With all series points thrown into finals, and some heavy rain forecast for race day, things could get real exciting for the last World Cup of the year.
Only one timed run remains in the 2021 UCI Downhill World Cup for those that qualified today. Snowshoe has already delivered some seriously exciting racing, and with the rain forecast, that’s not going to change.
Here’s who did what in qualifying for the second of the double-headers. No overall points, just the full set for finals.
Points-wise, Izabela Yankova might just have to finish her run tomorrow to win the overall as her title rival Phoebe Gale posted a DNS in her run. No one else is even close, but the Bulgarian may well go for a solid victory lap with a time that will put her into the top ten Elite Women.
The Williams and Goldstone show ended with the Madison Saracen man coming out on top by a gnat’s whisker ahead of fellow countryman Ethan Craik. Goldstone can rest happy knowing he sewed the overall up at the first of the double headers, as he was way down the field after a heavy off in his run. Four and a half seconds separated the top 10, so there’s no messing about here.
Another multi-margin win for Pompon but this time with Marine Cabirou finishing strong with a second. The omnipresent top 3 rider Camille Balanche may well have been taking it easy today with an uncharacteristic off-the-pace run, some seven and a half seconds back. Vali was likely nursing a hangover still and slotted into fourth just behind the Swiss National champ.
Tomorrow now sees Pompon, Camille Balanche and Vali duking it out to see who wins the overall. All three of them have a shot now. If Pompon can stay on her bike, we reckon she’s got it covered. If Pompon wins, it’s still very tight between Vali and Camille for who ends up second overall.
Tahnee Seagrave could take the overall with a win, and the three above have total disasters.
SuperBruni is back. No points today but you may as well let everyone know you mean business. With five seconds separating the top 10 men, nobody was messing around today.
Greg Minnaar DNS’d so that’s his season over with his AC joint separation. Danny Hart also hit the first split then DNF’d. Thibaut Daprela was also in the DNF ranks. Daprela was stretchered off the hill, so his title fight might well be over. If the rain really hits though and the top riders have absolute nightmares, with lower qualifying riders getting a dry or drier track, he could still win the overall.
Both Bruni and Vergier were in the mix today, with Daprela a somewhat unknown quantity. Whatever happens, your 2021 UCI Downhill World Cup champion will be French, just on different bike brands.
Full qualifying results can be found on the UCI website here.