A dry, loose but fast course in Maribor, Slovenia, set the stage for the third World Cup DH race of the season, and saw two seasoned French riders rise to the top of the pack to take wins in the men’s and women’s races. The longtime World Cup track underwent a few updates between this year and last, adding the new Oakley gap jump and a new finish, which consisted of wooden-bridge Red Bull gap jump into a 90-degree turn that fed into a tarmac finish. Maribor’s signature rock garden, old-school grassy turns and a natural triple in the middle of the woods—one of the most technical features of the day—remained.
In the women’s race, Myriam Nicole, the reigning French National Champion, executed a stellar run down the track, after qualifying second to Valentina Holl, putting Nicole on the top podium step for the first time this year. Nicole, who placed second at Maribor last year, rode smoothly and cleanly from top-to-bottom and in the green for all five splits, ending 1.322 seconds up over Italy’s Eleanora Farina, the fourth-place qualifier sitting in the hot seat. Nicole held onto the lead over first-place qualifier Valentina Holl, who had a clean run, but placed just off the podium in sixth place.
It was seemingly Loris Vergier’s race to lose in the men’s elite showdown—he was the first-place qualifier, winner of the European Championships on the same track just days prior, and won both World Cup races in Maribor in 2020. Indeed, Vergier’s Maribor domination continued as he floated down the track—not requiring a single pedal stroke in the latter part of the course—going green in the final three splits, and putting an exclamation point on the weekend with a brilliant run that landed him 1.322 seconds up over fellow Frenchman and current Elite leader Thibault Daprela. Vergier’s win makes him one of just six World Cup racers to execute a three-peat at a single venue, and moved him into fourth in the overall rankings. The men’s podium was rounded out by Laurie Greenland in third, Greg Minnaar in fourth, further cementing his legend status, and Loic Bruni in fifth.
Photographer Michal Cerveny serves up the photographic highlights from a hot, exciting and exhausting day on the track.
Watch Vergier and Nicole’s winning runs HERE.