In 2004, Les Gets held one of the most exciting world championships in the history of modern DH, won in front of the home crowd by Fabien Barel after Steve Peat who gave him the rainbow jersey fell while he was clearly ahead. After 15 years the spotlight of the global DH scene returned to the renowned resort in the French province of Haute-Savoie, at Portes du Soleil, rekindling things with a gripping fifth round of the 2019 season of UCI DH World Cup.
It was a very fast track drawn down open spaces, among pastures made dusty by the continuous battering from bikes, broken up by a middle section of woods, which was technical and rather steep. Under the eyes of a literally delirious crowd, Amaury Pierron attacked the track from beginning to end giving them a show with his unique and dynamic style that led him to win with the honor of the French public.
Second place for Loic Bruni who, despite having to give up the top step of a home race podium to his friend Pierron, remains the athlete to have dealt with the forest section – the entire technical section in the woods, in the shortest time.
Laurie Greenland closed out in third place with an amazing run carried out with an aggressive and precise style, the first to really raise the pace compared to the athletes who finished before him.
Fourth position for Troy Brosnan, impeccable but unfortunately not fast enough, on his birthday however, at least he celebrated deservedly with a podium.
The third of the French “three musketeers”, Loris Vergier, closed out the podium with a fifth place that he can’t complain about considering he had just recovered from a bad crash during practice this morning.
Hats off to Brendog for a 6th place finish! His best result in quite some time – just 1/10th of a second off of the podium, and great timing with the launch of the new Gambler.
The female category without Rachel Atherton, seriously injured here at Les Gets during practice, and without Tahnée Seagrave and Miriam Nicole still in the recovery phase, is lacking key female athletes, however the show was not lacking a hard fought race and a level of competition that was rather high for the athletes on the podium.
Tracey Hannah got another win after Vallnord’s first place, besting Marine Cabirou’s time by less than 7 tenths of a second.
Third position for the aggressive Mariana Salazar upon her return to the races. Eleonora Farina ended up in fourth place in qualifying and closed out finals in the same spot with a beautiful run.
Fifth place for Nina Hoffman while Veronika Widmann finished in sixth place missing the podium by less than 5 hundredths of a second.
The domination by Thibaut Daprela and Valentina Höll in their respective Junior categories is now so well established that it almost ceases to be news, except for the fact that the young Austrian athlete just marked a time of almost 1.5 seconds faster than that with the which Tracey Hannah won in the Elite category.
The UCI DH World Cup will be back on track in Val di Sole on 2 and 3 August.