Monster Energy Specialized’s Australian dynamic duo of Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan returned to World Cup racing this week after domination the Australian national series over the winter. Brosnan finished in 8th place on a track that catered to his pedalling strength, just over 5 seconds back. Hill crossed the line in 11th place, .8 seconds behind his teammate.
Cloudy skies met racers on race day here in Pietermariztburg, South Africa for the first round of the 2012 UCI MTB World Cup. The track dried up from the previous night’s deluge and was rock hard and as fast as it had been all week by the time the top 30 men dropped in. Both Monster Energy Specialized riders rode their Specialized Demos with dropper posts to allow for brief relief during the infamous 40 second pedal here in SA.
Troy Brosnan in his first Elite World Cup, and a solid 8th place.
Troy had this to say about his first official World Cup as an Elite racer: “My week went pretty good. Practice was a little bit wild but my race run went good. I pinned through top section as hard as I could and felt real fast and then pedalled harder than I thought I could at the mid section. I was feeling pretty strong at the bottom and pinned it as hard as I could. I had a mishap at the bottom and lost a bit of time, but still finished up in 8th. I got pretty good points so I just have to keep this confidence going into Val Di Sole. It’ll be great to go to Europe fresh and strong and try and get my first World Cup win!”
Hill wasn’t as excited about his result, but happy to be back racing and in one piece. “My race went alright. I didn’t get the result that I came here for but I got 11th so still not too bad. Hopefully the rest of the tracks this season will play to my strengths a bit more than this track. I feel like my fitness and my health is pretty good and I had a few moments up on top of the track, I think I almost hit a photographer somewhere in there. It was fun, just a really tough track to race on. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, I saw stars at the end of the pedal! I’m ready to get to the tracks where I can hang it out a bit more and ride on the edge.”
Sam Hill on his way to an 11th place showing at Pietermaritzburg.
The team now gets a quick break at home, and then travels to America for the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California.
We’d like to thank the following companies for their continued support: Monster Energy, Specialized Bicycles, Mad Catz, SRAM, Truvativ, Rock Shox, Avid, DT Swiss, SDG, Renthal, Troy Lee Designs, Maxima, Spy Optic, Cane Creek, e-thirteen, Contour, Five Ten, Alligator, Team Associated, Kicker, KMC.
So Brosnan held his own on the world stage but Hill was not so happy – even though their times were less than a second apart. What are your thoughts on the Aussie Specialized team?