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.
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,
Video: Onboard with Loris Vergier
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.
- Tracey HANNAH (AUS) 3:27.600
- Marine CABIROU (FRA) +0.677
- Mariana SALAZAR (ESA) +2.171
- Eleonora FARINA (ITA) +6.080
- Nina HOFFMANN (GER) +6.457
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.
- Amaury PIERRON (FRA) 2:57.008
- Loic BRUNI (FRA) +2.352
- Laurie GREENLAND (GBR) +3.450
- Troy BROSNAN (AUS) +4.137
- Loris VERGIER (FRA) +4.506
- Brendan FAIRCLOUGH (GBR) +4.636
- Greg MINNAAR (RSA) +5.045
- David TRUMMER (AUT) +5.114
- Thomas ESTAQUE (FRA) +5.300
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- A single 27.5″, three mullets and six 29″ bikes took the top 10 spots.
- 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
- Tracey HANNAH (AUS) – 1 040 points
- Marine CABIROU (FRA) – 840
- Rachel ATHERTON (GBR) – 730
- Nina HOFFMANN (GER) – 695
- Veronika WIDMANN (ITA) – 514
- Loic BRUNI (FRA) – 965 points
- Amaury PIERRON (FRA) – 855
- Troy BROSNAN (AUS) – 855
- Loris VERGIER (FRA) – 614
- Danny HART (GBR) – 602
- Greg MINNAAR (RSA) – 506
- Laurie GREENLAND (GBR) – 421
- Brook MACDONALD (NZL) – 393
- Mark WALLACE (CAN) – 387
- David TRUMMER (AUT) – 312
NEXT UP: Round 6, Val di Sole Italy, 3 to 5 August
With thanks Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull, UCI and Shimano SA / Coolheat.