Monday Jun 23, 2014

Bratislava City Downhill 2014: Story in Photos

From early nerves over the crazy track design, to the incredibly close final run - here are all the best images from the Bratislava City Downill 2014.

To watch all the action again check out the full live replay here.

Filip Polc leads a morning track walk to explain his intimidating track design including two new features for 2014, with this drop from 2013 measuring at about 4 metres.

There were some concerns about the final drop after Bernard Kerr blew a tire in practice with some of the riders believing it was too gnarly - but it remained open for finals!

Bosnian rider Nikola Solomun suffers a slight mechanical in training....  

There were also problems on this deceptively tight corner where riders had to time their drifts perfectly.

One feature of the course was its blind drops, although this one came with a timely reminder.

In the final, Kerr was up after the first split but the last drop came back to haunt him, just as it did in training.

The Pivot Cycles rider broke his back wheel on impact with the stairs, ending his race.   

It was so much fun. The crowd was wild and we had a great time. There was a really harsh landing on the stairs. I broke a wheel on it in the morning and broke another one in my race run which kind of sucked! - Bernard Kerr

Andrew Neething was riding with one eye on keeping injury-free for the Downhill World Cup season, but set a good pace soon after.

The track was pretty scary and you had to hit everything perfect and line up the blind drops but it was cool racing at speed down stairs, triples, with walls everywhere and people everywhere - Andrew Neethling

4X World Champion Tomas Slavik goes big on the stair set but it wasn't enough to catch Neethling and he finished in 6th place.

Last year's winner in Bratislava, Marcelo Gutierrez, faired slightly better however moving ahead of Neethling after a decent run.

It was a good race and as expected it was very tight because it’s very short. It was very exciting with the jumps and it was deffinitely gnarlier than last year! - Marcelo Gutierrez

After Johannes Fischbach took the lead penultimate rider Matt Walker couldn't catch the German.

It was all down to the last rider, and overall leader, Filip Polc to win in front of his home fans as he set off from Bratislava Castle.

As the Slovakian rider landed the huge 12m gap, at the midway point in the course, he was 0.22 seconds down at the split.

However, unlike many other riders, his huge airs on the final two features allowed him to make up time on the second half of the track and seal his third victory in three City Downhill World Tour races.

A local hero, Polc is mobbed by his home fans on his way to the podium.

I'm super stoked. Anyone could have won. It's all about the small mistakes and the flow. But that's City Downhill, it's always very tight - FIlip Polc

Slavik walked away with the consolation of winning the Speed Record for clocking 55.9km/h.

Needles gets the party started on the podium with a glass of champagne as he celebrates fifth place.

Your top five riders at the Bratislava City Downhill 2014 - Marcelo Gutierrez, Johannes Fischbach, Filip Polc, Matt Walker and Andrew Neethling.

Thank you and goodnight Bratislava - see you in Mexico!

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