Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Three in a row for Frenchman in Val di Sole as Briton closes gap on Atherton.
Pierron produced an extraordinary run to edge out Britain’s Laurie Greenland for his third 2018 win in a row, while Seagrave pipped compatriot Rachel Atherton in the women’s race. Here is all you need to know:
– Val di Sole is well-steeped in downhill mountain bike racing history with the ultimate combination of near-vertical gradient woods sections and all-out, high-speed stretches.
– The biggest curve ball the racers faced this week was not even the infamous track, but the weather with timed training and qualifying both wet washouts.
– Saturday’s track was drier, however reigning women’s champion Myriam Nicole was ruled out due to a bruised lower back the Frenchwoman incurred in practice.
– 2016 champion Atherton put down her marker thanks to a tremendous run with Australian Tracey Hannah failing to beat it, however Seagrave did in gripping fashion.
– She edged out Atherton by 0.123 seconds with Slovenian Monika Hrastnik coming down last to grab her first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup podium behind the Brits.
– Seagrave, who became the first to win two 2018 races, said: “With five seconds left I could hear I was close and I full on sprinted. I needed that DQ in Leogang to fuel my fire. I need something a little bit extra to make me work a lot harder. Monika sent it down. I was really worried, but I didn’t want to let the points go though.”
– Atherton added: “It is such a wild track. It was pretty dry with big holes. I emptied myself on the top of the track. Pretty gutted, but that is racing.”
– In the men’s race Frenchman Thomas Estaque held the lead for ages before Greenland produced a superb run to take the lead.
– Greenland, who won world silver behind Hart, sat nervously in the hot seat as the lights towards the bottom turned green and then victory for Pierron.
– Pierron, who can make history with four debut wins in a row next week at Vallnord in Andorra, revealed: “The track is super demanding physically and technically. This one I wanted and I am so happy. It is going to be sick in Andorra. I can do four in a row.”
– Greenland added: “I almost went down in the first turn. It made me a little bit angry and I just started sending it down. It was my best World Cup result so far.”
Val di Sole women’s downhill result:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup women’s downhill standings after four out of seven races:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup men’s downhill standings after four out of seven races: