FINAL RESULTS - World Cup Downhill Andorra

Another World Cup Downhill race that had us on the edge of our seats with competitors battling for milliseconds!

FINAL RESULTS - World Cup Downhill Andorra

The fourth race of the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill is in the books, and the incredibly close battles in most of the classes at Vallnord, Andorra, left us with our fingernails bitten down to the nubs. The practice and qualifying days leading up to the race were bone dry, leaving a dusty, ever-changing track with holes and ruts from top to bottom. As racers leave the start gate, the pitch of the course is mellow, but the terrain is still fast and technical before it leads into the steepest mountainsides ridden this season. This variety in topography and track make bike setup challenging as suspension and settings must maintain speed and traction through the fast, flatter sections while handling the unrelenting fall line on the lower course. As race day approached, most riders had found their strides. Loris Vergier and Tahnee Seagrave won the Andorra World Cup DH race in 2018. Unfortunately, Tahnee injured herself earlier this year at Fort William and is trackside helping with Red Bull commentary here instead of between the tapes defending her win.

Troy Brosnan was the Elite Men's World Cup DH series leader coming into Andorra. He qualified in 2nd place just .01 seconds behind Loic Bruni who sat 2nd overall in the World Cup prior to today, which meant that the leader's jersey went to Loic ahead of finals (only five points separated the two in the overall standings after Leogang). Tracey Hannah and Rachel Atherton, 1 and 2 in the Elite Women's overall battle prior to Andorra, had difficult pre-race days leaving qualifying open for Nina Hoffman to go fastest. Nina had never qualified 1st in the Elite Women's class at a World Cup until yesterday.

Nina Hoffman, finishing her race in one shoe!!!

Elite Women's Race Highlights

Because of a messy qualifying run which saw her hit the deck three times, Tracey Hannah dropped in early and was on pace to set the fastest time of the weekend so far when she lost the rear wheel in one of the very last turns of the track. A devastating blow for the series leader who had put together a calculated yet pinned run up until that point - certainly the recipe for success on a track that was getting more and more treacherous by the minute. Tracey still took over the hotseat, but where would she end up? Veronika Widmann looked like she would top Tracey's effort when she too slid out near the end, while Emilie Siegenthaler still fresh off a recent injury put down a solid run that would see her end up back on the podium albeit still 5 seconds behind Tracey's time. Next up Rachel Atherton, gaining steadily on Tracey with each passing split, holding it all the way to the finish line to beat Nina Hoffman's fastest qualifier by 5 seconds! Had she done enough to take the win? Two riders remained up top, facing the monumental task of trying to keep their cool while pushing hard on a track that can bite back at any moment. Marine Cabirou did everything right, but dropped about 2 seconds to Rachel in the very last section of the track to end up in second.

NINA HOFFMAN INTERVIEW

Nina Hoffman, fastest qualifier and last woman on the mountain drop in, threw down a wild ride and crossed the line, but today wasn't her day. She finished her run with only one of her shoes! Her foot came out of the shoe mid-run but remained clipped into her pedal. She rode with the pedal and shoe upside down, her socked foot taking the full force of the pedal to the finish.  The reigning German is definitely knocking on the door and the way she is riding, we wouldn't be surprised to see her lift her game even more as the season unfolds. In the meantime, Rachel notches up another win and with it, moves to the top of the all-time World Cup podium leaderboard with 74 podium finishes (Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa sits at 73, with Sabrina Jonnier at 70).

Nina finishing the World Cup Downhill in her sock!

Nina Hoffman rode incredibly well in her socks, getting down the whole bottom section of the track with more control than many could hope for with both their feet attached - even if she did manage to also crash at the finish line!

INTERVIEW - Rachel Atherton, Race Winner

Rachel Atherton

Live Updates - Elite Men's Race Highlights

  • Aaron Gwin DNS after a shoulder injury sustained in a run during practice this morning. "I can hardly lift my arm over my head."
  • So much dust, riders were clouded on sections during the webcast.
  • Remi Thirion is smooth as silk and put down a run through the bottom section that was untouchable for most of the top riders. His 4:19 was 5 seconds off the fastest qualifying pace, but made us all wonder if that was the time to beat today. In a hotseat interview, he didn't think it would hold.
  • Jack Moir finally returning to form after an early-season injury that kept him from his top potential.
  • #USDH Bruce Klein hucked The Whopper, held on and finished with a solid run. YEAH BRUCE!
  • Greg Minnaar was up by 1.5 seconds through the top half of the course, but drastically losing time all the way down the steeps. He cited fatigue as the issue in a post-race interview on the webcast. Minnaar did not run his chainstay-extending dropouts for the race.
  • The Whopper Gap may have been slower if some splits are an indication.
  • Bernard Kerr was crushing, 2.5 seconds ahead to come to the split near The Whopper over 3 seconds behind. Something must have happened off-camera.
  • The Denim Destroyer, Johannes Von Klebelsberg was the first rider in the in the Top 10 to challenge Remi in the steeps but still couldn't keep it in the green through the bottom.
  • Laurie Greenland seemed like he had it! He was green through all splits until the very end and couldn't quite pull Remi with only 7 riders to go. Laurie was visibly disappointed because he gave it his all.
  • Brook Macdonald! The wildest, loosest rider took Remi out of the hot seat. Brook was up by 2.6 seconds into the steeps and that was enough. Even though he slowly lost time, he pulled up on Remi by 1.1 seconds with 6 to go.
  • Danny Hart left nothing on the track. Sketchy, risky lines, all pulled off with an incredible result of 4:16, taking 1.2 seconds off the time Brook had set one run earlier. The Top 5 qualifiers would have their work cut out for them to beat Danny.
  • David Trummer, the new surprise danger man didn't take Danny off the hot seat but, according to the splits, rode the bottom half of the track faster than Danny. He handled the pressure of a solid qualifier and could find himself on the podium with 4 to go.
  • HOLY. SHIT. Loris Vergier is perfection. Going faster and faster at each split, he crossed the line with a mind-blowing time that was over FIVE SECONDS faster than Danny Hart's. His 4:11 is faster than the 4:14 set in qualifying. Could it be beat? Sure seems impossible with Amaury, Troy and Loic to go. If Loris wins, he'd back up his 2018 victory.
  • Amaury, riding with a swollen knee had a great run putting him in 2nd place, 2.5 behind Loris. After Loris' run it was hard to see just how well Amaury was riding. Troy and Loic remain.
  • Troy Brosnan rides so deceivingly well. His effort looks minimal but his pace and his line choice is superb. Always nipping at Loris' time, but just outside when he crossed the line. He was just .7 off the pace of Loris in a familiar, and difficult to swallow, 2nd place as Loic drops in.
  • Loic Bruni wins! He earned this victory by destroying the top of the course. He was 2.8 seconds up at the first split and then slowly lost time the entire way, nearly losing all his advantage. .423 was all it took and he bumped friend and fellow Frenchman, Loris Vergier out of the hot seat and into 2nd place. Loic Bruni earned his 5th career World Cup DH win and this his 3rd World Cup DH win this season out of 4 races. "It was super scary," Loic said in a post-race interview.
  • Crashes/Mechanicals on webcast: Mike Jones, Reece Wilson, Kade Edwards, Finn Iles (off-camera crash and flat tire), Matt Walker, Flo Payet, Dakotah Norton.

Loic Bruni, untouchable.

Junior Men's Race Highlights

In the Junior Men's category, Thibault Daprela had been in a class of his own the whole week (as for much of the season so far), and he was on pace to deliver another dominant performance (up by 9 seconds after only 2 minutes on track!), when a massive crash put an end to his bid for home court glory. We hope he's OK! Matteo Iniguez stepped up in his wake to make sure La Marseillaise would still be played come podium time, the Frenchman taking his first ever World Cup win (and only his third World Cup podium).

Matteo Iniguez in qualifying - photo Sven Martin.

Junior Women's Race Highlights

Vali Holl returned to her dominant ways after a tighter than usual qualifying round (which she still won, albeit "only" by 5 seconds), posting a time that was 13 seconds faster than her winning time from qualifying and 12 seconds ahead of Anna Newkirk, her closest rival.

Vali Holl in qualifying - photo Sven Martin.

Final Elite Men's Results, Andorra World Cup DH

Elite Men's 2019 World Cup Overall Standings After Andorra


Final Elite Women's Results, Andorra World Cup DH

Elite Women's 2019 World Cup Overall Standings After Andorra

Final Junior Men's Results, Andorra World Cup DH

Junior Men's 2019 World Cup Overall Standings After Andorra

Final Junior Women's Results, Andorra World Cup DH

Junior Women's 2019 World Cup Overall Standings After Andorra

LOIC'S WINNING SPECIALIZED DEMO

PIT BITS - Andorra World Cup DH

Vital RAW - Andorra Day 1

 

Winning races and crushing the interviews. HECK YES, LOIC!

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