The penultimate round of the 2019 series took riders to the South East of Zurich and into the town of Lenzerheide. Riders had to deal with rain, mist and a ghastly slick track through practice and into race day – but the sun eventually came out and the racing was lit.
The winter ski resort Lenzerheide sits deep in the Swiss Alps. This track has hosted three World Cups and the 2018 World Championships. This year a few minor revisions were made to the track in the form of a new rock garden and a steep wood section to challenge the riders. The track is one of the shorter in the series at only 2.2km long yet still has 413m drop in elevation. Top speeds are around 65kph.
Course Preview with Finn Iles
Saturday’s weather conditions were extremely testing with the women getting the worst of the rain and fog early on as Kiwi Kate Weatherly and home hope Emilie Siegenthaler put in strong runs to lead before Cabirou sent down a storming run to take the hot seat. Germany’s Nina Hoffmann was the penultimate rider but a rear puncture put paid to her hopes as fastest qualifier Tracey Hannah failed to beat Cabirou’s time by 0.264s leaving the Frenchwoman to enjoy back-to-back victories and just a 150-point deficit to Hannah overall. Cabirou, 22, said: “Two in a row is just incredible. I did too many mistakes during my run, but I stayed on my bike. I am so happy. I cannot wait to be in Snowshoe.” Australian Hannah said: “It was weird because at the top it was raining and I know how slippery the outside corners get. I had to read the track as it was going. It was fun. Happy to get down without a crash and it’s good for the points overall. I love the old tracks in America and hopefully, it will be dry. I will give it my all.”
- Marine CABIROU (FRA) 3:34.304
- Tracey HANNAH (AUS) +0.264
- Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI) +7.085
- Kate WEATHERLY (NZL) +7.478
- Camille BALANCHE (SUI) +7.649
In the men’s race, Frenchmen Baptiste Pierron and Florent Payet led early on before Britons Reece Wilson and then Laurie Greenland both bettered their times. Amaury Pierron was a man possessed as he earned a huge 4.266s lead with South African Greg Minnaar the only man to get within a second as title rival Loic Bruni, Australian Troy Brosnan
- Amaury PIERRON (FRA) 2:49.422
- Greg MINNAAR (RSA) +0.951
- Loic BRUNI (FRA) +1.400
- Troy BROSNAN (AUS) +2.160
- Danny HART (GBR) +3.222
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
THE GOOD: Greg Minnaar! 2nd place, less than a second off of a win. The GOAT is peaking as we head to World Champs. Bruni and Hannah are riding for the overall but still attacking the track – wisdom. Pierron is incredible right now – he has the ability to just turn up the heat and take time out of anyone.
THE BAD: That’s what Cabirou said about her winning run. That’s the sign of a champ – winning, but not happy with the run. Always seeking perfection.
THE UGLY: Finn Iles hucking off the wooden
OVERALL RANKINGS after round 7
- Tracey HANNAH (AUS) 1 460 points
- Marine CABIROU (FRA) 1 310
- Nina HOFFMANN (GER) 819
- Veronika WIDMANN (ITA) 754
- Rachel ATHERTON (GBR) 730
- Loic BRUNI (FRA) 1 312 points
- Amaury PIERRON (FRA) 1 222
- Troy BROSNAN (AUS) 1 094
- Danny HART (GBR) 883
- Loris VERGIER (FRA) 859
- Greg MINNAAR (RSA) 781
- Laurie GREENLAND (GBR) 745
- Brook MACDONALD (NZL) 491
- David TRUMMER (AUT) 485
- Mark WALLACE (CAN) 484
NEXT UP: Final Round, Snowshoe USA, September 5 to 8
With thanks Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull, UCI and Shimano SA / Coolheat.