The South African legend grabs victory as Nicole edges out women’s rival Cabirou.
South African legend Greg Minnaar produced a vintage performance to bank his 22nd UCI Mountain Bike World Cup victory in Lousã on Friday as Myriam Nicole edged out compatriot Marine Cabirou to keep the women’s title race delicately poised.
Fresh off the back of the first Maribor double-header, the field landed in Portugal for another week of intense action on a brand new track hailed as “proper downhill”.
The Women’s Race
Fastest qualifier Myriam Nicole was the woman to beat today. World Champion Balanche held the early hot seat until Hoffmann came charging through the finish line. Hoffmann made up time on the bottom half of the track and flew into the finish arena in spectacular fashion. Next up, Cabirou, rode aggresively and cut Hoffmann’s time by 5 seconds.
Briton Tahnée Seagrave was next down but neither she nor Australian Tracey Hannah could do better until Nicole sent down a phenomenal run to win by 4.397 seconds.
“I am really stoked, it feels like a big release. I have a good strategy on this kind of track. I felt comfortable in the technical part.” – Myrian Nicole
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup women’s Lousã result
1. Myriam Nicole FRA 4m26.325s
2. Marine Cabirou FRA +4.397s
3. Tahnée Seagrave GBR +5.075s
4. Tracey Hannah AUS +8.290s
5. Nina Hoffmann GER +9.264s
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup women’s standings
1. Myriam Nicole FRA 625 points
2. Marine Cabirou FRA 575
3. Tracey Hannah AUS 481
4. Nina Hoffmann GER 464
5. Eleonora Farina ITA 406
The Men’s Race
Frenchman Loris Vergier was coming off back-to-back wins in Maribor with a win in qualifying and started as the favorite. American Aaron Gwin was the first of the big names to occupy the hot seat as the early leader.
Fellow American Dakotah Norton finished just 0.011 seconds off, but it was France’s Loïc Bruni who topped the timesheets before Minnaar’s ‘masterclass’.
With Vergier suffering an agonizing puncture, Minnaar wrapped up a record 22nd win with Walker now leading Vergier overall by 14 points ahead of Sunday’s finale.
“I had a great ride down. It is one of those bittersweet wins when one of your biggest rivals – who is also your teammate and good friend and is leading the World Cup – punctures on the way down. I feel real sorry for Loris. I was pretty tired going into today, so I am glad I had the legs to push through it.” – Minnaar
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup men’s Lousã result
1. Greg Minnaar RSA 3m55.239s
2. Matt Walker GBR +1.833s
3. Loïc Bruni FRA +1.960s
4. Aaron Gwin USA +3.062s
5. Dakotah Norton USA +3.073s
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup men’s standings
1. Matt Walker GBR 517 points
2. Loris Vergier FRA 503
3. Greg Minnaar RSA 427
4. Loïc Bruni FRA 427
5. Thibaut Daprela FRA 408
Winning Runs from Lousã Round #1
Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool