A World Cup race in March?
In 2022, the first Downhill World Cup took place earlier than in previous years, and consequently, many expected snow on the track in Lourdes, France. However, conditions were quite the opposite: blown out corners, deep ruts, and a dry track from top to bottom. Fans were in for a treat with good racing like this so early in the year.
Maxxis riders jumped out to a fast start to the season in the Junior Women’s race with Gracey Hemstreet (Norco Factory Team) taking the win by nearly seven seconds. Next was the Junior Men’s race – another highly competitive field! After qualifying fastest, Jackson Goldstone (Santa Cruz Syndicate) backed it up with a win in finals aboard his fresh Santa Cruz V10 equipped with Maxxis Assegai and DHR II tires. Behind him were Maxxis riders Jordan Williams (Madison Saracen) and Lachlan Stevens-Mcnab (Union), who placed third and fourth.
In the ever-growing Elite Women’s field, Maxxis had two riders on the podium after finals. Vali Höll (Rockshox Trek Race Team) crushed her run and slotted into fourth place, while Marine Cabirou (Scott DH Factory) got back up to speed after breaking a vertebrae late last year and snagged fifth.
The Elite Men’s level of competition is absolutely amazing in 2022, and fans have to be loving it. So many riders could potentially take the win, which makes every race a nail-biter. Going up against French home-field advantage (especially with limited practice due to the lift situation) was a challenge, but one that Luca Shaw (Canyon Cllctv) was up for. Shaw had one of the most exciting runs of the day, flying down the rough Lourdes track to claim fifth place. Luca’s tires of choice were the Maxxis Minion DHR II, front and rear.
Lourdes definitely delivered the excitement that World Cup fans were looking for, and we cannot wait for the next round in Fort William!