes from natural into manmade city style conditions.
Apart from 2 flat tires and a few mechanical problems at the beginning first practice went good for the top boys Laurie, Brook and Mike as well as for the co-factory pilots Johannes and Brage, while Fabian is suffering from gastrointestinal infect.
Brook brought down a solid run and had the fastest time in the timed training session with 2:22:739 and 1,160 seconds ahead of his fellow Sam Blenkinsop.