Qualifying is done for Les Gets World Cup, and start lists are sorted for Saturday’s downhill finals. On that list are a lengthy roll call of Canadians, with juniors and elites posting fast times in France all Friday.
Juniors men and women – Les Gets, France World Cue
Junior men led the charge for Canada. Seth Sherlock qualified second in a highly competitive junior men’s field. Patrick Laffey joined him inside the top-1o, qualifying 6th. Elliot Jamieson makes it to the final in 17th, while Lucas Cruz finished 34th, but will race Saturday by virtue of his protected rider status.
Milton McConville and Ian Milley just miss out on Saturday’s final, qualifying 45th and 46th.
Junior athlete, Elliot Jamieson takes an impressive 17th place finish during this morning’s @UCI_MTB #MBWorldCup race! Can’t wait for finals tomorrow 🤞
📸 @phunkt #NorcoBicycles #LesGetsBikePark #UCI #DH pic.twitter.com/kDrJgSi9No
— Norco Bicycles (@NorcoBicycles) July 12, 2019
Thibault Daprela was the only rider with any space on the leaderboard. The dominant French junior put 5.249 seconds into Sherlock in 2nd. Behind Daprela, 2nd through 19th were separated by just five seconds. To throw more numbers out there, if you take out Daprela the entire top-40 of the junior men’s field were within 10 seconds. While it won’t be broadcast, Saturday’s race will be a barn-burner.
In junior women, Valentina Holl set the fastest time by 6.321 seconds. Her rival, Anna Newkirk placed second. Ainhoa Ijurko, who hails from Spain but has been living and training in B.C., was third. Squamish’s Bailey Goldstone was eighth in junior women’s qualifying on Friday.
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Enduro has forced me to work on a different set of skills and techniques than what I have in the past and it’s been a big challenge. But I feel that the level I’m at in Enduro they are still physical challenges. I’m sure when you’re closer to the top and the margins are smaller the mental game comes more into play. But for me, racing downhill, is very much a game of the mind and feeling held back by not always skill (sometimes for sure) but often my belief in my skill. So while it wasn’t exactly a heater, I’ve probably never been as stoked to qualify (just) for a World Cup. Happy to be on the DH bike and getting the chance to hit some high speeds and feel a little risky again. Pretty rad @konabikes is keen to have me here 👊🏽 #longlivechainsaw PC:@maddogboris
Elite Women – Hannah rules, but Cabirou close
While the women’s field will be missing Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel Atherton, it doesn’t seem to be getting any less competitive.
Tracey Hannah (Polygon UR), the winner of the third World Cup round in Leogang, Austria, set the fastest time. Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory Team) was second by a devilishly thin margin of 0.666 seconds. Racing on home soil in France, Cabirou will be working hard to make up difference to Hannah.
Miranda Miller (Kona Gravity Racing) is making a brief return to downhill racing from her focus on the Enduro World Series. The new enduro focus seems to be paying off. Squamish’s world champion qualified 13th, and will race Saturday’s final.
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Made it into the big show today! After a 4 year World Cup hiatus I showed up today with a bit of speed and put down a solid run landing me in 42nd. Stoked to do it in a national jersey as after watching many a World Cup I know that it is rare that the national jersey riders make it into the final. Some wild moments to clean up for tomorrow. #stocked #pumped #stockedonbeingpumped VC @anthopoulson
Elite Men – French charging hard, Iles looking fast
As you might expect, the French, dominant all year in downhill, are on fire for their home country World Cup round.
Amaury Pierron (Commencal-Vallnord) set the fastest time in qualifying on Friday, with Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity Racing) following in second. Troy Brosnan (Canyon Factory Racing) interrupted the party to qualify third, but Loris Vergier (Santa Cruz Syndicate)was not far behind in fifth. Using his experience with the old-school track style at Les Gets, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) qualified sixth.
Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity Racing) was the fastest Canadian on Friday, qualifying ninth. Mark Wallace (Canyon Factory Racing) squeezed into 36th.
Making a return to his World Cup downhill roots, EWS racer Remi Gauvin (Rocky Mountain Race Face) qualified 42nd for Saturday’s final. Forrest Reisco (Commencal Canada) was the final Canadian making the cut, ranking 53rd.