Sam Hill won his first World Cup Downhill for four years with victory in Canada on Saturday, while Manon Carpenter took her third of the season to go clear at the top of the women’s standings.
Chain Reaction Cycles rider Hill beat fastest-qualifier Josh Bryceland by over a second to claim his fourth victory on the technical Mont-Sainte-Anne track, with fellow Brit Danny Hart coming third.
Overall points leader Troy Brosnan of Australia retained his place at the top of the standings with a fourth-place finish, with kiwi Sam Blenkinsop claiming his first podium of the season in fifth.
But the happiest man on the mountain was the three-time World Champion Hill, who was lost for words at returning to the top of the podium after a long wait.
I can't explain it, I'm tearing up a bit. It's been a long road back to the top
“I can’t even explain it and I’m tearing up a bit,” he said. “The last big race I won was the World Championships here in 2010 and it’s been a long road back to the top.
“Fort William was close and the last rider down beat me so I thought that might happen again, but I’m pumped to get the win.”
Reigning World Champion Greg Minnaar set the early pace in the mountain’s of Quebec but was soon knocked off the hotseat by Blenkinsop. Still looking for his first World Cup win, 22-year-old Hart again showed his title credentials with a brilliant ride to get him into the hotseat, but it wasn’t enough to stop Hill.
The 29-year-old stormed into first place with a fantastic ride, 1.6 seconds faster than Hart, with a time of 4:10.566.
He then had a nervy wait with Fort William winner Brosnan next to go before another first-time winner this year, Bryceland, finished off the finals. However, neither of the young riders could match Hill’s flawless run and handed the man from Western Australia a win that draws him level with Steve Peat on four World Cup titles in Mont-Sainte-Anne. In the women’s race Carpenter claimed maximum points after winning both the qualifying and finals runs to extend her lead in the overall standings to 160 points.
The 21-year-old beat defending champion Rachel Atherton in second and third-place Emmeline Ragot by just 0.7 seconds in a thrilling final.
And with two races to go in the series, and the overall title within reach, the Madison Saracen rider said she is eager to get to Windham, USA for round 6.
“We haven’t got much time to recover and I’m battered after that because this track really beats you up,” she said. “But I’m really keen for Windham now.”
Although Carpenter celebrated her third win of the season, to leave Atherton and Ragot arguably fighting for second place, things are far from decided in the men’s race.
There have now been five different winners in the first five rounds and everyone in the top five will have their sights set on the big prize with just Windham and Meribel left to go.