Hart already has two big wins in 2011. He was fastest in qualifying, fastest in finals at Port Angeles.

Giant dominates opening Pro GRT

April 11, 2011

Led by 19-year-old Danny Hart, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team dominated Sunday’s opening race of the USA Cycling Professional Gravity Race Tour in Port Angeles, Washington. Hart, Andrew Neethling and Duncan Riffle finished first, second and third respectively, filling out the podium in Port Angeles.

Hart, who finished eighth overall in his rookie World Cup season last year, posted a winning time of 2:50:07 on his Giant Glory. It was the young Brit's second victory of the 2011 season, following his win at a Maxxis Cup event in Portugal last month.

Finishing second, 2.41 seconds behind Hart, was Andrew Neethling, the newest downhiller on the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. The current South African National DH Champion also rode the Glory downhill bike, as did third-place finisher, two-time U.S. Champion Duncan Riffle.

The Pro GRT is a five-race series of U.S. downhill events that concludes with finals in Crested Butte, Colorado, in June.

A rainstorm before the finals run in Port Angeles caused a drastic change in course conditions, sending riders scrambling for different tire choices to handle the slick mud. Hart, who also posted the fastest qualifying time in drier conditions, went nearly as fast in the mud, adding just three seconds on his finals run.

Next up for the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is the April 15-17 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. After that, they head to South Africa for the April 23-24 opening round of the World Cup Series.