NEWS: UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS VAL DI SOLE

Myriam Nicole produced a perfect run to win the downhill title at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, while South Africa’s Greg Minnaar claimed the title for the fourth time.
Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290656 // Usage for editorial use only //
Myriam Nicole produced a perfect run to win the downhill title at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, while South Africa’s Greg Minnaar claimed the title for the fourth time.

NICOLE AND MINNAAR CONQUER TESTING TRACK TO WIN DOWNHILL TITLES

Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290580 // Usage for editorial use only //
Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290581 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290582 // Usage for editorial use only //

Myriam Nicole produced a perfect run to win the downhill title at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, while South Africa’s Greg Minnaar claimed the title for the fourth time.

Greg Minnaar seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290583 // Usage for editorial use only //

FRENCH AND SOUTH AFRICAN RIDERS CROWNED WORLD CHAMPIONS IN VAL DI SOLE

Heavy rain on Saturday evening had made the Black Snake course a slippery surprise during Sunday’s practice runs. However, with a few hours to dry, the World Championships would play out on an amazing track in prime conditions.

Competitors performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290584 // Usage for editorial use only //
Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290585 // Usage for editorial use only //

WOMEN’S RACE

In the Elite Women’s race, the first of the big names to tackle the course was the fastest qualifier, Vali Holl. A rider with so much talent and yet little luck, the Austrian once again fell foul to race day demons with a crash ending her bid for glory.

Myriam Nicole celebrates at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290586 // Usage for editorial use only //

Tahnée Seagrave has been building speed and confidence all year and was certainly one to watch. However, when she decided to sit out qualification on Friday due to her neck injury, question marks were raised. And despite putting together a smooth run, she sensed others would go faster.

Competitors seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290587 // Usage for editorial use only //

Eleanora Farina, with huge home support from the Italian fans, was pushing hard and on pace but just missed out on the hot seat, finishing 0.188 down on Seagrave’s time.

Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290603 // Usage for editorial use only //

Marine Cabirou, who took her inaugural World Cup win in Val di Sole in 2019, was 1.179 down at the first split but her trademark aggressive style saw her throw everything at the Black Snake and she crossed the line a staggering 5.454 seconds ahead of Seagrave.

Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290602 // Usage for editorial use only //

Defending World Champion Camille Balanche was the penultimate rider and she showed no ill effects from the nasty crash she suffered during her practice run on Sunday morning. Despite a bruised ankle, the Swiss rider was quick all the way down and absolutely sent the final jump to finish just 1.272 seconds off the pace in second place.

Camille Balanche performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290605 // Usage for editorial use only //

Nicole was the final competitor to tackle the course and showed exactly why she was viewed as a potential champion. Having won her first World Cup in Val di Sole in 2011, the French rider once again crushed the Black Snake with a smooth and fierce performance.

Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290629 // Usage for editorial use only //

Dropping into the final turn Nicole was absolutely flying as she crossed the line a huge 4.827 seconds ahead of Cabirou to claim the rainbow jersey.

Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290604 // Usage for editorial use only //

MEN’S RACE

In the men’s race, the drama showed no signs of subsiding, with early casualties including Amaury Pierron with a completely smashed rim and defending champion, Reece Wilson, with a puncture off the final jump. Angel Suarez and Dakotah Norton also crashed out whilst on fastest runs.

Antoine Vidal was the man to occupy the hot seat for the longest time, starting his race almost two hours before the final run. Having qualified third, the enduro specialist backed up his performance on Friday to lay down the time to beat.

Finn Iles was the first to do so with a fast top section giving him enough buffer to hold onto a green split at the finish line. Luca Shaw deployed his relaxed style to good effect to go second with ten riders to go.

Finn Iles performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290667 // Usage for editorial use only //

Danny Hart won the World Championships in Val di Sole in 2016 and was on another typically animated run, fastest at every split and taking the lead. Remi Thirion and David Trummer – the silver and bronze medallists from Leogang last year – failed to go faster.

Benoit Coulanges performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290597 // Usage for editorial use only //

Benoit Coulanges then claimed the lead after nailing his run and nervously watched on as Troy Brosnan came within 0.214 seconds of his lead. Next up was Minnaar and things got tense.

Benoit Coulanges seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290589 // Usage for editorial use only //

The South African was up at split one but red at two and three. Minnaar began to claw back time further down the track, soaking up the rocks and roots as he flew through the final berms to snatch the lead and send the crowd wild.

Detail at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290588 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290590 // Usage for editorial use only //

Loïc Bruni failed to threaten the leaders, as did World Cup leader Thibaut Daprela when a crash ended his chances. Loris Vergier was then fastest through the first two splits but dropped back to fourth, leading to huge celebrations as the 39-year-old Minnaar realised he had become a four-time champion.

Loic Bruni performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290595 // Usage for editorial use only //
Crowd at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290592 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290591 // Usage for editorial use only //

Women’s DH result
1. Myriam Nicole FRA 4:06.243
2. Marine Cabirou FRA +4.827
3. Camille Balanche SUI +6.099
4. Monika Hrastnik SLO +9.085
5. Tahnee Seagrave GBR +9.781

Men’s DH result
1. Greg Minnaar RSA 3:28.963
2. Benoit Coulanges FRA +0.227
3. Troy Brosnan AUS +0.441
4. Loris Vergier FRA +1.166
5. Danny Hart GBR +1.850

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Story and photos by Red Bull

Loris Vergier performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290594 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290596 // Usage for editorial use only //
Benoit Coulanges performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290597 // Usage for editorial use only //
Danny Hart performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290598 // Usage for editorial use only //
Finn Iles performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290599 // Usage for editorial use only //
Laurie Greenland performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290600 // Usage for editorial use only //
Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290604 // Usage for editorial use only //
Marine Cabirou performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290632 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290617 // Usage for editorial use only //
Loris Vergier performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290644 // Usage for editorial use only //
Vali Holl performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290634 // Usage for editorial use only //
Monika Hrastnik performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290654 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290638 // Usage for editorial use only //
Finn Iles performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290615 // Usage for editorial use only //
Finn Iles performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290643 // Usage for editorial use only //
Brook Macdonald performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290670 // Usage for editorial use only //
Finn Iles performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290675 // Usage for editorial use only //
Loic Bruni performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290674 // Usage for editorial use only //
Brook Macdonald performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290673 // Usage for editorial use only //
Brook Macdonald performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290670 // Usage for editorial use only //
Marine Cabirou performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290666 // Usage for editorial use only //
Myriam Nicole seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290665 // Usage for editorial use only //
Vali Holl performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290664 // Usage for editorial use only //
Luca Shaw seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290661 // Usage for editorial use only //
Brook Macdonald warms up at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290660 // Usage for editorial use only //
Finn Iles seen at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290659 // Usage for editorial use only //
Loic Bruni warms up at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290658 // Usage for editorial use only //
Loic Bruni warms up at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290658 // Usage for editorial use only //
Finn Iles performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290657 // Usage for editorial use only //
Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290656 // Usage for editorial use only //
Loic Bruni performs at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy on August 29, 2021 // SI202108290655 // Usage for editorial use only //
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