Thibault Daprela and Tahnee Seagrave return to form and take the wins at the second round of the 2021 Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets, France.
After glorious sunshine on Friday, the clouds rolled in on Saturday morning as riders faced a brand new track with multiple lines. Littered with roots, peppered with jumps and physically demanding, there was plenty of action as fans returned to a World Cup event for the first time since 2019.
In the elite women’s race, Mille Johnset lay down an early marker on a greasy track. Her time was quickly overhauled when Seagrave, who despite recovering from a host of injuries put together an exceptionally smooth race run. Reigning world champion Camille Balanche was the first to challenge Seagrave but a big mistake at the top of her run and a superhuman save halfway down meant she failed to threaten the leader. Valentina Höll looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable as she crashed on the final corner, while French rider Myriam Nicole produced an impressive recovery to give herself a chance of victory. However, she finished 0.252 seconds shy of her first World Cup win on home soil.
Results: Elite Women
The rain kept coming and the elite men had to deal with a track that was unrelenting in its unpredictability. Max Hartenstern took full advantage of the early favourable conditions, laying down a time that looked more and more impressive as the weather and track began to deteriorate. Following a serious crash last week when he bit through most of his tongue, France’s Daprela had been on a liquid diet for much of the week and his participation in the race hung in the balance. However, showing plenty of grit, determination and no small amount of skill, the two-time Junior World Champion took the lead with a sensational run. Even the clean run of Finn Iles, the experience of Greg Minnaar, the superb straight lines of Brook MacDonald and the style of Benoît Coulanges couldn’t get close to Daprela’s time. Reigning World Champion Reece Wilson looked like he might tame the track with the wildest of runs before a huge crash sent him into the crowd and out of the running. As the pre-race favourites struggled, it became clear that no one would beat Daprela’s time. The Frenchman ultimately winning his first Elite race ahead of Hartenstern who hung on for second and became the first German man to make a DH World Cup podium since 1999.
The Reece Wilson crash.
Results: Elite Men
Round 3 is scheduled for Maribor Slovenia in five weeks time.
| Credits: Sven Martin & Ryan Franklin & Red Bull & Facebook |