Last weekend saw the 5th round of the UCI World Cup take place in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
What was once considered a ”bikepark" track has morphed into the most unpredictable course of the year. The new course was unforgiving of the smallest mistake and FOX team riders had a tricky weekend in the office with some ups and downs! This definitely adds some flavor to the season.
FINN ILES - OVERALL JUNIOR WORLD CUP 2017 WINNER
Maybe the happiest guy in the paddock, taking another World Cup win and with it an unassailable lead in a race for the overall World Cup!
“I had a very good run and I'm satisfied with my time too! I'm stoked for the overall as well because it means I can relax for the rest of the season. The next round will be at Mont Saint Anne in Canada, my home country, and I would love to take the win in front of the Canadian crowd. It's great to go there with almost no pressure”.
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 5TH PLACE - ONE SLIGHT MISTAKE THAT COST A LOT
Up at all four splits, she pushed the front wheel in one of the final turns almost running off the track and losing all of her momentum. She was clearly disappointed but stayed positive:
“It's a shame to have messed up two of the five races so far! I was on a good run and I pushed a bit too hard. I finished five seconds from the winner and I know that in the past that could have been enough for a second place. It's cool that the women's level is getting higher, that's great for the sport”.
LAURIE GREENLAND, 4TH PLACE - CONSISTENT CHALLENGER
"I am really happy to of managed to get on the podium in lenzerheide, 6th to 10th place finishes have happened quite a lot now and I for sure have my eyes set on the podium! It's an amazing feeling and almost a relief at the same time... just have to do it again in a few weeks in Canada".
LOÏC BRUNI, 7TH PLACE, A DRIFT THAT COSTS HIM THE PODIUM
No crash for the frenchie but a few mistakes ruined his chances of being on the podium:
“I was pretty relaxed before my start, I had a good feeling, you know like a switch in your head which means you can do well. I started without pushing too hard but I made a small mistake in the first rock garden. I told myself to forget it and to start the race again. But I made two other mistakes in sections where it's critical to carry speed. All these mistakes cost me time and with the racing so tight right now, you can't afford to do that. Now I have the feeling I missed a good opportunity. I'm still top ten which is good, but what I really want is to be in the top three! I have to work harder!”.
LORIS, 27TH PLACE - AND A CRASH IN THE FIRST BERM
Crashing in the first corner and having to chase seconds his whole run, Loris was pretty philosophical about it:
“I have to admit that my head was on holiday already and when I did a good quali on Friday, I felt I could do well here. I was confident for finals and maybe a bit too much. After my run, I stayed 10 minutes alone to think about my crash and I realised it's not a disaster. I'm young, I didn't get injured and it didn't happen because of a mechanical. Everything worked perfectly and it just my fault. What makes me happy is that I'm still 4th overall because of my performance in qualifying, but I want more podiums!”.
CONNOR, 74TH - NO BROKEN BONES CAN STOP HIM
His crash in Vallnord was worse that he thought, he might have a broken bone in his hand and had to minimize his runs in Lenzerheide to be able to ride in the finals. Basically, he raced just to save some points for the overall:
“I looked at the points and I thought, if I can get down with a 50th or a 40thplace run, I could get some points which is always pretty good for the overall. So it's what the goal for the weekend was. I did only 5 runs during the 3 days and it was still very painful. My race run started pretty well but I crashed half way and I decided to cruise down to not take anymore risks. It's four weeks now to Mont Saint Anne so I'm going to get an X-Ray as soon as possible to assess the extent of the damage to get a better idea of what kind of shape my hand will be in for MSA”.
The DH team now has a 4 week break before heading to the penultimate round of the World Cup series in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada.
LOIC BRUNI, 4th
Unlucky since the beginning of the year, “Super Bruni” is relieved to be back: “I wasn't really happy when I passed the finish line because I was in 2nd and I saw it was super tight! But it was good, I stuck to the plan, kept it smooth, and made it to the bottom. It's my first podium of the season so 4th is perfect in the end, I'm happy enough tonight. I feel this is my first proper race of the year, in Lourdes I almost couldn't make it to the bottom because of the weather, Fort William I crashed and Leogang I even didn't race! I'm stoked to be here on the box and this has helped to build my confidence and I hope we are moving on to bigger and better things.”
LORIS VERGIER, 6th
After finishing second back to back in Leogang World Cup and Crankworx Les Gets a few weeks ago, Loris had every right to be a bit disappointed for missing the podium by only one place, but he's absolutely not and he explains why: “I'm happy because it's a long track and I started my finals run a bit too strong. I wanted to try to push my limits, but after the first minute I realised that I was a bit tired and I decided to stay focused, and try to stay on my bike! In the end, I'm 6th and only 3 seconds from the podium which is very good. I got good points for the overall, I'm now 4th which gives me a bit more confidence! I'm so happy for Loïc who's riding almost at his best again, it's cool to see him back on the podium!"
CONNOR FEARON, 28th
His run was spectacular but he crashed very close to the bottom: “I was so tired at the end and I had a stupid crash. I just couldn't hold on anymore but I'm not too disappointed because what you have to do to do well here is to leave it or on the track. The thing is, you have to go so fast here and obviously more people than usual crashed here, luckily everyone is mostly ok. Either way, I'm stoked and looking forward to Lenzerheide.”
FINN ILES, 1st IN JUNIOR CATEGORY
It's now the 3rd victory for the Canadian rider for this year. He won the race by a full 5 seconds and his time would have placed him 7th in the Elite category! “I felt that everything sort of worked on my run, I had like a few parts where I was trying to push too hard and got a bit sketchy but I think I was carrying good speed everywhere and I rode my bike well, so I'm happy! I was pretty calm this weekend even though I was a bit nervous this morning. Because this is so similar to some of the stuff I ride at home, I'm prtty experienced on steep stuff.”
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 2nd IN WOMEN CATEGORY
After taking her first ever win at the previous round in Leogang, Tahnee was hoping for big things again in Andorra: “Myriam Nicole (the winner of the day) has always been good here and I've never get a good result here, and it's such a contrast from here to Leogang I'm just really happy because I had a point to prove after everyone saying that the track in Leogang was too easy.
I know that my style of riding is not very aggressive even if people think it is, I love riding berms with my mates so I think Lenzerheide will suit me better”.
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE TAKES HER FIRST ELITE WORLD CUP VICTORY!
After a hard weekend in Fort William (she crashed in both Qualis and Finals), Tahnee fought back in Leogang in the best way possible! Second in Saturday's quali, she did everything right on Sunday to take her very first win in the Elite Women Category: “I'm super happy, I'm more relieved than anything, I feel I was working so hard for so long. Obviously it's a bummer that Rachel (Atherton) wasn't here, it would have been nice to compare to her time. It was so stressful watching Tracey (Hannah, 2nd) coming down, I knew she was gonna pull back time at the end and it was so close! But it's great to see the racing is so tight!”
LORIS VERGIER BACK ON THE PODIUM
Loris finally put in a clean race run and landed on the podium! Second here last year, and second again this year, he has an impressive record on the Austrian track! “Last year I was completely happy with my 2nd place because it was a surprise but I have to be honest, I thought that today could be the day. In the end I don't have any regrets, I did everything I could! It's very good for my confidence too, because I have been qualifying well but then having troubles in finals this season. I'm happy, it was a good day in the office!”
FINN ILES WON THE JUNIOR CATEGORY!
Finn kicked off the day in some style by taking the win and solidifying his leadership of the overall : "I was a bit frustrated last weekend (he finished 2nd in Fort William, Scotland) and yesterday (2nd place in qualis), so I'm happy with my result and with my time too. It's was a good weekend! There is a good battle going with the other guys and I think it will be very interesting between us for the rest of the season."
KAOS SEAGRAVE 3RD IN QUALIS, 4TH IN FINALS
Third in qualis, Kaos Seagrave finished the final in 4th: “My run was good, it was very dry up there, it was so, so fast! I just made a mistake before the motorway section but it's all good. The track was mint, I loved it the whole weekend. And Finn absolutely smashed it, his time was very good.”
10TH PLACE FOR CONNOR FEARON
Podiuming on the previous two visits to Leogang, Connor was clear he wanted to do the same again this year. He finished 10th but was still happy to have a solid result: “It's still a good place, I couldn't have gone any faster. The times were super tight! The guys at the top went so fast! I'm happy to be in the top 10 and I'm already looking forward to the other races."
Unfortunately we have to finish with some bad news. Loïc Bruni crashed during Saturday's practice and had to go to hospital to deal with an extremely severe inflammation. Loic posted on his social media: “I thought it was a random punch in the leg. After the qualis I could not walk any more, I had ruptured vein on the inside that was leaking blood into my leg”.
Loic will be spending a few more days in Leogang to wait for the swelling to go down, and hopefull he'll be back soon. All the best to you champion!