The World Cup scene was back in France for the Loudenvielle rounds of Enduro and Downhill. Known for some of the best bike trails and racing fans on the planet, France continues to be a favorite location for riders. XCO and XCC disciplines were off for this round, while the E-EDR riders would gear up to race alongside their EDR and DH comrades.
The E-EDR race kicked off an exciting week in Loudenvielle. Sam Blenkinsop (Crestline Bikes) tried his hand at E-EDR racing and came away with a fifth-place finish. In the Women’s, Flo Espiñeira (Orbea Fox Enduro Team) rode strong and took the win ahead of the legendary T-MO. Ines Thoma (Canyon Bikes) also had a great race, capturing a podium position in fourth.
Next up was the EDR race. Emmy Lan (Forbidden Synthesis) continued her incredible U21 Women’s campaign by proving she really can win anywhere in the world, earning the gold yet again. In the U21 Men, Sascha Kim (Lusty Industries) fought his way to the third position after a long day of racing at the sixth round of the EDR World Cup. The Elite Women’s race saw Ella Conolly (Cannondale Bikes) snag third, adding to her overall points total. On the other hand, the Elite Men’s podium had Maxxis all over it, with Youn Deniaud (GFORT) taking his first-ever EDR win, Richie Rude (Yeti Fox Factory) in fourth and Jesse Melamed (Canyon CCLTV) in fifth.
After the EDR, DH racing rounded out World Cup Loudenvielle 2023, and it began with a first for the sport: a race cancellation. The UCI determined that conditions were too dangerous (rain, wet track) for the Junior DH race to be held and therefore, the previous day’s qualification results would be used instead. While this decision caused a lot of controversy, it meant that Chris Hauser (UNION) would end up third in Junior Men and Valentina Roa Sanchez (Transition Factory Racing) was also third in Junior Women.
While the Junior’s DH race was unfortunately cancelled, the Elite race went on as scheduled the next day. The track was still very slick, and many riders chose the Wetscream, Shorty or similar aggressive tire for their race run. Nina Hoffmann (Santa Cruz Syndicate) doesn’t care if the track is wet or not, she still sends it, and this time into a second-place finish. Marine Cabirou (Scott Factory DH) is having a heckuva comeback season, landing herself another podium spot in third.
The Elite Men’s DH race was intense, with some rough crashes due to slick areas on the track. Laurie Greenland and Jackson Goldstone kept the Santa Cruz Syndicate rolling, capturing the third and fourth-place spots on the podium. Remi Thirion added to the success of the Giant Factory Off-Road Team this week, taking fifth place.
Another great week of World Cup racing is in the books, and riders are going back at it again this weekend in Les Gets.