After qualifying 7th on Friday Laurie Greenland had a nerve wracking wait in the hotseat during the finals as 6 of the best juniors in the world attempted to beat his race time of 2m 49.9secs. Laurie was suffering from hay fever for qualifying lacking his usual energy, and the track in Windham which was running extremely loose and fast, provided its own set of challenges. Fastest qualifier Jacob Dickson went faster than Laurie at split one so it was an anxious 90secs of waiting to see if Laurie’s time would hold. In the end Laurie scored his 3rd World Cup win in a row, by a margin of 0.7secs.
With main rival Andrew Crimmins finishing 6th Laurie gained a sufficient points advantage to secure the 2015 World Cup Downhill for Junior Men, with one round remaining. This is a great achievement for the young rider from Bristol who has continued to grow and learn throughout his junior career and caps off a 5 race winning streak that started at the iXS Cup in Schladming.
Laurie said: “When Martin told me I’d won the overall I couldn’t actually believe what I was hearing, I mean I only just got the leader jersey back last week so it took some time to sink in. Even when I crossed the line in the race I was afraid it may not be enough for the win. I thought my first sector went really well and that gave me some confidence for the rest of the run, but it turns out my 2nd sector was the strongest. It’s a massively good feeling to go to Italy for the final round in Val Di Sole without any pressure for the series and just enjoy the race. I’m really proud of this title and want to thank my family, team and sponsors for all their support these past 2 seasons.”
Unfortunately for Brook MacDonald and George Brannigan the Windham track bit back as both crashed early on while pushing to the limit. Both of their initial incidents happened off camera and Brook suffered a mechanical due to the crash when his grip slid 3cm along his handlebar affecting the rest of his run. George continued to push after his first crash which resulted in a number of excursions off course. Both riders are fine and did not suffer any injury other than some skin abrasions.
Greg Williamson aimed to improve both his race time and position from the qualifier, which he did easily. Greg found 8 seconds and improved 34 places, which resulted in an improvement in his World Cup ranking of a further 2 spots.
The team now heads to Europe to prepare for the final round of the series in Val Di Sole, Italy, a classic track known for being extremely steep and strewn with roots, and it will also host the World Championships in 2016.