My Nuts Are Flat
- Rep Power
Champery World Cup DH Report
Rider after rider took to a course that drops 560m over 1.5km, making it easily the steepest track on the world cup series. *Filled with massive jumps and extremely tight, technical corners, only the strong would survive.
This year’s World Cup in Champery, Switzerland, may well go down as one of the sloppiest Downhill World Cups in history. After a gorgeous first practice day, torrential rains came for qualifying and continued through the night into race day. race morning say only a light mist, but the damage had been done as almost 300 racers took the the track the day before, carving deep ruts and stripping the track down to the maze of roots and rocks that were hiding under the dirt.
Rider after rider took to a course that drops 560m over 1.5km, making it easily the steepest track on the world cup series. Filled with massive jumps and extremely tight, technical corners, only the strong would survive. Finals was a bit more calculated than the qualifying round, held in torrential rains. That had turned into a battle just to stay up, with all but the top 5 qualifiers going down at least once in their runs.
When finals started for the women, the sun had been peeking through the clouds on and off and the track had begun to dry, turning the once liquidy mud into a peanut butter like consistency, making for one hell of a wild ride. It stuck to anything it touched, bike, riders and tires especially. Even full spikes did not clear in the heavy, gloopy mess.
It was Emmeline Ragot (FRA - Suspension Center) who took the win for the women, beaten arch Rival Sabrina Jonnier (FRA - Maxxis) by 4.87 seconds. At 9.72 seconds off the lead, top qualifier Myriam Nicole rounded out the top 3.
Claire Buchar of Canada explained it best post race. She managed to keep the rubber side down and just make it down the track in one piece. "I was really nervous at the top. You don't know whats going to happen, it was so unpredictable. we just have to try and stay on your bike. I ended up doing that, and that was my goal. I couldn't ask for anything better than that. It didn't feel like a race, it was more like a personal challenge!"
For the men, it was Gee Atherton (GBR - Animal Commencal) proving that he is as good in the mud as in the dry. The Brit switched to flat pedals for a race run for the first time in ages, and managed to take home the win by 2.79 seconds.
"It's the second win, I'm stoked. Couldn't be any different to the Fort William track. I've never struggled on a track as much as here, so I'm pretty stoked. All the way it was ugly, fighting the bike, blowing off pedals. It wasn't a smooth , fast run. It was just a nasty job, I'm pretty glad it's over really."
The world cup circus has now landed in Val Di Sole, Italy for yet another wild weekend. The track here has had a few changes made since the World Championships was held here 2 years ago. Monster Energy riders Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough walked the track with the course designer, and he made all changes that were requested. Expect steep and extremely technical! Riding starts on Thursday with the DH on Sunday.
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