The start to the 2015 Downhill World Cup in Lourdes is off to a blinder with one of the toughest tracks in a while. Rocky, fast and few places to pedal, it was all about speed and skill in the technical sections and maintaining the flow.
Aaron Gwin carried pace on his run, skipping over the holes and was a very stable rider, at no point did he go sideways he always seemed to keep his bike in a straight line, maybe the secret to his speed along with stiff suspension. 2014 didn’t go well but he cemented a solid baseline at his first race for the other riders to compete against in his run today, floating over the rocks and finishing in first place.
Matt Simmonds started well, a rider with his head screwed on slowly rising to the top but didn’t manage to match his number board position.
The final top ten riders led the charge to attack Gwin’s ride with Andrew Neethling failing as he flatted on his attack, another victim of the Lourdes track leaving Gwin safe in the hot seat.
Brendog came hot out of the start gate and was second at the second split showing his desire to push it, he managed to cross the line with an all or nothing dive to the ground, putting him in sixth with a few more riders on the hill to go.
Troy Brosnan was the first rider to threaten Aaron’s time on the top of the track but lost too much time on the final part of the track finishing in 10th.
Of the last riders down the track very few made Gwin’s time look reachable, each rider coming in around 6-10 seconds slower after the second split. Of the last 10 riders four destroyed their rear wheels, all victims of the track.
Bryceland showed form on his run, only 2 seconds behind at split one, but he lost more time at split two which he could not make up finishing in sixth place, an admirable effort considering his injury at the end of last year.
Remi Thirion with huge crowd support danced down the track then flatted near the end, finishing his run disappointingly.
Loic Bruni as the last rider to go, exploded out of the start, with loud support the ex French national champion made a small error on the first corner showing his nerves and desire to win. Despite a huge effort on the rest of the track and a fast ride he only made second position leaving Gwin safe in the hot seat.