Minnaar bags a podium at Maribor World Cup | Race Recap

Carnage in Slovenia as UCI MTB World Cup season opens with big drama.

After the crazy conditions, crashes and general carnage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championship in Leogang, the wet and wild weather continued in Maribor for the first downhill round of the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Training on Wednesday had been sunny and dry, but by the time qualification rolled around on Thursday the riders were back to heavy rain, cold and mud. New men’s world champion Reece Wilson continued his fine form by going fastest in qualifying, however, a practice crash meant he had to sit out the race itself. In the Women’s Qualifying Race, Australian Tracey Hannah launched down the course, packed with slick roots and menacing rocks, 5.348s quicker in qualifying than nearest rival Myriam Nicole.


THE WOMEN’S RACE

The women were up first on race day with Briton Tahnée Seagrave fastest early on before French rider Marine Cabirou set down a brilliant, fast run to lead. Slovenian Monika Hrastnik and Italian Eleonora Farina rode well as new world champion Camille Balanche crashed with Nicole and then Hannah unable to better Cabirou’s time.

Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 16th, 2020
Myriam Nicole kept it on track for another 2nd place finish for 2020.
Tracey Hannah performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 16th, 2020
It would be 7.2seconds off of the win for Tracey Hannah today.
Marine Cabirou performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 16th, 2020
Marine Cabirou in attack mode.

The 23-year-old Cabirou won by 6.115 seconds – thanks to her aggressive, direct lines – for her fourth win in a row ahead of Sunday’s second Maribor race. “It is totally amazing. Today I was really motivated. I am so happy. The conditions were hard – so slippery. I tried to push where I knew I was safe.” – Marine

Results: Women
1. Marine Cabirou FRA 3m43.595s
2. Myriam Nicole FRA +6.115s
3. Tracey Hannah AUS +7.290s
4. Eleanora Farina ITA +9.921s
5. Monika Hrastnik SLO +11.549s


THE MEN’S RACE

The men went down second with Belgian Martin Maes setting a lead time early on before three-time World Cup champion Greg Minnaar of South Africa took over.

Martin Maes performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 15th, 2020
Martin Maes put in a powerful run and moved into the hot seat early on.
Matt Walker performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 16th, 2020
Young gun Matt Walker continues to impress and nabbed a 4th place on the day.

Frenchman Loic Bruni’s crash saw him lose out with compatriot Rémi Thirion setting a great time, which Loris Vergier then beat but Thibaut Dapréla could not.

Remi Thirion performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 16th, 2020
Thirion has it pinned.

Vergier was initially unaware that Wilson was not starting, but nerves soon turned to celebrations when he realized that his second World Cup win was in the bag. The 24-year-old said: “I focused on not crashing on the first corner. It was tough out there. All the podium boys were on mud tyres.”

Loris Vergier performs at UCI DH World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia on October 15th, 2020
Vergier’s run was clinical.



Men
1. Loris Vergier FRA 3m07.903s
2. Rémi Thirion FRA +2.652s
3. Thibaut Dapréla FRA +3.104s
4. Matt Walker GBR +4.099s
5. Greg Minnaar RSA +4.949s



CREDIT: Bartek Wolinski & Kathy Sessler


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