Mountain bike season wrapped up

Mountain bike season wrapped up

Mountain bike season wrapped up

After 8 gnarly rounds of racing, the UCI Downhill World Cup has come to a close. Val di Sole, would be the final venue to help decide this years, 2022’s DH Champions. There was still everything to play for, as Jackson Goldstone was the only rider to secure the title in the Junior Men’s back in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Winning 5 races this year, Goldstone will be a treat to watch in the Men’s Elite category. 

As for the other categories, the number crunching game was in high effect. On paper, the current leaders of the remaining categories (Men’s Elite, Women’s Elite, Junior Women’s) could still lose their titles, if they crashed out and their rivals took the top spots on the podiums. 

Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

However, this turned out to not be the case in the Junior Women’s category. Gracey Hemstreet would come to dominate the weekend scoring the full 60 points and securing the Junior Women’s title. Phoebe Gale, who placed second overall, would suffer a crash on her final race run. Ending the dream to win her first title. 85 points would end up separating the 1st and 2nd place in the overall. 

Though, Jackson Goldstone had already secured the title for the Junior Men’s category, a final win would have made the victory feeling that bit sweeter! A handlebar snapping crash in his final run, would prove too costly, placing him in 4th place, 14 seconds back from his championship rival, Jordan Williams. The newly crowned rainbow stripes junior, managed to win 3 races during this years, world cup. Only 54 points shy of taking the top spot from Goldstone. 

Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

As the day went on, the drama increased. 131 points was all that Camille Balanche needed to secure this year women’s elite title. After suffering a broken collarbone in Mont-Sainte-Anne, this seemed to be an impossible challenge. Not only would she have to navigate the gnarly track of Val di Sole, she would have to finish within the top 5 to make sure she secures her title. As the day unfolded, Myriam Nicole would end up taking the final win of the season with Balanche dramatically placing 5th and taking the overall title. 

Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

In the men’s elite, the maths game would prove to be much simpler as the World Cup leader, Amaury Pierron needed just one point to secure the overall title. To lose, he would have had to finish 60th or below. Seems like a simple task to achieve seeing as he had already 4 wins to his name this season. However, after suffering a crash, all eyes were on the time-board. Luck seemed to be on his side, as he crossed the line in 53rd taking 8 points. Trek Factory Racing’s Loris Vergier would take the win with Andreas Kolb and Dakotah Norton taking 2nd and 3rd. 

Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

The action in the XC didn’t stray too far from the drama in witnessed in the DH racing. Line Burquier and Martin Vidaurre Kossmann would take home the overall titles in the U23 category. While, Pauline Ferrand Prevot who had previous dominated the racing at the World Championships this year, would finish 1min and 27seconds ahead of Loana Lecomte. Alessandra Keller would take the overall title, with just 56 points separating her and Rebecca McConnell. 

In the men’s elite, Nino Schurter would miss out the top spot of the podium to Titouan Carod, who put a 35 second gap into the Swiss rider. Schurter would beat the french rider in the overall classification, with 103 points separating the two. This would be Schurter’s 8th World Cup title, confirming him as a legend in the record books. 

Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

The drama seems to be over until the start of next season. However, this still remains to be seen, as the 10 year partnership between UCI and Red Bull has come to an end. The wind of change has riders worried as the rumours continue to grow with, what direction the new partners, Discovery/Warner Bros aim to take the sport in. 

Although reassurance has been made, after UCI  published a proposed calendar for official MTB events back in August. The punters can expect, the integration of the enduro world series alongside the XCO, XCC and DHI events which will add to the action of the weekend. We’ll just have to wait and see what the new personnel will bring to already well oiled machine. 

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