Finals day at Losinj was wilder than ever! The track, very physical, short and intense. After weeks of sunshine the track was dusty with a layer of dust and rubber making the rocks slippier with every run. It was a mixed bag this weekend with all of the riders pleased to show their pace but nobody really finding their flow across Losinj’s sharp rocks!
The team can celebrate a podium for Mille!!! In her first Junior race ever, our Atherton Academy star Mille Johnset took 3rd place today with Valentina Holl taking the win.
Mille said “I’ve had a swollen ankle all weekend, then I crashed this morning in practice, so I was even more nervous for Finals!!! I couldn’t bend my knee properly but I was “here goes!” It was a bit of messy run, I almost crashed again after where I came off in practice, there was a really small drop where I nearly went OTB but I managed to recover – it was pretty ragged from then on! I wasn’t happy with the run but I’m really happy with third place!
Team Director Dan Brown said ‘Happy for Mille today, its great that there is so much competition in the Junior Women this year, she’s going to have some work to do!”
Junior Women Finals
1 Valentina Holl 2.50.09
2 Nastasia Gimemez 3.02.61 + 12.52
3 Mille Johnset 3.06.71 + 16.77
4 Paula Zibasa SRAM Young Guns Racing 3.07.41 + 17.32
5 Anne Newkirk 3.12.21 +22.12
In the Junior Men’s Academy graduate Kade Edwards also earned himself a podium spot with a very solid second place. There was some great racing between the top three, looking like there is going to be an exciting season ahead for all of the juniors!
First qualifier Kade was really disappointed with his run, a mistake at the top cost him a lot of speed but its worth remembering that he’s been back on the big bike for just two weeks …
Kade said “Stoked to be on good pace but gutted not to put the right run together today.”
Junior Men Finals
1 Thibaut Daprela Commencal/Vallnord 2.25.17
2 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 2.26.82 + 1.64
3 Kye A’Hern Canyon Factory Downhill team 2.28.65 +3.47
4 Lucas Cruz 2.30.78 +5.61
5 Matteo Iniguez 2.32.58 +7.40
When the top 5 Women came on track Cecile Ravanel was in the hotseat, 5 seconds clear of the field and poised to take her first ever World Cup podium. Tahnee Seagrave, disappointed with her Quals run rode a very aggressive run, up 2 seconds by the first split. She lost a little pace through the drops but recovered in the final sprint to go fastest – the first to beat Rachel’s qualifying time in 2.44.48. Four riders left on course. Marine Cabirou slotted into 2nd, Myriam Nicole, down 0.5 at the first split rode a very clean next section to take the lead by split 2, extending her advantage to 3.4 seconds by split 3, she crossed the line to take the hotseat in 2.40.70 – at 7 seconds faster than Rachel’s winning qualifier the pressure was on!
Tracey Hannah, riding sore after a crash this week didn’t quite get into contention, then a big crash in the lower section put her out of the running. Finally Rachel was on course. Up by 0.6 at split 1, she looked smooth through split 2 – but not as smooth as Pompon across the sharp rocks, 1.5 seconds down, she lost a little more time to go down 3 seconds by split 3, Rach was fastest again in the bottom pedal but it wasn’t enough – crossing into 2nd.
Rachel said “Disappointed with my run today, struggled to find any flow or carry speed, but that’s the comeback race done!”
Elite Women FinalsWomen Finals
1 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 2.40.70
2 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.44.26 + 3.55
3 Tahnee Seagrave Transition bikes/Muc-off Factory Racing 2.44.48 +3.77
4 Marine Cabirou Voulvoul Racing 2.45.93 +5.22
5 Cecile Ravanel 2.48.41 +7.71
34th qualifier Charlie Hatton also struggled today, he said “ happy to get through this weekend without injury or a mechanical and looking forward to Fort William to make amends.” He crossed into 8th , 0.3 faster than his qualifying time, enough for an eventual 38th.
Gee had qualified 22nd, like Rachel he rode a fast top section taking the lead by 0.1 at split 1, but, again like Rach he couldn’t sustain that lead through the top of the rocks, down by about a second and a half by split 2, he made up a little time through splits 3 and 4, crossing the line into 3rd, in 2.25.27 enough for an eventual 19th place.
Gee said … Well that was a wild one! Stoked to be through the weekend in one piece, and with a solid place to build from.”
Elite Men’s Finals
1 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 2.19.19 +2.08
2 Luca Shaw Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.19.99 + 0.79
3 Lucas Dean Intense Factory Racing 2.20.32 +1.13
4 Sam Blenkinsop Norco Factory Racing 2.21.10. + 1.91
5 Dakotah Norton Unior/Devinci Factory Racing 2.21.82 +2.62
19 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.25.27+ 6.08
38 Charlie Hatton Trek Factory Racing DH 2.29.01 +9.81
Pics Sven Martin