Mountain bike national champion Kate Weatherly has scored her first UCI World Cup downhill podium with third placing in Austria.

Weatherly, in her first year on the World Cup circuit, came into the event ranked 12th and was seventh in qualifying on the high speed 2.5km course. Leogang is one of the fastest on the circuit, with riders reaching speeds of 65kph on the high-speed corners and jumps.

The Auckland rider reached the fastest speeds of all women to grab the hot seat with her run of 3:51:467. She was later bettered by Nina Hoffman (GER) by seven seconds but third qualifier Marine Cabirou (FRA) made a mistake in the final section to finish 0.2s behind the Kiwi.

While Tracey Hannah (AUS) produced the run of day to claim victory, an earlier crash at the top section by five-time world champion Rachel Atherton meant that Weatherly had earned third place.

Her efforts have seen her jump from 12th to sixth on the downhill world cup rankings.

Meanwhile in the men’s competition, Brook MacDonald was again the best of the Kiwi gravity riders in 12th place. The MS Mondraker rider finished just under four seconds behind winner Loic Bruni (FRA) who pipped Greg Minnaar (RSA) and Troy Brosnan (AUS) but half a second.

Ed Masters (Pivot Factory) was 17th and the GT Factory riders George Brannigan and Wyn Masters were 28th and 46th respectively.

MacDonald is now 11th on the World Cup standings with Ed Masters 13th.

Subway Performance Hub rider Blake Ross was 15th in the junior men’s competition.

The next stop is in the first week of July in the Pyrennes at Vallnord, Andorra which will be the first combined cross-country and downhill World Cup this year.


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