Several Canadian downhill racers got their racing season off to an early start over the weekend, at the first US Pro GRT downhill series event at Windrock bike park in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. An international crowd of downhill’s best, including the full Santa Cruz Syndicate team and Danny Hart’s new Madison Saracen team brought extra media attention than the UCI C1 DH race might otherwise attract, though Windrock has been gaining attention on its own since YT Industries World Cup racer Neko Mulally and his friend Sean Leader have taken over the reigns and upgraded the classic southern U.S. DH venue.

Ben Wallace of Kovarik led the Canadian charge, winning the junior men’s race by over seven seconds. Wallace’s blazing fast time would have put him 12th in the stacked elite men’s field. In the women’s elite race, Devinci development racer Rachel Pageau pushed through a crash to finish third, while Maxine Bergeron of Cumberland, Ont. rounded out the podium in fifth.

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The international crowd largely dominated the top-1o in the elite men’s race, though Windrok local Dakotah Norton used his hometrack advantage to great effect, finishing less than a second behind two-time downhill world champion Danny Hart. Behind Hart and Norton, Santa Cruz Syndicate rider’s Luca Shaw and Greg Minnaar finished in 3rd and 5th, while Neko Mullally (YT Industries) squeezed in a fourth place run on top of his race organizing duties.

Three Canadian’s found their way into the top-15, including Forrest Riesco (RaceFace Kali Intense) in 12th, Victoria, B.C.’s Magnus Manson in 13th and Henry Fitzgerald (Norco Factory Racing) in 14th.

 

Junior Men

1 Ben Wallace (Kovarik Racing) 2:42.355
2 Zach Gareis (Billy Goat Racing / Leatt) 2:49.937
3 Matthew Sterling (Commencal Cartel) 2:50.473
4 Cole Suetos (Incycle / Specialized) 2:50.569
5 Titus Nicholson (Defiant Racing) 2:54.099

Elite Women
1 Caroline Washam 3:35.730 SRAM/TLD/Schwalbe/Oakley/FiveTen/Liv
2 Josefine Bjorkman 4:12.104 Giant Sweeden
3 Rachel Pageau 4:15.747 Devinci Development Racing
4 Lauren Kinney 4:25.940
5 Maxine Bergeron 4:27.091 Laferte / Trou du Diable

Elite Men
1 Danny Hart (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 2:33.529
2 Dakotah Norton 2:34.296
3 Luca Shaw (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 2:34.445
4 Neko Mulally (YT) 2:34.897
5 Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 2:35.577
6 Matt Walker (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 2:35.884
7 Charlie Harrison (Intense Factory Racing) 2:36.254
8 Loris Vergier (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 2:36.450
9 Alix Marin (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 2:37.233
10 Max Morgan (Worldwide Cyclery / Santa Cruz Bicycles) 2:37.630
11 Logan Binggeli (KHS Factory Racing) 2:41.878
12 Forrest Riesco (RaceFace Kali Intense) 2:42.870
13 Magnus Manson (Fox Oakley FiveTen) 2:43.138
14 Henry Fitzgerald (Norco Factory Racing) 2:44.012
15 Rahael Gutierrex (Ij racing) 2:44.977

 

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