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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Rain Falls On Vail Dual World Cup
Lopes, Chausson Beat the Mud

Vail, Colorado, USA: July 15, 2000

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All good things must come to an end and in the case of this week's race, it was the weather that had to go. After a season of surprisingly good weather, the rains finally fell on the Tissot-UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this weekend, when a torrential downpour dared Brian Lopes (USA, Volvo-Cannondale) and teammate Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA, Volvo-Cannondale) to race in its wake. Race they did, and each won their fourth round of the season, thus solidifying their overall standings.

The World Cup arrived here in Vail after a two-week respite from international racing with the fun-loving Downhill crowd ready to return to action. And so the traveling circus motored to the high altitude of Vail Valley and the site of next year's World Championships to try out a new Dual course under late afternoon skies.

Heavy rains pushed the schedule back a couple hours, so by the time the finals went off it was getting dark. Riders were flying at full speed down a muddy gauntlet toward the timing lights below, being blasted by camera flashes for the entire trip, but still managing to keep upright and fast in the waning light.

Lopes, whose skills as an aggressive rider seem to improve each week, took out Mickael Deldycke (FRA, Taillefer) in the last turn of the men's final run, the two crashing as they craved the same inside line on a critical last hairpin. Lopes won the Dual cleanly though, after both riders hit the deck in a crazy crash that saw Lopes scrambling for his bike and rolling to the finish as the winner. Deldycke was hurt though and may have broken his collarbone. He was carted off to the hospital to find out.

Tara Llanes
Chausson's skills are never in doubt and she too has won four-straight races this season and looks poised to win both the Downhill and Dual crowns. She beat second-place Tara Llanes (USA, Subaru-Specialized) for the third time this season, keeping it fast and low to win every round en route to the finals.

In women's consolation racing, defending World Cup champ Katrina Miller (AUS, Jamis) continued her return to competition by beating gal pal and teammate Helen Mortimer (GBR, MBUK Jamis). The same thing happened in the men's consolation round as well, when Eric Carter (USA, Team GT) beat teammate Steve Peat (GBR, Team GT), to determine 3rd and 4th place.

Downhill racing takes place July 16, so check back for full results and photos!

Ari Cheren, "a-Vail-ing" himself of the site for next year's Worlds for MountainZone.com

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