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Despite racing with an injured hand, "Needles" finished top-10 on home soil in South Africa.

Top-10 for Neethling at World Cup No. 1

March 19, 2012

Andrew Neethling of the Giant Factory Off-Road Team overcame a hand injury to score a top-10 finish at the opening round of the 2012 UCI World Cup Downhill series in South Africa Sunday.

Racing on home turf in Pietermaritzburg, the South African rider put in a strong, clean finals run on his Giant Glory, especially considering he was racing with a fractured bone in his hand. Neethling crossed the finish with the fastest time, earning a spot in the hot seat before eventually landing in seventh place, just 4.8 seconds off the winning time.

The other member of the downhill squad, Danny Hart, was racing his first international competition since he won the World Championship in Switzerland last September. Hart had a fast qualifying time but a crash in the finals relegated him to 41st place.

The World Cup Downhill Series will resume June 2-3 with Round 2 in Val di Sole, Italy.