Nobody does it better than the French at Les Gets – DH World Cup Recap | Presented by SHIMANO

The old school style race track of Les Gets is an icon in downhill racing. It’s return to the World Cup circuit on Bastille weekend, set the tone for the Frenchies to show the world that right now, in downhill, they are royalty.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Amaury Pierron rails the signature grassy off cambers of this iconic venue.

THE TRACK

The Les Gets track has not been visited by the World Cup circuit in 15 years. The track is very different from most of the others raced the year as it has a lot of wide-open, high-speed and off-camber sections. At 2,2km long with a 556m drop in elevation, it’s considered one of the shorter of the season. Big wide open turns, tight forest sections, awkward jumps, and the loose, dusty conditions ramped up the technicality of the somewhat old school style race track. Les Gets is a classic!

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Finn Iles demonstrating just how loose the Les Gets track became.

Video: Onboard with Loris Vergier



WOMEN’S RACE

With Rachel Atherton joining Tahnee Seagrave and Miriam Nicole on the list of high profile riders sidelined due to injury the women’s race at Les Gets and indeed for the rest of the season is wide open. The opportunity for the rest of the field to step things up and push for podiums is very real. One rider sending it to the top of the field this year is Nina Hoffmann and she set the early pace here in Les Gets. Nina was fastest in all of the splits and put in another loose and wild race run to go into the early hot-seat. Sending all the jumps with a clean run Italian champ Eleonora Farina set the new fastest time. Next on track, Mariana Salazar from El Salvador punched out even faster splits to move into the hot-seat with a time nearly 4 seconds quicker than the rest. Next up the stylish French rider Marine Cabirou sent the partisan crowd into a frenzy with a classy run to move into the lead. The series leader Tracey Hannah was the last rider down the mountain and she did everything perfectly to take the win and extend her lead in the series.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
3rd place. The diminutive Mariana Salazar is a strong capable rider who is not scared to hit the biggest jumps and lines.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Mariana delivered the best World Cup result yet for El Salvador.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
2nd placed Marine Cabirou is leading the charge of the up and coming riders and is likely to be on the top step of the podium very very soon.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
“I have a lot of confidence. The bike is perfect and I am really happy.” – Marine Cabirou
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Tracey Hannah did everything exactly right this weekend, scoring maximum points by winning qualifying and finals whilst staying injuryfree.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
“I am stoked with how it’s all going and that I could tame my mental side after last weekend and put a good run together. I kept myself safe and to take the win is pretty mindblowing.” – Tracey Hannah
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Women’s podium from left to right: – Eleonora Farina, Marine Cabirou, Tracey Hannah, Mariana Salazar, Nina Hoffmann.

Results:

  1. Tracey HANNAH (AUS) 3:27.600
  2. Marine CABIROU (FRA) +0.677
  3. Mariana SALAZAR (ESA) +2.171
  4. Eleonora FARINA (ITA) +6.080
  5. Nina HOFFMANN (GER) +6.457


MEN’S RACE

Foot out, flat out Brendan Fairclough set the pace early with the then fastest time of 3:01.644 and held onto the hot-seat for ages. The first rider to unseat Fairclough was a charged up Laurie Greenland who set the show alight with a wild run jumping through a lot of technical sections, carrying speed and putting his Mondraker onto the top of the leaderboard. Crashes by Jones and Iles took them out of contention as did mistakes by many of the other protagonists. Series leader Loic Bruni was the second last rider down and his time was good enough to move into the race lead and guarantee a victory for France. Pierron dropped in and was wild and fast. A powerful and aggressive run by Amaury who was cross rutting, drifting and swopping all over the show was significantly faster than everyone else as he won by almost 2.5 seconds.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Brendan Fairclough floating it into the grassy fields.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Old school whips for an old school track. Finn Iles.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
“I felt really good on my bike. My goal was a 3.03 for today and I managed to do a 3:01 and I am so happy.” – Brendan Fairclough
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Vergier shook off the effects of a crash in the morning and kept the speed up to make it onto the podium with a 5th place.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
4th placed Troy Brosnan could not repeat the success he has had on this track during the Crankworx events but he is very much in touch on the overall points chase.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Laurie Greenland proving that unclipping on loose, unpredictable high speed turns is an effective way to carry speed.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
The World Champ didn’t get the home win but he leaves Les Gets firmly on top of the points table.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Pierron led the French Revolution today with his usual mode of ‘full attack’.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
A spent Pierron regathers himself from the physical and mental intensity of going full gas.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
Men’s podium from left to right: Troy Brosnan, Loic Bruni, Amaury Pierron, Laurie Greenland, Loris Vergier.

Results:

  1. Amaury PIERRON (FRA) 2:57.008
  2. Loic BRUNI (FRA) +2.352
  3. Laurie GREENLAND (GBR) +3.450
  4. Troy BROSNAN (AUS) +4.137
  5. Loris VERGIER (FRA) +4.506
  6. Brendan FAIRCLOUGH (GBR) +4.636
  7. Greg MINNAAR (RSA) +5.045
  8. David TRUMMER (AUT) +5.114
  9. Thomas ESTAQUE (FRA) +5.300
  10. Dean LUCAS (AUS) +5.373


THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

THE GOOD: Les Gets! What a track.

THE BAD: Fairclough just missing out on a podium place as did Widmann. Ouch.

THE UGLY: A ruptured Achilles tendon which has ended Rachel Atherton’s season.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
French fans cheering Loris Vergier all the way to the finish line on Bastille weekend.


TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

  1. The time gaps between the top 5 men were larger than expected which tells us the track is more technically challenging at race pace than it looks.
  2. This year the level is so high, with so much parity between the riders but we have still only had two winners from five rounds in the men’s class. Bruni and Pierron have got their race approach dialed for this year.
  3. A single 27.5″, three mullets and six 29″ bikes took the top 10 spots.
  4. Wide turns, grassy off-cambers and high-speed short race tracks are just as technical to race as ever before. The racing at Les Gets was incredibly intense.


OVERALL RANKINGS after round 5

ELITE WOMEN

  1. Tracey HANNAH (AUS) – 1 040 points
  2. Marine CABIROU (FRA) – 840
  3. Rachel ATHERTON (GBR) – 730
  4. Nina HOFFMANN (GER) – 695
  5. Veronika WIDMANN (ITA) – 514

ELITE MEN

  1. Loic BRUNI (FRA) – 965 points
  2. Amaury PIERRON (FRA) – 855
  3. Troy BROSNAN (AUS) – 855
  4. Loris VERGIER (FRA) – 614
  5. Danny HART (GBR) – 602
  6. Greg MINNAAR (RSA) – 506
  7. Laurie GREENLAND (GBR) – 421
  8. Brook MACDONALD (NZL) – 393
  9. Mark WALLACE (CAN) – 387
  10. David TRUMMER (AUT) – 312


NEXT UP: Round 6, Val di Sole Italy, 3 to 5 August

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets France on 13 July 2019.
The affable Amaury Pierron kicked off Bastille celebrations with a win for France.

With thanks Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull, UCI and Shimano SA / Coolheat.



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