Insanely Tight UCI Downhill World Cup Racing in Loudenvielle-Peyragudes
Vali Höll produced a dominant downhill display as she claimed victory during the fifth round of the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, while Loïc Bruni secured his first win of 2023 in Loudenvielle, France.
Nina Hoffmann (Santa Cruz Syndicate) was just 2.8 seconds back in second, while Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) equalled her best result of the season so far to round out the podium in third.
Holl’s win extends her overall series lead, she’s now over 400 points clear of Hoffman who sits in second, with Camille Balanche (Dorval AM Commencal) in third place.
In the men’s race, overall points leader Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity) caused the biggest shock of the race, after an uncharacteristic mistake saw him leave the course and pick up a DSQ in the process. Having a very different day at the office was Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing), who put down a flawless run to take the early lead. However, an on-form Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity) in front of a home crowd proved unstoppable, taking his first UCI World Cup win of the season by less than a second, pushing Norton into second. Laurie Greenland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) was also within the same second to take third place.
With three races left this season, Bruni now leads the overall standings, with Iles’ disqualification costing him valuable points and relegating him into second place. Jackson Goldstone (Santa Cruz Syndicate) is just five points behind Iles in third place.
In the Junior competition, New Zealand once again proved they are the nation to beat in the Women’s race, claiming the top two spots on the podium in the form of Sacha Earnest (KIWIDH) in first and Erice Van Leuven (Commencal Les Orres) in second. In third place was Colombia’s Valentina Roa Sanchez (Transition Factory Racing). However, it’s still Lisa Bouladou of France who still leads the overall points.
Meanwhile in the Junior Men’s race Ryan Pinkerton (GT-Continental Factory Racing) took the win ahead of Nathan Pontvianne (Pinkbike Racing) in second, with Christian Hauser (Union-Forged by Steel City) in third. Pinkerton’s win today has propelled him to the top of the leaderboard in the overall series points.
Santa Cruz Syndicate were awarded team of the day and also lead the overall standings.