With two full days of sun baking the steep and loose track in La Massana, conditions could not have been any better as the world’s best set out to battle for the top steps of the podium. The lack of moisture, however, would leave the racing lines unpredictable in spots as the surface began to break apart, causing more than a few close calls in both training and final race runs. Riders like Loic Bruni, Brook Macdonald, and the youngster, Finn Iles are looking to stop the freight train that is Amaury Pierron from running away with the series.
The mountains of the Vallnord Bike Park had seen quite a bit of moisture leading into the race, but the varying types of dirt and obstacles leave the riders without complete certainty when trying to put together a full gas effort down the mountain. From the top, the riders blitz over the shale and chunk that dries out really quickly before descending into the moist roosts that never seem to dry out.
A low flying Wyn Masters is always a good thing. He has a new program and a new bike and is turning the heat on. He didn’t exactly have the run he was looking for but he still did his thing, after all, he’s Wyn Masters.
On a tear so far thus season has been the young and fierce Thibaut Daprela, who has won all but 2 races this year. This week was no different. He threw down a blistering time and crushed the other juniors, extending his lead and continuing on his way to the overall title.
Blenki has been surprisingly one of the most consistent racers so far this year. The irreplaceable style and effortless-ness that Sam Blenkinsop rides with just furthers his speed and places him in the hunt week in and week out.
Bruce Klein made his return to the DH World Cup scene this weekend after a bad crash resulting in a shoulder separation and a concussion. Though he needs to build back into form, it was great seeing the young Californian back smiling at the track. He will get there.
Marcelo Gutierrez on the other hand continues to fly the Colombian flag, like no Colombian ever has, His current ranking is 15th and he continues to put in solid runs.
Of all of the 100% athletes, the Bulldog was the fastest. Brook Macdonald landed himself in 3rd place at the end of the weekend. He filled the void that had gone missing for quite some time. “I’m home,” Brook screamed as he stepped up to the podium. Welcome back to the steps Brook, now lets get to the top!
The one and only Finn Iles has been knocking on the podiums door for a while and finally got her to open. A 5th place for the first year elite is not too shabby. The times have been there all along, a complete run just hadn’t. Hopefully Finn gains some confidence from this and carries it to the top!
Onto the next!