Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day: our World Cup predictions came true!
Britain’s Laurie Greenland and France’s Marine Cabirou scored a pair of debut victories at the 5th round of the DH World Cup in Val Di Sole, Italy.
The downhill track in this northern corner of Italy is known as The Black Snake and it is famously brutal. It begins with fast, flowing turns before heading for a tree line. Once it enters the woods, the racers plummet their way down a staircase of roots.
The qualifying day, as is now almost traditional at the Italian round, was ravaged by thunder and lightning storms and saw big names scattered all over the time sheets.
Swiss rider Camille Balanche was the first of the elite women to really scythe her way convincingly through the woods and emerge into the famous final section with a time which looked like it would take a lot of beating.
Nina Hoffmann, one of the sensations of 2019, had a sizeable crash amidst the trees as did Veronika Widmann who would somehow recover to a fourth place finish.
Balanche clung on to third but it was the young Frenchwoman, Cabirou, currently second in the world who would attack the most. Whilst some opted to approach Val Di Sole with caution, she threw caution to the wind with an attacking run from top to bottom which sent her into the hot seat. It was her first ever top flight win.
Tracey Hannah, the series leader was last to drop and was precise and controlled on her way to a second position which she admitted that she was happy with.
The elite men’s hot seat was briefly held by the Austrian David Trummer who produced another spectacular run from a 2019 which only seems to be getting better and better for him.
Loris Vergier seemed to forge ultra-fast straight lines where others were being moved around and forced into errors. His time was good enough for the hot seat but was instantly under pressure when his Santa Cruz Syndicate teammate, Greg Minnaar, began turning the splits green. It wasn’t to last for the South African however when he had a relatively slow but costly crash.
France’s Loïc Bruni took to the hot seat. The series leader shrugged and hinted that he didn’t think that he’d done enough.
Vergier’s run would stand up for a third place but it was Britain’s Laurie Greenland who pipped Bruni’s by a sizeable 4.88 seconds.
Amaury Pierron was up at the first split but soon started shipping time to the Britain. He admitted after the race that he had struggled with his bike set up amidst the changing conditions.
Pierron keeping it pinned!
The crowd went wild for Greenland as he scooped his first ever UCI World Cup win.
Women’s Downhill World Cup overall ranking
RANK NAME POINTS
1. Tracey Hannah 1250
2. Marine Cabirou 1080
3. Nina Hoffmann 739
4. Rachel Atherton 730
5. Veronika Widmann 669
6. Kate Weatherly 559
7. Mariana Salazar 493
8. Camille Balanche 486
Men’s Downhill World Cup overall ranking
RANK NAME POINTS
1. Loïc Bruni 1132
2. Amaury Pierron 1000
3. Troy Brosnan 939
4. Loris Vergier 754
5. Danny Hart 723
6. Laurie Greenland 636
7. Greg Minnaar 596
8. Brook Macdonald 446
The series continues in Lenzerheide, Switzerland this coming weekend. Woop!