Steve Smith (Devinci) had a ride to remember in Hafjell, Norway, on Sunday as he won the the elite men's downhill world cup competition to keep up the pressure on Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) going into the final event of the season in Austria this coming weekend.
"It was a trippy day. We practiced all week in the sun and dust and today [Sunday] was miserable. It rained all day," said Smith, who was celebrating back-to-back wins in Hafjell after last year's success. "Coming into some of those corners where I was not braking in practice, I nearly shit my pants, it was so muddy and rocky! I was slipping all over the place."
Fastest qualifier Gee Atherton was the last man down, and he looked good until he tagged a tree. Forced to re-orient himself, he lost significant time and eventually finished 12th. Atherton continues to lead the World Cup, albeit with a reduced 17-point lead over Smith, with one round to go in Leogang.
Gee’s sister, Rachel Atherton, claimed a solid win in Hafjell with Manon Carpenter making it a British one-two. Atherton took the win 7.631s ahead of Carpenter and going into the final round at Leogang leads the rankings by 160 points.
The second annual Burton ‘High Fives’ snowboarding competition saw the first slopestyle contest of the new season. It was also one of the first events this year to see Olympic hopefuls go head-to-head on their way to Sochi, where slopestyle will be featured for the first time as a new Olympic discipline. Finn Enni Rukajärvi came second in New Zealand, with Yuki Kandono joining him on the podium in third. In the halfpipe contest, the American Greg Bretz grabbed second.
Jorge Lorenzo took his fifth win of the 2013 MotoGP season at the San Marino Grand Prix with a dominant display at Misano, where Championship leader Marc Márquez came out on top in a close battle with his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for second. Despite Lorenzo's win, Márquez still increased his lead at the top of the Championship to 34 points, while Lorenzo moves into joint second position with Pedrosa. With just five rounds remaining the experienced pair have a huge task on their hands to reel in the precocious rookie.
In the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, 10-time world champion Orlando Duque maintained his excellent recent form in 27-metre cliff diving with a third-placed finish in Wales. Saturday's event in Pembrokeshire was won by the UK's Gary Hunt and the current World Series champion is the favourite to win this year's title again with just two events of the season to go. The high divers travel to Brazil next week, with the final taking place in Thailand on October 26.
At the 2013 International Canoe Federation World Championships in Prague, Czech kayaker Vavrinec Hradilek paddled to a home win. The crowd was doubly delighted as behind Hradilek (94.52) came another Czech kayaker, Jiri Prskavec (95.90). Also on the water, albeit in slightly warmer conditions, Italian surfer Leonardo Fioravanti won the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior. Spanish triathlete Mario Mola, meanwhile, came third at the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in London.