Mountain Bike NEWS
07.10.17
FINN ILES CLINCHES JUNIOR DOWNHILL WORLD CUP TITLE
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Lenzerheide, July 10, 2017 – At Round 5 of the Downhill World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Saturday, Junior Men’s world champion Finnley Iles (Specialized), out of Whistler, B.C., took his third straight victory, and the fourth of the season in his category.  The absence of his usual rival Matt Walker (Madison Saracen) gives Iles an insurmountable lead in the overall standings with 280 points to Walker’s 140, with only two rounds remaining, making Iles the de facto World Cup champion for 2017.

“I’m pretty happy,” agreed Iles, “it has been in the back of my mind all week that I have a chance of winning the overall at this race.  I was thinking about it during my run and I almost blew straight off the first corner … I started thinking ‘what am I doing’ and began focussing.  I felt like I rode pretty good, even though it was still slippery from the rain last night; all the roots had a good coating on them and it was hard to hold your line.  You had to be slower going into some sections and it was more challenging.”

In the Elite Women’s race, Vaea Verbeeck was the top Canadian qualifier in ninth, followed by Canadian champion Miranda Miller (Specialized) in 13th.  Miller, still recovering from a leg injury suffered in the second round, finished 12th in the Final, but Verbeeck had the best World Cup ride of her career, finishing seventh, just under two seconds off the podium.  Verbeeck improves two spots in the overall standings to 12th, with Miller remaining in 13th place.

The top Canadian of the day for Elite Men was Mark Wallace (Canyon Factory) in 17th place.  Forrest Riesco was 43rd, Canadian champion Kirk McDowall 72nd and Henry Fitzgerald (Norco Factory) 75th.

“To be honest, I wasn’t really happy with my run,” admitted Wallace.  “But, all things considered, I can’t be too upset.  It’s tough to come off a run that felt perfect like last week, and then have one that’s not quite there.  It’s such a tough track to race here, I think it’s underrated for how hard it is.  In my race run I just struggled and couldn’t flow.  I’d push too hard in one section and make a mistake and then not push hard enough in the next one.  It was frustrating.”

In the overall standings, Wallace moved up one spot to sixth, at 481 points, with Riesco in 46th place.