FINAL RESULTS: 2017 Lourdes World Cup Downhill

Temperatures plummeted, rain drizzled and fierce winds arrived at the top of the mountain in Lourdes, France, with only 15 Elite Men downhill racers to run. The 25th season of the UCI World Cup had kicked off with plenty of drama surrounding wheel sizes, but weather and course conditions had been perfect until the very end. Rain drizzled on the course and didn't seem to cause any major problems for the racers initially, but the wind at the top was blowing riders awkwardly until the last 10 riders remained. That's when the rain came down hard and dashed the hopes of the fastest qualifiers with riders like Aaron Gwin and Danny Hart crashing multiple times on the ice-like course before finishing.

The story of the day. By the time the fastest qualifiers came down, the course was completely impossible to ride. Loic still sent the gully gap in the middle of the monsoon - major NFG.

Regardless of weather conditions, there's no denying that race winner, Alexandre Fayolle of Polygon UR, put down an impressive run. The 52nd-place qualifier proved he's a contender this year with the second result of the entire weekend to hit the 2:52 mark, which only Loris Vergier had achieved in qualifying. Fayolle, who placed 17th at the 2016 World Champs in Val di Sole, kept that hotseat warm until the very end.

Mark Wallace takes the new Canyon team to a silver medal position and Marcelo Gutierrez of Giant Factory Off-Road earns bronze.

Analyzing the splits of the 29er riders (Santa Cruz Syndicate) against riders in similar conditions might indicate the wheel size has merit, but we'll have to wait for Fort William for the next officially documented performance. Claudio Caluori, in the webcast, indicated there will be more 29ers at Fort William.

Rachel Atherton earns an incredible 34th World Cup downhill win. She laughingly said post-race, "I kind of wanted to be beaten this weekend, because I can't take it anymore," referring to the stress of her long-running winning streak which includes 14 World Cup and 2 World Championships in a row. Brisk winds during race runs caused some concern for the women. Fastest qualifier, Tahnee Seagrave, was quick, but struggled into 3rd, just barely behind Tracy Hannah who finished strong with a 2nd place. Tracy said she "chose not to think about the wind." Myriam Nicole and Manon Carpenter round out the Top 5 Elite Women.

Finn Iles continues to dominate the Junior class with a win by 3.5 seconds over Kaos Seagrave. Kaos, younger brother of Elite pro, Tahnee Seagrave, has stepped up his game and was the only rider to give Finn any real challenge today. Sylvain Cougoureux in 3rd, edged out Moritz Ribarich in 4th by only .002 while Kade Edwards finished 5th just behind.

Three competitors formed the Junior Women's class with Melanie Chappaz taking the victory with a 4:22.878.

Conditions for the last Elite Men.

Race winner, Alexander Fayolle, no denying his run was on it!

Elite Men's Results

Rachel Atherton earns her 34th World Cup DH victory in Lourdes.

Elite Women's Results

Finn Iles, Lourdes World Cup DH Junior winner.

Junior Men's Results

All Things Lourdes World Cup DH

  • adamdigby

    5/1/2017 3:10 PM

    For the people saying the fast guys could have qualified slow to start earlier, this is why they don't:
    UCI MTB Regulation 4.5.033
    The start order for the final is determined on the basis of the reverse result of the qualifying round or seeding run (women juniors), the fastest rider starting last.
    The top 10 protected riders (as defined in art. 4.5.031) who were not classified in the top 10 places for women elite and the top 20 places for men elite of the qualifying round must start immediately before the top 10 women elite and the top 10 men elite from the qualifying round. For the men elite, protected riders ranked 11th-20th who were not classified in the top 20 places of the qualifying round will start before the top 20 men elite from the qualifying round.
    (text modified on 1.01.16; 1.01.17)

    The UCI adopted this rule last year for the live broadcast so as to ensure the fast guys and gals are always shown. So now even if they did try to play tactics they'll just end up with less points and a similar start time to normal.

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 8:38 PM


  • kperras

    5/1/2017 9:40 AM

    Anyone complaining about the weather could use a history lesson:

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 9:55 AM

    Nobody needs a history lesson. You just need to live in the real world guy. Champerey was a muddy shit show before Sam's run. It had the very best of the best clipless racers in the world scrambling for any set of flat pedals and shoes just to GET DOWN IT before the rain. It was loose, mulchy and freshly cut. There were no massiive exposed sections with sever winds, high speeds and rain on completely packed dirt glazed over like ice. Not one thing about the two tracks was remotely similar, nor the conditions Matti went down in compared to what Fayolle rode. Danny Hart, whom most consider the best current mud rider in the world, without a fall, was set for a 70th place finish at this one. Don't confuse the two.

  • kperras

    5/1/2017 10:44 AM

    A good portion of the field knew bad weather was coming and tactically took casual qualifying runs to ensure an earlier start time on race day. DH isn't just about racing against the clock, it's about preparing the right equipment, training, and in these two cases judging the weather. All that aside, I did appreciate this post by Alan Milway on Instagram sorting out the top 10 qualifiers.

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 1:37 PM

    None of the pros could predict WHEN that gong show would erupt man. The storm came across the ridge in less than 10 minutes time. Tactically? Who used tactics? Which riders do you think "intentionally finished qualifying slower than normal. You are MAKING UP CRAP! That qualifying list read exactly as it ALWAYS reads. Fastest to slowest. Nobody played tactics in qualifying. They fell where they did because that's as good as they could do. Not one rider or reader is using the weather as an excuse to take a cruiser run. Everyone but you could see that it was a night and day/heaven and hell difference in conditions. Everyone is bummed that conditions were just that insane is all. The top riders couldn't even crack the top SIXTY. SIXTY!!!

  • kperras

    5/1/2017 2:23 PM

    Sorry my last post was referring to the 2007 Champery run. Tactics did come into play then. No reason why teams couldn't do the same thing for races nowadays.

  • only1mikey

    5/1/2017 8:12 AM

    @mfoga you are correct this time, but what about Leogang last year? The course was getting considerable faster and dryer as the day went on. Sorry but if you are worried about weather towards the end of the day, qualify last. If you want to run on a dryer faster track cause it's gonna rain earlier and the sun is going to come out later, qualify first. Or maybe just ride your damn bike as fast as you can for both qualifying and the race and just hope for the best like everyone in the Elite Men field seem to be doing.

  • mfoga

    5/1/2017 12:29 PM

    They could chose to go last. If you qualify at the top you shouldn't be forecast to take the worst conditions. If you pick that it's on you.

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 1:40 PM

    Nobody at that race was a meteorologist and you're not the Alien...pulling off the side of the course and waiting 20 seconds to ensure you get 45th in seeding. Qualifying times at this race were tighter than a worm's ass and no one could chance taking a cruiser run. If you qualified 20th at this race intentionally, you'd be an idiot because you'd INTENTIONALLY get a worse track if the rain didn't come in.

  • Allen_Gleckner

    4/30/2017 6:39 PM

    What happened to Nick Nesteroff?

  • FredLikesTrikes

    5/1/2017 9:56 AM

    Nik crashed in his qualification run and didn't make the cut according to his last IG post.

  • F1234K

    4/30/2017 3:29 PM

    I was quite impressed with Minnaar's effort compared to the other riders that left the gate just before and after him. He was 10-20 seconds faster in those horrid conditions.

  • russthedog

    4/30/2017 6:24 PM

    I thought fearon was the standout in that regard. Only to get near top twenty in the poor conditions and gets a fifth!

  • F1234K

    5/1/2017 2:24 AM

    Conor was 32nd, Minnaar 6th. A hell of a lot changed in that time.

  • kperras

    5/1/2017 9:35 AM

    Connor started somewhere around 12th for some reason. Probably something to do with his #5 plate.

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 1:41 PM

    Yeah...and nothing about Fearon's expression at the end of that race gave me the impression he was happy with his qualifying or race run. He had the look of a man who knew he had work to do.

  • Oz_Taylor

    4/30/2017 2:58 PM

    At least the entire top 15 were caught out by the weather. Still all to play for.

  • boaz

    4/30/2017 1:29 PM

    it sucks when weather decides the race. i find it hard to believe given the huge cost to the teams and sponsors of putting on this event it's better to run the main or allow it to finish in insane weather. run it earlier if weather is looking crazy or push it back a few hours. it's not like the stream is live anyway. with seven races there aren't any to waste.

    i love watching dh. i think racing is rad. i even own a carbon dh bike. i seriously hate this outcome and how everyone is like 'well it's racing'. it's the world cup!! there need to be contingencies for weather interfering in the race. everybody races dry or everyone races wet, it can't be split. it invalidates the result and weakens the sport

  • GoDH

    5/1/2017 1:47 AM

    Postponing a race is never an option. The costs involved in moving the race will bankrupt the organizers. The rule is simple - you enter the race, you take what is given to yoyu the track, the weather, everything!!
    If you postpone an event, even by a few hours, half the fans and riders will complain and if you don't , the other half will.
    Fayolle had a brilliant run. He was a top 20 qualifier and his final time was damn good - much much much faster than any couch hugging DH rider. He even won by a better than fair margin. He was the fastest rider on the day!! He has my respect.

  • boaz

    5/1/2017 11:35 AM

    the dude qualified for a WC dh event -- that alone means he is seriously fast and absolutely has my respect. don't kid yourself though, he wouldn't have been top ten without the weather situation.

    honest question -- why would everyone go bankrupt over moving the race time? it seems like the cost is already high and then to have a disappointing race seems worse. sometimes the 'simple' answer isn't the best

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 1:43 PM

    Probably the fact that these events are low budget and the overtime and rescheduled flights would cost all the teams and event staff a small fortune.

  • sspomer

    4/30/2017 12:25 PM

    Updated with official Elite Men's sheets. Gwin DQ'd for not re-entering course where he left during a crash.

  • krisrayner

    4/30/2017 1:51 PM

    Doubt he would have gotten very many points anyways even without the DQ. Does that have any effect on the points he gets from qualifying?

  • Bigburd

    4/30/2017 2:23 PM

    That's crazy he gained nothing haha !

  • bizutch

    4/30/2017 5:44 PM

    Wow...10 feet?

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 1:43 PM

    Spomer, how many points is Gwin short for the DQ?

  • dirtworks911

    4/30/2017 8:34 AM

    Should course officials allow a race to begin if they know bad weather is bound to hit in the middle of it? I want to know everyone's thoughts.

  • only1mikey

    4/30/2017 8:46 AM

    Should "God" allow life to start knowing we will all one day die? From the sound of things no one knew exactly when the bad weather was going to start. Sucks for the top Elite Men qualifiers for sure, but rain could have started an hour earlier OR later. It is what it is. They are just going to have to want it that much more now, for the rest of the season, if they want a good result in the overall. Just my 2¢.

  • Roll X

    4/30/2017 9:09 AM

    It would be a costly event if they had to postpone races for rain delay . I just don't think the money is there or time to postpone . Maybe they should go back to the old system of no qualifying points . Lets riders try and qualify in the top 50 and try to get there final run in good weather . But I think the new system is better and less French .

  • mfoga

    4/30/2017 12:57 PM

    I would say they need to give the top qualifiers the choice of start time. I can't think of many times when it's advantageous to be last conditions wise but it seems to be much more common that it's to a disadvantage.

  • Joyride_Cycles

    4/30/2017 4:24 PM

    I second this idea if it could be used only in the case of bad weather coming into play. Something should be done when weather is a concern. At least having a choice of start time would give the top riders some sort of control of how their race outcome goes. It really sucked watching the race knowing that it was over for all the fastest riders and then watching them flail while trying to salvage points.

  • only1mikey

    4/30/2017 4:27 PM

    They do have a choice as to where they start, when they qualify.

  • mfoga

    5/1/2017 5:56 AM

    Not if you have overall standing aspirations. This is the only sport I can think of where you do the best before or in qualifying and you given a disadvantage of a more worn out track and potentially weather. Most sports if you qualify high you get to go in front, get home field advantage, lane choice etc.. I think it should be for all races not just weather. If you think the track is going to get worse and worse just from 80+ riders going in front of you then you should be allowed as the #1 guy to go earlier.

  • bizutch

    5/1/2017 9:47 AM

    @mfoga I've raced for 20 years now in DH. 99.9% of the time, the rider going off last has the best track conditions regardless. Typically they'll have the warmest air (good for tire grip and bodily functions), calmest weather, but most of all, on a mountain you have damp terrain from cloud cover overnight, peaks that are colder in the morning than valleys, but that warm up and burn off the dew and moisture quicker than the valley below and any overnight rain drains has been draining out of the soil longer. You also have the benefit of the best of the best riders hitting the fastest lines on the track. It LITERALLY CLEANS UP THE MAIN LINE when you have the best riders going down ahead of you, removing silt or much from the main groove. Plus the added benefit of being the most alert (lots of studies show peak performance occurs mid afternoon).

  • mfoga

    5/1/2017 12:32 PM

    So when pros have said that they couldn't ride their lines since it was blown out they must not know what they re talking about? Sorry it's happens, maybe not every race but it happens. And no matter what it ends up the riders choice not something forced on them.

  • bizutch

    5/6/2017 6:59 AM

    You're talking about 1 single thing. When you're watching videos and interviews and they talk about courses being blown out, they're talking to the winners and/or top 5 people from that day, it's never to the top qualifier who suddenly lost the whole race and fell to 30th because the 10th through 70th riders had a less "blown out" course". The top 10 riders coming down at the end of the day all get the exact same "BLOWN OUT COURSE". Bulldog doesn't come through and just remove a berm with the might of his thighs and then no one else in the top 10 gets to ride that berm anymore.

  • Oz_Taylor

    5/2/2017 1:36 AM

    A WC track sees 2 days of solid practice/qualis and maintenance before race day. Plenty of time for the track to bed in and mature. In any case there is morning practice, juniors and senior womens race before the senior men. That's plenty of riders to 'sweep' the main line, if that even happens. It's more likely that holes get deeper, and berms/ruts get blown out by the time the last guys do their runs.

  • bizutch

    5/6/2017 7:11 AM

    Again, the berms/ruts getting blown out by the time the last guys do their runs has NEVER changed the fact that they are ARE the top qualifiers and that they are ONLY 10 to 15 riders take that one last shot. 10,15, 20 riders all leaving the gate at the end of the day within 1 single hour of one another are NOT destroying the course. That's all..10-20 people on one last run. If the course is cooked when they go and weather hasn't changed, the course isn't disintegrating.

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