Men’s elite and women’s junior downhill titles go down to the wire in Mont-Sainte-Anne
Seven races and seven winners means that four elite men are still battling it out for the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup series crown.
The women’s elite title race was sewn up last weekend in Snowshoe, USA, by World Champion Valentina Höll (Rockshox Trek Race Team), but the men’s is still wide open and riders are preparing themselves for a thrilling showdown.
In the last round of the World Cup series, points are only awarded for the final but all four of those men in the running are protected riders meaning that - barring disaster - they will be guaranteed to start.
A maximum of 250 points are on offer for the winner of the elite final. Currently France’s Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity) is leading the way but he’s just 60 points ahead of his countryman Loris Vergier (Trek Factory Racing). Third in the standings, just 152 points behind Bruni, is Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Jackson Goldstone and his fellow Canadian Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity) is also in with a shout lying 198 points adrift of his teammate Bruni.
The standings mean that anything could happen and Bruni faces a real fight to land a third World Cup series title. For instance, if there was to be an eighth different winner with Vergier taking the top spot on the Mont-Sainte-Anne podium, the Trek rider would take the title even if Bruni came third.
Although Austrian Höll has already secured the women’s elite title, the battle for the second spot on the series podium is shaping up to be a belter. Only 29 points separate Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Nina Hofmann and Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) with a maximum of 250 on offer.
In the junior categories, although the USA’s Ryan Pinkerton secured the men’s title in Snowshoe with his fourth win in four World Cups, the remaining spots on the podium are wide open and the women’s title is still in the balance.
Currently, in the junior women, with 65 points on offer, Colombian Valentina Roa Sanchez (Transition Factory Racing) is just 15 points ahead of France’s Lisa Bouladou. World Champion Erice Van Leuven (Commencal Les Orres) is also still in with a shout - lying just 35 points off Roa Sanchez.
In the battle for the junior men’s podium spots, Bodhi Kuhn (Trek Factory Racing Gravity) lies in second and Léo Abella (Commencal Les Orres) just 19 points behind him in third. With 60 points on offer though, four more riders could potentially take the second spot and six more the third.
You can catch all of the live action on the UCI Mountain Bike World Series YouTube channel:
12:30 EDT / 18:30 CEST UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup - Junior Finals
Find out more about where to watch: Mont-Sainte-Anne here.
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