Vali Höll produced a dominant downhill display as she claimed victory during the fifth round of the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, while Loïc Bruni secured his first win of 2023 in Loudenvielle, France.
After finishing second last week in Andorra, Höll was determined to gain the win this weekend and looked in impressive form as she went fastest in qualifying and again in the semi-finals. In Sunday afternoon’s elite final, Marine Cabirou performed well on home soil as she claimed the hot seat with a handful of riders remaining. Tahnee Seagrave then looked as though she would move into first place before a crash ended her chances of a podium place.
Nina Hoffmann then went fastest as she looked to make it two wins in a row, but Höll mastered the slightly wet conditions and blew away the competition, finishing almost three seconds ahead of the German rider.
Höll, who won gold in the downhill event at the recent UCI World Championships, is now closing in on the overall downhill World Cup title as she holds a huge lead at the top of the standings, sitting 444 points clear of Hoffman in second.
It was one of my first tricky mud races in the elites so I’m happy. I had a few sketchy moments but I was able to just crack on.”
In the men’s event, Benoit Coulanges looked as though he would be the rider to beat as he went fastest in qualifying and the semi-finals. However, the Frenchman was well off the pace in the finals and was unable to finish in the top five.
Instead it was Bruni who stormed to victory as he made up for a hugely disappointing result last weekend in Andorra when the weather got the best of him and he finished in 22nd place.
The French rider finished ahead of getting faster every race Dakotah Norton, while Britain’s Laurie Greenland was the only other rider to finish within a second of Bruni as he claimed third place. Massive props to Oliver Davis for his top 10 finish, coming in 9th making him the fatest Aussie. Bruni’s win sent him top of the overall downhill World Cup standings with 1123 points, with Iles second on 1041 and Canada’s Jackson Goldstone third with 1036.
Women’s downhill result 1. Vali Höll AUT 4:00.593
2. Nina Hoffmann GER +2.840
3. Marine Cabirou FRA +5.352
4. Phoebe Gale GBR +8.473
5. Lisa Baumann SUI +9.164
Men’s downhill result 1. Loïc Bruni FRA 3:31.785
2. Dakotah Norton USA +0.777
3. Laurie Greenland GBR +0.879
4. Jackson Goldstone CAN +1.356
5. Remi Thirion FRA +2.578
2023 UCI MTB World Cup women’s DH standings 1. Valentina Höll AUT 1642 points
2. Nina Hoffman GER 1198
3. Camille Balanche FRA 1020
4. Marine Cabirou FRA 958
5. Monika Hrastnik SLO 711
2023 UCI MTB World Cup men’s DH standings 1. Loïc Bruni FRA 1123 points
2. Finn Iles FRA 1041
3. Jackson Goldstone CAN 1036
4. Loris Vergier FRA 908
5. Thibaut Daprela FRA 907