Gaze remains at sharp end of MTB World Cup competition

Mountain Bike
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Sam Gaze was in impressive form to finish sixth in the latest round of the UCI MTB cross-country world cup at Les Gets in the French Alps today,

The Alpecin Fenix professional goes into the break for the Paris Olympic Games in fifth place overall in the elite men’s rankings after his third placing in the short track and sixth in today’s sixth placing at Les Gets.

The wet weather earlier in the week made for a slippery surface in the forested areas with the New Zealand rider coping with his share of challenges, after slipping his pedal in the start loop and twice sliding off his bike.

He was in contention for third before sliding off his bike, but recovered well to finish within 30 seconds of the podium. While he did not have much good fortune in the racing, he impressed as one of the strongest riders.

South African Alan Hatherly raced clear to win in 1:23.14, with the kiwi rider a minute further back in sixth.

Compatriot Samara Maxwell was 20th in the women’s race, dropping back after a conservative start but again impressive with the third fastest time for her final lap. Only winner Puck Pieterse (NED) was faster than the Decathlon Ford kiwi rider for the final two laps.

World Cup action continues for enduro riders who compete in Switzerland next weekend. There is a break in the World Cup competition until the world championships in Andorra in late August following the Paris Olympic Games.

The World Cup will resume at Loudenvielle in France in September before the season competition moves across the Atlantic to Lake Placid (USA) and Mont Sainte Anne (Canada), concluding in early October.

Results, XCO World Cup Les Gets, elite men: Alan Hatherly (RSA) 1:23.14, 1; Mathias Fluckiger (SUI) at 1:31, 2; Simon Andreassen (DEN) at 2:02, 3. Sam Gaze at 2:38, 6.

Elite women: Puck Pieterse (NED) 1:29.12, 1; Candice Lill (RSA) at 2:37, 2; Alessandra Keller (SUI) at 3:07, 3. Also: Samara Maxwell (NZL, Decathlon Ford) at 8:08, 20.

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