World Cup kick-off in Lourdes
Neko Mulally, latest member of the Mob, managed to finish his race run in an excellent 7th position. Team mate Aaron was not on the lucky side of life and had to fight against brutal weather and course conditions during his run.
The third year in a row, the first round of the Downhill World Cup took place in Lourdes. But the week didn’t start as the Mob had imagined: Manager Martin Whiteley had to announce that our youngest Mob rider Angel Suarez heavily broke his left arm on his last training run in Spain. The Spaniard will miss the next rounds of the cup, the estimated recovery time will be 2 months at least. Those were really bad news for everybody.
Angel’s team mates Aaron and Neko trained as a duo only, the qualification results were quite good though: Neko was in 16th position with 2:58.583, while Aaron made it onto 5th with 2:53.992. With competitor’s results and new technology amongst the other teams, the race on Sunday promised to be an exciting opening round. But Pic du Jer showed his ugly face during the finals: The last ten riders had to fight against heavy winds, fog and rain which led to brutal track conditions with slippery roots and steep sections. Even the top ten could not handle those conditions without crashes.
Straight in the first section, Aaron went down on his way to “The Wall”. After that he had little to no vision for the remainder of the run. In the lower part of the track he lost control over his bike again, went off course and was disqualified. This for certain was not the best start into the new race season. Aaron said: “I was happy with my speed and preparation this weekend and I felt like I had what I needed to win. It was unfortunate that the weather played such a spoiler in the end but that’s racing. It’s going to be an exciting season for sure.”
Although team mate Neko was lucky to start a bit earlier and didn’t struggle with the track conditions, he had to fight against the heavy winds. He showed smart riding and creative line choice and got 7th in the end, his second-best World Cup result ever. Big relieves and happiness on Neko’s side: “Really happy to start the season off on a positive note this weekend. Everything ran smoothly for me and I largely owe that to the team. I’ll take the good luck and build on it as the season progresses. I’m stoked to be racing with this great group of people at the YT Mob.”