Cairns dealt the most brutal blows to the Trek Factory contingent of the British Cycling Team this weekend with both Rachel Atherton and Kade Edwards injured during Friday's timed training day, Rachel sustained a broken collarbone when she clipped a bank in the top turns and went OTB and Kade went down hard on the big jumps knocking himself unconscious. Both withdrew from the Finals on medical advice.
Rachel said: "Absolutely devastated doesn't even come close. I was having so much fun on track, attacking, loving the speed. I felt like my old self for the first time in months but a broken collarbone puts an end to me defending my World Champs title. Thanks so much to Mick and Tracey Hannah for getting me up and walking me to safety."
Kade said: "I had a big crash on a fast bit, landed on my head and was out for at least 10 seconds so the doctors say I can't race. I feel pretty bad right now but I'll live to fight another day. Good luck to all the boys."
In the Junior Men's race the British team reigned supreme with 1st, 2nd and 5th places going to Matt Walkers, Joe Breeden and Kaos Seagrave.
In the Junior Women's race, GB's Maya Atkinson was 11th in 4.53.44.
Then then women were on track - and with the reigning World Champ cruelly sidelined there was everything to play for - and drama levels were high. All of the British hopes were now pinned on Tahnee Seagrave but they were dashed as our remaining female elite rider pushed a little too hard and crashed out - ending up in 10th place.
Local heroine Tracey Hannah looked sure to take the hot seat until she washed out on a high inside line, she lay stunned for a couple of seconds before scrambling back onto the bike, perhaps long enough to lose her the race. Tracy finished 2nd but a timing complication meant that Myriam Nicole was promoted after the race with Tracey moving into 3rd. Pompon had made no mistakes but was recorded 4.7 seconds off the pace by the first split. A review of the back up timing placed her just 0.097 back from the winner Miranda Miller (Canada) who stepped outside of the general chaos with a fast and consistent run.
World Champs has a slightly different format in that seeding is dictated by current standings. Gee's 9th place in timed training put him at the forefront of the British squad and he was feeling confident as he headed up the hill. By the time of the Men's race the course was getting even looser with lots of riders stumbling in the corners - the Aussie riders relished the dry, dusty conditions, dominating the results table with 4 out of the top 6 places! Sam Hill was first down the mountain and seemed to take up residence in the hot seat!
Gee has a solid run and crossed into second place, 3.37 back from Sam, enough for 18th on the day, Gee said: "I'm stoked. After the injury (a hip dislocation at Fort William) I'm delighted to be here and my goal was for top 20 this weekend. Thanks to Trek, Fox, all the sponsors and team GB for the support and of course my right hand man Polish Pete!"
1 Loïc Bruni (FRA) 3:26.656
2 Mick Hannah (AUS) 3:26.995
3 Aaron Gwin (USA) 3:28.623
4 Jack Moir (AUS) 3:29.257
5 Troy Brosnan (AUS) 3:29.649
18 Gee Atherton (GBR) 3.35.715
1 Miranda Miller (CAN) 4:10.245
2 Myriam Nicole (FRA) 4:10.342
3 Tracey Hannah (AUS) 4:12.230
4 Eleonora Farina (FRA) 4:15.168
5 Danielle Beecroft (AUS) 4:19.361
1 Matt Walker (GBR) 3:37.788
2 Joe Breeden (GBR) 3:41.244
3 Max Hartenstern (GER) 3:41.774
4 Sylvain Cougoureux (FRA) 3:42.154
5 Kaos Seagrave (GBR) 3:42.758
1 Melanie Chappaz (FRA) 4:28.617
2 Shania Rawson (NZL) 4:31.318
3 Flora Lesoin (FRA) 4:35.552
4 Beatrice Migliorini (ITA) 4:38.098
5 Ellie Smith (AUS) 4:43.581