Here are the highlights of the second day of competition at the Mercedes-Benz 2021 UCI MTB World Cup in Les Gets.
After the French double win in yesterday’s qualifying round (Loïc Bruni in the men’s race, Myriam Nicole in the women’s race), and given the great performances of the elite riders yesterday, the suspense was killing for this final round…
Pompom (Myriam Nicole) and Thibaut Daprela bring two medals to Commencal Muc-off
At the end of the elite women’s DH event, the leading trio is British-French-Swiss. Tahnee Seagrave took the 1st place in this World Cup round in Les Gets, a terrain she knows well as the 26-year-old English girl learned to ride here. A victory “at home” that is all the more pleasing as the young woman is coming back from an injury.
“I was badly injured in 2019 and 2020 and the fact that I performed at home was very emotional, I am quite shocked actually. I knew I was going to lose some speed down the track so I knew I had to give it my all at the top. That’s what I did and it worked! “
After a great performance in the qualifiers yesterday, the French Myriam Nicole did it again today and took the 2nd place of the podium in front of another great rider Camille Balanche, crowned 2020 World Downhill Champion.
In the men’s race, Thibaut Daprela won this World Cup round in Les Gets, just over 2 seconds ahead of second placed Max Hartenstern. A victory as crazy as unexpected for the rider who had a heavy crash last weekend at the French MTB Cup in Les Arcs.
“It’s a different victory from the others, a personal victory rather. A week ago I was in a hospital bed and to win here today is just incredible! I almost didn’t ride all weekend, I tried to ride on Friday and I had another crash where I hit my head. This morning, however, I woke up and I was off ! “says the champion of the day.
Thibaut Daprela impressed with his extreme precision, fast and smooth performance on a track that became more and more complex with the arrival of the rain.
Behind him on the podium is the German Max Hartenstern. The third place goes to another French rider, Baptiste Pierron.
The favorite of the French and multiple World Champion, Loïc Bruni, finished in 50th place after having started last on the muddy slopes of the Chéry, which became a battlefield at the end of the race. This did not dampen the joy of the rider, who was delighted to be back racing in Les Gets and to see the public again!
“The track was great but soaked, it was hard, I had no reference points so I did what I could. I’m happy to have arrived at the bottom and especially to have seen the public again. I was smiling all the way to the finish! “
From the beginning of the DH men’s race, the rain came to play spoilsport, multiplying the pitfalls (already numerous) on a very demanding and physical course. Halfway through the race, it was almost a new track that appeared. The riders had to adapt their trajectories and play the balancing act on their bikes to stay on course and not end up in the scenery (like Reece Wilson at the exit of the river gap). A real demonstration of riding and precision that was cheered by the public all along the track.
Junior events: the next generation is ready
This second day of competition started with the junior DH events, which had the chance to ride first on a still dry and rideable track.
In the girls’ category, we find on the podium the English rider Phoebe Gale, followed by Izabela Yankova (BUL) and Anastasia Thiele (GER). On the men’s side, the Canadian Jackson GOLDSTONE took the first place followed by the Spanish Pau MENOYO of the Commencal team and then the Englishman Jordan Williams.
The other winner of this World Cup ? The public!
What we also retain from this World Cup is the return of the public to the sporting competitions, the encouragement and the motivation that they give to the riders. Despite the rain, the spectators were present in large numbers all along the course and made a lot of noise to support the riders.