Summer weather in the mountains can be unpredictably capricious, and nowhere has that been more obvious than this week in Andorra. From heavy downpours on track walk day to high winds later on in the week, the organizers have had to work hard just to keep the event rolling along. With a severe wind and rain warning in effect for finals day the decision was made to drop the semi-finals and let all the qualified riders take part in a one-run final (like in the good old days, yay!). Things didn't get off to the best start though with the race going on weather hold in the morning, but as we got into the afternoon the wind died down enough to allow for racing. The big road gap was closed for safety reasons, but other than that change, the track was surprisingly dry when the elite women took to the hill. Nina Hoffmann laid down her best run of 2023, finally returning to the top step of the podium after being a bit off the pace so far this season. Vali Höll didn't look as relaxed on the bike and came in second, 2.8 seconds back on Nina. We were happy to see Tahnee riding well and landing herself in third place as she continues to work on recovering from last year's head injury and get back up to full race pace.
As the elite men's race unfolded, a group of riders were grouped together within 0.5 seconds, when Minnaar laid down a trademark smooth and fast run to break the deadlock and take lead by 2.4 seconds! How long would that stand? Moments later Thibaut Daprela took over the hot seat with a trademark NOT smooth and VERY loose run, unfortunately the weather wasn’t done yet and the open turns of the track started to look very slippery as the fastest qualifiers set up to drop in. Andreas Kolb got his drift on but went down when the front got away from him, and with the umbrellas now coming back out all over the course, this one was over and done with. Fastest qualifier Loic Bruni came down in 22nd place, and the fact that he still tried hard and had a clean run really tells the story. Most of us will probably be looking forward to putting this one in the rearview mirror as we head to Loudenvielle this coming week already. Stay tuned!
2023 Vallnord UCI DH MTB World Cup Final Results - Elite Women
2023 Vallnord UCI DH MTB World Cup Final Results - Elite Men