The Les Gets UCI Downhill MTB World Cup 2021
Over the weekend, Les Gets held the second round of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup 2021. Competitors came from all over the globe to compete in the largest and most prestigious mountain bike event in the world, and they were no less than impressive. Although it rained during the races, the momentum of the riders and the crowd at the trackside certainly wasn’t dampened, so it was just as spectacular as we had hoped.
In our Chalets 1066 accommodation this year we had the pleasure of hosting the following teams: Santa Cruz, Norco, Pivot Cycles, Nina Hoffman Racing, MS Mondraker, Geocycling, and Eurotours. You bet we were at the trackside cheering them on the whole weekend!
Les Gets' new course is undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and it has been widely praised by both riders and fans alike. Its design was inspired by the P2V Invitational (Les Gets) last September, which you'll remember if you saw this event. The Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup 2021 took place on the slopes of Mont-Chéry, with the same start gate and finish line as the 2019 UCI World Cup, but there were significant differences.
It still had all the characteristics of the old Les Gets route as it was just as fast, but with a new level of technical difficulty due to the steep, rooty wooded sections. There were also some impressive road gap jumps, which made riders break more than usual. As the route was quite wide, there were plenty of lines to choose from, which also kept the competition interesting.
In addition to the new challenging route, the weather conditions were progressively changing throughout the day, so riders really had to stay alert. More roots were exposed and the route began to get tracked out, making it trickier as time went on.
On Saturday morning, we arrived early and stayed for the duration of the day. The early arrival enabled us to take the Mont Chery gondola to the top of the track and gradually walk down, which gave us all the best views of the jumps and allowed us to take lots of pictures. Although entry was free, lift passes were necessary to access the Mont Chery gondola (or a small fee would have been charged).
There were some spectators who walked up the mountain or gathered at the finish line where there was a huge TV and a grassy hill for them to sit on, which was a lot less muddy than walking down the track. No matter where you stood at the event, the turnout was so amazing that there were spectators everywhere cheering, waving flags, honking horns, and otherwise creating an energetic atmosphere for downhill racing.
Now you can imagine the scene… let’s get down to the results!
Saturday 3rd July: UCI MTB World Cup Les Gets Downhill Women
There was much excitement at the women's junior race for the Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup 2021, which followed the junior men's (more on that soon).
Another new winner emerged as Phoebe Gale pulled a two-second lead over Izabela Yankova. It was a heck of a race as the time Phoebe ran in her winning race was nearly 30 seconds faster than her fastest qualifier from yesterday. Anastasia Thiele completed the top three riders, crossing the line over 14 and a half seconds behind.
With rain falling for all of the riders, the conditions in the Elite Women's race were very different from the drier qualifying conditions. With a close competition against Myriam Nicole, Tahnee Seagrave won the course. Myriam Nicole ran a tough race after crashing just after split two, but she closed the gap to only 0.252 seconds. Camille Balanche rounded out the top three riders with another fantastic performance in 2021. We also have to say that our hearts were broken when Vali Höll slipped out at the final turn on the final lap and had to run to the finish line.
Interestingly, the winner, Tahnée Seagrave, learned to ride bikes around Les Gets, so she had a good understanding of the terrain and the demands of the area from her past residence in Morzine (8km from Les Gets).
Saturday 3rd July: UCI MTB World Cup Les Gets Downhill Men
First up were the junior men, and they started off the day strong. Jackson Goldstone secured his first World Cup win by over one and a half seconds which was great to see. Also delighting us was Jordan Williams, who took second place on the podium after qualifying fastest, as well as Lachlan Stevens-McNab, who took third place.
As for the men's elite race, it was clear that the weather played a significant role. The rain didn’t stop which resulted in the course getting progressively slower. Not that it put anyone off! If anything, the spectators got louder with encouragement for the elite riders. There were countless slip-outs and crashes - Reece Wilson going over his handlebars after jumping was one that we will never forget. We now call him ‘Superman.’
Congratulations to Thibaut Daprela, who was the winner. After coming back from a horrible crash at the French Cup last week, we are astonished at his performance. Thibaut's victory in Les Gets 2021 was his first Elite win since moving up from Juniors last year. With a second-place finish, Max Hartenstern secured his best result so far, while Baptiste Pierron rounded out the podium in third.
There you have it! The Downhill MTB World Cup in Les Gets is over for another year. If you liked the sound of it, we have some exciting news for you. Les Gets is a regular host of UCI mountain bike events, and the next one will be in 2022!
Make sure you don't miss next year's action and secure your accommodation among the athletes with us. We look forward to welcoming you!