2000 Mountain Biking World Cup 2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup 2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup 2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup





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Vouilloz
Nico Vouilloz
Austrian Downhill Yields Another Win to Chausson & Vouilloz
Downhill #7

Kaprun, Austria: August 12-13, 2000
[Results]

The French dominated the 2000 season just as they did in 1999 — winning Kaprun's penultimate round and locking in the overall championship with one more race remaining. After a long season and plenty of suspense in both the men's and women's series, Nicolas Vouilloz (FRA, Vouilloz Racing Team) and Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA, Volvo-Cannondale) took the victory and denied their rivals any hope of winning the overall.

The skies were blue and the sun was shining Sunday as 30 women and 80 men absolutely flew down a picture-perfect racecourse during six hours of racing in the Austrian Alps. Set against green cow pastures and dark wooded forests, Kaprun's long and winding course brought out high speeds and close finishes for one last time.

With a triple World Cup event on next year's schedule and the 2002 World Championships the year after that, organizers have said goodbye to the old-school Kaprun course. From now on, racing will take place six kilometers down the road at the base of a glacier, marking the end of an era, an end to the freeway of Kaprun.

Men
Men's racing was a totally different story, as all three of the top men had to fight for fractions of a second and had their own horror stories to tell after their runs. Nicolas Vouilloz (FRA, Vouilloz Racing Team) won, but he had a bit of luck on his side as he said he made a huge mistake at the beginning of his run, posting a time of 5:34. It was fast enough to take the hot seat from Greg Minnaar (RSA, Animal Orange) with five men remaining, but he didn't believe it would stand up to Steve Peat (GBR, Team GT).

Peaty, who won the Vail race, had recently beaten Nico in the European Downhill Championships, and Vouilloz knew that only a big mistake by the Brit would assure the win — and the overall title. Luckily for Nico, that's exactly what happened.

Peat had his own problems during his run, nothing serious, but enough to shave off his time by just a bit. He crossed the finish with a time nearly identical to Vouilloz, 5:34.49, 0.18 of a second slower than Vouilloz. Nicolas then sighed in relief, clenched his fist and muttered, "le coupe de monde" under his breath, signifying that the World Cup was his.

Next up was Spanish speedster David Vazquez (ESP, Subaru-Specialized), who won the season's first round in Les Gets. He held on and kept it as tight as possible to finish 3rd for the day, also with a time of 5:34, plus 0.73. That put him just 0.42 of a second off the win, only he was happy to do so well after all the challenges he faced on his run. He is now 3rd overall in the series.

Bas DeBever (NED, Be-One) was the fastest in the semi-final and came down the mountain last, but his time was a whole 3.76 seconds slower than Nico's, and he finished in 4th place. Rounding out the podium was South Africa's Greg Minnaar (RSA, Animal Orange), tying his season's best finish.

Women
Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA, Volvo-Cannondale) won't miss this course too much. She's said before she doesn't like it, but she didn't let that stop her from beating up on the competition one last time this season when she beat rival Missy Giove (USA, Foes/Azonic) by nearly six seconds to take the win and secure the overall series.

She qualified fastest the morning after winning Saturday's Dual event, then kept it smooth and fast in the downhill finals to ensure her championship. Pedaling even in mid-air off the huge long jumps of the grassy lower sections, Chausson was all smiles at the finish as she did the math and realized it was done.

Anne-Caroline Chausson
Chausson
With the season locked, she says she'll now take a couple weeks and do a Dual race and learn to jump even better, then have some fun in two weeks at the downhill finals in Leysin, Switzerland. Giove said she has no idea what she'll do between now and Leysin — possibly cruise Europe with her mechanic Monkee.

Giove can't complain though, she had a consistent season and a strong ride for 2nd Sunday. She won round four, but then came in 2nd to Chausson for the next three rounds, unable to topple her respected nemesis. She ends her season just 260 points back, ten points away from having a snowball's chance. (Riders receive 250 points for a win. Giove could have overtaken Chausson if she were, say, 240 points back.)

Leigh Donovan (USA, Schwinn/Toyota) was 3rd for the day, also with a clean run. She actually went a couple seconds faster than she thought she would, judging her speed on Chausson's fast qualifying time. And it held the onslaught, keeping her 5th overall this season.

Marielle Saner (SUI, Hot Chili) was 4th for the day, while Sabrina Jonnier (FRA, Team GT) finished 5th.

The World Cup now takes two weeks off before the downhill finals in Leysin, Switzerland, where the season will wrap up at long last. One week later the cross-country season ends, in nearby Lausanne.

Ari Cheren, doing the reverse-jetlag-shuffle for MountainZone.com

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