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Photo Gallery: Les Gets World Cup

Fans were back on course and Mother Nature was out in full force, making for a memorable weekend at the iconic French venue


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Les Gets, France, served up another memorable World Cup over the weekend, as downhill and cross-country racers battled through wet weather and increasingly treacherous tracks to get to the finish line. With spectators allowed back on course for the first time since the pandemic, Les Gets felt like a real World Cup again, as fans’ raucous cheering and relentless cowbell ringing injected a welcome energy into the weekend. 

Bruni
The return of spectators brought energy back to World Cup racing. Here, Frenchman Loic Bruni is surrounded by fans following his muddy finish. 

As rain persisted in the mountains of southeast France, course conditions at the iconic bike park grew muddier and slicker as the wet weekend wore on. By the time the top DH men’s qualifiers were taking their final runs on Saturday afternoon, the track was so mucky that the fastest racers were ending their runs more than 10 seconds back from the leader. Thibaut Daprela prevailed in that race with his exceptionally smooth and fast run down the all-natural track, which was brand-new for this race, and featured steeps, ruts, roots, off-camber turns, jumps and road gaps, minimal pedaling and a feast of line options, all to riders’ delight. The Les Gets course has traditionally been known to be fast, but not technical, and the new course added a difficulty level that quickly had racers dubbing it among the best on the circuit. Daprela’s win marked his first as an elite, and was made even more significant by the fact that he had a huge crash earlier in the week and questioned even starting.

Thibaut Daprela
Daprela in perform form on his way to his first elite World Cup win.

In women’s DH, Tahnée Seagrave took the win with her flawless run, turning around a seventh-place in qualifying the day before, and landing atop the World Cup podium for the first time in more than two years. 

5th: Monika Hrastnik
Seagrave in first, followed by Myriam Nicole, Camille Balanche, Mille Johnset and Monika Hrastnik. 

The cross-country race didn’t fare much better. The Short Track race on Friday took place before conditions got really deteriorated but by the time the main race rolled around the next day, rain was falling, mud was flying and the slippery course claimed many victims. Superstar Mathias Flückinger continued his tear through the World Cup circuit, taking his fourth win in a row by emerging on top in both Short Track and the XC race, and overtaking Nino Schurter in the overall XC rankings.

Nino Schurter, 5th
Nino Schurter’s face says it all. Schurter finished fifth in Les Gets and dropped into second overall. Next up, defending gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

In the women’s race, Loana Lecomte won on home soil, fending off a chasing pack of Jenny Rissveds, Pauline Ferrand-Prevót and Rebecca McConnell, somehow staying uprights in the mud, unlike many others. Lecomte’s win marks her fourth World Cup podium in a row.

Loana Lecomte
That’s four for Loana Lecomte, the current series overall leader.
The start of the men’s XC race, the best conditions would be all day.

 

Mathias Flueckiger
Mathias Flückinger took his fourth consecutive World Cup win, XC and Short Track.

 

Canadian Catharine Pendrel celebrated her 100th World Cup start in Les Gets.
Sorry, team mechanics.

Flueckiger
Flückinger took the lead early on in the second lap, and controlled the race from there, handling the slick lines seemingly with ease.

Trying to keep mud off.
Try as they might to deflect, the mud ultimately prevailed in Les Gets. 
Welcome back fans.

Reece Wilson

Reigning World Champion Reece Wilson was on a scorcher of a run, flying down the wild, mud-packed course, when he launched off one of the sketchiest jumps on the course and catapulted into the nearby woods. It was a tense moment until Wilson got up and finished his run.

Vali Holl, 7th
Vali Höll had a difficult day. After qualifying second, she crashed on the track’s final greasy turn and walked across the finish line for a seventh place in finals. Despite a similar crash in Leogang, Höll, the 2019 Junior DH World Champ racing her first season in elites, is already one of the strongest competitors in the field.

Finn Iles, 33rd

Finn Iles finished the Les Gets Slip n Slide in P33.

Bruni, 50thLocal hero Loic Bruni looked to be on track to take the win after qualifying first on Friday, until Mother Nature intervened and landed the Flying Frenchman in P50.

The final men’s DH podium: Thibaut Daprela, Max Hartenstern, Baptiste Pierron, Connor Fearon and Mark Wallace.

Photos: Michal Cerveny.