Finn Iles spearheaded the Canadian effort as the World Cup downhill series returns to North America this year. The Canadian held the top ten in unpredictable conditions, with deep mud and slippery rocks making West Virginia more than just chaotic.
Two men, Amaury Pierron and Greg Minnaar, showed that no matter what the course was like, they would find a way to perform.
Amaury Pierron (Commencal/Muc-Off) continued his impressive 2022 season with another win. The French rider was somewhat of a question mark at the weekend, having hit a tree hard in practice two weeks ago at World Cup practice in Andorra. Peron just slipped past Bernard Kerr (Pivot Factory Racing) by 0.414sec.
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Andreas Kolb (Continental Atherton) and Ronan Dunn (Continental Knockiprov) took advantage of adverse conditions to finish third and fourth on the podium. Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) put Rainbow Stripes on the podium in fifth.
Canadians in snowshoes
Finn Ellis (Specialist) led the Canadian effort in elite racing, and finished ninth. The top ten finish keeps Iles in touch overall, but now sits third behind Loris Vergier (Trek Factory Racing) with 746 points to 758. French rider Pieron keeps a big lead, now, with 1,180.
Mark Wallace (Canyon Clcctv) maintained his consistent season with a 17th place finish in the Snowshoe. Jacob Jewett, Wallace’s young teammate at Canyon Calcutta, had a big result in the mud for 27th. Kirk McDowell (Dunbar) returned to the World Cup races in 35th place.
On the women’s side, Rachel Bagjo was all set to run her first Elite Final of the year. A major accident practically prevented the Commencal rider from starting on Saturday.
Camille Balanche (Commencal Dorval) proved capable of handling the conditions and her training, winning the USA by 4.145 seconds. World Champion Myriam Nicole (Kommenkal/Muc-Off) settled on second. The victory, which is Balanche’s third World Cup win this year, pushes her further ahead of her opponent in the overall standings. She now holds 1,335 points compared to 1,105 for Nicole.
Nina Hoffmann (Union), who won the German national title, finished third with Valley Hall (RockShox Trek) in fourth. Monika Hrastnik puts two Dorval AM riders on the podium for fifth.