Welcome to Cairns! This Australian track is unlike any other so far this year year: very, very fast, super loose, and due to the dry weather, more dusty than ever with some tough pedaling sections which made it extremely physical too!
Loïc Bruni, 1st Place!
Just over a year ago, Loïc Bruni won his first ever World Cup on this track, so he was well aware of what could be possible here. The local crowd were cheering for hometown hero Mick Hannah, who stayed on the hot seat for much of the day, and looked as if he had possibly done enough to take the title. Unfortunately for the Aussies, Loïc became 'Super Bruni' again and laid down a superlative run to take the lead by only .039 of a second. Nobody was able to go faster, and the time stood, making Loic World Champion for his second time in his short career!
He said: “It's unbelievable, I worked so hard all year and the luck was on my side today! My team-mate Miranda did it in the women's category just before, so I just followed her lead. It's incredible, the run was crazy, it was super loose so I didn't know what to expect because I knew Mick was super fast. So when I saw I was in front of him I was super happy but still super stressed out about the other guys so to hold on until the end was insane!”
Loris Vergier, 7th
Close friend Loris Vergier was the first to congratulate Loic, and was pretty stoked with his 7th place as well: “I felt really bad on the top sections the whole week and I was just hoping for a top 10. 7th is great for me! I though Mick had the title already, but when I saw Loïc beat him, it was unreal. It's always good to see him winning!”
Connor Fearon, 24th
After missing the two last World Cups because of injury, the Aussie hoped to be back to 100% in time for World Champs. He gave his best even if he wasn't completely recovered: “It was too soon to ride 100% but I'm still happy with how I rode. I've had surgery on my hand only 6 weeks ago so I couldn't expect too much. I can't wait to be back healthy to ride my bike and start preparing for next season!”
Tahnee Seagrave, 11th
Two days before finals, she was the fastest during timed training. Deciding to risk it all in pursuit of the title she pushed too hard in the unpredictable dusty conditions and crashed: “I pushed a bit too much today and crashed... This race was mental! I'm glad the other girls pushed so hard as well, we all wanted the title so much. I don't mean it's nice to see everybody going down, but the fact we were all so competitive was awesome!”.
Finn Iles, 10th Junior Mens
After winning six World Cups this year and wearing the rainbow stripes from last years World Champs win, Finn Iles was feeling the pressure on his shoulders to prove once again he can be the fastest rider of his generation. Unfortunately, a few things went wrong on race day: “I felt really good during my last practice run, but just before my race run, I realised I had forgotten my goggles and I had to borrow one of the commissaire's sunglasses. I still knew I could do a good time even under these conditions, and I knew that Matt Walker had done a very good time before my run, but I made two big mistakes and lost way too much time. I tried to go too fast and paid the price!”
It was a great year for the Fox 2017 Gravity team. The 2017 DH season is now over and 2018 will start on the 21st - 22nd of April in Lošinj, Croatia for another intense year!
*All of the Fox DH team riders wear the proven Rampage Pro Carbon helmet and Flexair gear.
Fox MTB team athletes competing were 2014's runner up, Brett Rheeder and fellow Canadian Anthony Messere. Rheeder would go down hard attempting a cork 720 and opted to sit out Finals while Messere put down two clean runs but was only able to score a 6th place result.
2017 District Ride Results:
1st - Nicoli Rodgatkin (USA)
2nd - Emil Johansson (SWE)
3rd - Szymon Godziek (POL)
4th - Diego Cavarzasi (ITA)
5th - Erik Fedko (GER)
6th - Anthony Messere (CAN)
7th - Mehdi Gani (FRA)
8th - Jakub Vencl (CZE)
9th - Ryan Nyquist (USA)
10th - Brett Rheeder (CAN)
WHAT AN EPIC FINALE!
Some days, everything goes to plan and Saturday in Val di Sole was certainly one of those days! At the last round of the year, Tahnee Seagrave and Finn Iles both won yet another World Cup race! Loïc Bruni and Loris Vergier both ended up on the Elite race podium and took spots on the overall podium as well!
LOÏC BRUNI, 3rd - 4th IN THE OVERALL 2017 UCI DH WORLD CUP STANDINGS
After a few disappointments this year, Loïc didn't give up and his determination paid off: “I couldn't have hoped for a better weekend because I came 3rd in qualis' and finals and ended up 4th overall! What was awesome too was to be on the podium with my mates and I'll never forget this weekend! For sure, I would rather have finished first but I can't ask too much, I rode well and I'm super happy with that. I had a hard season but the ending has been great. Now, I'm relieved that I can go to Cairns for the World Champs with more confidence!”
LORIS VERGIER, 4th - 5th OVERALL IN THE WORLD CUP
Before coming to Italy, Loris was sitting in 7th place overall: “I wanted so much to finish the World Cup season on the podium so I gave everything I could and I almost crashed! I was pretty lucky to get away with it. This race was insane and I'm stoked with what I did!”
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 1st - 2nd OVERALL IN THE WOMENS UCI DH WORLD CUP
She was right up there with a second place in qualifying, and stepped up to take the win in finals: “I've never done well here so for me it was a big improvement! I wanted to do better than last year here which was 5th! I think I really wanted another win because even though I couldn't beat Myriam Nicole in the overall, I could take more race wins than her this season and I wanted to prove something! To win here was definitely in the back of my head but I tried not to think too much about it! Now, I'll start to focus on World Champs”.
FINN ILES, 1st- OVERALL WINNER IN JUNIOR MENS UCI DH WORLD CUP
Having won the World Cup overall with two rounds to spare, Finn proved once again he's the fastest rider in Junior Category: “It's pretty amazing, I rode very well and I'm very happy with where my time would have placed me in the Elite Category (he would have been 11th)! I'm pretty proud of my season and we also took team of the day which is very special, there is no better way to end a season!”
Now the riders have a few days off before flying to Cairns (Australia) for the World Championships! They are all well and truly in the hunt for medals, hopefully some great news in a few weeks time!
*All the FOX DH World Cup athletes wore the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon DH helmet and podium proven FLEXAIR jersey and pants.
Last weekend saw the 5th round of the UCI World Cup take place in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
What was once considered a ”bikepark" track has morphed into the most unpredictable course of the year. The new course was unforgiving of the smallest mistake and FOX team riders had a tricky weekend in the office with some ups and downs! This definitely adds some flavor to the season.
FINN ILES - OVERALL JUNIOR WORLD CUP 2017 WINNER
Maybe the happiest guy in the paddock, taking another World Cup win and with it an unassailable lead in a race for the overall World Cup!
“I had a very good run and I'm satisfied with my time too! I'm stoked for the overall as well because it means I can relax for the rest of the season. The next round will be at Mont Saint Anne in Canada, my home country, and I would love to take the win in front of the Canadian crowd. It's great to go there with almost no pressure”.
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 5TH PLACE - ONE SLIGHT MISTAKE THAT COST A LOT
Up at all four splits, she pushed the front wheel in one of the final turns almost running off the track and losing all of her momentum. She was clearly disappointed but stayed positive:
“It's a shame to have messed up two of the five races so far! I was on a good run and I pushed a bit too hard. I finished five seconds from the winner and I know that in the past that could have been enough for a second place. It's cool that the women's level is getting higher, that's great for the sport”.
LAURIE GREENLAND, 4TH PLACE - CONSISTENT CHALLENGER
"I am really happy to of managed to get on the podium in lenzerheide, 6th to 10th place finishes have happened quite a lot now and I for sure have my eyes set on the podium! It's an amazing feeling and almost a relief at the same time... just have to do it again in a few weeks in Canada".
LOÏC BRUNI, 7TH PLACE, A DRIFT THAT COSTS HIM THE PODIUM
No crash for the frenchie but a few mistakes ruined his chances of being on the podium:
“I was pretty relaxed before my start, I had a good feeling, you know like a switch in your head which means you can do well. I started without pushing too hard but I made a small mistake in the first rock garden. I told myself to forget it and to start the race again. But I made two other mistakes in sections where it's critical to carry speed. All these mistakes cost me time and with the racing so tight right now, you can't afford to do that. Now I have the feeling I missed a good opportunity. I'm still top ten which is good, but what I really want is to be in the top three! I have to work harder!”.
LORIS, 27TH PLACE - AND A CRASH IN THE FIRST BERM
Crashing in the first corner and having to chase seconds his whole run, Loris was pretty philosophical about it:
“I have to admit that my head was on holiday already and when I did a good quali on Friday, I felt I could do well here. I was confident for finals and maybe a bit too much. After my run, I stayed 10 minutes alone to think about my crash and I realised it's not a disaster. I'm young, I didn't get injured and it didn't happen because of a mechanical. Everything worked perfectly and it just my fault. What makes me happy is that I'm still 4th overall because of my performance in qualifying, but I want more podiums!”.
CONNOR, 74TH - NO BROKEN BONES CAN STOP HIM
His crash in Vallnord was worse that he thought, he might have a broken bone in his hand and had to minimize his runs in Lenzerheide to be able to ride in the finals. Basically, he raced just to save some points for the overall:
“I looked at the points and I thought, if I can get down with a 50th or a 40thplace run, I could get some points which is always pretty good for the overall. So it's what the goal for the weekend was. I did only 5 runs during the 3 days and it was still very painful. My race run started pretty well but I crashed half way and I decided to cruise down to not take anymore risks. It's four weeks now to Mont Saint Anne so I'm going to get an X-Ray as soon as possible to assess the extent of the damage to get a better idea of what kind of shape my hand will be in for MSA”.
The DH team now has a 4 week break before heading to the penultimate round of the World Cup series in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada.
LOIC BRUNI, 4th
Unlucky since the beginning of the year, “Super Bruni” is relieved to be back: “I wasn't really happy when I passed the finish line because I was in 2nd and I saw it was super tight! But it was good, I stuck to the plan, kept it smooth, and made it to the bottom. It's my first podium of the season so 4th is perfect in the end, I'm happy enough tonight. I feel this is my first proper race of the year, in Lourdes I almost couldn't make it to the bottom because of the weather, Fort William I crashed and Leogang I even didn't race! I'm stoked to be here on the box and this has helped to build my confidence and I hope we are moving on to bigger and better things.”
LORIS VERGIER, 6th
After finishing second back to back in Leogang World Cup and Crankworx Les Gets a few weeks ago, Loris had every right to be a bit disappointed for missing the podium by only one place, but he's absolutely not and he explains why: “I'm happy because it's a long track and I started my finals run a bit too strong. I wanted to try to push my limits, but after the first minute I realised that I was a bit tired and I decided to stay focused, and try to stay on my bike! In the end, I'm 6th and only 3 seconds from the podium which is very good. I got good points for the overall, I'm now 4th which gives me a bit more confidence! I'm so happy for Loïc who's riding almost at his best again, it's cool to see him back on the podium!"
CONNOR FEARON, 28th
His run was spectacular but he crashed very close to the bottom: “I was so tired at the end and I had a stupid crash. I just couldn't hold on anymore but I'm not too disappointed because what you have to do to do well here is to leave it or on the track. The thing is, you have to go so fast here and obviously more people than usual crashed here, luckily everyone is mostly ok. Either way, I'm stoked and looking forward to Lenzerheide.”
FINN ILES, 1st IN JUNIOR CATEGORY
It's now the 3rd victory for the Canadian rider for this year. He won the race by a full 5 seconds and his time would have placed him 7th in the Elite category! “I felt that everything sort of worked on my run, I had like a few parts where I was trying to push too hard and got a bit sketchy but I think I was carrying good speed everywhere and I rode my bike well, so I'm happy! I was pretty calm this weekend even though I was a bit nervous this morning. Because this is so similar to some of the stuff I ride at home, I'm prtty experienced on steep stuff.”
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 2nd IN WOMEN CATEGORY
After taking her first ever win at the previous round in Leogang, Tahnee was hoping for big things again in Andorra: “Myriam Nicole (the winner of the day) has always been good here and I've never get a good result here, and it's such a contrast from here to Leogang I'm just really happy because I had a point to prove after everyone saying that the track in Leogang was too easy.
I know that my style of riding is not very aggressive even if people think it is, I love riding berms with my mates so I think Lenzerheide will suit me better”.
A few hundred kilometres away, the Enduro riders were having one of the hardest races any of them had ever experienced in their careers! Soaked by the rain for two days, the freezing temperatures and slippery mud made the stages even more gnarly than they were already!
DAMIEN OTON, 3rd
“I'm completely knackered, it was so so hard! The weather was such a nightmare and the race was super physical. The cold didn't help either! Most of the time you're racing for one day and I have to admit it wasn't easy to be motivated for the second day! I was 5th at the end of the first day, I had a little cold and I didn't expect to be on the podium at the end of the race! But somehow, I got more power in my legs on Sunday and my track speed was better as well. My last two stages helped bump me up the standings to 3rd place. It's my second podium of the year which means at least some good luck is back on my side!”.
THÉO GALY, 5th
Riding in your home town is a privilege not many riders get to experience in their careers, which was extra motivation for Théo:
“I have to admit it was pretty hard to go and ride the second day in a freezing cold and wet weather! But it's the same for everybody and I had to push myself to find again a good speed. Unfortunately I didn't feel as good as I was the day before! The battle to be on the podium was super tight and I missed it by a few seconds. I'm a bit disappointed to finish 5th but it's my best result of the year and I'm now 9th in the overall which is pretty cool!”.
CRANKWORX-LES GETS WAS EPIC!
The whole MTB industry spent the week in Les Gets for the 2nd stop of the Crankworx World Tour 2017. Luckily, this year the sun was beating down on Les Gets the entire week and all our riders enjoyed the opportunity to ride and compete in the awesome conditions!
BRETT RHEEDER WON THE SLOPESTYLE
Brett laid down a solid first run, which was good enough to take the lead. Nobody managed to best his score with their second runs, so Brett got to cruise down for a victory lap! After wining Rotorua (2015), Les 2 Alpes (2015) and Whistler (2016), the Canadian won yet another Slopestye here in France and was pretty damn stoked: “I just came back after an injury so I feel really relieved to win today. It has been hard work to get back! We had some good practice sessions with all the guys, but it was tough here today with the wind. For sure before my first run I was a bit nervous, I didn't want to screw up, and then sitting up top watching all the guys doing their second runs was hard!"
2ND PLACE FOR LORIS VERGIER AT THE CRANKWORX DOWNHILL
“It is so good to be on a podium again! To be honest, I didn't expect it because my wrist was a bit painful before the start! Because of that, I didn't start my run full gas, and tried to finish a bit faster and it went well for me, I'm proud! Now I take some days off to go surfing with my girlfriend and it will be sweet!" - Loris Vergier
FINN ILES WON IN JUNIOR
After his victory in Leogang World Cup last week, Finn Iles continues to dominate the Junior Category: “I felt I rode well, smooth and consistent so I'm happy with my run and my time. Last year I felt very good on this track, and the whole of this week I was having a lot of fun so I wasn't super focused on the race until day race. I think it's good to do a race like that every now and again, because this week was a bit like a holiday and I just rode my bike as fast as could and it worked well!”
JOSH BRYCELAND 3RD IN THE AIR DH
Air DH in Les Gets is a bit different to A-Line in Whistler, with roots, jumps and steep techy sections and ex World Cup Champion Josh Bryceland demonstrated he still has the speed to compete! Josh ended up in 3rd place and showed that when you have talent running through your veins, you don't have to take racing super seriously to get on the box every now and again! It was so rad to see the Rat back on a podium!
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE TAKES HER FIRST ELITE WORLD CUP VICTORY!
After a hard weekend in Fort William (she crashed in both Qualis and Finals), Tahnee fought back in Leogang in the best way possible! Second in Saturday's quali, she did everything right on Sunday to take her very first win in the Elite Women Category: “I'm super happy, I'm more relieved than anything, I feel I was working so hard for so long. Obviously it's a bummer that Rachel (Atherton) wasn't here, it would have been nice to compare to her time. It was so stressful watching Tracey (Hannah, 2nd) coming down, I knew she was gonna pull back time at the end and it was so close! But it's great to see the racing is so tight!”
LORIS VERGIER BACK ON THE PODIUM
Loris finally put in a clean race run and landed on the podium! Second here last year, and second again this year, he has an impressive record on the Austrian track! “Last year I was completely happy with my 2nd place because it was a surprise but I have to be honest, I thought that today could be the day. In the end I don't have any regrets, I did everything I could! It's very good for my confidence too, because I have been qualifying well but then having troubles in finals this season. I'm happy, it was a good day in the office!”
FINN ILES WON THE JUNIOR CATEGORY!
Finn kicked off the day in some style by taking the win and solidifying his leadership of the overall : "I was a bit frustrated last weekend (he finished 2nd in Fort William, Scotland) and yesterday (2nd place in qualis), so I'm happy with my result and with my time too. It's was a good weekend! There is a good battle going with the other guys and I think it will be very interesting between us for the rest of the season."
KAOS SEAGRAVE 3RD IN QUALIS, 4TH IN FINALS
Third in qualis, Kaos Seagrave finished the final in 4th: “My run was good, it was very dry up there, it was so, so fast! I just made a mistake before the motorway section but it's all good. The track was mint, I loved it the whole weekend. And Finn absolutely smashed it, his time was very good.”
10TH PLACE FOR CONNOR FEARON
Podiuming on the previous two visits to Leogang, Connor was clear he wanted to do the same again this year. He finished 10th but was still happy to have a solid result: “It's still a good place, I couldn't have gone any faster. The times were super tight! The guys at the top went so fast! I'm happy to be in the top 10 and I'm already looking forward to the other races."
Unfortunately we have to finish with some bad news. Loïc Bruni crashed during Saturday's practice and had to go to hospital to deal with an extremely severe inflammation. Loic posted on his social media: “I thought it was a random punch in the leg. After the qualis I could not walk any more, I had ruptured vein on the inside that was leaking blood into my leg”.
Loic will be spending a few more days in Leogang to wait for the swelling to go down, and hopefull he'll be back soon. All the best to you champion!